He left the pack of cigarettes on the bench; the landmark was the weeping willow. A cold, bad for asthma mist was floating on the alleys. On the way out, the watchman asked him: all good? Everything is good, he replied in a typical manner. He walked down the avenue on foot, being aware he was watched. A woman with a baby in the stroller sat on the bench. She took the pack and she moved along. A man wearing an overcoat was walking a dog. Next to him, the woman stumbled and slipped into his arms. She apologized and left. Stunned, the overcoat collapsed. The woman abandoned the stroller full of rags. The ash of a cigarette loomed from the mist.

(Translated by Roberta Ana-Maria Gulerez / 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 August 2022, the group has 9,000 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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