They had been digging the tunnel night after nightfor ten years. They had dug through clayey soil and stone. When it was too rough, they would go around and then correct course so as to maintain direction. They would measure everything and they had a perfect plan. They'd take the dirt out in their pockets in the morning when they'd go in for compulsory labour, and dump it in the excavated ore. Exactly on day 3650, at noon, at 12 on the dot, an earthquake made the entire side of the mountain collapse. Their mine was filled with the sun's rays. This course won't work, they said. At night they got back to their tunnel and continued working.
(Translated by Constantin Istrate / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / Corrected by prof. Daria Protopopescu / 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.