Sanda Vaideș
Aunt Ucă spent about an hour scrutinising the gas bill. She stumbled over the kilowatts; she knew from Vasîli that gas is measured in cubic meters. When she saw the amount that was owed, she began to curse vigorously. May you wither in your den, you thief! This is all you know, to skin people alive. May thunder strike you as you rot in the Devil's lair. She calmed down when she realised that she didn't even use gas in her household. The bill belonged to the church. Oh Lord, forgive me. But since the priest doesn't curse, it's good that I did it, she said.

Mircea Mihăilescu
The boy was hunched over the book, completely absorbed with his reading. His father gazed at him gently, an undecipherable smile on his face. What are you reading there? A book by Cioran, about despair; this man understood a lot. Could be so, son. Theoretical approaches can be extremely seductive. The young boy looked puzzled and slightly irritated. What do you mean? When you really want to understand despair, make a snot ball and stick it to the couch. After that, sit down in the armchair with your book in hand and study your mother's reaction.

Diana Andrasi Zarnoveanu
degenerated into a grammar lesson, then into a literature lesson, syntax lesson, the history of language, and so on, until the total degeneration that culminated in orgies and drunkenness from which I recovered much later. But, between us, let's be honest, I don't think you can truly recover from such things: syllables, words, direct object complements, juxtaposition, Pasternak, agglutinated suffixes seasoned with emphatic anadiploses. I woke up hungover, with my entire DNA turned upside down, next to Charlie. Which Charlie? Bukowski, the epitome of degeneration.

(Translated by Diana Georgiana Rădăcineanu / 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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