Monica Bologa
Want me to teach you how to drive? I hesitated a bit, then agreed to it. We went on a hill at the edge of the city, I got behind the wheel and before starting off the engine, he went over all the steps I had to take. What I like it best when we shifted gears together. His touch made me press the pedals clumsily, choke up the engine and make the car shake. He left me. He said he couldn't be with someone who had no clue about driving. I actually had had a license for the past 10 years; I only wanted to test out his pedals, patience and other things.

Miruna Marin
The Dacia car shakes with laughter, then falls silent. From the back of the car a thudded snigger can be heard. I can't laugh at my cousin. Slowly lift up the clutch, nephew. The Dacia car isn't willing, he isn't tickling it the right way. Next to me, my sister is showing off. 6 years older than me, with a guy older than him. And she started the car on her first try. Then she swiftly made pit-stopped in the gutter. Bogdan turns the key, and gets the car going. The Dacia car is thudding on the path. Well for what's worth, if you two were one, you would handle driving, says my uncle and I laugh wholeheartedly.

Daniel Onofrei
My first driving lesson. The car stinks of sheep cheese. Does it bother you, miss? Here we have the side mirrors. Left-right. My wife told me to buy some, as my boy is visiting and he likes it. And this up here is the rear view,it means you can see behind you. I also got some smoked lard, it goes well with some red onion. The clutch pedal. Press it, it doesn't bite. I didn't get any jerky, it didn't look good. The break. And it was a bit pricey. The gas. I also have some last year plum brandy. Do you want to drink? No. All the better. Gearshift. This year plums didn't come out.

(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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