Barefoot, tiny steps could be heard on the hospital hallway. All of them headed towards room 13. They entered and closed the door carefully so only the angels could hear. They lit a candle and sat in a circle around it. Angel, dear angel, what has God given you. Let's talk heart to heart. Lord, forgive us that we have only now found the key to your soul, we ask you to help Zara to endure the operation. Take a year from each one of us and give it to her, as she needs it more. In the morning, 10 children were sleeping on the floor. Zara was sleeping in her bed. The candle had not gone out.

(Translated by Roberta Ana-Maria Gulerez / 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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