It had been the longest winter. The sheep were no longer patient in the barn, the lambs had begun to look for grass among the patches of snow that had stopped melting. In the mornings, under soles and hooves, the ground cracked like thin glass. Bright Week had also passed, but the sun was still cold during the days. Never had he delayed the climb to the pastures so long. And Ilie had never felt so much longing for the places behind the ridges. Here was the village with worldly cares and noise. Beyond, there was peace and his sheep, there was freedom.

(Translated by Elena Patricia Măroiu / 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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