Ana's grandma would talk in a language I couldn't make head or tail of. She always rocked colourful, flowy skirts, baggy blouses, and tied her scarf in the back. And even though we weren't supposed to, I'd sneak into their yard to play. Whenever Ana asked, Na manro? and said yeah, I'd nod like crazy 'cause I knew we were about to score some bomb turtle. The old gypsy lady, as everyone called her, would shake off the ash from the flatbreads and wipe 'em clean with her skirt. I'd chow down on those warm, savoury flatbreads and lick my fingers. San șukar, șiavori. You're a looker, kiddo, she'd tell me. You're a gypsy, my grandma would grumble. No way, you are, I'd shoot back.

(Translated by Andreea Tobă / 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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