We hold each other tight; even though it's warm we're both trembling, and we ask each other pointless questions just to forget the pain of happiness. Hissing engines, the smell of hot iron on stone, voices of people running, wheels humming, half-smoked cigarettes, reunions, goodbyes, all of these seem to make us blend into each other even more and we feel for each other's necks with our lips, as if we were sniffing. And we both smell of despair. Time, wanting to separate us, seems like a spy; we can't kiss while this spy is watching us, but we can have our eyes glued on each other. And a friendly announcement, the train will be delayed.

(Translated by Lucia-Alexandra Brînaru-Mitrofan / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / 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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