Why are you always sad? my husband asked, with a slight concern in his voice. I burst into tears uncontrollably. Since I gave birth, I don't leave the house, I said between sobs. All day cooking, changing diapers, breastfeeding, sleepless nights, no books read, no movies watched, no sex, I forgot what it feels like to wear lipstick or have my hair styled. I feel like life is happening outside, without me. He cupped my face in his hands, wiping my nose with the sleeve of his shirt. Where would you like to be right now, in this moment? he asked. In your arms.

(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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