The Color of Hope Collection

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at CarrotRanch.com. She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

May 4, 2023

Welcome to Carrot Ranch Literary Community where creative writers from around the world and across genres gather to write 99-word stories. A collection of prompted 99-word stories reads like literary anthropology. Diverse perspectives become part of a collaboration.

We welcome encouraging comments. You can follow writers who link their blogs or social media.

Those published at Carrot Ranch are The Congress of Rough Writers.

Hope is a Color by Nancy Brady

Hope is a color.
Hope is violet–for the crocuses, the first to bloom,
Hope is indigo—for the clouds at twilight
Hope is blue—for the sky above,
Hope is green—for the grass in spring,
Hope is yellow—for the sun which shines,
Hope is orange—for pumpkins and its pies
Hope is red—for the maple’s leaves in the fall
Hope is white—pure and clean
And with summer rain showers, which are followed by the sun
It becomes a rainbow,
which is full of color, full of dreams, and full of imagination.
Hope is color.

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The Color of Hope by Joanne Fisher

The starship came out of the jump. It was so heavily damaged it was doubtful it could do another.

“SARA, what do you see?” Jeva asked the ship’s computer.

“There is a red planet ahead of us. It’s not suitable for life, Captain.” Jeva’s heart sank.

“You don’t have to call me Captain.” Jeva reminded SARA.

“You are last sentient being still alive, so you are designated captain.” SARA informed her. “There is another planet.”

Jeva looked at the screen. In the distance a blue planet slowly came into view. For Jeva, blue meant hope.

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A Clarified Mosaic by Gary A. Wilson

As a child I wanted to know things but both details and a bigger picture of life; good and evil, right and wrong, through my young eyes were cloudy and frustrating to contemplate.

School felt inefficient but certain people and certain books taught patience and calmly led me forward.
Rules of economics, science, sociology, logic, even theology grew to allow careful peeling away strips of confusion like layered strips of wax-paper, revealing portions of obscured truth.

Decades later, my hope is knowing that beneath these remaining metaphorical strips lies a multi-colored mosaic that explains everything I need to know.

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The Color of Hope by Liz Husebye Hartmann

Angus Swanson loved Maribel McIntyre
From near and afar
Since the beginning of time and every moment since
He was a yearbook photographer
She student editor on The Plains Weekly News.
Angus was cool and quiet
Mary the center of every broil

He attended Instate University,
Still waters running deep
She flew away to Farcoast College
Climbed ivory towers, slew dragons overseas
Marriage crashed and burned.
No children.
Longing for rolling cornfields, big skies,
The comfort of tiny minnows
Circling cool brindled shallows.
Home.

Did he have reason to hope she’d recognize him?
Her answering rosy blush sparked hope.

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Where There Is Hope by Hugh W. Roberts

As the Pride Parade approached, the city streets were awash with every rainbow colour. But for Tim, a young, closeted bisexual man, only one colour truly embodied the spirit of hope – Green. It was the colour of his first love’s eyes and the hope he carried for a world that accepted and celebrated all identities.

As he watched the march, he knew he was not alone. Many diversities watched the parade while waving rainbow flags. Together, they would fight for a future where every colour of love was accepted.

Hope always won over the hatred for being different.

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Have Hope by Duane L Herrmann

“Have hope.” A simple statement. Impossible. Sometimes. When the clouds of life are roiling about, engulfing, obscuring all around – there is no hope. So it seems. Hope is not from outside. Hope is that spark inside you that something will change, that something will be different, that something will BE that is not now. That is hope.

Change happens. We know, but forget – until change happens. Then we value that change on how it reinforces self, or not. If it’s uncomfortable we decide: “bad.” Maybe “bad” becomes the impetus for something unknown now that becomes GREAT.

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New England Colors of Hope by Sue Spitulnik

A yellow sun, blue sky day
Purple, orange, and white crocus bloom
Hope for a warm spring
Children laughing, playing on new-mown grass
Green, everything is green for a time
Hope for a good harvesting season
The yellow and green squash and beans
The pink and orange-centered melons
The cucumbers and golden onions
The gold, red, and yellow leaves of autumn
The red geranium continues to bloom
Hope for a good hunting season
Skies turn grey, and the sun hides
White snow falls
Hope for an exhilarating ski season
The snow is again melting
And purple crocus burst forth

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Color of Hope by D. Avery

“Why so sad?” Gloria sat across from me in our booth.

