Browsing Archives of - 2014 February

#023 In a Hotel

Today’s story is only 1008 words: Travis Review: This is a satirical story about affected societal airs and how people can turn on a dime when it serves their interest. In this case, a colonel’s wife’s longwinded outrage, bolstered by the hotel-keeper’s stories of unseemly and shocking behavior, doesn’t matter once the marital status... Read More »

#022 A Small Fry

Today’s story comes in at 1358 words. Travis Review: Small Fry is not a great story. A lowly civil servant has to work on Easter eve while the rest of the town is out celebrating and feels awful about it. An alternate title could be “Fear and Self-Loathing in a Government Office.” It’s not... Read More »

#021 The Marshal’s Widow

Today’s story is a mere 1510 words: Travis Review: This story felt like an Irish wake once the men started sneaking off to the cloak room to get a nip of booze in a teetotaler’s house. The result reminded me of The Pogues’ Body of An American, especially how song’s opening somber notes pick... Read More »

#020 Oysters

Find today’s 1568 word classic here:  Travis Review: Story number 20 is a classic. I read it over 15 years ago and even though I knew what was going happen, it still packed a punch. Stories like this are why I love Chekhov’s works. So many elements are at play here: physically and emotional... Read More »

#019 In The Graveyard

Relatively short story today at 884 words: Travis Review: I saw this as a cautionary tale told from a graveyard. In one case, a person in the narrator’s party stumbles and catches himself on a titular counselor’s grave marker cross. The man had died in an accident, “a victim to his habits of observation.” Like... Read More »

#018 A Chameleon

Here is today’s 1390 word story: Travis Review Like yesterday’s story, Minds In Ferment, a quiet day on the square erupts into a big scene with citizens throwing accusations and opinions. In this case, a man chases and corners a dog that bit him. The chameleon of the story is police superintendent Otchumyelov. The story becomes a farcical... Read More »

#017 Minds In Ferment

Today’s 1360 word story comes parenthetically from From The Annals Of A Town.  Travis Review: Today’s story could have been a scene from The Simpsons. Two men walking in an outdoor market stop and stare at a cloud of starlings, debating whose gardens they landed in, and nearly cause a town riot. (Here is... Read More »

#016 The Album

Another short short with only 763 words. Travis Review: Today’s story feels like a companion piece to yesterday’s The Choristers. This time though, the point of view changes to the ruling class after a jubilee in a small town. In this case Zhmyhov (aka His Excellency, aka actual civil councillor) is genuinely driven to tears... Read More »

#015 Choristers

Today’s story is a short one at 1802 words. Travis Review: This reminded me of the movie “Waiting For Guffman.” A town is thrown into a tizzy by the expected arrival of a count. Details are given to the music selections and the stress the choir master feels, including his rivalry with the deacon.... Read More »

#014 The Swedish Match

Today’s story is a bit longer at 7481 words. Travis Review: The Swedish Match is written very much like a classic murder mystery story until Chekhov turns the plot convention on its head. I love the a sixty year old, cantankerous magistrate, Tchubikov, leading a murder investigation while maligning his harder working, more thorough twenty-six year... Read More »