Take off your shirt. This is where I freeze. I'm leaning against the counter with a glass of whiskey in front of me, wondering how I'm supposed to react. The bartender smiles knowingly. Every time a woman has taken initiative and started with this pick-up line, it hasn't ended very well. I once found myself tied to the bed in pink handcuffs and another time I was arrested, and when that doctor gave me a colonoscopy, it really hurt. I'm looking at this guy right now and I'm not sure what he imagines we're going to do together, and I have no idea how to respond. I must be in the wrong bar.

(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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