Florin Tamaș
He had forgotten about her. Vengefully. In fact, he had forgotten about himself. Pride had separated them for a quarter of a century since that stupid argument on an illusory to cheapened. And now what? Start the fire again? From the spark of that time? It burned them hot and melted their lives and destinies. Does it feel right to rekindle their love after they had been too much cautious?[1] In their eyes, fireflies were dancing. They were looking in each other's eyes reading their past times. You know what? Let's heat that soup. After all, we won't die twice. Whatever. And they lived happily until it got cold.[2]

[1]The Romanian verb a sufla, which has the English equivalent to blow, is not used here with its literal meaning. The expressiona sufla în iaurt, which is part of a larger one, "Cine se frige cu ciorbă suflă și în iaurt", specifically refers to the act of being cautious. Because the idiom does not exist in the exact form in English, I preferred to give the explanation directly by corelating it to the context of a couple that makes an attempt to save their relationship. The majority of the words have to do with the term heat and the act of producing it or diminish it.
[2] The last sentence would have fitted in the fairytale pattern: "And they lived happily ever after" if it had not been for the term ciorbă, which is referred to and recuperated from the context. However, due to the fact that the soup stands as a symbol of the relationship itself, it is not wrong to adapt the sentence in order to follow the structure of a fairytale's well-known ending. So, an alternative would sound like this: "And they lived happily coldly after."

Sanda Burță
God said that it is not good for the man to be alone and he created another man but when those folks fell into sin, He sent them away empty-handed into the world, He could've given them at least a bundle so they can take something with them, in order to make them miss Him, dad said while working on suitcases, but He was calling them travel fellows. That's the way I earned my daily bread and I thought that I was the more righteous one. Now I know that God created a bundle, soul it is its name. The stonemason put aside the hammer and the chisel and wiped the dust off his hands. It had been the longest epitaph he had ever written.

Ionuț Tuhoarcă
I would like to look at you. To touch you. To run my hand through your beautiful hair. To hear you. To get lost in your eyes. To make you happy. To make you laugh. To make pancakes and one of them to fall on my head. To pop-pop popcorn. To make you a really good coffee. To make you the best milk with noodles in the world. I would like to tell you that I love you. You are in my dreams. I would like to tell you that the boy is fine. The little brave one grows. I would desire to find myself. But I cannot do that anymore. I would like you to tell me. Good night, my little dumpling, fatty dumpling, dumpling.[1]

[1]Both the Romanian word gogoșar and dumpling, apart from being related to food, are linked through their round shape which stands as a metaphor or a nickname for chubby people, usually used for babies or children. Although they are not the same as a form, they are terms of endearment. 

(Translated by Irina Vild / 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 June 2023, the group has 11,430 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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