The Narrator’s Tale #TFDbyRWOz2 D minus 1

I tried to start from the first page, but every attempt was thwarted. With a mind of its own it would fan its pages forward to a spot that I believe was the same on each occasion. 

At last I gave in and went with its ‘suggestion.’

And that was how I was introduced to the writer of this volume, or at the least, the author commencing from that spot. 

If not for the evidence of my own eyes that have seen the writing appear from nowhere on to the page, I would not give any credence to what he claims to be.

Day Nine Hundred Thirty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

As for Elijah, there was no question over the decision. We were out here and very close to turning up another missing group. And that was the bedrock of his thinking.

Jezer expressed surprise over this decision given the concrete evidence for one versus the scant evidence of the wheel tracks for the other. Even when he added that rumors were afloat that the group in prison was facing capital charges, did nothing to budge Elijah off of his decision.

I was torn seeing the value behind both arguments. So I counseled to wait and pray for direction. My two friends concurred.

Thus we waited, prayed, and watched. And this morning we saw our answer – a tanker truck lumbering along.

Day Six Hundred Eighty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We arrived in an area at a lower elevation – and less cold. The advance units of the army had disappeared further down the pass and the main body had marched into view.

They moved more swiftly than before. At the double quick.

At first I wondered how long they could maintain that pace, but then I was struck by perhaps a more important question – why.

Tomas chimed in with the thought that they may have discovered evidence of their enemy’s presence back in that defile.

Our discussion on this topic was interrupted by the Captain who brought the news that we were not alone on the trail.  He had found tracks on our path that merged onto it from above.

Day Six Hundred Forty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Twenty-four hours have passed in our new location. It has proven a very pleasant choice. The Captain found a water well some distance from the caravan trail. It’s on a well worn offshoot from this main route.

The water is a bit brackish, but drinkable. Perhaps traces of minerals are leeching into it.

There was evidence that a group of travelers had passed through here recently. Ashes from cooking fires, and bits of garbage collected in a pit.

Elijah found a nearby cave, or rather an overhang just beyond the well. It is now our place of meditation.

But it has no view southward, so the Captain sticks to the caravan trail. He doesn’t want to chance missing Tomas.

Day Six Hundred Thirty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

From day to day the heat has been mounting. I do not know if it is a function of going deeper into the desert, or the accumulation of days since Elijah sealed the heavens, commanding this drought.

Tomas located another well, so we have resupplied handsomely. There was a nearby shallow pool whose shrunken border gave clear evidence of the effectiveness of the drought.

At the evening meal (Elijah still abstains), I broached the subject of night travel again. And again the consensus was against me. At least for now.

As to the topic of fasting, I have the desire on my part, but not a clear cut permission to do so.

Grappling with these decisions makes for long nights.

Day Four Hundred Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I was a late riser this morning. Elijah, having the last watch, let me sleep in to recover from yesterday. So when preparations were complete, we got off to a good, though late start.

Even so we came out of the wilderness well before midday, which was ahead of our expectations. But the view that greeted us was completely surprising. An extensive and empty salt flat.

That it was empty was most unnerving. I had expected to see multitudes awash in this interior expanse. All of the evidence we had passed on our route called for that conclusion.

Elijah took in the scene and was pragmatic. All it meant he shrugged was that we still have a ways to go.

Day Three Hundred Seventy One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We spent a quiet night at the Purser’s home.

The silence continued into the next day. We took our time searching the house. Here and there we found evidence of their attachment to Hamashiach.

It was Elijah who picked up a scrap of paper that had fallen behind a desk and turned it over to find a note from the Purser’s wife. In it she wrote to her husband that they had left to his mother’s place in the country. I knew from my conversations with him the general direction. And that it was further away than the Captain would allow.

We debated whether or not to return to the ship to inform the Purser.

We decided to press on.

Day Three Hundred Sixty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The lone guard sent word to the Captain that he desired to speak with him.

He was quite agitated when the Captain, in the course of his rounds, at long last arrived. He demanded to know what exactly the Captain planned to do to ensure the security of his government’s container. He was aware of our shadow and the reports of various crew members have been feeding his suspicions.

The Captain explained his thoughts on the matter, much to the guard’s dissatisfaction.

I chimed in with the possible explanation that the warship may just have the same destination and only appears to be following us. And that we should not read anything more into it than we have evidence for.

Day One Hundred Ninety Two Noon #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle writes:

I’ve been hard at work reining in the hotheads. It took a bit of convincing but they finally went about their business.

I did make them the promise that together we will not let anyone else be taken from us.  Most are eager to demonstrate that they are innocent of the charges leveled against us, that they are good citizens and can not be swayed to any unrighteous act.

We are trying to keep up some modicum of normalcy, while waiting for Moglen’s people to respond to my challenge for evidence for their charge.

It should be the surest way to free Enough also.

Day One Hundred Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle’s mission yesterday bore fruit. He emerged from the west with five children. They are now scattered to other families throughout the encampment for safe keeping.

We now know that by no means is the mark borne universally in the west. But people there reported rumors that those who have, are forming bands to sweep through the city to seek out those who don’t. And Lyle saw evidence of this on his way back through the district. A band surrounded one of the west end markets and checked each customer.

Talking with Lyle about this, I was feeling overwhelmed. There must be a better way to help.

I was unsettled further when he described smoke rising from the first district.