DAY ONE HUNDRED TWENTY
Lyle went back into the west end in search of city rulers, keeping an eye peeled for Stan.
I could do little but think about it all day. And about the things that Lyle learned yesterday.
The supervisor had not been hard to find. He exuded power and confidence, and Lyle thought that here was one who must be one of the chief leaders.
But this notion collapsed when Lyle asked his questions. He revealed that only someone higher could answer.
He explained that he dealt with the movement of people and things only. And along those lines he told Lyle the rulers were opposed to those on the east end for their claim that there is only one way.
DAY ONE HUNDRED TWENTY ONE
Lyle had returned late yesterday empty handed. He said it was as if the streets cleared out whichever way he turned.
We both trekked back into the west end today. He will again seek out the one who is above the know-nothing supervisor.
I sought out Kip. But he found me first. He was waiting for me in the second avenue entrance.
We walked back to his home, and he spoke the whole way.
Before going in, I sensed it, all along he’d been trying to misdirect me. I confronted him.
A nervous tic took over and he broke down.
His words tumbled out, not contradicting all he previously shared, but a confession of the fears that motivated him.
DAY ONE HUNDRED TWENTY TWO
It’s been a long day, but I must write down the important things that Kip told me, if for no other reason than to be better able to report them to Lyle when we see him.
If we see him again. He has not yet returned here to the widow’s home.
Kip painted a dark picture. Since the troubles started, the city has become more and more fractured with each leader inclined to do what was right in his own eyes.
Until a young man arrived, claiming to be from an overarching world government. He gave them hope that unity would be re-established at the highest level. And cautioned them about two men out of the east with “abilities.”
DAY ONE HUNDRED TWENTY THREE
Lyle made it back this morning. He’d been detained at the order of someone very high up. I shared my knowledge with him, and the details lined up with what he had learned. We both agreed that this shadowy figure is most likely Stan.
They are all fearful of talking about him.
I turned to Kip and described our companion from the mountain. Kip went wide eyed and nodded with resignation.
Kip explained that this young man with a beard left a few weeks ago and had just recently returned. Now more emphatic that they line up with his orders as dictated from the world authority, as they have quelled wars and lent succor to disaster areas.
Is it time?
DAY ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FOUR
Neither Lyle nor myself sense the need or desire to depart… yet.
It was our day to help in the fields. So, we welcomed the time to be busy with our hands and to think. Besides, out there, we were that much closer to our next destination if we were forced to flee.
Spending time with the people has convinced Lyle that he at least needs to remain for their sakes.
I wish I could be as certain. But since I am not, it is best to stay put.
As the day wore on, we relaxed and left off looking over our shoulders. We ate our noontime meal with gladness.
It was the widow’s son who spotted the drone’s passage.
DAY ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE
Yesterday in the fields, that drone had lingered briefly over our location before speeding off.
It made us conscious once again that someone was watching. By end of day, I couldn’t help but turn my gaze skyward before stepping into the house and closing the door behind me.
I am confident that none of our actions, thus captured, are unlawful. I would even go as so far as to believe they tend to prove our innocence. Then, again keeping track of our whereabouts may be their sole purpose.
Lyle passed the day with his students (no sign of drones). And I hosted Kip. He wants to resign and move to the east end with us.
I advise him to wait.
DAY ONE HUNDRED TWENTY SIX
It’s been a long day. The flickering candle flame mimics the efforts of my mind to direct my fingers as I write. A spurt of inspiration and the words flow, then a lull as I grope for the means to communicate the vision.
It came about in this manner. Lyle called for an assembly of east end leaders – well before the commute to the fields. He laid before them what we have learned through Kip and what our ongoing response should be. They unanimously assented to our decision to stay and wait upon the Spirit.
The vision came. The whole assembly leaped to their feet. And kept going, rising above our heads and accelerating away.
Only Lyle and I remained.
DAY ONE HUNDRED TWENTY SEVEN
I talked through my vision with Lyle. It was nothing new for either of us. We just had not ever recognized a location before. That being the case we have some preparations to make. We both sense it is closer now than ever.
