Dan Banu
It's reading day, ma'am. She shrugged, absentmindedly, and unlocked the door. The man shone his flashlight and mumbled, confused: I don't see anything extra. The "extra" is what we keep in our hearts, she replied. I'm talking about energy; nothing has entered the meter. Energy comes from the sun and the birds. Do you have solar panels? No, a skylight. But you must be warming up with something. With the light of the stars. Except that stars don't go through the meter, he scratched his head. They pass through dreams, she smiled warmly. He coughed. The meter hummed and increased by one unit.

Titela Durnea
Once the sun set, Mia became restless. She looked for something to do around the yard, like a whirlwind, hoping time would pass faster. Her grandmother swallowed her smiles beneath her headscarf, her grandfather hid his under his moustache. As the clock struck eight, Mia dashed up the hill. Vasi waited, leaning on one elbow, always chewing on a straw in the corner of his mouth. They were 15 years old, above them, a sky full of billions of stars to be deciphered. Today, in the office, Mia reads thoughts. On the couch, each star lingers for an hour. The straw is never missing from the vase.

Cecilia Fofiu
Speleologist, in my youth, I spent the night in Gârda commune at a house of a moață[1] before entering Scărișoara commune. In the log cabin, I experienced pure love. Within Lucreția's eyes, I saw my son, in her untied hair, my little girl. I envisioned her conceiving my children, and I asked for her hand. She simply answered, yes. I left her while she slept, with a note indicating the meeting place in Alba county. She did not come, and I was left torn to shreds forever. After two years, we found each other by chance. More beautiful, sad, she says: For a month, I asked the people in the mountains what you wrote there. Did you get married?

[1] Moață is a woman who lives in the central part of the Apuseni Mountains.

(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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