Day Three Hundred Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Almost too much has happened today for me to write about.

And the sights I was witness to crowd out all else.

The storm clouds have moved on, leaving behind them a new reality.

The great city is no more. Its structures razed down to ground level – and below. The deepest depression appears to be in the area of the administration building. And there is no movement, of man or beast across the landscape. No fires burn and no smoke fills the air above. Silence only spreads its wings, flushing out the sighing of the wind.

Elijah and I returned aft to our cabin in the superstructure of the vessel, as the ship’s engines rumbled the deck beneath our feet.

Day Three Hundred late morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah writes:

Spent the night watching the activity swirling around the administration building. A curious sight. I suspected Enoch and Elam are no longer their guests. I waylaid one of the guards and made him talk. He confirmed it.

Returned to our last quarters. Still an empty ruin.

Decided to continue on to the seaport.

Hope to find them there.

Day Two Hundred Ninety Eight afternoon #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Enoch writes:

A deep sleep hung over the whole place, from the subterranean floors to each succeeding one above.

Elam and I pushed past one supposed locked door after another, and past a dozen dozing guards.

When finally in the open air outside of the administration building we felt as if we were surfacing from underwater, like we had sleep-walked the whole way. We shook off our disorientation and went in search of Elijah.

I am confident we’ll find him well before the next eleven days come to pass.  

Day Two Hundred Ninety Six afternoon #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Enoch writes:

The woman took me to the administration building, and then down into the bowels of the structure.

I was put in a room with Elam, and left there. He appeared healthy, if a bit beat up. Together we assessed our situation.

She came back today to threaten us.

As she left, I reminded her thirteen days to go.

Day Two Hundred Eighty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The group with Elam was smaller today. So when he returned he accompanied us to the city’s nerve center. He wants to hunt up more people who desire to leave.

We went looking in the immediate area of the administration building. We discovered that a cordon of armed forces are blocking access to the government sector. Checkpoints have been set up where government business is conducted, mainly issuing the mark. It also explains the lone government official of yesterday.

Elam went among the throng, to see where he might help. Elijah and I marched back to confront the official again. To get rid of us he agreed to a meeting at one of the checkpoints tomorrow.

Twenty four days remain.

Day Two Hundred Eighty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elam brought back a message from Sy for his parents. It was a heartfelt plea. It has decided the father to send his wife with the next group. She would prefer to make the journey some time later before the twenty five days elapse, but she has agreed to go tomorrow.

I wonder if Sy’s father will ever leave.

When we arrived at the administration building, there was not a soul anywhere. But this time the doors were unlocked. So we entered.

It was an expansive area, designed to intimidate.

We approached the only occupant, a man of formidable size. Elijah asked to speak to the city ruler. He blanched on seeing us, and begged us to leave.

We did.

Day Two Hundred Eighty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We stopped by Sy’s parents to offer them a place with the group that will be lead out of the central city by Elam. They declined to go with this contingent. “Besides,” the father joked, “who else will feed you?”

Who else, indeed?

But it’s times like these when you consciously evaluate just who you are going to trust. Plus you must never lose sight of where your ultimate trust must lie.

However, it did give us a glimmer of hope that they may yet say yes to a future exodus before the twenty six days run out.

We also noticed a change in the attitude of some of the people gathered in front of the administration building.

Undisguised hostility.

Day Two Hundred Eighty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elam brought word to us about an armed force awaiting us at the administration building. We decided to alter our schedule. Ever since I related to him the roadblocks to leaving, put up by the authorities, Elijah has been pondering the situation.

He felt it the perfect time to retrace the route that brought us into the city, and I added the details I had learned.

We found no impediment to movement in that direction. And Elam was eager to learn also.

That left our afternoon open to call on the administration building again. They barely had time to seal the doors when we arrived.

Elijah spoke. And Elam and I searched the crowd for disaffected denizens.

Twenty seven days.

Day Two Hundred Eighty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

“Twenty eight days.”

Acting our herald in the streets, Elam continued to proclaim the warning.

We gathered a train of people on our way to the administration building. They saw us coming and shut and locked the doors in our faces.

As Elijah spoke to the assemblage, I circulated in their midst. Some people I recognized from past days, but the further out I went, they all seemed so new – and I could tell that they were hearing all of this for the first time.

When Elijah finished I turned back to join him. A small group accosted me. Each one complained to me that which ever direction they tried they were denied exit.

I had no answer for them.

Day Two Hundred Eighty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elam, the name of the former madman, goes where we go and lives where we live. He hangs on every word that Elijah passes on to him.

Sy’s parents invited us (Elam included) around to the back of their residence where they supplied us with food. Elijah again tried to persuade them to go to their son, adding that the city’s days are numbered. They declined again, but this time I sense some hesitation.

We turned our faces to the city center. Along the way Elam stopped at each cross street and called out the dire warning. “Twenty nine days!”

Elijah spoke on the administration building’s steps. They still deny us access.

The crowds are getting bigger and linger longer.