Ligia Dumitrescu
We sit on the mat at the gate, leaning against the dry locust trunk. Me with a book in my hand. She is sitting cross-legged, with a pile of dry bean pods in her lap, from which she deftly scoops out the beans. I look at the hands deformed by work and time, at the silver locks that come out rebelliously from under the headscarf, at the heel full of dirt just emerging from under the skirt. Do you want me to read to you, grandma? Read, girl, the time passes more easily, she answers me excitedly. She barely reads. But she likes stories. And I know this.

Carmen Amza
 She had left us in the classroom to read the lesson. Spring came and I had finished learning the whole alphabet, the meeting of the teacher's council was prolonged. I don't know who started it. Since I had no other weapons, the spelling book flew out the open window. When the comrade returned, the whole yard was covered with the torn pages of our spelling books. She beat us until she broke the pointers and sticks she managed to find around the school yard. My mother, who kept telling me that if she slaps me, she's reporting her, left without finding out.

Costică Tihan
The teacher had an imposing outfit and loved children very much. I loved it in reading class. She was no longer sitting at the chair and was sitting on the corner of a bench. She held the book tactfully in her hands and kept a moment of silence. Her narrative alchemy had the beauty of an ie[1] and a cherry blossom of may caught behind the ears, turning time into peace, quiet and love for reading. There was a complete silence in the classroom, not even a fly could be heard. But when she read the story Puiul to us, we cried. I read it at home and cried again.

[1] Ie is a blouse, a component of the traditional Romanian costume.

(Translated by Andreea Maria Liceanu / 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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