The ticking of the grandfather clock and the snoring of her husband had gotten into her bonesand she could have sworn she would take them with herinto the afterlife. She got out of bed, struggling to keep quiet; then she started feeling bitter about how she took care not to disturb him, about her desire to always please him. He was a clockmaker and he never had time for her. She went into his workshop and sat down at the worktable. Having finished, she straightened her back and smiled. On the clock face, between 12 and 1, she had glued her wedding ring, flattened in the shape of a 0. It was her final gift.

(Translated by Lucia-Alexandra Brînaru-Mitrofan / 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 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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