Passed down to me by my grandfather on his deathbed. Stop cutting yourself with a blade, boy, he said. Stop climbing on bridge railings. Stop looking for the right noose to hang yourself with. You're young and stupid. Get on with your life. And if you're going to leave at all, do it like a man. Since his death, I've kept the rifle close to me. I didn't use it when my kid died, when my wife left me, or when I was out of work. Now I'm 90 years old. I'm alone and I want to leave. But I don't know where I put the rifle.

(Translated by Cosmina-Florentina Ciobanu / 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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