His name was Mantu. Aurel Mantu. The girls in the lab called him, smiling with a sly smile, The Lover. They were crazy about him. All of them, except me. In time, I became his right-hand man. Once, we went on a delegation together. In the evening, we went to a restaurant. We drank champagne and danced. At the hotel, he invited me to his room. I turned him down. I don't regret it, but I'm convinced that the scenes I imagine every night are a thousand times hotter than the ones that would have happened in reality.

(Translated by Delia-Maria Cocoș / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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 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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