He drags his feet in holey slippers through the dust of the arid garden. He opens the door of the house, puts wood on the fire, sits on the edge of the bed. I am old as the weather, I am tired and I miss my people, he says with folded hands in prayer. He pats out the pillow with the heel of his palm, battered and blackened by work. He lies on his back, closes his eyelids. Sleep, baby, and if you can't, count the sheep you sat with today in the field. Sleep. One, two, twenty-nine, thirty. The morning found him sleeping. Forever. With a smile on his face.

(Translated by Iuliana Mocanu / 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 December 2022, the group has 9,880 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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