Another Ghastly Chekhov Story #DealMeIn2018

I drew clubs again this week in the Deal Me In short story reading challenge. That means I read a story by Chekhov. Charlie showed me a couple Chekhov stories in the past, because he loves Chekhov. One of them was ghastly. I didn’t realize he wrote so many ghastly stories! Why did nobody warn me? Why??


by Anton Chekhov

You know how you have to be awake when you’re really, really sleepy? And how you gradually are kinda sorta or really truly asleep, even when you’re “awake”?

Well, this poor little 13-year-old servant girl, Varka, has to work all day and sit up all night rocking a colicky baby. No telling how long this has gone on when the story begins. The master and mistress have absolutely no sympathy for her, they don’t even appear to have a clear understanding that Varka is even a human being.

Varka, in turn, doesn’t appear to have a clear understanding that anybody is a human being. She wake-dreams about her father’s death and the migration of herself and her mother into town to hire themselves out as servants so they can live. Varka, the master, the mistress, and the baby seem no more real than the figures in her dream, some of whom were real, some of whom are only dream figures.

And guess whose fault she decides it is that she isn’t allowed to go to sleep? Well, who’s crying all night? Who does she have to sit up and rock when she could be sleeping?

Yeah. Ghastly.


If YOU need an UNghastly 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 a character who needs to sleep but can’t.



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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One thought on “Another Ghastly Chekhov Story #DealMeIn2018

  1. Tammy Breitweiser

    June 25, 2018 at 10:54am

    Bought your stories! That is a good thing to look forward to reading today!!! Happy Monday!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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