When my earring twitched like my eyelid, I smiled at the hard-eyed man across from me who was peering at me from under his grey hat. We were smouldering in opium whispers, and I forgot about the other gazes violating me. He gifted me with starry dreams, and I broke out of my dull setting into his love-coloured world. In the morning, there was a sunflower with a sky-blue turban between my frames, and a pearl hung from his lips. They found me null and void, him to have lost his marbles, but they didn't find out why it smelled of irises in the museum.

(Translated by Camelia Diaconu / 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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