We met 90 days go. Look, he says, you don't have to if you don't want to. He shuffles in his seat as he says so. I pour myself some more coffee and tell him fine, I have to prove to myself that I can. You know best, he says. But there are other solutions, you know. He stands up and goes over to the window. I know, I tell him, but this seems to be the easiest. And the quickest. He understands. He says he must go now. He squeezes my hand and pulls the chair beneath my feet. I didn't even get to thank him.

(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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