From the window, I watch the people passing by on the street. They have a word imprinted in the skin on their foreheads. It pierces their flesh, their bones, their brains, it mixes with their blood, it sticks to their heart, which throws it against its every wall. Stupid, lying, poor, alcoholic, impotent, irresponsible. Slutty, ugly, self-conscious, divorced, unhappy. But not me. I isolated myself in the house as a child. I protected myself from people by staying away from them. I'm 80 now. My forehead is clear, but I haven't lived anything. I could have been a whore at least, or anything else.
(Translated by Oana-Roxana Dicilea / 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.