He licked his index finger 4 times, shook it in the air, then entered the store. He kept twitching and his coat was too shabby, but the need for a hat seemed greater than the worry of being looked at strangely. As was his custom, he walked to the left and selected the fourth hat from the top shelf. Soft, green, made of velvet. He pulled out a handful of crumpled bills which the saleswoman accepted with disgust. Returning to the cardboard on which he led his meagre existence, he took the kittens and laid them in the hood, protecting them from the cold of autumn.

(Translated by Oana Georgiana Minea / 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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