I'm happy. I haven't received any of the gifts I listed on my birthday wish list. I put on a white dress, matched it with a natural smile, and went out. I am spending my birthday alone. No. Look, I am spending it with these birds in the park. I buy two bagels and share them with the pigeons. They peck at the crumbs and fluff out their feathers. I'm happy. I realise that my inner peacefulness comes from the rustle of the trees and from the cries of joy of the children who are playing in the sandpit. A stranger gives me a yellow flower. You remind me of my mother. He kisses my hand and leaves. My hair has turned grey. I'm happy.

(Translated by Valentina Mihai / 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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