The pacifists were out in force, beating up anyone moderately in favour of the war. I stayed at home, locked up safely behind my stout front door. Out of the window I could see a few brave souls passing; holding banners and chanting in support of the government. But the pacifists heard them, found them and clubbed them down.
The news on the radio wasn’t good: peace was breaking out. The enemy was conciliatory; negotiating. And our government was slowly failing; losing the battle to remain belligerent. There was talk of a cease-fire; a settlement; mutual respect for each other’s people and borders. Peace.
Peace: that evil word. Peace: a slow, burning death. It had finally come to it: peace.
Through the sound of my own crying, I heard a loud knock on the door. It brought me out of my sad thoughts.
“Who is it?” I shouted, nervously.
“James, it’s me.”
“Mum,” I said, quickly fumbling with the bolts; unclipping the chain; unlocking the door, “what are you doing here? It’s not safe out there.”
“I had to come and see whether you were all right,” she said as she passed inside.
I locked the door and padlock, slid the bolts shut and clipped the chain back on.
“I was worried about you,” she said, with a look of concern on her face. But then her eyes took in the table by the door where my gas mask and tin hat lay. A look of loathing crossed her face.
“You warmonger! You… animal!” she screamed as she launched herself towards me. I tried to dodge her fist but it was too late: her knuckles – tattooed with the word L O V E – flashed towards my eyes.
Peace overcame me.