In his left fist he collected unshed tears and a few deafening silences. With his right hand he picked the ripe apples and all the happiness found in the little things he found in his way. There was deep stillness in his eyes as he scrutinized the road. Uncle Pamfile had gone through life as you go through the market on Sunday, after matinee. He shook hands with everyone and asked them about the house. His right hand gave, like a spade that turns the earth in the spring. In the evening, on the porch, he would put his hands together in prayer. Tomorrow, he goes again.

(Translated by Alin-Marian Mărgescu / 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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