What are you afraid of, he asked, drawing smoke triangles in the air with his cigarette. Well, troubles and loneliness, failure, unfulfillment, she mumbled, hugging the pillow. We have the kids, he nodded, we could never get too far. I'd settle in an apartment, in the neighbourhood. I might come to mow the lawn, after I struggled so much with the garden, said he looking pensively out the window. OK, she laughed. In fact, you were never mine, whispered she. Never, he approved. Eye to eye, they took a breath smiling to that tiny, infinite moment.

(Translated by Alexandra Lica / 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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