It had been a long time since a soul had crossed the threshold of Hell. People had long since forgotten disease, war, hatred and greed. Hell had begun to look like a ruin, the fires barely flickered under the cauldrons where the pitch had long since stopped boiling, and almost all the devils had migrated to Heaven. Lucifer was boringly puffing on his cigarette, when his thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door. Who is it? he asked in a whisper. From outside, a very familiar voice was heard: It's me. Open up, you animal.

(Translated by Oana Irina Oprea / 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 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 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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