How bad he is looking. What a smell. What's your name, old man? The man kept his eyes closed for fear of the flashlight. The smell was unbearable. We're from the hospital. What happened to you? I see you have a wound that got infected. What's your name? How old are you? A drink of water gave him little strength. I don't want to die, but I don't want to live either, so I'm waiting. What are you waiting for? Let the pain pass. The foot wound? Not. You will not understand. At 73, I made the mistake of my life. Which one, old man, which one? I fell in love too late.

(Translated by Angelica Ioana Curcan / 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 January 2022, the group has 7.830 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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