I'm afraid to breathe. Petrified, I sit on the armchair, eyes wide open, in front of the TV. I think I can't take it anymore, but I have to, since I know it's just one minute left. Today is a free day for everybody; there's no work, there's no cutting, no sewing, no washing, no harnessing. I locked my wife in the living room, so she won't bring bad luck, as it always happens when she watches these horrible things on TV. Last whistle. The city is in a tizzy. Romania has won the FIFA World Cup.

(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 every few days. 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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