Has it really been 20 years since then or just 2 days? She couldn't say. She stood in front of the painting and looked at the face in the painting and then at the one in the mirror next to her. It was the same image, as if time had stood still. The signature in the lower right was the only certainty that it all happened years ago. He had given her the portrait and then disappeared into that mist where the trees dug their black claws. In vain he sold the world far and wide, he no longer saw him. He opened the window and let the fog in.

(Translated by Iuliana Mocanu / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / 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 May 2023, the group has 11,260 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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