When you died, I felt nothing. No despair, no sorrow, no grief, no relief. I stood like a frozen vampire beside the coffin in which you seemed to sleep so peacefully and sniffed with my retina at the cloud-folded mist above the cemetery. I felt nothing, my thoughts were of nothing. The people who came to your funeral seemed like a swarm of bees ready to swoop down on me with judgments and annihilate me. Because I dared not to cry. I didn't cry, mother. I still can't. You're still alive.

(Translated by Liliana Popescu / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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 January 2023, the group has 10,220 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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