I told Gloria how I’d ruined the rainbow picture I’d tried to make for her. The colors had smeared as I painted, and the more I tried to fix it, the worse it got. Now her picture looked like mud.

“That’s the color of hope, Penelope.”

“That’s crazy.” I shouldn’t have said that, but Gloria laughed, then reminded me that my picture contained all the colors of the rainbow.

Then we painted plants growing from rich brown soil, flowers the color of the rainbow.

Gloria’s picture was beautiful.

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Sliding Down by Diana Coombes

Hope was like a game of snakes and ladders. One day, sliding down a snake scared of what you might find at the bottom. Another, you can climb out, learning from mistakes. Today was a ladder sort of day. She found herself hoping to write a play.

The theme snakes and ladders.

Could she do it? She didn’t know, but it was worth having a go. She could learn her skills from her playwriting course. It was a great opportunity. She typed in the first sentence – Hope, she had been named by her brother, she couldn’t let him down.

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Color of Hope by Sadje

She was gradually losing her sight. What was once sharp and clear was now blurry and out of focus. She had the means to get treated but the doctors she consulted, didn’t have the answer she wanted. They told her to make peace with this coming disability as there was no option to cure it.

She walked among the spring flowers to imprint their beautiful colors of hope onto her mind forever. She saw beautiful works of art to absorb their beauty in her heart.

When she finally lost her sight, she had beautiful memories forever in her heart.

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Painting The Town What? by Geoff Le Pard

Hope Springs ran Little Tittweaking’s tanning salon. She was conscientious, well-liked, non-judgmental and colour blind. She trialled every new product herself on the assumption people would prefer to see all their options displayed before buying. Her tones were legendary and on only one occasion did anyone follow her lead. Neil Downe, the local decorator was hard-working, reasonably accurate and deaf. When the Mayor commissioned Neil to repaint the council chambers, he asked for the colour of hops, to celebrate the Town’s brewery patron. The melange of oranges, umbers, sunsets and carotene was blamed for the fiery meetings that followed.

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Flag by Simon

The Ship was coming
Closer to the land
Slowly her racing heart
Calms down like cold water
Tired eyes began to glow
Rising hope under moon light
Light of hope, a sign of her Life coming
On it’s way, her life, her hope, her everything
Oh wait! Where is her Flag of Hope?
There! The flag waving like it has life
White and bright like beautiful daisy
She began preparing medicines
To apply on the dried wounds
Her Son will remember the war
She will remember the days
Of hope, love, the only wish
To see her son alive.

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Bridging The Gap by Rowena Curtin

“One day, I’ll jump off The Gap,” Martin muttered throwing up half a bottle of vodka. Equally drunk and disillusioned, no one battered an eyelid.

Now, they’d all gone to uni, while Martin still drifted in between the lines and beyond a diagnosis.

“Take these,” his GP said.

“How many at once?” He’d been tempted but didn’t ask.

Today was it, but first his last supper… fish and chips from Doyle’s.

Sitting in the park… perfect blue skies, Sydney Harbour, rainbow lorikeets flying and chirping in the sun.

Nothing had changed. Yet it had.

Martin caught the bus home.

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A True Tale of 1814 by Gordon Le Pard

“No it’s too dangerous. If my men are caught they would be taken prisoner, you would be murdered.”

The tall black man was insistent. “When we saw your colours, it gave us hope. You freed us, my family are no longer slaves. We know what you are planning and can help, we can guide you, we can let you know where the Americans are.”

Admiral Cochrane smiled and nodded.

“You are very brave, any of your men who wish to join us can – sergeant.”

The ex-slaves of the Colonial Marine guided the army to Washington – and burnt it!

