After the shows, Mrs. Mariana ventilated the hall off the applauses and washed the tears off the floor. She only took within herself those tumultuous feelings previously existing up in the air. I have a small paycheck, but my heart is filled, she said to her neighbour, over a cup of coffee. Then, she secretly whispered to her: what we live is not the naked truth. The real world is out there, on the stage. We say Good Day out of our lack of kindness, but they laugh and cry within themselves. After the show, if they say Sărumâna (kiss your hand) to me, I don't even know how to keep my broom. Some other times though, they just leave as if chased by ghosts.

(Translated by Anca Cristina Ilie / 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 October 2021, the group has 7.275 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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