The Valentine Saint


© Dale Rogerson

“It’s so pretty, Daddy. I’ve never seen so much snow before.” Anna had just turned ten and although she’d lived in Colorado all her life, she’d never seen snow because she’d always been blind.

“Yes it’s pretty, Anna. It’s your Valentine’s Day present.” She smiled and hugged him.

“Do I have to go to school tomorrow?”

“Not enough to call it a snow day. Besides, you’ll get to see all of your friends.”

Attorney Tim Bishop called his client and refused the case. He wasn’t about to file a malpractice suit against the doctor who gave his Anna her sight.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields writing challenge. The idea is to take the image above and use it as the prompt for creating a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

I felt this being Valentine’s Day, I should somehow work that into my story. I looked up the Wikipedia page and discovered:

Martyrdom stories associated with various Valentines connected to February 14 are presented in martyrologies, including a written account of Saint Valentine of Rome’s imprisonment for performing weddings for soldiers, who were forbidden to marry, and for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his judge, and before his execution he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.

I very, very loosely based my story on that legend (no one gets executed) trying to communicate warmth, gratitude, and a human heart.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit


69 thoughts on “The Valentine Saint

    • I actually looked that ups and it seems the majority of doctors (at least in the US) have been sued for malpractice at least once in their careers. About 35% of those cases are settled before trial and being sued in these litigious times doesn’t automatically mean guilt. It’s sort of like this power surge of sexual misbehavior allegations whereby people lose their jobs and such without any sort of proof against them being presented. Don’t get me wrong. If any of these fellows have done wrong, there should be consequences, but an accusation is just one person’s word against another until there’s an investigation, just like a medical malpractice suit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve had the same doctor for over twenty years and not once has he given me a reason to doubt his competency. Sadly, we do have a friend who had a botched back surgery some years ago and ended up permanently disabled. He died years after that and although his wife tried to sue him, often doctors won’t testify against their own. Today, the surgeon in question is the highest paid doctor in our part of the state.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I loved that story, James. Your dialogue between Daddy and Anna is so believable – just the sort of conversation you’d love to hear between father and daughter. And his decision not to act for the client in the malpractice suit is emotionally exactly right. You don’t often move away from science fiction, and on the basis of this story, that’s a great shame because you write straight fiction very well!


    • Occasionally I write tales about people in different situations besides science fiction and horror but to my mind, the circumstance was still as amazing. Thanks, Penny.


    • Thanks. Somehow your comment ended up being flagged as spam. I haven’t been able to comment on anyone’s WordPress blog in hours so I suspect they’re having a systemic problem. Glad your comment made it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a beautiful story, James.
    Loved your unique and fact based Valentine’s Day touch to the story.
    Great research, as always and wonderful Father-daub dialogue.


    • Thanks, Varad. I’ve tried to post comments on some of the other stories based on the prompt, but since yesterday afternoon, my comments vanish. I put in a support ticket at WordPress since I can’t comment on any WP blog. Another WP blogger says he found a bunch of comments, mine and others, in his spam folder. I suspect that’s where all of mine ended up. I tried commenting elsewhere a few minutes ago, and the problem persists. I wonder if some readers are having problems commenting here. I’ve found a few legit comments in my own spam filter. You (and everyone else) might want to check yours just in case.


    • In this case it wasn’t botched. Anna’s Dad is an attorney who was hired by another individual to file suit against the doctor that gave Anna her sight back. So many of these suits are without merit and certainly Anna’s Dad isn’t going to participate given the circumstances.


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