Ionuț Morariu
The residents of the lazaret had died one by one. When I wanted to write the reportage, there was only one old woman left. Bald, with boils, with a smile like the crack of a damp wall. There was nothing to document. If she had ever been endowed with anything human, she was now a walking corpse. She was plump, she was loved, she was a lady. That's all I could get out of a caregiver who was also a good patient. Not one article came out. Not even a newspaper announcement. Just an image stuck in my mind. A smile like a crack in a wall.

Iulia Vîși
Grandma drew a fish and I put my palms around it. She told me this was my homeland. Every year my grandfather took me to the military parade to remind me that heroes never die. With my parents I visited the castles of Transylvania and felt protected from political tricks. When I fell in love for the first time I felt The Kiss of Brâncuși on my soul. When I first broke up he sang Enescu to me. I read a lot of Blaga. Maybe a lot more Stănescu. Tonitza stripped the women of my nation of their inhibitions and painted them. Land with longing.

Nicolae Popescu
Mitruț ties the black cloth to the gate. He tightened his hilic on his small body and walked hard through the snow. He entered the house and sat down at the newspaper-covered table. A book lay beside the empty bowl. He had bought it in town, after working for the priest Andrei during the day. The wind snuck through the cracks and shook the fire from the lamp. Mitruț dimmed the flame. If it went out, there was nothing to light it again. He stared longingly at the empty sheet. He grabbed the pencil and wrote resolutely: Mother, don't come again. I'll bury grandpa, sell the cow and come.

(Translated by Victor Albei / 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 December 2023, the group has 12,210 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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