That's what mommy taught me when I was at the traffic lights, said the little girl in the yellow dress with white polka dots, as she answered the policeman who came in the class. The green means you can cross the street, but also it's the feeling when your stomach rumbles because you've eaten something rotten. Yellow is to stay or to wait, it's the one from when I had ictus. And red is to stop, because it's like mother's blood when dad comes drunk, so don't tell him I told you. Then the policeman thanks her and after hours the papers for the orphanage were already drawn up.

(Translated by Andreea Laura Stanca / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / 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 November 2022, the group has 9,580 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 every few days. 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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