Aurelian Țolescu
We were a group of inseparable friends. We were all hard workers, but after a month or two, we'd see each other with our families in beautiful places where we had fun, partied and laughed a lot. It went on until about forty-something. First parents started leaving, then older siblings and, not long after, colleagues, more or less older. We all realised that the season of age had changed colour in a hurry, and we realised that our parties had turned into joyous wakes.

Alexia Dinulescu
It's been 30 years and I still don't know what he saw in that one. He always told me he wouldn't leave me in the wind for anything, but he did and off he went. I drowned my sorrows in buckets of liquor and drugs. I was slowly self-destructing, and he was beaming through glossy magazines and bus ads. But after a while, I never heard from him again, it was like the ground had caved in and swallowed him. Yesterday I met Dana at the market. She told me he died broke, like a dog. I wiped away my tears and blamed it on the cold. The first hoar-frost had fallen.

 Marian Benone Mihai
One morning, as I'm walking towards the outhouse at the back of the yard, I see a flying object drop into the chicken coop. Here in Ceatalchioi, we raise chickens to have someone to talk to. Suddenly, I've finished number one and two simultaneously before I can get my knickers off. Frightened, I dial 112 and call it in, as Arafat[1] asked us to. The next day, after receiving the message from Ro-alert, Tîvăr appears on TV and tells us that since yesterday drones have started to fall over the village. Now it has stopped.

[1] The representative of the emergency services in Romania and government secretary.

(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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