Ridere, ergo sum, but in the mirror the eyes that stood on that silky face were sad. It was the first performance after the end of the World and there she was: the comedy divawho makes the hall shake with laughter. People are alive, she thought and looked somewhere above the crowd. The balcony had collapsed, the walls were cracked and her husband's usual seat was now empty, he was no more. And why was she still? She screams her lines, for her soul was aching, so loud that her disfigured face cracked and bloody tears ran down behind the silk mask, the audience clapped away. Ridi, Pagliaccio.

(Translated by Daniela-Andreea Gugescu / 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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