That was all he needed. A brief encounter, a moment to look into each other's eyes and a witty remark, which he always had prepared. He chose his victims with dexterity. Ana's sensibility was very rare. He knew. He knew how much she had endured, as well as how little she had become next to Vlad. It was time. He pretended to cross her path as one of her neighbours and offered to help with her Kaufland bags. Ana did not suspect a thing when she asked him to stay for coffee to thank him. One bitter coffee. Nothing else. One sip was enough for Ana's soul to be almost sold.

(Translated by Ruxandra Adriana Dodoiu / 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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