He punched both tickets. His smug look prompted him to slip the perforated paper into his wallet, from which it showed an ID card. Tickets to control, he heard the man whose face lightened into a smiling grimace. What are you doing? No hurting anyone, minding my own business. You know it's my job to check your ticket, so wipe that half-witted grin off your face and show me your ticket. Here you go. But why did you make up both tickets? One's for you. Why is that? Because I'm checking myself in. The city's crawling with us.

(Translated by Angelica Ioana Curcan / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / Corrected by prof. Eliana Ionoaia / 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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