I hate these words. When I was a child, whenever I did anything stupid, my dad would only say: get in the other room for a talk. There was no talk in his bureau. He'd only beat me. With his belt. Hard. Will you do it again? he'd ask. I, of course, screamed that I wouldn't. Then he kept going. Why would he even ask me, I thought, if it doesn't matter anyway. I was glad when one day I heard him say the same thing in that voice to my mother: get in the other room to talk about you know what. I pressed my ear against the door. He was definitely beating my mother in a different way.

(Translated by Ioana Busuioc / 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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