We are keeping it between us for now. Lyle will broach the topic soon with the leaders of the east end. He says it will fit perfectly as a finish to his current teaching.
Kip sent word to us. The leaders of the west end are voting tomorrow about uniting behind the world authority as espoused by the young bearded man. He senses a favorable coalescence among his peers.
Confident that the Lover of our souls reigns.
DAY ONE HUNDRED TWENTY EIGHT
Today was a day of waiting. For answers. For people. For the appointed hour to come. In short, a trial in patience.
Lyle went to meet with Kip in the west end. I kept busy with chores until they were complete. Which was early. I needed something to do, so I went for a walk here in the east end.
I discovered a quiet place, a walled courtyard, set off from the main thoroughfare. In short order, I walked its whole area and took in its sights. Then I sat in the quiet.
Later, the rustle of leaves stirred me from my reverie and I returned to the widow’s house and news of the vote.
We wait again.
DAY ONE HUNDRED TWENTY NINE
Many of the east end leaders gathered here today to see Lyle and to ask about the vote held in the west end yesterday. Though we know that the vote was almost unanimous for the city to unite with the world government, we do not yet know what this means for those of us in the east end.
Lyle assured them that no changes would be likely right away, given the state of communications. That being said, we both exhorted them to be vigilant. And I added that above all we must remain steadfast in our attitudes to those in the west end, and not return evil for evil.
Kip sent word that Stan has left, but promises to return.
DAY ONE HUNDRED THIRTY
We paid a call on Kip today. We were encouraged that there was no difference in the way and manner that the gatekeepers treated us upon our passing through the second avenue entrance.
Kip confirmed all is at present status quo. He added that things will change upon Stan’s return. Stan promised to bring with him the benefits that Kip judges to be the great selling points for which the others traded their votes. And only then will they learn at what cost. He says they thought little about what might be required of them.
Kip asked Lyle if he would meet with his friend who is a co-leader on the avenue.
Lyle is open to any and all.
DAY ONE HUNDRED THIRTY ONE
While Lyle spent the day on second avenue, I reported to the fields.
We completed our tasks well before the noon meal. Rather than return to the east end right away, I ventured further out to explore the area for future reference.
The fields gave way to gentle hillsides sloping down to the desert level. Here I passed workers that were returning from the vineyards that covered the hillsides.
The foreman of one of these crews cautioned me against crossing the boundary into the west end controlled vineyards.
Finally I stood at the edge of the flatland and stared out over the desert.
When I turned to go, someone waved to me from the west end vineyards.
I waved back.
DAY ONE HUNDRED THIRTY TWO
Goodness prevails. Lyle met Moglen, Kip’s friend and co-leader and the outcome was very favorable. We now have a standing invitation at the other end of second avenue. And Lyle hopes it will lead to more introductions.
He stopped by Kip’s on the way back to thank him. We had asked him before about our drone sighting but all he could say then was that it was not theirs. Now he tells us that it was Stan’s drone. It always goes with him. He has struck a deal to bring more back with him. And similar technology to make their jobs as rulers easier.
I heard none of this until later. Blissfully, I passed the day in my courtyard.
DAY ONE HUNDRED THIRTY THREE
Word out of the west end cast a shadow today.
Kip came to us to give an advance warning, and returned before all the gates to the west end closed.
All he said, all he knew, was that a meeting had been called, and he was dreading it.
We walked with him to the gate where we were turned away. Lyle left from there to call a meeting of the east end leaders.
I chose to hike over to the hillside vineyards. I had it in the back of my mind to look for the person who waved to me.
So I lingered in the area where we had spotted one another. I stayed until sundown and saw no one.
DAY ONE HUNDRED THIRTY FOUR
No word from the west. Lyle and his leaders have decided not to change their normal routine.
As Lyle went out to the fields, I checked out the different gateways.
All was quiet and still. They were all closed except the gate into the first district of the west end. The same district I found empty and devoid of inhabitants on my first foray into the western half of the city.
Still no inhabitants, but now in the once empty square, a pedestal now stands at its center, awaiting a statue.
