Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infectious disease of the lungs. Symptoms include chronic cough, fever, and weight loss (the latter giving rise to ‘consumption’, a common name for the disease.) It is the second biggest infectious killer behind HIV/AIDS. In 2012 1.1 million people died from TB compared to 1.5 million from HIV/AIDS, and 7.4 million from heart disease. Death rates are on the decline thanks to the Stop TB Partnership.
Anton Chekhov, born 155 years ago today, was ironically a physician as well as a writer, who ignored his early signs of TB and died from the disease aged 44. Chekhov is regarded as one of the greatest short story writers ever. Thankfully for us, his works are in the public domain to be enjoyed for free. The Lady with the Dog is a good place to start. As well as his writing, Chekhov left another legacy: Chekhov’s gun, an extremely useful piece of advice for writers:
Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.
Let’s celebrate Chekhov’s contributions to literature with this week’s photo prompt:
Yours truly will be donning his judging hat this week.
A story of between 90 and 110 words starting with WEIGHT and ending with LOSS and incorporating the photo prompt.
Anyone, but especially you!
Why not! Because it’s fun. Because it’s a challenge. Because the winner will receive their own winner’s page, their story on the winning stories list, a ‘who is the the author’ feature to be posted next week, entry into the ‘Micro Bookend of the Year’ competition, and a copy of this year’s winning stories compilation.
Now! Get your entry in BEFORE 5:00 am Friday (UK time: http://time.is/London).
Post your story in the comments section. Include the word count and your Twitter username (if you’re Twitterized). Don’t forget to read the full rules before submitting your story.
Please give your story a title. It will not be included in the word count.
Please try to leave comments on a couple of other stories. It’s all part of the fun, and everyone likes feedback!
Remember, only stories that use the bookends exactly as supplied (punctuation is allowed) will be eligible to win.