Carmen-Ecaterina Ciobâcă
He had left that shitty town, had left office-work and had asked to be sent in the field, where he had to deal with all sorts of assholes. All this for the sake of the child, so he could have all he needed. The child was lying in this ward, on life support. He got out of the hospital staggering. He saw the asshole that had run them over in the doorway. Take it back, you idiot, he shouted, throwing a few crumpled bills in his face. Why did I have to cross right in that moment? I'll make sure you rot in prison.

Marian Benone Mihai
My name is Brebenel Pățitu and I am a benched quarterback, also retiredshooter of the Romanian army. The army was for me the place where I learned all there was to learn in the school of life and of driving. Daily, at around 3.00a.m., the Corporal would wake us up and we would start the route. Each one of us would sit down on their own luggage and we would start driving, crawling under the beds and through all corners, cleaning the floors. If we forgot to keep our lights on, we would clean the toilets with a toothbrush. What was there not to like?

Gabriel Rusu
Uncle Petrică said driving and pork are bad for digestion. Maybe that's why he tended to kill me at every meeting. Besides the fact he would tell me the route in the middle of every junction, he would talk to me as to a husband condemned for domestic violence. Truth be told, because of the clutch, I would talk to his weakness. He taught me not to push the steering wheel too hard and to go in the second driving speed delicately, so as not to, God forbid, crash the gear box. About the motor brake I heard from my brother when I already had a driving license.

(Translated by Ema-Teodora Rădulescu / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / Corrected by prof dr. Nadina Vișan, edited 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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