Lyle doesn’t think it has any significance for now. But then again he was more concerned about the person he saw waving to him from the west end fields.
DAY ONE HUNDRED THIRTY FIVE
I was curious about Lyle’s reading of his distant encounter with the waving west ender yesterday. He had the distinct impression that he was mistaken for someone else, for the individual waved a couple of times, then stopped and withdrew.
I decided to make another attempt at contact. Our crews were returning when I passed through the fields on the way out to the vineyards.
The west end fields were deserted more than usual. Hope dwindled as I approached the vineyards.
I was hesitant to leave, so I remained to meditate on past visions of the desert.
Turning to go, I nearly ran into a woman. She put a note in my hand, smiled and left.
She wants to meet.
DAY ONE HUNDRED THIRTY SIX
Lyle won’t let me meet with the woman. Not alone anyway. If there is to be a meeting, Lyle insists upon going along with me.
That’s okay by me, but it’s all a mute point for now as the west end is still closed.
The woman did write that I am to wait on her for a time and place. My guess she is faced by restrictions from her side too.
We have had nothing else to do today but wait. Lyle won’t meet again with his leaders until next week, unless there are developments from the west end.
I took a walk and wound up at my little walled courtyard and rested a good part of the day there.
DAY ONE HUNDRED THIRTY SEVEN
The silence is deafening from the west end.
Here in the east end, things are buzzing along, as the people are very industrious. And spirits are high despite the uncertainty. Lyle has been diligent to prepare them for any eventuality, and even now is weighing a suggestion to have all the people move out to the fields and camp there for the duration of the harvest.
I am all for it, especially as it may give rise to more opportunities for our mysterious west ender to meet with us.
Lyle, however, hesitates to approve. His one concern is not knowing what may be the unwanted repercussions to our friends in the west end, Kip and Moglen.
Time to decide soon.
DAY ONE HUNDRED THIRTY EIGHT
Lights shone out of the west end last night. Not the light from fire, candle, or oil lamp, but the bright glow powered by electricity.
It’s a clear message. Stan has delivered on his promise to the west end leaders. Or would it be more correct to say that the world government has exerted its power?
Anyway, it does not extend here. The electrical circuits for the east end have not been connected. Already this morning, Lyle has heard complaints through the leaders from their people, wondering why they have not been included.
Sore trials lay ahead. Camping outside the walls for the harvest is looking more preferable. Yet Lyle would still like to hear from Kip and Moglen first.
DAY ONE HUNDRED THIRTY NINE
The decision has been made. Tomorrow we will all repair to the fields and there camp through the harvest. Today was given over to preparations to that end.
Last night the lights from the west end seemed even brighter than the evening before. They especially lit up all the approaches to their gateways. What do they have to fear from our small quarter? From us?
I guess we fear them too. Not knowing what their intent is toward us.
Lyle becomes more concerned with each passing day that Kip and Moglen may be lost to us. Could they indeed be swayed?
Later I sought the grace and peace that flows in my walled courtyard, sensing there may be no return.
DAY ONE HUNDRED FORTY
The whole east end is camped outside. The first day of the harvest is in, with many more days ahead of us. The leaders tell Lyle that the harvest will be a very great one this year.
For my part, the physical exertion was welcome. It relieved my mind of troublesome thoughts. Though my gaze wandered from time to time over to the western fields. There is a noticeable increase in the number of their laborers. But I saw no one look up from their work, nor look over our way.
Comparing their numbers to the size of their fields, I don’t see how they can get it all in.
Lyle wants me to check the west end gateways tomorrow.
DAY ONE HUNDRED FORTY ONE
An eventful day. I doubt if I can write it all down. Hopefully I won’t forget or leave out any important details.
I have met Grazie, the woman who waved to me from the western fields. Lyle was not with me, as he had wished. It happened on my inspection of the gateways into the west end. All were still shut, except for the one into the deserted first district. Decorations were spread everywhere. It made no sense. I was at the point of leaving when she materialized at my side. She had not expected seeing me either. Of all she shared the most riveting was her warning – not to submit to her leaders.
