Ana Maria Dobre-Nir
When our gentleman left, he took out one of his eyes and placed it on my hand. I didn't have any courage to look at it for a few thousands of years. When I mustered up the courage to glance at it, only memories flooded in my mind, as if the past world was there with me. This is not a story. It is pure truth and I cannot convince you, because you don't believe me. You look at me and think that I am young and perhaps on this earth for only a few years. But, no, when everything happened, I was already old. Older than him.

Paul Dârvariu
I'm part of a long lineage of bearded men. I know the old ones from pictures, but the more recent ones I've met in the flesh. Grandpa Petrache was the village priest. He was called the Giant Priest. My father inherited his place in the altar. I became an engineer. When my future mother-in-law met me, she told Cocuța: I like this boy, but there's something missing on his chubby cheek. And that's how I got this beard. Now it's white. Clearly it's the last one in the family, as I have two daughters and no grandsons.

Daniel Onofrei
The old man scratched his beard, murmuring contentedly as he looked at the shed full of chopped wood. He climbed into the attic, gazing paternally at the smoked hams. He went into the cellar, where the demijohns were winking at him. Having taken care of the practical side, it was time for the artistic one. He grabbed the paintbrush, the tubes of acrylic and started painting. He began with the big, black, fiery eyes. He continued with the red, plump lips. He insisted on the breasts with cheeky nipples, and then shyly descended to more intimate areas. He inflated it and placed it between the pillows. Well, now winter can come.

(Translated by Maria-Ilinca Darie / 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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