The palace stood on a pepper mountain - no soul knew who put it there; the window frames held stained glass through which one could always see Sundays and the salt mountain from far-away O'er-Yonder. He went out to climb the mountain, along with his parents, which he held close to his chest; one, in a white pouch, and the other one, well, you know, yin-yang. He wouldn't judge a soul, for he knew know what burdens they bore. Time was running out. To tame it, he poured the pouches out into an hourglass, but only the salt would trickle, and, when turned upside down, the pepper. So did the mountains.

(Translated by Constantin Istrate / 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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