I open my eyes, smiling. Today is my birthday. I look at my watch. 9. No, no. It didn't ring. I don't believe it. I'm late. I'm getting up in a daze. I can't find my slippers, I walk barefoot on the tiles. I'm thirsty, the water bottle is empty. Milk is gone. I can't find my phone. Baby's taking a shower. He can't hear me yelling at him that I'm late, that I can't call the boss, that I'm thirsty, that he took my slippers. Baby turns off the water. I hear him laughing. He opens the door and on his knees, he hands me a ring. Happy birthday. It's Saturday. Will you marry me?

(Translated by Carla-Marina Ștefănescu / 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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