She takes off her perfect-woman mask. She removes the makeup of all sorrows, slips off all those clichés others dress her in day by day, and then gets in the tub, washing away all helplessness. The children sleep, the husband is away, wandering on other planets. She takes a look at herself in the mirror and poses, for one last time, as that cheerful woman she's told she's supposed to be. She doesn't recognize herself anymore, her flesh hurts, and so does her soul. Before sleeping, she takes one more look and asks herself naively who she truly is.

(Translated by Adelina-Maria Mănăilescu / 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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