George Dometi
A chill tickled his armpit. He's an one-armed man. With half a mouth he grabbed the plastic rectangle. He has 60 minutes to signal his presence by inserting his ID into the digital peripheral device. The queue is slow, but his turn will definitely come. The joy can be seen on his face when he comes face to face with the huge screen. His nose selects after logging in, applies a long touch and the door opens for him. Get in. The private room is at the end of the corridor. The robotic vulva is ready.

Irina Kappelhof-Costea
Good afternoon, my name is Jeroen, how can I help you today? Ah, finally a voice, I've been on hold for 86,320 minutes, did you know everyone's waiting on the cantata Carmina Burana on loop? I understand that you can help me with the next steps, I have not been told where to go. Name and date of birth, please. Let's read in the register: a bank fraud, two unacknowledged children, no mitigating circumstances, zero contact with parents, evicted tenant, mhmm, according to the algorithm please go to inferno 8, they assign you.

Gabriela Rus
Every night since his beautiful eyes have been mirrored in mine, I read him stories. He can't fall asleep otherwise. Sometimes my eyes sting so badly in the evening that the ants on the white sheet dance out of line and run wild through the woods. I try to reorder them, but they don't listen to me at all. And then the stories come to me from an enchanted land where the ants no longer toil, do all the tricks in the world and throw a party full of marshmallows and hot chocolate and eighties disco music.

(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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