Day Eight Hundred Fifty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

His name is Jezer. He never ceased talking from the moment he entered our camp. He was bent on selling us something, anything. Starting with his camels. He couldn’t see how we could do without one, or better yet two.

We politely declined, but that was only the signal for him to bring out the rest of his wares. All in all he is entertaining, and quite the charmer. (Though there are moments when I see the greed for gold in his eyes).

And persistent, for this morning he was back to pushing our need for camels, and told us of his near escape from marauding soldiers, and strongly intimated that we would be wise to take up his offer.

Advertisements

Day Eight Hundred Forty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We stared and stared at the western horizon as we chose our camp for the day. And I could not but help continue to inspect the sight each time when serving my watch.

The tiniest of bumps disturbed the line of the horizon. A mountain it was not. A hill maybe.

Elijah and I discussed it when exchanging places. He was certain it was what we were looking for. But suggested that we wait until it ‘grows’ in stature before turning in its direction.

At day’s end when we arose to resume our march, some low-lying clouds obscured the western horizon.

Elijah smiled at me and asked what I thought about fasting until our hill grows into a mountain.

Day Eight Hundred Twenty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Half the encampment saw us off this morning. I believe more would have done so, but the flocks needed tending.

We let it be known our intent to strike out in a northerly direction from the camp, and Quasimo supplied us with knowledge of the wells along that route, plus signs to look for in the desert beyond.

Our parting was brief but warm. The sentiment of all I am sure. I even admit to a lump in my throat as we turned our feet northward.

Since the wadis all ran east west, our route took us up and down the sections in between. This slowed us down, and it was time to turn in before we reached the road.

Day Seven Hundred Ninety Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Settling into camp last night had been a ragged affair. Hardly unexpected given we were a large group trying to do something together for the first time.

The five of us, plus P, met early in the morning to talk about better co-ordinating our movements. Thus we were able to lumber off with the minimum of aggravation, taking up the same marching order as yesterday.

We agreed to maintain the same order when we halted.

The one question we did not resolve right away was Tomas’s position in the column. Both Mei and the Captain wanted his help with their groups.

At the last I decided that he needed to be out front where he does best, scouting ahead.

Day Seven Hundred Seventy One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have turned aside after a long day of ascents back and forth across the face of the highest mountain in the area. Definitely our last choice for a way out of the valley.

We turned aside because the way ahead is choked with snow and ice. And Tomas judged it to be too hazardous. Instead he thinks a nearby cavern will lead to a passage that will take us to where we want to go.

So, we made camp inside the mouth of the cavern while he chases down the flutter of air coming from somewhere further on.

Mei begged to be allowed to accompany him, arguing forcefully that no one should undertake this particular task alone.

We agreed.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We set up camp in the dark last night. It took us that long to reach the spot designated by Tomas.

It was a comfortable place in many respects. In fact we may have waited til sunup before rising if it had not been for Mei giving the alarm.

She rousted us all after waking from a dream in which drones were descending upon us. Her dream was reality.

Elijah calmed and held us in place. “Let them get a look at us,” he said.

When they ringed us, he raised his staff and they tumbled out of the sky.

With no sign of pursuit visible on the ground behind us, we broke camp and took to the trail again.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I puzzled over the meaning of Mei’s dream. Even after Elijah pronounced it sound advice. Right up until the time that Jordan led the last group out of the way station. It was then that understanding dawned in a rush.

Our small group will remain behind to cover the tracks of Jordan and his people, and hold off any pursuit.

I couldn’t say for sure from what quarter they will come at us. Yet I strongly suspected that we needed to watch the skies.

When silence fell over the camp after Jordan’s departure, Elijah put us to work dismantling all the rigid structures.

By day’s end we had progressed markedly in making the way station disappear. Mei proved very helpful.

Day Seven Hundred Fifty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas hasn’t known what to do with himself the past few days. I suggested he avail himself of one of the places set apart around the camp for times of meditation.

This was all news to him. He explained that he usually prayed as he scouted. And he missed that time out by himself with the Spirit. But he has hesitated going beyond the bounds of the camp here on that pursuit, seeing that no one else did.

He wishes now he had asked someone at the beginning. I agreed with him saying that we often don’t find what we’re looking for, when we don’t ask.

Later the Captain sought Elijah and me to talk about our departure for Jerusalem.

Day Seven Hundred Fifty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A busy day for all. A large contingent of the camp spent the day with Elijah at the request of Jordan. Since Jordan has been here he has sent many groups off on the next leg of the journey to Jerusalem.

Word has passed down from all the groups that have collected here from out of the northern countries about the guidance that Elijah had shared on that one singular occasion. They were all eager to hear from the man himself.

He did not disappoint. Even the Captain and Tomas were riveted by his words. And Mei came to me with an enlarged understanding. And with many more questions.

When the camp took up their  duties she met with Elijah.

Day Seven Hundred Forty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas had been making as many trips back down the trail as forward. A fact that had not escaped Elijah’s notice.

Tomas just returned from a long absence in the rear and Elijah stopped him before he could set off into the advance again. Instead he dispatched him to trace our path all the way back to wherever Lung and Mei may be.

I accompanied him. And Elijah and the Captain set up camp to wait.

We came to the brook, a torrent of rushing water. And there ran into Lung descending off of the mountain. He begged us to return with him to help rescue Mei. She had slipped into a crevasse they had opened accidentally with the flamethrower.