A Ghastly Story by Chekhov #DealMeIn2018

Dear God in heaven, I did not need a ghastly story, but that’s what I got this week in the Deal Me In short story reading challenge. Pardon my French, but jesus henry christ.

The story is “The Incident.” In it, a boy of six and a girl of four wake to find that the cat has given birth to three kittens. Since the children are paid only a little less attention than any other domestic animals, you just know this is going to end badly. It does. Of course, this is Chekhov, so it’s about more than the cat’s tragedy.

It’s also about well-meaning people of some power who, in their meddling attempts to make better something which is already satisfactory to the actual people involved, make things much worse.

And it’s about the carelessness those in control of their own destiny have of those who depend on them for security.

It’s also about how people can regard with indifference or amusement something happening to someone else, when the same event happening to them would throw them into the same baffled sorrow felt by the people they disregard.

Sometimes, you could do with a guy being maybe not so good a writer. This story will hurt me for a long time, along with certain other stories I wish I hadn’t read.

If YOU need a short story to read, I have free ones here on my Free Reads page. I also have four collections for 99 cents each linked from my Short Stories page.

A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: Write about kittens. If it’s happy, send me a link.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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