When mom called me at 3 o'clock in the morning, I knew why. In his last days I avoided seeing him, speaking to him, I knew he could see the end on my face, I knew if I was going to see despair in his eyes, if he asked for my help, I would have shattered into thousand little pieces because of my helplessness. Nothing to be done, but wait. Time was up. I got home at dawn. I saw the body being taken out in a rug on the stairwell, put inside the coffin, then carried out. I slept in the living room those nights. Every morning, at 3 o'clock, his voice woke me up, shouting: Ioana.

(Translated by Iulia-Teodora Urea / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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, 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, 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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