I asked you out to grab a bottle of beer one night. You were hungry, too. You didn't turn me down. You smiled warmly and mischievously and said, let's go. There was tension and the smell of tobacco in the air. I guessed some of your thoughts, the rest I readin your eyes. During the first course we talked about ourselves, and during the second course, you fed me stories of how it could have been. Love waited for me at the third course but it found me stuffed. I diluted the beer with tears until the degrees went down the drain. The bar door opened and I breathed in the life.

(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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