The stagecoach stopped at the crossroads and left her in the thick, ankle-deep mud. Before whipping the horses, the coachman shouted: I wouldn't hang around here long if I were you. She was holding the little suitcase in one hand while, with the other, she was lifting the hem of her dress out of the muck. The night was approaching, and she had to climb up the hill. At the top, she knocked at the locked gates until a little window opened. I am the midwife, she said to the stern eyes that regarded her suspiciously. The mother superior greeted her sweating, being caught up in the pain of labour. It won't be brought into a good world, but I want to save my soul.

(Translated by Camelia Diaconu / 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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