They sat huddled in the cold bed and prayed to the last flickering of the candle. They remained with the darkness and the smell of cheap wax, which warmed one beautiful, wandering dream in their eternal nights. Only Iza was laughing in her sleep hanging from a huge lamp, eating hot potatoes and chicken schnitzel. She always refused polenta porridge, because Dani was biting his nails with hunger. Maria dreamed of having a light bulb on the street corner, under which she would do her homework and read books. Ianu couldn't see, didn't speak, didn't know. He existed or he didn't.

(Translated by Andreea Denisa Dinu / 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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