I had fallen asleep in the bathtub, thinking of her unthought thoughts. The warmth of the water reminded me, in my sleep of course, that the only other time I'd felt this good was when I was getting ready to be born. I had met her in my grandmother's home, her aunt had sent her to fetch a jar of pickles. Grandma, famous across the village for her pickling talent. We spent the entire winter holiday eating pimiento peppers, fried eggs, pickled cabbage and tomatoes and mulled wine with cinnamon. After two hours of amniotic liquid, I was more pickled than a cucumber. She became my wife.

(Translated by Bianca-Maria Ciucașu / 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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