Day Nine Hundred Seventy Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our friend could talk of nothing else but the explosion. He was well past the town where it went off when it went off. He turned around and ran back to investigate. But he couldn’t get any closer than the fields outside. Nothing stirred, except the raging fire – everywhere. It seemed to be feeding on something within itself.

When he passed through before, not a soul would answer him. So he had wiped his feet and left in search of us.

When Tomas had unburdened himself, Elijah had us all turn in. Only with the new morning did we open up about our journey and about the rumor we had heard.

We parlayed and unanimously decided to pursue the lead.

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Day Eight Hundred Sixty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The villages we passed through yesterday and today were quiet and almost empty, for their inhabitants were out laboring in the fields. The requisite posters of Stan increased in number as we grew closer to Damascus.

And as we were getting closer, Elijah and I strategized about our entry.

We decided that we would hold up at a distance and observe the patterns of movement into and out of the city.

It would also need to be an out of the way site, the better to seek the Spirit’s direction.

We have noted already that at certain times of the day the road traffic slows due to an increase in vehicles and backs up. This may prove an important factor.

Day Eight Hundred Sixty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Town police rousted us from our sleep this morning. We had chosen a place too close to the town for their liking. Thus we were a little earlier on the road than planned.

It worked to our advantage as we made good progress being the only ones on the road at that hour.

Ahead we could see a series of villages nestled along the road surrounded with fields under cultivation.

I debated with Elijah whether or not to leave the road and go around them. He felt no need or compulsion to do so. I wanted to avoid anything like yesterday that could hold us back again.

We concluded that walking in the fields would bring unwanted attention to ourselves.

Day Three Hundred Ninety Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Another long day. Though we had left the bush country behind, the bleakness continued, only changing in tenor. Our senses were overloaded with the sights, the sounds and the smells of desolation left in these fields laid waste by the locusts. I’d forgotten my first passage through them because they look so much worse than at that time. Something else has happened since then.

The stubble that was evident everywhere before, I believe has all been burnt away, if I have judged aright that the marks in the soil are indeed signs of scorching.

Elijah just made faces and kept on walking. It dried up the conversation between us.

I did find Mawuli’s snake carcass again, so we’re not lost.

Day Two Hundred Fifty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We came to the mountain peak  at first light. Courtesy of the Spirit.

The view is unobstructed in all directions.  I wanted to see this view on our outbound trip weeks ago, but we kept to the pass which meanders by, far beneath us. We turn our backs on the flattened city with the fields and desert beyond and take in the other view. We see the walled city and its bridges where Elijah and I met.

Its distance means nothing. We could be there now if we wanted.

For now we wait.

I am intrigued by the ocean that awaits beyond that.

Day Two Hundred Evening #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Enough writes:

We were unimpeded all the way back to the camp. The gates of the second district and that of the city to the fields stood wide open, their guards in position, but slumped to the ground in sleep.

Great was the surprise of our friend Lyle when we burst in upon his evening quiet time. We exchanged accounts of our doings. And I heard at last from Grazie about her encounter with her father Moglen.

He is a broken, confused and remorseful man. She offered him her forgiveness. It is why she sought him out.

Then she told us it was time.

Day One Hundred Ninety One morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle writes:

I got in the first question. “Why are you holding my friend?”

At Moglen’s answer I realized that my prediction had come true. They are accusing us of gross wickedness. They suspect we have murdered their liaison Flowers.

The truth they will not accept, which is not surprising, for that is at the root of the difference between us.

We will not be allowed to leave. They have required us to unpack and we are setting up the camp again.

We remain under their close surveillance, even in the fields.

And they refuse to release Enough.

Day One Hundred Seventy Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle sent me on an errand at the rising of the sun. I made a tour of the encampment to invite his leaders to a meeting, while he crossed into the east end to look for Flowers.

I was able to delegate others to  spread the invitation, so by the time of our gathering there was a boost to the turnout. Lyle was a few minutes late and without Flowers. But he did bring with him a dozen people from the east end who want to move out here to the fields. All welcomed the newcomers and pledged their support.

Lyle settled everyone in and began to speak. He announced that the time is at hand and shared our vision.

Day One Hundred Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle and the others were all occupied in the fields today. The latter crops are ready for harvest, those that remain standing after the driving rains.

I was excused for the day. I went back into the east end at the prompting of an impulse or impression, say what you will.

The once crowded streets and thoroughfares are now less so. I passed by the marketplaces where there was much activity. At least at present they do not require the mark for any transaction. I wonder if Moglen is aware of this. Or is it a stratagem on their part?

I stopped by my walled courtyard. The vision returned.

This may be the time. I went in search of Lyle.