At a quarter past seven, she got out of the house, leaving behind the waters of the Danube, and dragged her feet to the tram stop. The tram would also take about 25 minutes to get to the high school, during which time the kids' giggling conversations bored her as much as the old ladies' Ugly Betty talk. Toward the end of the ride, she managed to grab a seat and sat down. In the window seat, a shaggy-haired guy, who was maybe in his twelfth grade, was reading. He looked down, then back at his book. She blushed. She got off at school, hoping to see him again tomorrow on tram No. 3.

(Translated by Ana-Maria Batog / 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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