I opened the wooden gate with a sinking heart. Will he recognize me? A few years have passed and we haven't seen each other at all. I changed my hairstyle, maybe I also changed my smell. I remember the first time I saw him, I was immediately captivated by his red hair and the hilarious corner of a tooth misaligned over his lip, for this reason, he seemed to be laughing all the time. For years he was my closest friend, he listened to me, he had defended me several times. Then I left. I heard he was happy, the man who took him in has a yard and a garden. He's a butcher.

(Translated by Claudia Alexandra Văcărescu / 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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