‘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.’

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.

49 responses to “LOVE”

  1. This is a lovely story Iain, but when I first read it, I just clicked ‘Like’, as I didn’t feel much like writing anything. Hannah says hate never wins, but it certainly does a lot of damage, like fostering cynicism and resignation.
    Vigils and displays of solidarity have value, but something a lot more concrete has to happen to prevent events like the one on most people’s minds at present.
    Sorry for the negativity. It’s still a good story. We’ll done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree to an extent, but in this case a mother looks at her daughter and sees the fear starting to win. There is not much concrete a child can do, but they can be taught not to give in to that fear. Hopefully that is the lesson Hannah gives her here. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It really hurts me that these kinds of things still happen in your country, I like to believe that love always wins, but then again, love without action is just a word.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brings tears to my eyes to read this, sad tears. Just yesterday, i watched a little boy (5ish)looking up at the tv news. What he said tore my gut in two. “Mommy, where was Superman and Batman?’ The Mom pointed to the screen and said “Right there… and there… and there!” She was pointing at the people helping people. We ALL need more of that in this world, so sad that it takes something like this to actually make us do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The real sadness is that events like this are becoming so commonplace that people start to become immune to the horror of it. Surely, at some point, something will be done to try and stop it happening so often.

      Liked by 1 person

      • One can only pray that it is sooner rather than later. I heard a comment yesterday that it seems there has been much more hate/violence since the election last year than our nation has ever seen. And, it does seem so, on the face of it.

        Liked by 1 person

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