Manole looked for Ana every day, but he couldn't find her; this house has always been too big, why the hell did he have to make it so big? He regretted it now. He was born inside a timber-framed house on the outskirts of the town, in the brick makers' slum. His folks were brick makers, so that's what he became. He couldn't stop once he reached retirement, he kept at it, making bricks, and he built this house, what else was he to do? Ana was supposed to be there somewhere, but she's always someplace else. Sometimes fear flooded him as he thought he might've encased her inside the walls.

(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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