The dim light made the costumes dance, on the dirty wall, in a waltz of Chinese shadows. Behind him, on the floor, lay dozens of articles cut from the newspaper. His face in the show, bright, the smile of someone up to no good, gone apple picking. He loved the scene. He loved the applause. But most of all, he loved being someone else. He put out his cigarette, with a sigh. From the mirror, under a curtain of smoke, an old face returned a faded smile. Slowly, like a coat worn too long, he took off his wig and began to remove his make-up.

(Translated by Cristina Ioana Bontea / 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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