Just so you know, your grandma holds this place together, our whole house. Without her, it'd all be gone, grandpa whispered as he coughed up histobacco. I'm sat on the porch, watching the old woman fuss around the courtyard. The courtyard too, grandpa? Yes. And the garden? That too. The child's hand clenched on the support beam of the porch. He's resting his whole world upon it. Such a big, big house, animals, trees, their cow Joiana, Ghiță the fatty, his old grandma carried them all on her shoulders? What if she gets another twinge, like last night? Grandpa had better help her. He'll help too. He's got his Superman costume inside. Darling, take your shows off, he hears grandma say.

(Translated by Cristina-Bianca Ion / 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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