The air was breathing the pastel of another painting, somewhere else, in another life. Here at high noon the sky was dead, it was black, it had long been extinguished; the plague was gaining ground in every nook and cranny. People weren't dying, but they weren't people any more; they had become something else, wearing the same expressions on their masks. A morbid carnival parades around, the Duchess curtsies; the pestilential smell does not penetrate beyond these words. And yet. They've accepted the new faces; we adapt to anything when the last shred of dignity falls into oblivion.

(Translated by Angelica Ioana Curcan / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / Corrected by prof. Eliana Ionoaia / 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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