They say death is painless, that it is like a deep sleep and once you get on the other side, there's only happiness. That you finally find peace. Bullshit. It hurts like hell. The pain leeches to the soul when it ascends. The bullet shattering your heart, the car crushing your body, the cancer devouring your organs. There are souls that sink into the fog while looking for the light. Yes, time disappears but the pain remains. Some choose to come back, while others keep searching for Him or at least for someone they care about who died before them. I've been there. There's nothing. Only grey and white.

(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 February 2023, the group has 10,500 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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