And that the gates reopen tomorrow.
DAY ONE HUNDRED FORTY TWO
Lyle plied me with questions upon my return. And all the more so when I ignored his queries and went straight to the warning from Grazie. We talked long into the night and picked up the threads this morning.
Then Lyle conferred with his leaders and at his request they freed us from all responsibilities in the field for the day.
We entered the east end and walked directly to the second avenue entrance, but found the gates still closed. We stood waiting and debating for some time. Then we both had the same thought – to check out the first district.
Its gates were now closed also, but tacked to them was an invite from Kip to meet there tomorrow.
DAY ONE HUNDRED FORTY THREE
The first district gate was wide open when we arrived mid-morning. Kip was not waiting for us outside. We found him inside, seated in the square.
Lyle had wanted to come alone and leave me with the harvest crews in the field. There is some wisdom to such a course of action, but I could not acquiesce. Still he made me state my case before relenting. I brought up two points: one, Kip was expecting both of us, and two, Grazie, if there, was expecting me.
As it turns out, Kip was alone, and he has never heard of anyone named Grazie. But he did share the same warning, beware his fellow leaders, especially Moglen. He returned with us.
DAY ONE HUNDRED FORTY FOUR
Lyle had to battle his leaders over their objections to Kip staying with us. They have taken his assurances, so Kip has joined our work in the fields.
He says he is never going back.
Working side by side, we were able to continue probing into his knowledge of conditions in the west end. And I gave him a description of Grazie. This jarred him. He then told us that this sounds like Moglen’s eldest daughter Terresta. He added that she is known to work in the western fields.
I turned to observe that area and was surprised to see many machines at work in their harvest.
Kip confirmed that they are gifts from the world government to obedient signatories.
DAY ONE HUNDRED FORTY FIVE
The harvest in the west is done. Ours is still days away from completion.
Kip said that the west end leaders will likely approach us when they are finished with an offer to use their machines. He is certain that it will come with an innocuous “price,” but its true cost will be hidden.
Lyle concurs, but he added that some of his leaders are longing to have their own.
I then proposed to pay a visit to the gates into the west to see if they have reopened. To which Lyle re-iterated that without him I must refuse any important discussions with Grazie, if we perchance meet.
I agreed and went.
All for nought, as it turned out.
DAY ONE HUNDRED FORTY SIX
I decided to try something else today. Instead of heading back into the city, I asked permission to work in the vineyards. I hoped to give Grazie an opportunity to contact me there. The same restrictions are in place.
Lyle took a reluctant Kip with him to check the gates in the city.
I am always inspired by my view of the desert from my work station in the vineyard. At one point I was so engrossed as to be unaware of Grazie’s presence.
She is indeed Moglen’s daughter. As for her “different” names, she gives no reason, other than it’s personal.
And she has agreed to meet with Lyle and myself tomorrow.
Now if only Lyle and Kip return.
DAY ONE HUNDRED FORTY SEVEN
Lyle returned without Kip this morning, so we had lots to talk about on the way out to the vineyard. The gates closed while they were in Kip’s district, so they had to spend the night. And though Lyle was free to leave, Kip could not. However, he is confident that after completing some paperwork he will be allowed to depart.
Lyle reported that an offer for use of the machines was indeed made. As a condition we must all first receive a mark issued by the world government, a permit to do business with them.
We are both suspicious.
At the agreed time, Grazie joined us. She, like Kip, wants to leave the west end. And asked our help.
DAY ONE HUNDRED FORTY EIGHT
Both Lyle and I sense that the future is crashing in on us. I, at least, want to stop and take stock. Lyle is all for charging in and removing Kip and Grazie from their situations.
And that is the question, is it time for action or time to wait?
Circumstances made the decision for us.
Some of the east end leaders came to Lyle demanding that he make a deal for the machines. So he was tied up meeting with them and for the most part he was successful in dissuading them from that folly.
It was afternoon before we met with Kip. Good news. He’s on track appointing a successor. Our remaining concern is how to help Grazie.
ON TO MONTH SIX