When I met him he was broke. He spent his time in the elevator of the hospital's food hall. He was begging Mrs.Cici, the cook, for leftovers from the tuberculosis patients because they have meat on their menu. He had been famous, he had sung at the opera, women used to fall head over heels for him. To be honest, I didn't meet him personally. Cici, the dear thing, tells me about him when she passes the time with me in my guardhouse. I don't fully trust her either because she drinks disinfectant all day. I drink too, like any man, but only Mona.

(Translated by Andreea Denisa Dinu / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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 January 2023, the group has 10,220 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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