A nice lady who spoke a foreign language had given Solomiya water colors and a piece of paper. But what to paint? Closing her eyes, she saw nothing but tanks, bomb planes, soldiers, and destroyed buildings.

There was a flag painted on the suitcase that she used as a table. Solomiya decided to copy it, hoping that it would bring her mother’s smile back.

Staring at her present, the mother’s tears fell like rain over it and mixed with the colors. Soon, she was looking at green plants, optimistically sprouting from a yellow sun and a blue sky.

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Voice-Team
Voice-Team(@voice-team)
Admin
5 months ago

Experiencing the horrors of war through the eyes of a child both softens and heightens the impact. Having tears combine the colors of the flag to give us the green of hope is a nice touch.

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
6 months ago

Your flash fiction, Christer, is a beautiful homage to any country that finds themselves at war. I wish them more hope than tears.

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
6 months ago

Christer, this is an exceptional story, one of your best. A sensitive and gentle treatment of a terrible situation that is on everyone’s mind, but hard to write about.. Thanks for the glimmer of hope. All of our tears are flowing these days.

Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
Reply to  Christer Norrlof
6 months ago

Christer, did you do the painting yourself from water colors? And how lovely that the name Solomiya means quick peace. You put so much of yourself and your caring nature into this story. It’s a gift to a world sorely in need of people like you.

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
Reply to  Christer Norrlof
6 months ago

Oh no I did not mean any irony. You said your painting was “home-made” so I thought you made a painting to simulate a child’s water color. It just seemed that you cared about this story and the message very much. Thanks for the explanation of her name.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
6 months ago

Very sensitively written Christer. It’s impossible not to shed tears over the horror of this war. We can only hope it will end soon.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
6 months ago

Hello, Christer. Your story is remarkable. As I read it, I can’t stop my tears from flowing. Hopefully, the war is over.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Christer Norrlof
6 months ago

You’re most welcome, Christer.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
5 months ago

Christer, reading this made me realise once again how vulnerable the children are and how terrible it must be for them, caught up in conflict. Still, they would unselfishly try and cheer up the people they love most, their parents. This very sad story was beautifully told.

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Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
5 months ago

Lovely and moving. Off on that tangent of the painting again, having recently visited the Tate Liverpool, it is no stretch of the imagination (apparently) that an adult could have painted that as a serious artwork. At least yours was a meaningful abstract.

Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
5 months ago

Congratulations, Christer! Not only did you get third place in Public Voting, but you also were selected as one of the Finalists. Your beautiful story is very deserving of these honors.

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Voice-Team
Voice-Team(@voice-team)
Admin
Reply to  Christer Norrlof
5 months ago

Hello Christer. We did indeed pick finalists on this contest, as we always do. There were eight stories that were selected as finalists, and your “Tears of Hope” was one of them. Please look at the very top of the comments for your Finalist selection and the comments from the selection team. Congratulations!

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