Okay. With this answer, every day he slipped past his mother and the doorstep, into his room. It had been okay even when he'd kept his shirt tucked in tight against his body, to cover up the bruises received from two upperclassmen. It had been okay even when he'd returned with the stolen kitchen knife, wrapped up as well in his shirt, but spotted with blood, that he'd delivered justice with. In the end, that okay was a story in itself, from which the unseen, desperate need for one day finally to be okay, shone through.

(Translated by Ioana Ștefan / 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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