As he sat in his straw house in the secret chamber of his orthodontist soul, he saw that his neighbour had built himself a sand castle, so he prayed for rain to come and turn it into rheumatism clay for the pains of the world. Every corner has its cavity. This is why it's better to have a dentist while the sun is shining, because the day will come when you'll pray that the breath of life doesn't leave your body and then it'll be too late. The neighbour closed the shutters on his heart even though he was secretly in love with the dentist in the straw house.

(Translated by Carla Bețianu / 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 April 2023, the group has 11,000 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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