The half-empty bottle of vodka is received with applause, there's about fifteen of us, it's enough. The pick-up is impatient, the broom has turned guitar, the table drums, the buffet with glass ornaments is a piano and the silver candleholder is the most coveted, everyone wants the attested microphone. We're not too young but not too old either, so we can sing about loneliness and brown eyes and when we get warmed up with a drop of vodka, we turn to blues and finish with some rock, heated up. Everything is recorded in our hearts. Without friends, what good is a real microphone?

(Translated by Diana Mîndruță-Tănăsescu / 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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