Some Kalderash goes to the fence and looks him down, as if weighing him. The kid wriggles his nose, famished and worried because he can't see his father in the cluster of people coming from the wells. Yo, take this and shove it in your mouth! he tells the kid and gives him a piece of bread over the fence. Lightheaded, he looks down at his knee socks and can't see a thing, but he feels in his nostrils his father's crude oil smell. I'll trade you this brass pail for the boy. Father spits his cigarette out on the dusty road and shouts: You monster, get away from him. This wonder is priceless.

(Translated by Andra Daiana Păuna / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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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