Dan Banu
It was cold inside. Ilia Pavlovici was buried under the covers. Only his eyes and toes, the paper and the pencil peaked out from underneath. Ilia loved to write. He had started writing in school, had continued at his desk at home and, finally, he had begun writing a novel. He had written a lot, thousands of pages. And as his hand had grown sore, he had started writing with his feet. Just then, Nina Dimitrova entered the room. Goodness, you are writing with your feet, she said after grabbing the paper and scrutinizing it. Ilia put his socks on.

Cecilia Fofiu
Out in the schoolyard, handsome Andrei was toying with a red apple. Who should he give it to, he wonders. Paris gave it to one Elena and a huge scandal ensued. Should he give her to Alexandra, who was shamelessly lingering around him? But he is furtively in love with the beautiful Marina, with her raven hair and emerald eyes. He goes to her, kisses her and hands her the fruit. What are you doing out there, Marina, come inside, lunch is ready, a voice interrupts them. I am writing my essay for Romanian class, she utters, quickly hiding a notebook entitled Memory book.

Alex Caragian
for fun, for idiots, for dorks, for the uncultured, for the moody, for baldheads, in first person and for the person next to the first person, in the past tense and for the time lost, for the imperfect ones, for the past perfect ones, for the șomâldoace[1], for the stupid midgets[2], on the toilet, while drunk, in fits of madness, matter-of-factly, for the fans, for the fanettes, for the financially lacking and the emotionally lacking, for an Arab visits Pasha, at Sovata, At Medeleni[3], With the Gypsy Girls[4], At the Cherries[5], for have you seen Zdreanță[6], for l'amour, for the publishing houses so they will make me a writer, forget it, for goodbyes.

[1] Term coined by Romanian politician Vadim Tudor to address bailiff Paula Șomâldoc during a fight on live television.
[2] Epithet used by Vadim Tudor to insult Paula Șomâldoc.
[3] Romanian novel by Ionel Teodoreanu.
[4] Romanian novel by Mircea Eliade.
[5] Romanian short story by Ion Creangă.
[6] Excerpt from the Romanian poem "Zdreanță" by Tudor Arghezi.
(Translated by Ioana Grințescu / 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 January 2024, the group has 12,500 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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