Darkness. A black and empty stage. Silence. In the background, a flight of stairs illuminated by a weak spotlight. It is not clear whether they go up or down. Steps can be heard, but nobody comes into sight. I have arrived, the voice said. I have arrived, arrived, the echo replied. Is it too late? Late. Had I been away for too long? Long. I do not even know. Know. I forgot. Forgot. These stairs were not here. I missed it. Missed. You missed it too? I wouldn't have said so. I will not go again. Go again. Where do these stairs go? They go nowhere, they just are, the echo replied.

(Translated by Dragoş Frangulea / 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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