Vasile, hands crossed over his chest, lies in his last worldly bed, made out of walnut wood. The mourners, scarves on their heads and handkerchiefs in hands, are dolefully carrying out their duty. The house smells of mothballs, poppy-seed covered sweet bread, basil and belief. I can't look at the coffin, I've never seen a lifeless man before. I see grandpa approaching the coffin, a little tipsy from too many glasses of plum brandy. Vasile, dear, health be with you. And if you see our neighbour, Veta, tell her I'll bone her sooner or later.

(Translated by Ana Stănilă / 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 February 2021, the group has 4.300 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, 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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