Excerpt from White Feather

He is awoken by the sounds of commotion outside. Was it just his head or did he hear shouting. The clock on the wall seems louder now, like it is masking something else. He listens hard.
He wasn’t tricking himself. There was shouting coming from outside. Kip pulls himself up out of the chair and walks to the window. He slides the translucent curtain to the side and peers out.
Just a little further down the street a crowd of people have gathered. No, not a crowd. A protest. Kip can make out white signs among the black throng of people. The edges of the crowd closest to the sidewalk aren’t a part of it. The shouting isn’t support. Kip realizes that they are jeering at those holding the signs. They march forward, getting closes and closer.
They finally get close enough that Kip can make out the neatly painted words on the largest sign in the group, stretched 5 men wide.
“Conscientious Objectors to the War Effort.” Kip says to himself. He sits by the window and watches the procession pass, those shouting following along like a parasite. His eyes widen as he focuses on one young man holding a smaller sign with “We Won’t Go” above his head. He sees the outline of a feather poking out of his jacket pocket. It wasn’t out of shame or fear. It was being brandished proudly.
One event gives rise to another in an endless succession of cause and effect. Routes become unclear but never end. There is always something to keep moving forward towards.
Ernest is out of reach, but there are so many boys still in Ashford that need saving. Even without Ernest the Green Club still exists. They are worth fighting for.
As if something was guiding him along, Kip realizes the reason why he came to London. The fog around his path clears up. His senses heighten. The colours of the lamps become more vivid. The glow of the city against the night sky more pronounced.
When Kip lets the curtain fall to its original place and returns to the warmth of the chair, the ticking clock sounds like a lullaby.


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