Number 256 is dead. Only two people came to the funeral. They were very old.
Before he died, his bones ached whenever the weather changed. Knee joints, wrists and right shoulder. To make the pain go away, he took an Advil and melted a few glasses of plum brandy. His joints and wrists still hurt. Only his shoulder didn't want to let go. As the years passed, the number on his shoulder grew. Until, one day, only two people came to the funeral. They were very old. Numbers 257 and 258.

(Translated by Elena Creţu / 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 2021, the group has 3.000 members.) The authors write ultra-short stories, setting their texts within the limit of 500 symbols (in Romanian language, so in English the limit might be a little different) - a flash-fiction exercise with an almost daily changed topic. The group's coordinators are Florin Piersic Jr., Gabriel Molnar, and Luchian Abel. (Drawing by Adrian T. Roman)

*Versiunea în română a acestui text se poate citi aici, în rubrica Ficţiuni Reale.

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