I quit teaching for a desk with a laptop, a cactus and a few monitors on top. I used to admire the cactus every morning as I introduced millions of passwords in order to log on countless platforms hoping the billions of clients would score a success for the daily report. Hello, how can I help you? And with every question such question I asked, the cactus would grow one more thorn. I moved into a larger office for the cactus to have room to grow. I could hardly wait to see it in bloom. One day, I found it lying on the floor. How can I help you? So I left the desert behind and set my cactus free amidst a sea of kids.

(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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