Speechless. From under bushy eyebrows, the white eye of the old woman stares at me in disbelief. Speechless. A dull pain plants a flower in my chest, a violet tuber. I'm coughing. Speechless. She coughs, spitting out a glob of blood at the foot of the table. Speechless. My left hand goes numb and a twinge of abrasive tingling makes its presence in my chest. Speechless. From under the black hood comes a snarl followed by another blood splatter. Shestaggered, righting herself on the handle of the scythe. Speechless. I am reaped, my king has been cornered.

(Translated by Andreea-Alexandra Șerbănescu / 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 September 2022, the group has 9,250 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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