She holds his hand and feels his pulse like a countdown, just like that first night together when she wished it would never end. The sky is the same, but back then it was whole and now it's shrunk into a living room window. Instead of fresh grass, medicine-scented sheets, instead of sprinklers turned on out of nowhere, red-blue sirens flood the moon out the window. She takes his gray head to her chest, and his last breath hides in the pocket which contains three dried flowers. Time of death pronounced at the same time with the words I love you.

(Translated by Cătălina Colibaba / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / Corrected by prof. dr. Nadina Vișan / 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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