The orphanage director took the scissors and cut off her long hair. He had caught him smoking in the yard and decided to punish him. He cried all night in the bathroom. He didn't want the others to see him like this because he knew they would beat him up. They beat him up for everything, but nobody took any action. He was too feminine, they berated him. A sissy, they shouted him in the hallways. He'd thought of killing himself so many times, but he didn't have the courage. Maybe they were right. He wasn't man enough. He still hoped to be seen as just a human.

(Translated by Adrian-George Ilinca / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / Corrected 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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