His aria was perfect. Every note, every breath, even the stage movement, everything had been above reproach. When he came out for the eighth time to applause and saw the chic ladies in the first couple rows crying their eyes out, he thought of Puccini. He would have been proud. After giving autographs for an hour and receiving little attentions, including a pair of worn women's panties, he headed home. Before the stairs, he felt his legs becoming heavy, as lead. He leaned against the wall and thought: It's started.

(Translated by Zahra Kazemi / 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 March 2021, the group has 4.500 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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