When they dug him up to move his remains, we were asked what we wanted to do with the shoes. Oxford style, brand-new. One of them spit on each tip and cleaned them with the hem of the shirt. He said he wouldn't wear clothes from a deceased, but if the circumstances had been different, he would have taken them. The others looked, yearning as they would have worn them for a wedding or baptism. Only one of them stood aside, coughing his lungs out over the handle of the shovel. I handed him the shoes, knowing that my grandfather bought them especially for the afterlife.

(Translated by Diana Stănescu / 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 February 2022, the group has 7,950 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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