It had seemed only natural to us to have keys. Me, to her house, she, to mine. There had been moments when there had been a need. For her to enter my house, and for me to enter hers. At some point they'd stopped being used. I carried them in my purse for a while, then put them away in a drawer. Full of keys to rusted locks. When she returned them to me, she told me, somewhat cynically, take them, maybe someone else will need them, I no longer need mine, I've changed the lock. Sometimes, I still look in that drawer. Every key hurts like a vengeance. And I ache.

(Translated by Ioana Ștefan / 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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