When I write on toilet paper it's hard. What the hell? It's a room painted white down the middle. Foreign. Painted white everywhere else. Two neon lights, two cameras, a garbage can that barks like a dog, an exit on the right. He is Paraipan. Biggest gangster. He tells me that all the mushrooms I've eaten, they were all poisonous. And he's kind of right. He tells the nurses they're beautiful and some of them even believe him. I met him. On a bench. His eyes were staring at me and all around us were cars with sirens.

(Translated by Luciana-Maria Buruiană / 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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