I pat down my outfit, gloss my lips, quickly run my fingers through the hair tied at the nape of my neck. Two dark, exhausted eyes are staring back at me from the mirror. Ready to go to hell. I have been teaching for a semester. Newbie, I knew it would be a challenge. I believed in respect and people. But the school served me with contempt and humiliation, relishing my suffering. Yesterday I decided to turn over a new leaf. I arrive in class, I kneel, I hide my pride under a smile and a tear under mascara. I surrender to the wolves. Fed up, they abandon me. At home, on the altar of the heart, I burn calves.

(Translated by Laura-Elena Dobrin / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / Corrected by prof. dr. Nadina Vișan / Edited 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 October 2022, the group has 9,400 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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