She watched him sleeping unturned and then slipped out into the hallway. He glimpsed himself with slight wonder in the tall mirror on the wall. Her frail legs rose on tiptoes. Her thighs had become rounded and faded, and her ankles were swollen. Purplish threads crawled up her calves. White hair, tight in a bun, spread her still slender shoulders. Her chin seemed to have survived all the darkness. It was still her. A poem baked beautifully and with meaning. Something made her weep. Her mouth filled with bitterness, for death lurked in the background. Plié.

(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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