He was happy as a child when he was playing with his grandson, always partners in mischief, and on Halloween they dressed up and laughed while scooping out pumpkins. He was already smiling and the elevator mirror reflected his body in his long black shirt and pale cheeks. His hand trembled on the buttons and the twitch of the ignition gave him a strange dizziness. That old claw squeezed his breath and slammed him into his own image waiting for him in another mirror. They found him slumped over the pumpkin bag, a trickle of blood glistening between his lips.

(Translated by Anca Maria Florea / 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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