When we feel sadness, we are programmed to shut it off. Once a month I visit a museum with my daughter. Today we went to Fundeni to see the Museum of Pain. Look, there was a hospital where people were cured or died of cancer, I told her. What is cancer, mommy? It's an old disease, it doesn't exist anymore. On this bench collapsed the mothers who cried for their babies. The wards are silent. There are photographs on the walls. Look, mommy, this girl had my name. I cry. As soon as we leave, we forget everything. But I don't, I got a system error.

(Translated by Alexandra Lica / 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 June 2021, the group has 6.650 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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