She smelled of wild roses. The fire stirred and the red tongues began to burn the present. I tasted love, he whispered, without living it, and the heavy longing still torments me even now. She belonged to another man, I was a priest. Forgive me, but I have no one to tell, nor am I the one who can grant you the forgiveness for which you called me. A touch of fingers still trembling, a light smile, barely sketched, floated and clung to the window. Her path opened to the future, his path was clear of the past. The priest got up, relieved, and left.

(Translated by Andreea-Simona Trufin / 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 March 2022, the group has 8,050 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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