Day Seven Hundred Sixty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We left the valley, but not for long. Tomas came to tell us that the trail ahead comes to an abrupt end. It was just fine when he checked yesterday. Now a cliff marks the end of the trail’s usefulness.

We returned to the valley to seek a new way out.

I stayed with Elijah and prayed while the others split up to better cover the possibilities.

Our focus was still northward, but if we were to exhaust all possibilities in that direction Elijah would prefer a westward trail that angles north.

At day’s end we collected for the night and compared notes. Two likely paths were also blocked.

Our concern is growing that an unseen agency is opposing us.

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Day Seven Hundred Twenty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were appalled. Elijah was bruised and bloodied about the face, but he brushed our concern aside and assured us that all would be well.

And he added for my benefit that his interrogators ceased their thuggish actions so abruptly that he knew I must be interceding for him.

(There is nothing like an encouraging report to buoy your spirits and for strengthening your resolve to go on). The Captain was so encouraged that he stayed awake softly singing songs of praise.

They came for me next.

They had no new questions and I had no new answers.

The main interrogator was raising his hand to strike me when he recoiled in fear.

I was ordered back to our chamber.

Day Six Hundred Seventy One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I guess, most would think I was panicked into numbing inaction, by concern for my friends. Or even paralyzed by fear for my own safety.

And perhaps so they would judge by my immediate actions.

But such would not be the case.

Yes, I turned in for the night.

But that was because I knew I was not alone. The One who is with us always, never leaves us.

And I simply followed His direction.

And out of that time of rest came the dreams. The dreams that old men dream.

Which came to pass today when Elijah came for me, and brought me out of the inn right under the noses of the guards called for by the innkeeper.

Day Six Hundred Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It was strange to see other human beings going about everyday tasks. Such sights seem like forever ago.

We have entered the valley which we found dotted with small farms, and a town or small city rises from its center.

Much of the activity hereabouts deals with bringing water up from the river.

The Captain discovered why. The irrigation ditches are empty, the river being too low to feed them.

My concern grew. What would be their reaction if they knew Elijah was responsible?

We pushed on into the town. And there found an inn.

We plan to stay a few days, as Elijah has now told us he plans to end his fast in four days.

He needs rest.

Day Six Hundred Fifty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We thought those flying lights had given up, but they had only moved back their appearance by a couple of hours. They were unhurried in their movements, making wide, lazy turns over one particular area, closer to us than last night, but far enough away not to raise our concern.

However, what was markedly closer was that campfire out in front of us which we assume marks an encampment. They must not have moved at all yesterday.

We were about to turn in for the day, when Tomas discovered a source of water. He had been watching a flock of birds when of a sudden they left the sky. They led him to a pool fed by a small stream.

Day Six Hundred Fifty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lights appeared in the sky again last night. Not concentrated anywhere, but criss-crossing haphazardly.

We were left wondering. Were they looking for us? Or for the army?

Tomas was hard pressed to believe that they could miss anything the size of that juggernaut of an army. So he concluded that we were its object.

Neither Elijah nor I felt concern as all of them were very wide of our mark.

What we did have concern for was the pinpoint glow of a fire off in the distance. At a point for which we were headed.

It could only be the mysterious group whose camp we have come upon twice now..

We turned in with much to fuel our dreams.

Day Six Hundred Forty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We all saw them last night. Lights in the sky over the high mountains.

I was making my way out to the meditation cave when I spotted them. I ran to tell the Captain, but he had already noticed them and stood there gaping.

Before we could go out to notify Elijah, he was by our side.

Our immediate concern was for Tomas. The Captain wanted to set out and retrace our steps.

Elijah dismissed his wishes out of hand and refused to let him depart. We did reach a compromise instead. We agreed to wait another day in our present position.

We won’t decide until then our course of action, whether or not to allow the Captain to return.

Day Six Hundred Forty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

One full day stretched to a day and a half. We wanted to wait for the cooler temperatures of night before setting out again.

It has been good to rest and collect ourselves. I believe it has done Elijah much good too.  He has been moving noticeably slower.  His fasting is taking its toll.

The Captain sat with his face to the south.  At times I could see his concern for his friend Tomas chase away the peace engendered by his meditation. I understand and empathize with him.

It was during one of those moments that Elijah intervened to save my life. I had inadvertently positioned myself beside a scorpion’s nest. It was scuttling my way when he crushed it.

Day Six Hundred Thirty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas says that the silver object in the sky yesterday was a war plane intent on attacking us. He hasn’t seen one since before the time of the troubles began.

This didn’t move or concern Elijah in any way. He merely added that there were others up there looking for us.

The Captain fell ill in the afternoon. We called a halt to tend to him. I believe the heat has something to do with it.

He soon recovered, but we remained at rest.

We made our decision, and with the setting of the sun we arose and set out again. We shall now travel at night until we pass this desert.

Elijah still fasts, but I yet do not.

Day Five Hundred Ninety Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Both the Captain and Tomas were thankful for their deliverance, and the Captain contrite about his attitude of yesterday.

They had been swept up by a patrol when a merchant raised a hue and cry after our friends tried to make a purchase without the mark.

Thankfully such a fervor has not spread out to this area. Yet.

For now the two are content to stay put and consider their options.

Just after noon the darkness returned. I thought it providential in that it would hide us from any pursuers. Elijah, however, considers it a finger pointed directly at us. But he says that without any concern.

Certainly we see no one walking about in the murk.

We’ll know tomorrow.