Clara Marinescu
Hope you choke on them, he whispered, dragging his left foot stump behind him. The steaming cabbage rolls were burning the dry hands of Uncle Gicu, who held them in front of the house, dumbfounded. He didn't expect this peace offer, not after all these years since he had caused the heavy scaffold to fall on his neighbour, crippling him for life. They hadn't spoken since, and here he was, with sarmale at his door on Christmas Day. These thoughts crossed his mind as he tasted the first sarma, and the poison did its job, turning his lips purple.

Nicu Scutaru
The leader of the astronaut's crew for a new mission on Mars has been chosen from 100 austronauts. Who could it be, who could it be? Petru Popescu, a.k.a. Pope. Being Romanian, he was quickly suspected of influence peddling. When famous astronaut Joe Smith asked him if he had twisted any arms, not only did he not deny it, but he also bragged about impressing the head of the committee, the deputy director of NASA. How, bro? With what? With a pot of cabbage rolls in vine leaves, like my grandma used to make. We're all human after all.

Andra Toropoc
She was a mess, hungry and tired, pushing the baby carriage down the streets. While everyone was getting ready for the holidays, she was living a nightmare. Ever since the twins had been born, her man began getting drunk, beating her, and blaming her for his lack of rest because of the kids. She left in the morning to escape his rage, with her carriage in which three babies, covered in the same blanket, nested like small cabbage rolls inside a larger one. She began to sing at the doors where it smelled good and hoped. Cradled in cotton, soft as a cloud, a tiny baby, sleeping so sound.

(Translated by Alin Sescu / 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.

0 comentarii