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Golden Hope by Nicole Horlings

His hacking cough echoed in the mine tunnel. He set down his pickaxe and waited for the dust to settle, instead using his empty hands to pull up his grimy shirt to cover his mouth, serving as a makeshift air filter. When the air seemed a bit less hazy in the light of his lantern, he grabbed his pickaxe again, once more releasing settled dust into the air as he chipped away at the rock.

The cycle repeated a few more times.

Finally, a stroke of his pickaxe revealed a glint of gold, and his grim face steadily brightened.

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Gold by C. E. Ayr

Every morning I waken early to watch the sun’s golden rays creep over the headland and skip happily across the calm waters of the bay towards me.
Bathed in its glow, I resolve that today I’ll do it.
I’ll make the call.
But, as the day progresses, I lose confidence, unsure of how you’ll react.
Actually, the truth is that I’m afraid of your reaction.
Of more rejection, more pain.
So, as the sun drops behind the western hills, taking hope with it, I wrap myself in a blanket of loneliness and promise, again, that tomorrow will be different.

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Hope by Sweeter Than Nothing

I never had much hope, life beat it out of me. Who was I to dream and wish? A worthless, nothing, scumbag begging for deaths relief.

Rejected, neglected, and alone.

Until I met you, that is.

Your work rough hands, put my fragile shards back together. Your patience and kindness refilled my empty soul. Your soft lips kissed every open wound without judgment, without shame.

After years of darkness, I saw dawn break in your eyes. Your eyes, the colour of hope- a sky so blue I can see myself flying in them, knowing you’ll catch me every time.

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Infant Eyes by Kerry E.B. Black

Uncomplicated pregnancy didn’t guarantee an uneventful delivery. Nor did it ensure the health of mother or child.

Ken, the new father of a well-formed but unresponsive infant knelt, holding his dazed wife’s hand. His lips pushed prayers to Heaven.

Tears trembled on her lashes without falling, a threatened storm held at bay by some ineffable emotion. The couple held their breath as the delivery team labored to save their newborn. Layla, the mom, concentrated, straining different muscles than delivery. Heartbeats aligned. Mind noted every action. Frozen, until that precious first cry danced with the blue of finally-opened infant eyes.

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Rainbow in a Cave by Reena Saxena

My pup refuses to jump from the bed, and enjoys the scenario perched on his high spot. His sibling is busy exploring dark corners to find a treasure (or so she thinks) she can flaunt to beat him at the game.

Golden ambitions make some people focus on preservation, more than exploration. The colour of hope is dark for others, if they aim at tearing darkness apart to reveal a multitude of colours. It’s all about having a choice for yourself, not denying something to others.

I believe my rainbow is hidden in a dark cave, where solitude reigns.

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Hope is an Ash-hued Sky by Anne Goodwin

Every day refreshing the weather app. Every day a parade of yellow suns. Eight hours on the moors tomorrow without even a tree for shade. Tugging her shirt sleeves down to her fingertips. Sandwiches tasting of sunscreen. Her wide-brimmed hat blinkering her view.

“I suppose you’re not likely to be pregnant,” said the pharmacist. “But be careful. Skin cancer’s a serious risk.”

It’s late when she wakes, her inner clock confused by the sallow light. She takes her tablets, skips her blood pressure, runs to the shower. Locking her door, she looks skyward, smiles at the glorious ashen hue.

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Kaleidoscope by Shari Marshall

‘It’s beyond my scope.’

‘What?’

‘The colour of hope.’

‘Why’s that?’

‘Not my bailiwick. I’m more into day-to-day practicalities. You know. What’s for dinner. Do we have clean sheets.’

‘You’re slightly off topic.’

‘I don’t think so. Clean sheets are important. Mine are white.’

‘There are sheets of color. You do know that, right?’

‘Well of course I do. And if I were permitted a choice, I would have cool blue sheets. Or possibly ocean sand orange. I can see myself sleeping by the sea on those ginger threads.’

‘But you have no choice?’

‘The price of love. Submission.’

