I could read on his face the Fall of Constantinople, the Lisbon earthquake and the Spanish influenza outbreak. These are all crowded on the left size. On the right size you could only see the impact of his breakup with Mona. He lit a cigarette and absently shook the ash off in the empty cups that piled up on his table. I could see all his worn-down emotions as he displayed them very nonchalantly, a scandalous and indecent opulence. He lost a lot of weight and, in a very stupid and inexplicable way, he looked better this way. What are you doing to yourself, man? I exorcise her out of me.

(Translated by Daniela-Andreea Gugescu / 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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