She's new and didn't bring any flowers? The teachers were sneering at me. I had some in the garden, but father wouldn't let me. Give them your attention in class, lessons learned, not trinkets and baubles. What a weirdo. One day I discovered a shortcut through the cemetery. I was baffled at the colours on the graves. I picked a bouquet, two on the next day. Everyone was happy to receive huge bouquets of flowers. Until dad found out and I had to seek refuge at my grandma. The teachers didn't know, but I avoided war by a heartbeat.

(Translated by Elena-Diana Cocîr / 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 every few days. 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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