Retuta, grandma's girl, will take you downhill. It's different there. There will be light. What is that, light, grandma? Your hands won't smell of gas anymore, she laughed, carefully wiping the lamp glass. You will go to school. What is that school, grandma? You'll never smell like dung, she sighed. And I won't see you again? You will see me again, grandma, as long as God wants it. Can't I bring you light too? Leave me, I'm old. You must come out of the darkness and go. I didn't know how dark it could be where there was light.
(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.