Go in the other room, don't sit here - this is how I grew up, with this exhortation. Grandma Dida would make coffee, the neighbours would come at the call of the knocks (two short, one long) and I had to go. But what, do you think I would actually leave? I would stand in the hallway, ears open, to hear who'd fled abroad, what life was like on the other side, who'd received letters from there. They whispered, in codes and fearfully, and I, naively, thought they were afraid of me - I had no idea that the walls had secret police ears.

(Translated by Elena Patricia Măroiu / 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 February 2023, the group has 10,500 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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