Cigarettes are toxic, you don't want them anymore. That's it, they have to go. Look at what they've done to you, your lungs are smoked, you have a cancerous thyroid nodule, you're going to die if you don't quit. You don't remember them, they are in the past, their smell makes you throw up, go on and take a deep breath, the nodule is gone, you no longer cough, your teeth are white, your lungs are clear, and your skin is smooth. After twenty years you suddenly quit smoking, after three packs a day. You want to recommend your wonder therapy to others, but you find out your therapist was a crook without a license and he is now selling Herbalife.

(Translated by Ioana Diana Sandu / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / 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 April 2022, the group has 8,175 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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