in this picturesque town, with its cobbled roads and its skinny houses ever-smelling of flowers, is the most esteemed building, for its pink walls and the big smile painted on its doorscreates no distress. The community supports it with donations and, once a year, they gather in the black tulips valley, leaving the town behind. Before sunset, they return led by a gentle breeze. Three chosen men, too power-greedy, had to die, lynched by them. The smile opens up, the golden coffins are brought into the streets, and, under candle light, they're buried.

(Translated by Daniela-Andreea Gugescu / 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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