With heavy steps he walked sullenly down the alley, touching the shirt that pressed his shoulders like years do. All his life he'd been hoarding, doggedly. No one dared knock on his gate, let alone his heart. Everyone knew him to be bald in the purse and black at heart. The news spread to the neighbouring villages with the swiftness of a wingbeat. One scorching hot day, he fell down, thirsty, with tears gathering in his coat. He twitched briefly and spat out a last sigh as a first prayer. Take it all from me, Lord, and give me white in my soul.

(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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