Before that, I used to be comrade Cârlan from Scânteia. They would court each other with salt and bread in meetings about great achievements and record production of pansies per hectare, and when all was said and done, they would fill up my trunk with all sorts of meaningless gifts: some Power of the Bear wine, for export, just for me, escargots and quail eggs for the missus, confectionaries for the little ones. The comrade takes care of us, so we take care of the comrade, they'd say. Anything for the authority. Look at me now, this fossil with a huge pension. Fuck y'all and all your snails.

(Translated by Ioana Grigoruță / 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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