It’s the first of the month, so there’s a new micro-mini story on my Hot Flashes page.
This week, my Deal Me In deck turned up clubs, so I got to read a Chekhov story, if “story” is the word I want.
The Old House
by Anton Chekhov
The subtitle of this piece is A Story told by a Houseowner. In it, the narrator shows us through a soon-to-be-demolished boarding house, touching on the lives of people who rented there. He passes no judgments, shows no attachment or revulsion. Everything is about who pays on time and who doesn’t. Even that is a simple statement, sparking no opinion or emotion.
The bulk of the story involves a set of rooms that are diseased and haunted. The houseowner doesn’t defend himself for renting such rooms, doesn’t show any pity for the children, the hard-working old woman, the despairing man, or the gradually dissipated lodger he sees eroding in those rooms. He just notes their inevitable destruction and marks the progress. Not with delight; not with distress.
Could it be that the houseowner is the State? It could just as well be Capitalism.
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about the people who live in a lodging house.