The bus is a petrol-smelling snail. A girl with rain in her eyes is sitting in a seat. Her forehead stuck to the window, small tears pouring into the phone she keeps looking at, begging for an escape that never comes. I know what it means to cry by yourself on public transport, how much it has to hurt for you to hide behind a dirty window. I take her hand, feeling that she's on the edge of an abyss as she clutches my white t-shirt. She goes off: he left, he doesn't call anymore and inside of me there's a tiny cub waiting, suspended. For how long? 90 days.

(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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