On the painted face, the powder had gathered in the grooves that lined his face and the golden tunic had flowered patches. There was something hilarious and magnificent in the body from which the voice gushed like a spring held too long under the stone. Nessun dorma, the old man sang, with his back pressed to the chestnut, and people hurried past, tossing him money or laughter. "E noi dovrem morir", his song rose, making the leaves and the ringdoves shudder. A child stopped and then the old man sang with all his heart, as if for a full hall, guardi le stelle.

(Translated by Andreea-Simona Trufin / 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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