Horațiu Dudău
The warrior in me adjusts the glasses on my face for the first time ever and starts the massacre. Chicken, carrots, pickled cucumbers, boiled potatoes. No mercy. After an hour, they all lie in a boeuf salad, on top of each other. The mess in the kitchen is huge. The bowl looks like a vegetable and meat cemetery. Some mayonnaise settles on top, bringing peace. Tired, I search my beard for leftovers. I have to admit, I tasted a little bit. These things happen in war. You have to enjoy it. The little one says we have minecraft salad. I don't get it and I wonder why.

Gheorghiță Mircea
It snowed. I take the shopping bags and call a cab. I usually leave them at the gate, my sister collects them. Today I have to go inside, I have the presents and I want to see how she is doing. It's Mircea, mother. Oh, yes. Look mother, I brought cakes. Alright, Nelu. Thank you. Nelu is her brother, he's dead. Dementia, still. It's Mircea, mother. Yes, alright. Did you call? Tell them bad people are hanging around. It's you, Nelu, what a beard you have. I should have shaved, but I think it would have been useless anyway. They want to steal the girl, don't let them. What a white beard you have. Who are you? Go away, I called the police. I'm going, it's winter outside.

 Monica Aldea
Petrache is older than time. In the forgotten village, the number of people has dwindled. For ten years the old man has been carving in wood the ones who were his age. When the Lord calls them to Him, he erases another one off the list. It's Christmas Eve and the old board has only one name left on it. He gathers his strength. He must reach the scattered houses in the valley. The children are waiting for him to bring gifts. He climbs with the bag on his shoulders. Before going out the door, he makes the sign of the cross and crosses out the last name. He will take the gifts for the last time. That is how it was ordained.

(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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