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Hope by Ladyleemanila

Hope is the force that keeps us trying
It is a soothing guide that gives colour
A hidden mission to prove our own valour
Gives us all the luck and love so undying

Hope is light as a feather and keeps us flying
Not just seven, but makes life multicolour
Hope is the force that keeps us trying
It is a soothing guide that gives colour

Hope is a label we like applying
Perhaps a miracle to cure our pallor
Like watching telly in technicolour
Between joy or grief we’re vying
Hope is the force that keeps us trying

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What Color is Hope? by Miss Judy

Life is a colorful journey filled with signs of hope.
Yellow for birth – a new day, year, season – the golden glow of sunrise, the pedals on a spring daffodil, or the tiny finch at the feeder.

Grey for when all seems lost, without purpose – the misty shroud of a rainy day, baren countryside in winter, or a teaming sea against the rocky shore.

Blue for those times when all’s well – a serene country lake, a meandering mountain stream, or a sky dotted with cottonball clouds.

Green for strength that gives us the will to hope.

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There’s Something, in the Ink of the Pink by Rockstar Girl

One by one they changed their written story
But never does the mind lose conscious on the thoughts we are thinking because any play on words can describe anything
And within the words we create for ourselves comes a voice inside of the story we are trying to fill and that all started with one true person and that was me and him in a love story but that could never erase each other’s namespace because without it there would be a blank of inkling of the color pink.

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Come in White by Simon

We had a deal

What was that?

I asked her to come dressed in white, if she is in love with me

So she did come right?

That was complicated

Why? Is it a mixed color?

No!

Then?

She came wearing white.

Well, that is positive, right?

She got upset.

Why?

I was possessive

What’s wrong with that?

I told her to come alone, but.. sigh…

But what? She came with someone you don’t like?

Yes, someone I hate!

Who was that?

Her Husband! I told her to come alone wearing white, but they both came in white. Damn!

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Wise Black by JulesPaige

“…you wear black
perhaps a widow,
or for stealth…”

The Genving gently asked the Old woman; as if they were old friends. And perhaps they were. Momentarily each remembered in her own way when they were in their youth and the Genving was rescued by the old woman’s brother. The boy had been alerted of the other’s fall by his young sister.

The old woman said she wore black, hoped to show her power over man and beast. Then brought out the split bloodied rocks. “I’ve done ‘im in.”

“I owe you twice now, it seems,” said the Genving.

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Rocky Road by D. Avery

“Hey Frankie. Got anuther postcard from Kid?”

“No, Pal.”

“Was hopin ta hear somethin. Hopin Kid was comin back soon.”

“Color them hopes a yers, Pal, so’s ya kin least cover the prompt this week. Go ahead. What color’s hope?”

“Hope is bay colored.”

“Bay colored? That’s a hoss color.”

“Yep. An there’s a bay hoss with a rider a-comin up the track.”

“What I spy with my one eye is a hog trottin through the grass.”

“Curly! Kid’s ridin in!”

“I’m hopin hope is granite colored Pal. ‘Cause I’m hopin ya don’t never take Kid fer granite agin.”


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Thank you to all our writers who contributed to this week’s collection!

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10 Comments

  1. pedometergeek

    What a colorful, hopeful bunch of stories. All the colors of the rainbow and then some.

    • Liz H

      Like an armful of Summer blooms!

    • Charli Mills

      All the colors, including mud to bloom the flowers, light to reflect, and shadows to explore. Wonderful collection!

    • Charli Mills

      Indeed! Thanks for your contribution to the Collective!

      • sweeterthannothing

        Thank you for hosting every week!

  2. Writing Sparkle

    I noticed that the narrative under “Kaleidoscope” by Shari Marshall is not actually her 99-word post. The link associated with “Kaleidoscope” is correct though.

    Great collection and a fun prompt.

  3. Jules

    Wonderfilled stories this week…
    And glad for Kid and Curly returning to Carrot Ranch.

  4. Nicole Horlings

    Hmmm… my story has the link to my blog post, yet I didn’t get a pingback on my post like I have in the past.

    Going to read the collection tonight when I have the time to sit down and properly enjoy it.

  5. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Yep, a great colorful hopeful collection. (Yep, I’ve only now gotten around to read individually. I do like seeing them in both ways, all together here as Charli curates them, and at the author’s site, where often there is background that adds another element to the piece)

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