Up the hill, where the top kisses the sun, you can find Ilie's little home hanged by the sky. The blue mudbrick walls support a porch filled with pots and memories. There's no sound breaking the silence of the place, only a few birds chirping here and there. Ever since Ana left, Ilie's heart has been petrified. He slowly piles us his loneliness in a tobacco leaf and fills his lungs with it more viciously than any convict filling his lungs with the air of freedom. Only when he dozes off does his face lighten up: Ana's waiting for him, with a loaf of warm bread and some words of wisdom. Forever is but a moment.

(Translated by Cristina-Bianca Ion / 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 August 2022, the group has 9,000 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 every few days. 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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