Andrei Lămureanu
Woman, you are stupid, the other nurse said. Why do you keep guarding them like a hen? Can't you see it's a waste of time? We stay, they die. Come on, come up, I've made coffee. She smiled and said nothing else. After so much time spent among them, she had given up on changing the world. However, while the scent of hot coffee danced upstairs amid laughter dressed in white lab coats, she took the book and went down into the icy lounge. And, after changing bedpans and closing drips, she sat on a corner of the bed and softly read them a chapter or two.

Andra Toropoc
I'm getting ready for the hour to come, adjusting my wig, and grabbing some books so I won't be alone while hooked up to that machine. The weight in my arms bends me; how did I get this fragile? Emaciated, gauzy - only my eyes remain large, feverish, as if screaming. The effort makes my hands tremble, and all of the sudden, the room spins with me. Something undefined hurts me, I don't want it anymore, I don't care. Exhausted, I gaze at the fallen books, then at the open window, and a thought takes my breath away. I have the right to skip over pages.

Ana Maria Dobre-Nir
Sometimes you ask me to appear in one of the lines within your palm. Or to leak through your eyes. But you forget that, from you, I, too, cannot escape. Because I don't exist beyond us. I have never existed. The voices you heard were, indeed, me, but who can you explain that to? Who will believe you? You can either live with me inside of your head, or go mad. To become what they, all the others, see in you. Can you hear me? Isn't it right that you hear me? Slowly, slowly, you bite your nails. You pull your hair. You start to wonder who you are.

(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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