My mother told me from the start: we borrowed from the Mutual Aid Fund to get you tutoring so you can pass the baccalaureate. Now you can go to college evening classes and earn some money. We'll send you to 23 August, where we've worked all our lives. Your dad and I don't have the means for you to take full-time classes for four years, so you can eat and only go to school. And you should get married as well, so you can also eat at your in-laws' house. And you better move in with them, so we won't have to pay for you to stay at our place. I did as I was told. I listened to them. On the last day of high school, I cried knowing what was waiting for me. After 35 years, I'm retired. And my mother's gone.

(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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