Every day, when the clock struck 12 o'clock, the metal-plated shoes hit the cubic stone, rising the dust in echoes. From the shadow of his glasses, which were tilted to the right much like his shoulder, his intelligent gaze aroused you. He gloomily scrutinized the street and its houses. They stiflingly rumbled at the petrified figures, at the waves of energy wasted in front of screens. They take delight in other things nowadays. But Ilie does not surrender. He entered, greeted politely, took in the ancestral dose of moldy air, and immersed himself in words, prophesying to the shelves on the verge of obsolescence.

(Translated by Ioana Diana Sandu / 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 April 2022, the group has 8,175 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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