Day One Thousand Seventy One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Throughout the night constant flashes split the dark, off ahead of us. No sound. Just light. Come the day, it was like any other. No indication of a clash of arms in any direction. Yet we knew it was out there.

Mawuli went out early and attempted to find somewhere to see over the horizon, but to no avail. It was good to know, however, that nothing was out there to oppose us.

We covered a lot of ground. And thankfully we no longer had the annoyance of that mountain gale blowing at our backs.

Mawuli reported back that we will change our heading come tomorrow to follow one of the great rivers of the region, a river of dust.

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Day One Thousand Seventy #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah called for a halt today. On the face of it, there was no compelling reason due to any overt threats, but we obeyed without question.

Perhaps it was because of our current surroundings. Except for the absence of water, we were in a depression that shielded us from the constant wind, descending from the mountains at our back.

Or maybe Elijah just saw our need. One which was so close under our noses that we were blinded to its impact.

So, it was with gratitude that we each were able to take time to draw apart. To intercede for those behind in the hiding place, and then for those whom we yet seek, the focus for our united mission.

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.

Day One Thousand Sixty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

From our observations of yesterday we formed a good notion of how we can cross the great plain ahead and follow in the wake of the army of the world government. We shall have to continue in the hills a bit longer in order to swing beyond the limits of the patrols sent out from the forces left behind.

Sy seconded the plan, for he knows of several wells along that arc that may provide water.

He accompanied Mawuli in the forward advance while we kept up the best we could.

I walked with Mei and we fell into a conversation about former times. The topic – her former position in the army of the East and where Lung might be.

Day One Thousand Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We stayed put today. For we awoke this morning to discover a sight that riveted our attention for the entire day.

A black mass lay across the landscape. A mass that teemed like the sea in restless movement. It was the army of the world government.

It was splitting. About a quarter of it was remaining at the mouth of the valley at its back. They were digging in and throwing up fortifications.

The much larger section was wheeling – unit by unit- and taking up the march to the east.

The Captain put forth the theory that the army of the East must be threatening Babylon and the world government must be going to its aid.

We are to follow.

Day One Thousand Sixty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our pace has been slow and deliberate. And as we went along I marveled at our collective reaction to the horrors we had seen atop the mountain. Anything more conducive to panic and fleeing headlong to escape, I find hard to imagine. Instead we were united to follow on, calmly and with hope, looking forward to accomplish that for which we have been summoned.

Mawuli began the morning huddled with Elijah. And ranged out ahead of us, much like Tomas used to do.

He expressed to me his awe at being used as a blessing to us. And I in turn reminded him of what has passed before, and how those times of small things are rewarded with increased responsibility.

Day One Thousand Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It was not the carnage of battle that we surveyed on the summit of that mountain, but rather the aftermath of a wanton sacrifice. An altar had been raised over the source of the stream and an untold number of bodies lay strewn about – the bodies of animals contorted in their death agonies. All under the sparkling gaze of an idol of Stan, which presided over the scene.

Mawuli toppled it with a well aimed stone from his sling, and we crushed it under foot.

Elijah had us return to our camp near the stone bridge for the night, and from there this morning we set out towards the east, following Mawuli’s lead.

Elijah held his staff aloft in praise.

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 Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Mawuli’s appearance set us back another day as we struggled with conflicting views of its meaning. Half of our party were sure that no further members were necessary for our mission. In fact, they argued it may very well be detrimental.

I was confident in the message imparted to me in my dream. But no one else had a confirmation. Even Elijah – who merely proclaimed that the time for our departure was decidedly – “not yet.”

After our initial confusion at Elijah’s direction we took up again our active waiting stance.

We did not wait long.

The dry stream bed below the bridge babbled to life. But instead of water, a blood red liquid coursed down its cascades from somewhere above.

Day One Thousand Sixty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I had a dream over night. Everything about it was unexpected, but not unsettling. In fact, I found it a comfort and an encouragement.

In it Grazie came to speak to me, though uttering not a word at first. Her countenance beamed with serenity. Which enfolded me like a hug and communicated more than her voice would have.

And, in effect, shut down a nightmarish vision that lurked at the periphery of my consciousness.

Only after she had my complete attention did she speak.

She simply said, “A child shall lead you.” And smiled.

And was gone.

I shared the dream with Elijah. And at the moment I finished Mawuli walked into our camp. And asked when we were leaving.