We all sat at our desks, quietly, one by one, so as not to steal from each other. It was one of those days that was a little chilly, but with rays of sunlight streaming through the thick glass, making us feel drowsy and smell summer and donuts. My eyes hurt from looking at that paper and I had no idea what to write about. A couple of the more hard-working girls were scribbling away, and others were already turning in their second or third essays. A bunch of freaks, I laughed to myself. What did you get? The love in Maitreyi, she whispered to me.

(Translated by Cristina Ioana Bontea / 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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