I am sitting with my elbows on the windowsill. A stranger is looking at a small piece of paper she took out of her pocket. An old woman approaches her with small steps. The young lady asks her something. I believe that the old woman is a bit deaf, because the stranger is shouting: Do you know where house number 13 is? I'm looking for a room to rent. The old lady shakes her head and then continues on her way. But I do know where house number 13 is. At the very end of the village. I run quickly to the kitchen drawer and grab the number candles that my mom put on my birthday cake before she died. I go outside to attach them to the gate.

(Translated by Valentina Mihai / 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 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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