At the show of life, the stage is left nearly empty. Old-fashioned props hang from the cloud ceiling. The director is wringing his hands, saying that he has exhausted every script with and about people, that only AI could come up with something new, but the room and the audience doesn't matter. Since there are no more angels to explain every day how life is lived either, oblivion runs through the veins of time. From time to time, some enlightened one steps to the microphone to tell us how to die. I'll tell you: we die horribly.

(Translated by Diana Mîndruță-Tănăsescu / 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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