Day One Thousand Forty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed into the territory that lead to the village at the edge of the wilderness that surrounds our destination. Only at the sight of that town did I realize that we had not encountered the patrolling drones that plagued us on that former occasion.

I remarked on their absence to Elijah. Even as I did so we both knew the answer. They were needed elsewhere for a bigger military operation.

So too with the village. It was deserted. And there, signs were evident of abandoned encampments at both ends of the town. Neither of which had been there the last time we were in the vicinity.

We stopped to rest in the town square, then took up our march.

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Day One Thousand Forty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have left the patrol and our false friend far behind. The latter whimpering about being abandoned and blind on the mountain path. I was sure that his friends would soon rescue him.

We came about to our original heading and pressed on. And we saw no one in pursuit the rest of the day.

Elijah and I conversed as we went along.

More and more there were signs of the drought deepening. This underlined the importance of convincing Sy and Jordan to bring their people into the safety and security, and yes, to an abundant supply of water offered in the hiding place.

I then finally told him about my dream. The dream of the rising tide of blood.

Day One Thousand Forty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Neither Elijah nor myself believed that our uninvited guest meant us well. He was genuinely surprised to see us when he chanced upon us, but I have no doubt he was trying to head off and ambush us. He has been all smiles and solicitous since then. Meek as a lamb.

But when he thought I was not looking, I saw the wolf lurking.

He has been evasive about where he is going, and simply states that he would like the company as long as we are heading the “same” direction.

When the patrol appeared in the distance, I caught him holding a small hand mirror.

I took it.

Elijah said, “Since you are blind to the good. Be blind!”

Day One Thousand Forty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It has become evident that the army patrol from the checkpoint is not on a routine sweep. Otherwise they would have turned back with the onset of night.

I can only think that since we sometimes have them in view, they must likewise see us, despite our conscious efforts to shield our movements.

Thankfully they show no signs of gaining on us. Elijah quickened his pace during those times when we were blocked from view. With the result that the time between sightings lengthened.

And in one of these blind troughs we headed away from our destination, and we hoped from our pursuers too.

That’s when we ran into the man who had accosted us down on the main road.

Day One Thousand Forty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Though we took to the trails upon the hillsides, we kept to those which held a view of the road, for we wanted to confirm the warnings of our erstwhile ‘defender.’

We did not discover what he was talking about until this morning.

There was a rather large encampment straddling the road. And as we sat watching we indeed saw army convoys being let through and civilians being turned back. Which made us wonder if the tanker trucks were operating any longer beyond this point.

Elijah and I then decided to turn our faces to the hills, as we had little reason to keep the road in view.

Before we did, I noticed a patrol set out in our direction.

Day One Thousand Forty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We ran into someone today who actually deigned to talk to us. He took one look at us and the direction in which we were traveling and crossed the road and stopped us.

He came off as someone  concerned for our well being, but his gaze kept lingering on Elijah, as he warned us about an army checkpoint ahead. He said that they were allowing people coming in, but, except for the military, all egress was forbidden.

And then he came to his point. He knew a way around the checkpoint if we could see our way to make it worthwhile for him.

Elijah thanked him for his offer, but declined it, saying he was quite familiar with the area.

Day One Thousand Forty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Few pedestrians were walking the roads. Almost none were headed away from the city like we were. Any we saw were fleeing the countryside. They cast suspicious glances our way in passing.

Our only occasional companions outward bound were the army convoys. Thankfully they ignored us.

We paid particular attention to the tanker trucks lumbering by. Those inward bound. None were driven by our old comrade Elam.

I found another shady spot for us to pass the most grueling part of the day.

A couple of city bound groups stumbled upon us in turn. They collected themselves, all the while averting their gazes, and walked on without a word.

None of them seemed to like the look of Elijah’s staff.

Day One Thousand Forty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Meesa accompanied us to the tanker truck staging yard. While we waited to see if Elam might come in today, we made our goodbyes. She will return to the hiding place and give an account of our status, and at our request she will ask Reuben to travel up to Jerusalem to look for Tomas.

Perhaps he can give us a clue as to the whereabouts of Jezer.

We commended each other to the tender care of Hamashiach and parted.

The activity in the yard was noticeably less of a turmoil than our last visits. Elijah moved us to a shady spot as the heat of the day increased.

Come mid-afternoon and no Elam, we set out on the road.

Day One Thousand Forty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have covered all of Damascus and not come across any information on Jezer. And Meesa knew all of his contacts – only one could relate having seen him recently. And that occasion to the best of his recall was two months ago.

Also, employing various pretexts, she was able to check the police precincts and jails. None of which, thankfully, held him.

Speaking for myself, I now feel released from our call to this place. I only await my friend Elijah to concur, and I believe that should be forthcoming soon.

The three of us discussed at length today the importance of bringing Sy and Jordan and their peoples – and let us not forget Quasimo- safely into the hiding place.

Day One Thousand Thirty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

With Meesa directing our movements we looked into all the nooks and crannies in Damascus in which Jezer could be seeking refuge.

I was a bit mechanical, I admit, and somewhat distracted. I had had an unsettling dream over night. And my thoughts ran on two separate tracks. One, upon what we were doing. And the other on the details of my dream.

In my dream, I was dreaming. It was night, and the dark enfolded me. And into the dream came the sound of dripping. A sound that crescendoed into a raging torrent. With the coming of the light, I could see it was a rising tide of blood.

But I could not see from whence the blood came.