She had felt his intention and desire behind the small talk and so she dealt with it successfullyfor a while. She actually faked it so well that she was convinced of being able to play him. She kept repeating to herself that it was just a game. A pretty dangerous one, considering that eventuallyit was he thatwas pulling the strings. She became his puppet and she obeyed his commands until her heart turned into wood. So did her legs. Her being became a love-carved totem. And then she burst into flames.

(Translated by Alin Sescu / 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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