Mister Paul, there is no need for the retiring pension to be higher. It should only last for a long time. Uncle Tudorică would always say this thing to me when we talk over the fence. When we became neighbours, he was somewhere around 90 years old, but he looked like he was 60. He was the one to teach me how to prune the vineyard and the roses and how to cook stewed cabbage with smoked bone. About the end, he would doze off in the sun for hours, on the steps of the house. That's it, mister Paul, I've had enough, too much breaks the bag. He left this world when he had only 5 months left to turn 100 years. He didn't wait for his before-planned anniversary, which was supposed to be held in a tent put up in the middle of the street.

(Translated by Diana-Maria Croitoru / 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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