Gabriela Marinescu
She cleaned the drain cover. She smiled, that's how it is with age, she told herself, she'll pay more attention to the commercials, surely one will give her the solution to thick, silky, firm hair. In the morning she saw the abstract design made up of many hairs, too many, on her pillow. She closed her eyes, but the image of the stand, the catheter, the supposedly life-giving serum she received twice a week, was too vivid. A movie with sound. The nurse's voice crashes the scene with the classic question, has it started to fall? Yes. Since yesterday.

Monica Aldea
Ilenuța had gone out in her Sunday best to find her soulmate. Old Leonora had advised her not to run out of boys's way, but to trip, so that her fate would be tied to that of a strong man's. She crossed herself, spat in her bosom to banish evil thoughts, and went to meet her soulmate.The girl fell three times and was helped, in turn, by the priest's boy, the bell ringer and the village mute. The first two are married, the last one is not. Bandaging up her wounds with worm wood, she cursed Leonora, and she thought to herself: fate, tell that to the marines.[1]

[1]Play on words, as in Romanian it would be translated as "tell that to the mute".

Iulia Visi
A Chinese Drop at a time. Shaken by his lover's cruelty, he plots his revenge over a bottle of rum. He lights her favorite candle, pistachio and patchouli flowers. He hates the sweet smell in the air, probably like he hates another man's perfume on her. The piercing images of betrayal, the other men's hands between her legs, his desertion. He recites every verse she ever dedicated to him. A day ago, his existence stopped flowing. Plink-plink. The lifeless body trickles down from the balcony railing.

(Translated by Raluca Ioana Crucerescu / 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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