Oh, son, the old age is so difficult. I built this house when I was young just like you. Floor wasn't exactly what I needed. I could have built it without floor. But I wasn't as wise as I am now. Do you know how many steps are up? 13. I have been counting them up and down for several years. Why am I selling it? The old man burst into tears. I am moving to my children's. I cannot stay alone anymore, son. The maintenance is expensive. And I'm tired of going up and down so many stairs. May my late old lady come and take me sooner with her because it's so hard for me. I had better be gone before her.

(Translated by Emilia-Georgiana Călinescu / 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 April 2021, the group has 5.600 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, 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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