The old man was paying attention to the horseshoe in which he was fixing the nails, the old woman was talking, talking, talking. The air choked with the smell of milk that had been set on fire, of rags thrown around and of old and new bird droppings. The old woman couldn't understand why her husband never answered. Well, yes, he would take words, have them wipe their feet at the entrance to the ward, let them climb the ladder to look out of the round or oval window, and as a good man he would sit them on the anvil, knock their teeth out with a hammer, and then seal the door quietly.

(Translated by Angelica Ioana Curcan / 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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