That's what they say. This is already an outdated concept. You retire when you can. When enough money has been raised on your private funds, or you have something under the mattress. I dedicate some hours to paid love. For the pleasure and money of a few youthful whims. At seventy-five, on the night shift, I always find lost souls, yearning for a motherly hug. Under the shrill make-up and the dress with the golden sequins, she is just an ageless woman, who understands the passing trucker's language and the timid cry of the effeminate poet.

(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 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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