Jordan in Context #DealMeIn2018

Today is the first of the month, so there’s a new Hot Flash (a micro-mini story) on the Hot Flashes page.

This week’s story sent me to the interwebs to do some research.

See, I drew clubs in this week’s Deal Me In Short Story Reading Challenge.

Clubs means Chekhov, and Chekhov sometimes means cultural whaaaaaa? So it was with this week’s story:

by Anton Chekhov

Two peasants open the scene, one a church beadle (or minor official), and one a “ragged, mangy-looking fellow”. The mangy one is clearly in charge of their proceeding, by reason of his art. He is brilliant at making a Jordan. What’s a Jordan, I hear you ask. I asked it, myself. I found out for you. You’re welcome.

In the service of this art, the churchmen and the townspeople indulge the mangy-looking fellow in all his drunken, freeloading demands on them for food, liquor, and art materials. Because he truly is an artist. In this one capacity, he is truly unsurpassed. With a hole in the river’s ice, a few pieces of wood, some primitive tools, bits of color, and a great deal of cursing, he transforms a small space into a spectacle of holy wonder.

The beadle, the patient bearer of his orders and abuse, effaces himself and no one gives him a thought. The “lazy fellow” is the center of all eyes as the conjurer of the day’s union with the divine, and, for one day of the year, his “soul is filled with a sense of glory and triumph.”

And that’s the power of art.


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 FROM ME TO YOU: Write about a piece of art made by an unexpected hand.



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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