The pianist played the Ode to Joy, in the shadows of a ruined bar, accustomed to a completely different vibe. Time had stopped. There was no need for a microphone in that acoustic. It was just a decoration above the piano. Each sound made a splinter jump from the souls of those present. For a moment, the silence was like an Egyptian cave. No whining. Then the roar of applause erupted spontaneously. She didn't seem to stop. They loved the little resurrection. It was the only day when the dead were allowed to listen to Beethoven.

(Translated by Andreea-Alexandra Șerbănescu / 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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