Every morning is the same. I throw the leather on the counter and wait for the weighing scale to confirm. A grotesque gasp refuses me the exchange. I don't wear enough grief. I feel duty-bound to insist, but the brutality with which the shutter is pulled makes me give up. So I pace the empty alley as I do, breathing trapped in a skin that no longer fits. I lure my mutilated flesh into my grip with the promise of an imminent barter, but she no longer believes me, no longer listens. I have become a stranger to her. We just act and that's it.

(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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