You know, I don't have any friends. I avoid going out, I feel lonely in public. I've tried to meet women, I've had few stable relationships. But they all ended because of them. They wanted more than I had to offer. My parents loved me, I was a happy child. Now I have it all, a perfect job, stability. Everything except a family, a wife and a child. I listened to him. "Take your clothes off," I said. He took off his shirt. His forearms were full of cuts. Childhood had left scars - cigarette burns on his back. He cried with his eyes closed.

(Translated by Andreea Ciubuc / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / Corrected by conf. dr. Daria Protopopescu / 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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