LOVE

‘Fifty-nine dead. Five hundred injured.’ Hannah says it more to herself than anyone else.

‘Terrorists again?’ the young girl playing on the floor asks her.

‘Just a man with a gun.’

‘It’s never going to stop, is it, Mum?’

‘It hasn’t stopped since time began. All this violence toward each other,’ she shakes her head. ‘All of it senseless.’

‘Then there is nothing we can do to make it better.’

Hannah looks at her daughter and sees the look of fear.

‘No, we never give up. We never let the violence win. Get your paint and some paper.’

Hannah helps her paint the word ‘love’ in bold blue letters. The ten year-old adds love hearts.

‘Come,’ Hannah says. They go out into the street and walk to the town centre, carrying the homemade sign.

Hannah lights the candle she brought with her and stands holding her daughter’s hand. The small crowd grows, standing together in peaceful remembrance and defiance.

She looks into the innocent brown eyes staring up at her. ‘Hate never wins.’


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Copyright Elaine Farrington Johnson

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

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DEFIANCE

They sat by the sea watching children play on the beach.

‘Alright?’ he put his arm around her shoulder.

The tears slowly running down her face gave him his answer.

It had taken her twenty years to return. Years of pain and guilt. She had been their teacher. They had trusted in her. She was supposed to protect them.

A school outing before the summer holiday began. A visit to the local museum for a bit of history and then a trip to the beach. It wasn’t her fault the terrorists had come that day.

The images still haunted her. They would never leave her. The panic, the terror, the fear in those young faces. The blood. The dead.

Governments fought aimless wars and encouraged segregation and hate. Religions tried to absolve themselves of blame. Terrorists continued to kill with no purpose, never furthering their cause.

She was beyond all this. She had only her memories and sorrow. She wouldn’t let them count her as their victim. She was here. She had not let them win.

This was her defiance.


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Copyright The Storyteller’s Abode

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

Influenced by events in Manchester this week, my thoughts are with all involved, especially those children and parents affected by this devastating and abhorrent act.