Don't come in, ma'am. We're preparing a surprise, whispers the thin, sharp voice. I stumble to the door. Strangely, I don't hear giggling or noise in the classroom. In the schoolyard only the sunbeams and a few sparrows come to get their share of attention and crumbs. I wrap myself in patience. Finally, the door creaks open with a plaintive creak. Dozens of beady eyes stick to me, as little hands wave at the board coloured with the most beautiful gift wish: We love you, ma'am.

(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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