Arthur Ianoși
 Sahr Malé[1] Vinicius Erik Alberto Nazarius Dos Santos came from a poor family. They were so poor that if you shook them, only dreams would fall out of their pockets. And not even those were whole. Life in the slums had its charm. All of the boys dreamed of becoming famous footballers and all of the girls dreamed of marrying them. When Sahr Malé took a Giant puffball[2] and stuffed it with Kale, he knew that would be the coolest ball. Felicio, his neighbour, took it from his arms and kicked it hard. His foot got stuck in it. Out of anger, Sahr bit him. Hmm, delicious.

[1] The translation of "cabbage rolls" into Romanian is "sarmale". Therefore, the name Sahr Malé is a play on words.
[2] The word used in Romanian for this fungi translates literally to "Pig's blister", which makes it a play on words for the meat used in cabbage rolls.

Alex Caragian
Mihai, are you the one who put cabbage rolls in my desk, liver sausage in my pockets and pickles in my boots? Melancholy was consuming me like a grinder; I didn't know you play chess with cabbage rolls. What frogs, friend, what are you saying, that you're making French cabbage rolls, mon cher? Cabbage roooolls. He rose at the end of the bed and breathed among the sweat. He had been dreaming. He went to hug his wife, but she was a huge cabbage roll. He covered her with the cabbage-leafed blanket and he ate the three cabbage rolls on the little plate on his side table: of the past, present and future Christmas.

George Dometi
He was an actor from Baia Mare and he was in love with a young lady from a rustic winter's dream of historical Maramureș. He had been invited to spends the Saturnalia holiday at her grandparents. At some point, while sat at the table that was full of various dishes, after he had finished chewing the last bite, he was kindly and softly asked: Punches[1], want some? Excuse me?, he had asked, as if struck by the fear of some unspoken traditions. The old lady smiled and looked at her niece. Granny is asking if she should put piroshki, dumplings or cabbage rolls on your plate. Do you want some?

[1] The Romanian word for "punches" is "pumni", whose pronunciation is similar to that of "pun", a form of the verb "to put".

(Translated by Claudia Cioplea / 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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