Ana-Maria Butuza
I turn my wallet inside out. 14 lei, my last money. After quickly considering, I found it enough for a baguette and ten eggs. Not bad, laughs the guardian angel on my shoulder after smacking my last remaining, anxious brain cell. Multiply them, he whispers, just as Jesus has done with the bread. Look, a lottery. What've you got to lose? I go inside sheepishly and tick the boxes at random. I am so nervous, I can't remember my birth date, as if that would've been lucky. At least now I am at ease. Money is not on my mind anymore, only six digits and one glimmer of hope.

Ruxandra Comșa
The letter covers three densely written pages. I hope I've said everything. The way I leave does not honour me. But it spares us the ugliness of the end. You will enter the apartment, leave the keys on the table, and hang the coat on the rack. You'll go to the fridge and open a beer. Then, you'll sit in the armchair to read a chapter from Citadelle. Today, you'll open it where I want. I left a mark there. From the first lines, you'll burst into the bedroom. You'll push the door against the wall. You'll see the fallen chair. Then you'll look up.

Andra Toropoc
an itsy-bitsy cheat sheet. Scribbles with a 0,3 mine, to hell with CHs, benzene, nitrites and toluene, they are all the same, what good is chemistry? Years later, I am working on words for a magazine, but the chief editor is dismissing my texts since I turned down his advances. I will be unemployed, he screamed at me today, I am a fool for not sensing his chemistry. At night, I grab a mechanical pencil and sketch out condolence formulas, poor chief didn't survive the boom. And I throw away the relics from high school, only truly used now.

(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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