It wasn't the war that brought them to their knees, nor the famine, nor the typhus. When they came home from the battlefield, no one recognized them. Callous, sporting beards and moustaches, they were silent, having witnessed hell. Time had turned their hair white and shortened their lifespan. One day, Vasile went back to God. The procession stopped in front of Ion's house. That was when tears started flowing freely. He followed up the very next day, without any revelations or regrets. Our time will come soon too, Radu, Andrei often said. They passed away on the very field they toiled on. Will they meet again?

(Translated by Marta Fulga / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / Corrected by conf. dr. Daria Protopopescu / Edited 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 October 2022, the group has 9,400 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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