I can count fast. With my finger on the tip of my tongue, I moisten the next 20 pages that I need to count. I can finish a pension file in a matter of seconds. This one is good, this one as well, this one is extra, done. File 80.022.022 is complete. Woopsie. Wait a minute. How? I think it's a mistake. I will review the file again. A sense of wonder and madness overwhelms me, like the buzz of a mosquito on a hot day. I finish the file. Is this my file? You mean, like, it's over? What am I going to do with this long tongue of mine, then?

(Translated by Marius-Alin Lazăr / 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 March 2022, the group has 8,050 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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