She was cowering on the couch and had been crying for a while when the clock struck twice; and then twice, again; and then two more times. It crossed her mind that it must be the doorbell. She washed her face quickly. He was at the door. What do you want? To see you. You said we shouldn't see each other for a while. I got home and realised that that time has passed. So quickly? Time passes as it wishes. Try again, maybe you'll get over it a bit slower, she said, shutting the door in his face. She returned to the couch. Then the tears returned. The clock struck twice.

(Translated by Carla Bețianu / 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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