Him: what are you thinking about? Her: nothing. Him: why are you sad? Her: I'm not. Him: we're grown-ups. I'm not in the mood for teenage whims. What are you thinking about? She remains silent. A tear rolls down her cheek, while an uncontrollable sob traces a curve in the air. She had promised herself not to cry. Him: what's with the stuffed backpack in the hallway? Is this a joke? Her: it's filled with your absences. I'm taking them with me, to use as currency for exchange. Him: don't be childish. You're not leaving. Where are you going? Her: to be born again.

(Translated by Lorina Xiaoyu Hou / 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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