He had everything prepared beforehand: three cemetery plots next to one another and three identical marble crosses. When he died, he had three holes dug for him, and on top of each other they placed a closed casket. At night, they secretly put him into one of them. The next day, people gathered around as if there was a show, after all, he had been the greatest shell player. They let the three caskets into the ground. Years passed, and in the cemetery came an old man who would urge the visitors to guess in which cemetery plot lies the artist. Some of them tried, and then the old man would smile a sneaky smile and take their money.

(Translated by Ana Spînu / 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 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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