Siranuș Hakobian
It seems like only yesterday that I had my first gift: a fat, pigeon-like hen, from which my mother made two dishes, a pilaf and a noodle soup. When I dropped my first one hundred I was a bit embarrassed and ashamed. My embarrassment passed with many hundreds, an account in a nice currency and some very therapeutic girls. All I had to do was close my eyes and not see some delicate business. If it didn't rain, at least it dropped and it was still good. I'd have a guilty conscience, but I don't: I'm just a victim.

Ovidiu Toma
The good-natured stuntman, walking around in his shabby jacket and sharpened bare elbows. No more chances at his doorstep, his make-up is running in the mirror and his films have disappeared with the cathode ray tube. He's stumbled too many times to stand out and now he's going through the back door of history. He's always smiling when he thinks that in his youth he was doing splits between rational people and savings. He didn't learn anything from them, he didn't want to steal their trade, but neither did he share them with whom he fell better on the mat.

Julia Sandu
In the hospital hallway he takes out his lighter and lights a rolled cigarette with consistent traces of purple haze, much like Jimi Hendrix said on the doorman's radio. He'd gotten six months, then out. Fuck this shit, as the smile of an alien on an LSD stamp mingled with his saliva and melted into the roof of his mouth, opening his pineal gland to a psychedelic spiral world. He put his yellow Fedora hat on his half-bald head, while the wind shook what had started to fall off his shoulders yesterday.

(Translated by Adrian-George Ilinca / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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 November 2023, the group has 12,090 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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