He would repeat the Lord's Prayer obsessively. Night after night, she would bow in worship while facing the icons hanging symmetrically on the walls and I didn't know why. I'd see my mother sometimes tear up after prayer and sit still for a minute afterwards. I was inclined to tell her that if she expected to get something, she should reach out her hand, because maybe that was why she never got a thing. Years passed by. I don't know how to pray and my mother isn't waiting anymore. She passed away last autumn. Whenever I go lay a flower at her grave, I remain silent and ashamed.

(Translated by Oana Ionescu / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / 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 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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