He read the poems with deep sighs as if each word climbed into his heart and burdened it. He had written them for another him, as he was to figure out after reading the first page. He drank the Calvados and fell to his knees on the sole-scuffed floor. He had become a golden shadow, doomed to live in stillness, in this enclave of old people that smelled like certain death. His beautiful Caro ran with a guy her age. She didn't take anything with her, she even left her black diary to him, to pierce the eyes of the crippled doll.

(Translated by Claudia Cioplea / 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 November 2022, the group has 9,580 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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