She met him for the first time 20 summers ago. She was painting and she could only see his back arched over the easel and his unruly black hair. Black as sin, she thought, and the thought made her shudder and gave her courage. She stopped in front of him, asked him if she wasn't more beautiful than that lake with ducks, he looked at her with eyes squinting in the sun and a smile, and they would have loved each other until very old age if she had stayed the same. You already have 30 wrinkles and I love youth, he told her the morning he left her.

(Translated by Iuliana Mocanu / 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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