Past their middle age and smiling, they had welcomed us into their home with coffee and cakes. They wanted to sell and we wanted to buy. An old house, a bit zigzagging but well maintained, so we bought it. We were just married, the kids came and went, and we argued for the rest of our days. One night the ground began shaking - and earthquake - the walls split open and in the middle of the house a hole and the floor and down there, the couple who sold us the house was watching us. They hadn't aged and seemed a bit embarrassed - they had just woken up and were still in their pyjamas.

(Translated by Carla Bețianu / 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 April 2023, the group has 11,000 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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