A chestnut tree was overshadowing the window, almost hiding it from indiscreet looks. Room 101 was spoken of quietly, during morning tea, by the asylum elderly. Have you heard? They moved him to 101. Last night. He had been coughing terribly for a couple of days. Yes, I heard him too. He was chocking in his sleep. Even the staff was keeping it down. 101 is free. God rest his soul. Ironically enough, room 101 was the best room. Private bathroom, big color TV, memory foam mattress. Somehow, the mattress was the only one that remembered every soul.

(Translated by Marta Fulga / 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 every few days. 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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