It's a splendid dress, but I only wore it around the house. The black velvet and the white collar gave away my poverty, for I had received it in the aid packages, from Germany. I was ashamed I had it, although it made me feel like a princess. At the end of middle-school, as valedictorian, I went on stage for the thanking speech. Encouraged by my parents, I said with perfect diction how we are all equal, that education defines us. No one heard a thing. A poor girl in a velvet dress was behind the 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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