We all stand up and applaud him. The curtain falls on the stage, the actor retires to the booth, the audience leaves the hall. I go after him to hug him. I find him slumped in an armchair, exhausted and barefoot. My legs hurt, he told me smiling. The semi-darkness swallows our words. I pull a chair close to him and put his feet in my arms. He closes his eyes and I start massaging his feet. Silence. Eventually, I get up and leave. As I closed the door I thought I heard him say something. It seemed to me.

(Translated by Ana-Maria Mușetescu / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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 March 2023, the group has 10,790 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, Luchian Abel, and Vlad Mușat. (Drawing by Adrian T. Roman)

Versiunea în română a acestui text se poate citi aici, în rubrica Ficțiuni Reale.

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