Georgiana Gabriela Fodor
It was also the hour of torture. In handcuffs, with their bare feet on the cement, at minus 10 degrees, they were taken out of their cells and put in the reading class. The interrogation began with an anamnesis. Repeat you pigs, I'm a nobody, I'm a loser, I betrayed my country with my intransigent intellectual bullshit, nothing at all, say it after me, god damn me, you've eaten my peace with your fantasy writer ideas. 5206 bites his lips, with the blood running he writes warm words on all the dirty walls.

 Laura Stanciu
I mean, what parenting, Viorica? I told the child the truth. At baptism it is read to you. You don't even understand the Creed, but you leave with a certificate. When you are little, you are told stories. You listen and you still want it. Not that you don't already know them by heart, but it's more convenient to have someone else do the work for you. At the funeral it is read to you again. From the Creed to Stâlpi[1], the priest is in charge. And ,this lazy child, what does he do? Can't he make it to fourth grade without us? Let him read by himself, because I'm tired. I told him that he can't escape reading.

[1] Stâlpi are prayers accompanied by 11 or 15 Gospel passages which are read by the priest before the funeral service.

 Monica Aldea
Dinu and Crina were high school students in their last year. 3 times a week they read to the little ones in the hardest section of Pediatrics. Crina's gentle voice stopped the suffering. Dinu was a funny mime. A Demiurge who melted pain into a smile. At 8 years old, Codrin bore the burden of a terrible disease. But comforting the 2 smaller friends gave him strength. It was Christmas Eve. The boy handed them the book. Read aloud. Jan and Alex are now listening to us from heaven. The lump in his throat felt painful. Crina ignored it. Alone in the world. By Hector Malot.

(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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