She had short hair like a cadet on his first day in the army and her hands were smelling of gunpowder mixed with powdered milk. She was waiting for his father on the porch, counting her hiccups, and she had taken her plaid vest that she had received a year ago on The Army Day. She had never understood why they had given her that name. Ottilia. She tried to peel the gum off the soles of her orthopedic shoes and saw the almost obliterated writing: Otte. She remembered that she had a brother who disappeared 3 years ago. Maybe that's why.

(Translated by Angelica Ioana Curcan / 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 September 2022, the group has 9,250 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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