Another Ghastly One From Chekhov #DealMeIn2018

This is the last Deal Me In of 2018.

A week from today, I begin the 2019 postings. Yes, I’ve decided to continue with the challenge, despite Chekhov. And, yes, I’ll read Chekhov in 2019, despite his frequent ghastliness.

Why? Because he writes like an angel, that’s why.

So, in 2019, my cards will deal me thus:

CLUBS: Chekhov

HEARTS: Short stories by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

SPADES: One of the many online short story depositories

DIAMONDS: One of several online fairy tale depositories

And now, brace yourselves.

The Dependents
by Anton Chekhov

Zotov, an impoverished old man, infuriated by his poverty and by the dependence on him of a starving dog and starving horse, vacillates between driving them away and keeping them around to vent on.

His merchant friend, tired of giving him oats for the horse, suggests he have the dependents slaughtered. He says that if Zotov won’t die, he should go live with relatives.

Zotov, buzzed on his friend’s tea and fuddled with his friend’s vodka, sets off for his niece’s farm. His horse and dog follow him, against his will. The knacker’s yard lies between home and the farm. A quick death is better than starving alone, so Zotov, only half-conscious, puts his dependents out of their misery.

But that isn’t the end of all dependents, because Zotov.

Why do I want to read Chekhov stories, when he always wrings my heart out? Because he always wrings my heart out. That’s good for a person. Keeps the heart tender and human. Reading Chekhov heart of stone.

Deal Me In logo above designed by Mannomoi at follow her on Twitter at
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 dependents.



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 One From Chekhov #DealMeIn2018

  1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    December 31, 2018 at 6:02pm

    First, thanks. I’m honored!

    Second, it occurred to me that we’re used to a safety net of some kind, from the government or from private charities, and that in Chekov’s time, if it wasn’t friends and family, you could literally starve to death. And that has been how it is for most of the human time on this planet, and most of the places still.

    Maybe it’s the source of some of the problems with having enough compassion – I always get angry at the countries of those who need help, and are not getting it from their governments. Corruption steals an incredible amount, but the feeling of never having opportunities to get out of one’s situation must make it very difficult to share.

    Just random thoughts on the last day of an interesting (in the sense of ‘may you live in interesting times,’ which I understand is a Chinese curse) year.

    May the new one bring you happiness, family, and success.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      January 1, 2019 at 9:04am

      Thank you for the good wishes, which I return and then some.

      You’re so right, that “nature red in tooth and claw” applies to people in most times and most places, and that greed all too often ruins the lives of people who need help most. But I’m trying to not begin 2019 as disheartened as I ended 2018, so I’ll just go over here and play my metaphorical fiddle and hope for the best.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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