I shaved my head, sat back in my chair and waited excitedly for him to come in. I'm a bit embarrassed, my dad usually sits in this chair and my mum comes and massages him, she says it helps, it helps his migraines go away, but he's late and so I am taking advantage. She hasn't acknowledged me in years, since my sister died she's been staring through me and when I talk to her shecloses herself off. I hear her cane bumping against the walls, the door handle, and she's beside me. She holds my head between gnarled hands that smell of alcohol, the smell of a mother that finally blesses me, with caresses.

(Translated by Alina-Mihaela Burciu / 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 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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