Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Everyday Saints - Flash Fiction

     Dr. Sieger was just about to close up shop when a little girl came through the door. After an exhausting day of examining the usual Noah's ark of patients (the python which had swallowed a golf ball was particularly trying), he was looking forward to a hot shower and meal. So when the child approached him, tear-stained and bearing a large bundle, his heart sank.
     "What have we got here?" he asked gently, touching the ragged towel. She looked at him, mute with a combination of grief and fear.
     He pulled back a corner of the material and surveyed the damage. Torn ear; eye completely out of its socket; leg dangling at an unnatural angle. Mentally calculating the time involved, and the probable inability of the family to pay (he knew the family slightly; five children, father currently unemployed, ill-tempered mongrel the size of a burro in residence), he sighed deeply.
     Meghan, smallest of the five, looked at him with all of the innocence and trust of the overlooked and underloved, when they detect a kind soul.
     Dr. Sieger took on the burden and settled the girl with a stale doughnut and a catalogue of feed supplements to look at. His practice wasn't exactly flush with capital these days.

     An hour later, he finished stowing away the equipment, wrapped the cat in a fresh clean towel, and presented it to Meghan with a flourish. She accepted it with a quiet joy and grace; it was apparent that she had fully trusted him to perform a miracle, and was not surprised that he had restored her cherished companion. From deep inside her pocket, she produced a quarter; he took it solemnly, knowing that it was worth 100 times that amount to her, but also understanding that even a child deserves to be treated with dignity. At the door he made her a courtly bow, and she giggled, a sound which brought a light to the old vet's eyes. The girl made her way down the empty, trash-strewn street, secure in the knowledge that there are  those who stand as everyday saints among us.
     Dr. Sieger locked the door behind her, flipped the sign to the side that said "Closed", and sat down at his desk. He began to chuckle.

     "I can just see the article in next month's Veterinary Journal; loony vet forced to retire after performing 'emergency surgery' on child's stuffed animal'."


  1. A wonderful write, and most enjoyable to read.

    Have a good day.

  2. I've had top perform surgery on my kids stuffed animals. Even reattach heads to Barbies. I'm awesome in their site.

  3. Ahhh, I absolutely loved this!

  4. Great story, and I loved the ending! (Side Note: How awesome would it be if all veterinarians and doctors were that kind-hearted?)

  5. Fantastic story Li - a real little heartwarmer and fantastic twist in the tail!

  6. Stuffed animals?! I must admit, I did not see that coming.

    1. Inspired by my dad, who did "surgery" on my beloved stuffed dog when I was young. It was all very real to me at the time.