Joe, come and listen with us, a colleague next door calls out to him. He knew why he was being called. One of them had found a tape of a couple having sex. It was their entertainment. The floor was full of officers transcribing recordings of people who mattered in the country. They had bugs in all the houses. When he joined the Secret Service, he figured he'd be doing something else entirely. Now he was used to it. The woman's moans were getting louder. They didn't attract him. Then the shift manager's voice was heard: Joe, isn't that your wife?

(Translated by Andreea-Alexandra Șerbănescu / 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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