I lock the door twice. I go down one floor, stepping obligatorily on each step. I'm going back to check if I've locked the door. I only walk to the car on the sidewalk, stepping only on the gray tiles, not the red ones. I turn my back when the black cat walks in front of me, I avoid all the trouble of spitting on the chest and walking backwards, behaviour which is specific to superstitious people. How weird. I step on the sewer cover, it has 4 holes, and the one with 6 is for the boys. At the hospital I only sleep on the right side. Someone stole the 4-hole sewer cover.

(Translated by Ioana Negrea / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / Corrected by Silvia Petrescu, coordinator of the translations)

Real Fiction is a collective project started in 2013 by Florin Piersic Jr. The concept of Real Fiction continued to exist as a Facebook group, after a volume of stories was published at Humanitas Publishing House. (In February 2022, the group has 7,950 members.) The authors write ultra-short stories, with the texts limited to 500 characters (in Romanian, so the length of the English translation might be a little different) - a flash-fiction exercise on a topic that changes almost daily. The group's coordinators are Florin Piersic Jr., Gabriel Molnar, Răzvan Penescu, and Luchian Abel. (Drawing by Adrian T. Roman)

Versiunea în română a acestui text se poate citi aici, în rubrica Ficțiuni Reale.

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