Silvia Ștefan
They moved in together shortly after her birthday. Who would have thought that something serious could come out? He had slipped with the tray, scattering glasses under the table where the party girl was sitting. And even now they are laughing about the situation, while they are painting the living room. Where is the morse code translator, Silvi? he asked, brushing the washable paint out of her hair. It's in the other room, under the Christmas tree. I packed it, it has even a bow, it's ready to take to the office. Strange colleagues you have. Secret Santa Morse, what a strange gift. She continues, satisfied, he promises himself that he will not consume more messages in vain. He doesn't scold her, he likes her just the way she is.

Diana Cornea
You can find the simple things written on the stone faces of the gargoyles. A world haunted by darkness. A world of candle. It seems that they have taken possession of the holy things. The brown leather, the greasy paper at the corners, the flourishes of words springing from fear, desire, turmoil, torment. All these hidden under the tombstone, as if the undead knew the Cyrillic alphabet. I fluttered my red skirt in a winding dance among the crosses that tell the last tears in the milky dawn. Gargoyle, gargoyle, raise the curtain to read the genesis.

Aurelian Țolescu
The shelf to the left of my childhood bed was full of storybooks, neatly arranged by publishers and size. I would be sent to bed for 2 hours in the afternoon and my mother would come and read me stories until I could hear her snoring lightly. Then I would explore the books by myself and try to understand the meaning of the black marks on the page, telling myself the story I recognized from the pictures. That's how I ended up running away from my mother on the first day of the first grade to get a pencil and a notebook to write down what the teacher would say.

(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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