I didn't go to high school. When school was starting, my mother told me it was time to dig potatoes. It was hot, and Colorado beetles were crawling on the leaves. With crinkled eyes and dry lips, I stuck my shovel into the cracked earth. The well with ice-cold water was far away. I'd rather think of Vasile, with his blue eyes and killer smile. He'd gone off to high school, to the city. It was only natural since Vasile was a boy, but he was also smart, so he'd go far. I was digging, smiling and hoping he'd come back in the winter, so I could give him a homemade baked potato.

(Translated by Camelia Diaconu / 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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