Nicole Brunel
What the hell are you doing there? I inquired Jean-Louis in a daze, who was fiddling with a fingernail clipper and a T-shirt. Léa gave me this present, which I suspect she spent a lot of money on, and I don't dare throw it away, lest I upset her, and for ecological reasons. The Hugo Boss logo is not woven or embroidered, but appliquéd, so I can get rid of the symbol of shame, Nazi collaborationism and forced labour, all whitewashed through marketing techniques. He resumes his unpicking, grumbling under his breath. Jean-Louis is a history teacher.

Mihaela Scânteie
It was cold in the tailor shop. The window shutters were flimsy, the wind was making its way through unimpeded. Hugo was cutting out a coat pattern. This winter will pass, he thought. The door slammed against the wall. Strauss, a leading member of the Wehrmacht, entered, accompanied by two henchmen. Herr Boss, we have a proposition for you. We need uniforms. Somehow this winter will pass, Hugo thought and silently lit a cigarette. After all, I am a tailor. Someone has to make uniforms too, he told himself.

Andreea Mihaela Murariu Moldovanu
Get yourself one that resembles you, that's what my mom used to wish for me when I wouldn't touch my food for a variety of absurd reasons. And I got myself one. The chicken breast has a peel. Peas, if they were good, wouldn't sound like pee, liver is made of puppy meat and should be loved[1], not eaten with garlic, that he was sick of mămăligă and wanted tătăligă[2], so Daddy wouldn't get up. His food would tumble around in his stomach in PE class. He demanded crème brûlée from me. He says it will have a tan.

[1] In Romanian the word for cooked liver contains the same string of letters as the word for puppies, thus the misunderstanding that the liver is made of puppy meat.
[2]The Romanian word "mămăligă" (a traditional food akin to polenta) sounds as if it contains the word for mother, thus the child's desire to have a food that doesn't upset his father.

(Translated by Adriana-Maria Botea / 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 July 2023, the group has 11,540 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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