The old man that was walking through the gardens of Vatican could be mistaken for an angel. His eyes are clear and his beard white, and his back is covered by a white scapular, down to his feet. He's gently touching the flowers with his long, wax-like fingers. With each stop, he takes a bow and then looks up to the sky. He had had a layman's name in his youth - Antonio Ghislieri, the future Pius the Fifth. He had given up the red clothing in the name of the Dominican Order's purity. Only the shoes remained. A reminder of the pools of blood which the Great Inquisitor had walked on.

(Translated by Ruxandra Ioana Vasile / 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 May 2021, the group has 6.400 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 almost daily. 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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