No sooner had Ulysses left than Penelope threw away the threads with which she had been crocheting in his absence; it was easier to unravel the wool than to unravel the cloth woven during the day, as in the old days, at night; in any case Odysseus wore no sweater, he wore a bare chest, like any Achaean. He ran to the bathroom where he lit the scented candles, rolled up his fishnet stockings and took the bottle of uzo from the toilet tank. She removed the mat and lifted the lid of the hidden tank where, under the water, her siren waited, half man down, top with silent fish head but thick lips so wet.

(Translated by Luciana-Maria Buruiană / 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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