Upstairs, second floor, first door on the right, the matron said in a firm voice. But does it look like the picture? Even better. Come on, give me the money and go up, chop, chop, there's no time for chitchat. Time is money, she added, noticing the fake Rolex on his right-hand wrist. He gave her the 100 euros and went upstairs checking his breath in the palm of his hand. The stairs creaked with depression, and he arranged his hair in his portable mirror once they got to the door. He entered confidently and Olga commanded him firmly: Take it off, bare yourself. He was visibly embarrassed and replied: But I am, my name is Cătălin.

(Translated by Oana Ionescu / 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 December 2022, the group has 9,880 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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