Dan Banu
I throw myself in the taxi and take out my laptop to finish up my homework. The buzzing of the day sits with me for a while, then fades away. When I look out the window, I can see a little chariot pulled by a bull, then a big one pulled by a lion. It's dark otherwise. The car picks up speed, it swiftly crosses a pond with Gemini fish in it and an Aquarius pouring out light, it tries to avoid a darting goat, it bumps into the North Star wearing a white beanie with bear ears, then it slips upon the Milky Way until it reaches the headquarters, I get off dizzily, Who put the wheel in this guy's hand?

Ruxandra Comșa
If Imagination were a car, you would end up on the side of the road with it. That's what I told the chief editor when he gave my inquiry at the driving school. It didn't matter that I was a woman and I didn't have a license. He sent my male colleagues to the hospital and the road administration. The chain accident was the hot topic of the day. No one understood why the driver, a good citizen, a family man and animal lover, picked up the crowbar and started beating up the other traffic participants. It was Christmas's Eve and Magic was spreading bumper to bumper on the road to the mountain side.

Titela Durnea
You'll do fine, he told me. You'll pick it up as you go. Which is why for a while I didn't dare go into traffic. At some point I was left with no choice, a queue had formed behind me. After a few minor pickles Mustered courage. I had some trouble with the signposts, which made for some big jams. Overall, he was right. I did alright. Once I reached my destination I got out of the car feelings in my pockets, enthusiasm, adrenaline, fears. Only then did I see the driving instructor. He was grinning in his chin: first time is the worst.

(Translated by Adela Neacșu / 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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