Auntie Anca was keeping an eye on the clock and when it was exactly 12 o'clock, she jumped up shouting "Haaaappy Birthdaaaay". The confetti were laying like snow on his white hair and Grandpa Luchian came to easily from the black hole. He smiled with tears in his eyes. Don't light the candles on the cake, Anca. How can I be happy, this pandemic has taken all of our friends. Oh, Luchian, the pandemic is long gone. And look out the window to see who's downstairs. Our friends. Some "muzzlers". But we don't have other friends. Anca, set them on fire. The masked people are coming.

(Translated by Claudia Alexandra Văcărescu / 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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