You're starving yourself. There's nothing artistic about your body. Looks more like depression to me. You're as thin as a rake. The old woman kept muttering as she was stirring into the polenta. Do you think your mother was raised with greens and dancing? It's all about doing pleats all day long. It's plié, Grandma. And my mother too wanted to be a ballerina but you wouldn't approve of it. The old woman has lost it by now. She wanted to swing her body for everyone in the village to see her. And I would've been the laughing stock of my neighbors for her being a corporatist. Ballet, what a joke. She's a shop-assistant here in the village now, and she gets all the respect from our neighbours. As for your father... A tear made its way down her chin, underneath the traditional kerchief. Such a fool.

(Translated by Elena Florea / 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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