As they sat down for their first meal together at the university canteen, she laughed and said, you don't stick chopsticks in rice, silly! That's only for offering to your ancestors. Then, as if speaking to a child, she placed a few pieces of meat on his plate and said, here, try some. With a gentle smile, he encouraged her to eat and began to demonstrate his elegant way of using chopsticks, as if his hand were dancing to a tune only he knew. I'll wait for you at our old spot, he said on the last day of school. As he placed a sweet dumpling on her plate, he whispered, I like you.

(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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