I'm hardly choking back a single tear. I haven't cried since you said that I was bawling my eyes out like a cry baby, that I couldn't even be your clothespin, let alone your man. I didn't scold you when you cheated on me; I was passive and teary. You fool, you're telling me now after all these years; you should have beaten me up, pulled my hair and fucked my brains out, and I wouldn't have wanted other affairs. You spent your youth flitting from flower to flower. And now you're coming back to me? I kiss the corner of your eye, tasting the sea salt. I have you in my arms, and I'm keeping quiet.

(Translated by Camelia Diaconu / 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 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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