Day One Thousand Sixty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our movements we feel were well beyond the army’s patrols. And the lack of drones too, was a comfort.  All the more so as we came down from the hills and onto the plain.

Sy directed us to a well by midday, but it proved a disappointment. He said the water was simply too deep to reach.

Thankfully our need is far from pressing. There was a point after Sy had spoken when I looked to Elijah, but he shook his head, so I knew that it was not quite the time.

Elam was a great help. For he had driven his tanker truck through this area many times, and knew the best places to pass over those routes undetected.

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Day One Thousand Sixty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain had been correct that a dramatic event would be the sign. And everything else lined up after that.

The direction Mawuli indicated, coincided with the unstated one held by Elijah.

(I think he was actually taken by surprise).

So, the morning found our group climbing up the mountain, not down as everyone originally thought, but hiking up the path beside the stream bed.

Elam and Sy took pains helping Elijah and me over some of the trickier sections.

Something was still flowing down the rocks of the stream bed. Yet slowly, for it was drying in the sun.  And the heavy metallic odor gained in intensity as we reached the top.

Where carnage was spread out before us.

Day One Thousand Sixty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We left the redoubt, but did not leave the area. Here, at day’s end, we still await a sign. So, we set up a camp with the intent to stay until we do.

We can see activity down on the plain, but Elam tells us that it is only minimal. And he is sure it can mean that more are operating beyond the rear guard well beyond our field of view.

Sy concurred and added that he expected to see more troops being moved up from Damascus soon.

Mei asked if that might be the sign we are awaiting.

The Captain weighed in and said he was sure that it would be something else, something dramatic and unmistakable at once.

Day One Thousand Sixty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah gathered us together after breakfast. The general expectation prevailed that he would announce our departure immediately. All the more so since Elam’s revelation that he too had been given a vision of a rising tide of blood.

But Elijah caught us off balance. Though he concurs that our group is now complete, he does not agree that it is time to leave.

He has called for another fast and that it is to commence tomorrow when we set out on to the road eastward. We shall halt on the stone bridge and there hold a vigil and await a sign.

We then passed the day in preparation both physically and spiritually.

And Mei cheerfully lent a hand to all.

Day One Thousand Fifty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Sy’s distress was relieved this afternoon by the appearance of Elam down on the road. On foot, no tanker truck.

After our greetings he related to us his harrowing experiences of the last few days. No sooner had he driven into the staging area, when he was forcefully removed and placed in confinement, charged with profiteering.

While there he learned about the clashes far to the east. The forces nearby were forming up the last ditch defense.

Things became so confusing that Elam was able to escape (he credits Hamashiach).

While passing through the furious activity he saw Stan and his motorcade headed east.

From the road last night he witnessed the air assault from the east and its destruction.

Day One Thousand Fifty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Another day of waiting has passed slowly. Everyone has taken it in stride, considering it a trial of patience.

Sy, though, grew unsettled by day’s end. By his calculation Elam should have arrived back here today at the latest. He’s beginning to think that he’ll never see his friend and his tanker truck again.

When I tried to point out to him other possibilities, he left and went up to the heights. Elijah followed him.

They remained up there for quite some time. Long enough to witness a flurry of activity in the air above the plain.

The Captain, Mei and myself caught the end of the display when the crash of distant explosions drew us out of the redoubt.

Day One Thousand Fifty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Another long day passed slowly. To all outward appearances – boring and pointless – but to our inward beings – rich and satisfying – and all the more so as we shared with one another around the evening meal.

We are agreed as to the direction of our next move, down to the route we will take – supplied by Sy.

What remains is the all important timing. We all agree. We will not set out, or should not set out until there is one more addition to our party.

But as to who that may be, we are not in agreement.

The Captain thinks it will be Tomas; Mei opts for Meesa; Sy and I are certain it will be Elam. Elijah remains silent.

Day One Thousand Fifty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were in sight of Sy’s redoubt (for such it has now become) when we encountered Elam in his tanker truck. He stopped, picked us up and turned around.

It was as we guessed. He now operates out of a staging yard from the army’s rear lines to its front, and rarely goes to Damascus. He put off his return until tomorrow in order to hear all the news.

Sy was hospitable though reserved, for he knows the reason behind our visit. Jordan, by contrast, was ready to return with us that very moment.

Elijah called for a meeting after the evening meal.

We met, and cleared the air about many things. In particular I was keen to hear Jordan.

Day One Thousand Fifty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our surprise was mutual. Raj P recovered first, brimming over with thanksgiving for answered prayer before he even said a word to us.

He had accompanied Quasimo into the Galilee, and had been dispatched by him to go in search of us and bring us back to help persuade Sy to leave.

I asked if Elam had made it back and was overjoyed to learn that he was safe and sound in their midst.

We made it as far as the road before making camp.

We inquired about everyone else and buoyed by his good report turned in.

Today was an even longer day.  It takes so much longer when you’re not riding in the cab of a tanker truck.

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.