I held his rough hand in mine and I slowly caressed his palms, deeply wrinkled with hardships. I told him everything would be all right. I didn't know what all right meant for him anymore. But it would be better for me not to see him in that state. He lay on the bed, on two pillows, and his eyes were wandering through the room, seemingly looking for something. When I found his right palm scar, he flinched and, with his last breath, asked me if I know what it meant. I shrugged, and waited for him to tell me. But he was gone right then.

(Translated by Andra Daiana Păuna / 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 September 2021, the group has 7.150 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 Ficțiuni Reale.

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