In those times, she read out loud from the book, one child out of five would die before his first birthday. There were big celebrations for those who grew up, becoming adults. Women would die sooner, giving birth. Ana miraculously survived until her 40s. She then died, respected as one of the village's elders. She closed the book, looked at the little girl who was clutching the pillow, terrified. For us, this is just a story now, she would gently pat the girl. But without Her, I wouldn't be here, you wouldn't be here, and no tale would be told.

(Translated by Ioana Grigoruţă / 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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