She had never looked so beautiful, and when he returned home, the food was neither too hot nor too cold, the shirts ironed, and the house sparkling. Woman, you've found one, you have a lover, but the woman looked him straight in the eye and smiled lovingly: perhaps an imaginary lover, she said and wrapped her arms around him in a warm embrace. An imaginary lover wasn't much of a problem. She would tacitly accept him into old age, except that the imaginary lover forgot his watch on the bedside table one night.

(Translated by Cosmina-Florentina Ciobanu / 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 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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