I'm Chiriță, I'm eleven and I'm the village drunk. Not me, but my father is, and that's enough. I get up while it's still dark to feed the chicken and the cow and then I go to school. I can write, I can read, but I go there for the quiet time for studying. Until the bell rings and the kids jump on me with their fists and mouths. At least I get tired quicker than my dad. When I come home, Mom's proud: my winner. That's what you will be. The doctor says her heart gets weaker, but mine grows stronger when I hear it. And I fight. I'm Chiriță, I'm over forty-three. And they've defeated me.

(Translated by Cristina Ioana Bontea / 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 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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