When Schultz gave the order for him to be executed, the soldier placed his hand on his chest and closed his eyes, praying. In order to show respect, the German commander allowed him to finish and told him contemptuously through teeth yellowed by the Romanian tobacco: When everything around us smells like a pigsty and carrion, you smell like cinnamon and coconut. What is your secret? Maybe I'll let you leave, handsome. Ilarie reached behind his back, and with all weapons directed at him, he slowly took out the soap with a key inscribed on it. Magic.

(Translated by Diana Pașcanu / 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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