A zebra walks into a bar. How ugly she is. One of the horses snorted at the being who just wanted to have a beer. It smells like sheep. But my mother looked like me. The horses showed their brown teeth. How? Ugly? They neighed copiously until the striped sheep went away crying. A group of cows chewed grass in a cloud of smoky gases. How ugly she is. What is she? they mooed, laughing. It might be a donkey. Or a pelican. The turkeys signalled it to get the fuck outta here. Zebra sat down on a chair. A Dalmatian tapped her on the shoulder. Tell them you're a panda bear. When they hear about bears, they all pass out. From fear.

(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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