They were born on the same day, at the same time, so many years ago that they had lost count. They had lived most of their life together and all they wanted was to die the same. They couldn't move, they couldn't comfort each other, they couldn't hug. They couldn't even talk to each other. When the clock struck eleven, they used their last strength to turn the cooker hobs, they interlocked their knotty fingers and they waited. Their hundredth anniversary caught them as lights flying towards the sky.

(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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