Her childhood had been branded by two keys. One was around her neck, all the children in the neighborhood were adorned with one of those. And there was the soap, a cream-colored brick, with the smell of dry clothes in grandmother's yard, through the hills. And then came the free elections and someone said the Key is with you. Everybody was happy that they could get in. But all the specialists faded slowly into the background and the doors changed their locks again. And life went on. Now, she sits in her grandmother's house and she doesn't have a key. When she goes out into town, she jams the door with a broom and the people know.

(Translated by Constantin Istrate / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / Corrected by prof. Daria Protopopescu / 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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