Runaway by Chekhov #DealMeIn19

My Deal Me In short story reading challenge deck gave me clubs again this week, so I got to read another Chekhov story. This was also about a child, and was only marginally ghastly.


by Anton Chekhov

A child is taken a long way to a doctor. The doctor is gruff and insulting to the child’s mother, because the mother has waited so long to have the child treated, he’s going to lose his arm.

The child doesn’t really understand this. What he does understand is when the doctor is suddenly jolly, and promises to take him to a fair and give him candy if the boy will stay the night with him.

These days, we’re all, “Watch out! Child molester!” But, in the context of the story, we know that the doctor is just bribing the child to stay for his operation.

The hospital is wonderful, then it’s scary, and the child runs out, certain there are only two places, side-by-side: the hospital and home. He can’t find home, but he does find the doctor’s house, but faints before he can knock.

When he wakes up, the doctor is gruff and insulting.

The end.

Isn’t that just the way of it, though? Grown-ups might not be that way to children now, but I can sure remember how some of them would tell you anything to keep you quiet. They would be jolly one minute and hurtful the next, like you didn’t have real feelings like real people. And if they were going to do something unpleasant to you, like pull a tooth or take out a splinter or remove stitches or something, you’d think you were in for the loveliest treat in the world. Then BOOM!

Loved this story.

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.




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.

You may also like...

One thought on “Runaway by Chekhov #DealMeIn19

  1. Jay

    July 22, 2019 at 7:06am

    I guess an only “marginally ghastly” Chekhov story featuring children is a win! ?

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 22, 2019 at 7:26am

      You know it! He understands children SO WELL! Your inner child remembers and cringes. He’s brilliant. I resisted him for decades, but Deal Me In has brought me fully into his camp.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. JAY

    July 22, 2019 at 7:42am

    I remember my first exposure to him was reading a book of his stories while traveling for business in 1994. So many were quite bleak, but it also included his “The Black Monk” which remains one of my all time favorite Chekhov stories, so I was hooked. 🙂

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

Leave a Reply, If You Ple-az

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.