we used to meet at the tea shop. Lips burned at the edges of words but in the cups flavoured rotund packets of lies and the tea loosened with each passing moment. Often, we'd perform spiritism, conjure up memories that would spin the table with samovar. I'd startle at knocks in the wood of other doors, you'd reassure me that it was just your teeth hitting peanuts, and between us flickered the dream's spectrum. I stopped laughing, and the table spun, creaking, back. Trapped in that loop, we'd forgotten to call the mornings.

(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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