He had woken up restless. Everything was in place and seemed natural, but he felt like the walls were squeezing him. He dressed hastily, put his toothbrush in his pocket without knowing why, and left as if his very back was on fire. Outside the air was liquid, the blonde with the dressed-up puppy was at the station as usual. As he set foot on the crosswalk, the wide stripes began to rise slightly, like a ladder. He climbed calmly, as if he was going to buy parsley from the market. At the top, the toothbrush crackled dryly.

(Translated by Tania Diniță / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / 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 May 2023, the group has 11,260 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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