Siranuș Hakobian
Look, mommy, this is sweet bread, said the little girl. Both of them were sitting quietly on some cardboard boxes, in front of the metro station. That is sweet bread indeed, the mother answered, because today is a holiday and people it cabbage rolls and sweet bread. Today people are kinder than other days. What are cabbage rolls, mommy? The mother took the ragged blanket and wrapped the little girl as if she was in a cocoon: look, I wrapped you like a cabbage roll, to be warm. The cabbage roll laughed heartily. Under the magical light of a street lamp, two cabbage rolls were falling asleep on a cardboard box. They smelled of sweet bread.

Adriana Patroi Miu
Tincuța lives at the end of the village, in the last house, the one with an opening to the pasturage. Is someone listening to the wishes you make on New Year's Eve?; she wonders while carefully counting the cabbage rolls in the pot. The form teacher told her that she stands a chance to get into a good high school. It was hard to imagine that an ordinary child would do the laundry and clean the pigs' pen all day long. Two for each, Tinca, it's not enough as it is. Lușu is the only one that seems to understand her, while licking the grease off her fingers. He and the stranger who promised to get her out of poverty.

Monica Aldea
In the land of Lower Gourmandy, the First Roller of the Court was preparing the great feast of cabbage rolls. He struggled to twist the heavy key into the treasury's door. The barrel with the most famous pickled cabbage of the land stood near the thesaurus. It was closed with the royal seal and guarded day and night. It was opened twice a year, during the Great and the Little Cabbage Day. The Kale Emperor opened the Cabbage Roll Contest for the stalk throwers. On the scaffold, the executioner was symbolically beheading cabbage heads. The flavour of the delicious dishes was spreading throughout the kingdom.

(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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