He'd been up for three days. By the time he reached the path behind the cemetery, it was a little after midnight. Grass had grown wildly over the patched ground giving the wilderness a rural jungle feel and the sounds of his flannel jacket made him quicken his pace. His flashlight died right next to the hollow walnut tree in front of the deserted well. He knew he had to get down, said his prayer, grabbed the stone slab and looked for the ladder with his left foot. Two bats had touched his ear when he heard the whispers: Dreams are the voice of the soul.

(Translated by Adrian-George Ilinca / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / Corrected 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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