He'd retired to the countryside, to a little mountain village. After a life among strangers, after a stroke that'd left him a bit stiff on the left side, after a marriage spent more as a rag than husband, he felt free. His wife still called him over from time to time, only to tinker around the house. She'd called him over to fix a broken pipe. He'd stayed for dinner. You can't do shit, you wimp. You fucked around with that pipe, even my hallway carpet got wet. Then, she abruptly fell silent, with a fork lodged in her skull.

(Translated by Ioana Ștefan / 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 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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