Radu Gramatovici
There was no one else there at that time. The bartender brought him a brandy and wished him Merry Christmas. He stayed silent, bent over. He only flinched when he thought he heard his daughter's angry voice. Looking up he recognized his grand-daughter. His eyes shined. Do you want to play with the old man's beard? The little girl sat on his lap. The old man stroked her hair, her cheeks, then lowered his arm to give her a hug, something he hadn't done in two years, since his daughter had thrown him out in the street. When he heard the woman yelling, he couldn't care less. His miracle had already taken place.

Roxana Catana Tarhon
The winter of Grigore Crăciun[1] started in August. Maybe because he was old, had a big belly and a long, white beard. All the neighbourhood children put in his mailbox letters with their wishes for the holidays. Nobody knew how, but the rumour that Santa lived in Tei neighbourhood spread fast, so mister Claus started receiving messages from everywhere. The postman was the most unfortunate: he delivered whole bags of letters to him, every day. But uncle Griguță loved it: he spent hours reading, revising and grading. After all, he had been a Romanian teacher for 30 years.

[1] Crăciun is translated as Christmas. Here, it is used as a Romanian name.

Titela Durnea
The half-opened window, the drawn curtain, the slice of bread with margarine that a happy fly reigned over - these were all signs that he was at home. The only thing that made you think twice was the sound of the phone ringing louder and louder, obstinately repeating itself every five minutes. Across the ocean, Irina was crushing the receiver: Come on, dad. Pick up. I spoke to aunt Geta. She's bringing you cabbage rolls. I've sent you money, to keep the house warm, buy everything that you need. Beside the table, a pair of kind eyes were staring in awe at their own unshaven face, at the inert body, once young. This Christmas we will be together, Ana.

(Translated by Ruxandra Adriana Dodoiu / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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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