This morning, we are both drinking coffee, as usual. It seems bitter to me, so I go to the kitchen to add some extra sugar. Meanwhile, he disappears. Under the ashtray, I find a little note with a little heart and not a single word on it. I hear his love confession only in my head, on repeat. Behind him, there is only me, tearless. A stranger's hands mechanically gather the coffee cups off the table. They're my hands, apparently I'm able to move.The ashtray is the only one I do not touch, though, a cigarette is in it, burning slowly, so slowly that I pass out.

(Translated by Raluca Simion / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / Corrected by prof. 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 March 2023, the group has 10,790 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, Luchian Abel, and Vlad Mușat. (Drawing by Adrian T. Roman)

Versiunea în română a acestui text se poate citi aici, în rubrica Ficțiuni Reale.

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