Day Seven Hundred Sixty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The lush meadows have disappeared under the onslaught of devouring locusts. They descended in a cloud from the mountains to the north of us.

And we dived back under cover and remained there until they passed on, leaving naught but bare earth and our tents behind.

Afterwards we took turns comforting Mei. For though not unfamiliar with these insects, their close proximity was new to her experience.

We watched them form up again over the mountains to the south and held our breath as they descended out of our sight – down to where the city beside the lake must lie.

Elijah and I applied ourselves to prepare Mei and Tomas for what we were certain will come next.

Winged Abaddon.

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Day Seven Hundred Eighteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

All aspects of our situation are providential in the extreme. A day later and we would have missed G and his charges altogether.

One of the men with him had been one of those raised up from a sickbed by Elijah in that hospital in the seaport so long ago. He is from this area and had lead them to the safety of the compound. And he lead the way towards our next destination somewhere off to the north.

Without his help and his knowledge of the surrounding territory we would have completely missed the unmarked path that branches off the main trail where we now stand after our trek down from the mountains.

We made our goodbyes and parted.

Day Seven Hundred Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The leader of the army’s advance units took it upon himself to place us out front. Obviously he sees us as a shield and intends to wield us as such.

Of course, we actually are his shield and for the army at large wherever they place us or wherever we would choose to place ourselves.

I scanned the mountains on the right and the Captain those to the left. Elijah just forged on ahead.

This first day nothing out of the ordinary happened. At its end we set up camp and sent back word for the rest of the army that it was safe to advance.

The message was acknowledged and an additional communication was handed to Elijah from Tomas.

Day Six Hundred Eighty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tracks continued to precede us on the trail. Another set joined the first at the juncture of the path with a mountain stream. This second set came up from below.

We slowed our pace by tacit agreement. I believe none of us wanted an encounter up here in the mountains.

We all felt relief on that score when the path forked and the pair of tracks took the upward bound route. We will stay the course and keep in view of the pass below.

We are left curious though. Tomas told us that the upward branch was marked with signs of warnings about radiation – like those in the hills up from the town on the plain.

Elijah alone remains unconcerned.

Day Six Hundred Seventy Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed the night down by the river northeast of the town. It was quiet and uneventful as the army was far from us, spread from south of the town westward towards the mountains.

However with the new day the tanker trucks were back. But not for long.

As we were watching them, they suddenly halted their operations and left. The wail of sirens hurried them off.

I followed Elijah to the top of a knoll. The sky was filled with shell bursts directed at the warplanes overhead. They were vectoring in from all points of the compass.

Elijah stood there, raised his staff over his head and shouted.

Every single warplane shuddered as though stricken and plummeted to earth.

Day Six Hundred Seventy Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I passed the day dodging patrols searching for us. Patrols set upon us by the innkeeper who recognized Elijah as the “troublemaker.”

Before he came back for me, Elijah hid the Captain and Tomas away somewhere in the mountains. And they are waiting for us there now.

When we will rejoin them is the question. For we are being held here at the direction of the Spirit for His purposes.

In our wanderings we noticed that the army’s tanker trucks are hard at work siphoning up any water that is left in the river. The whole process shouldn’t take much longer.

I wonder what the town will do once the army leaves and they’ve taken all they wanted.

Day Six Hundred Sixty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A momentous day. Advance motorized units of the army came roaring into town at dawn. The townspeople, those who had not fled, stayed inside. Only a few were brave enough to venture out.

Seeing that these soldiers were non-threatening, more denizens, their curiosity whetted, joined those already out gawking.

The main body of the army came through at noon, and for the next six hours filled up the plain towards the mountains.

For most of that time, Tomas and I were out and about, looking for the Captain. Elijah wanted us to stop him from arranging our truck transport. His only explanation being that we cannot yet leave the area.

We were successful in both objects.

Now to wait.

Day Six Hundred Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The notion that this area was all so familiar came back to me when I stood at the western end of the town and took in a 360 degree view. The flatness to the east and the mountains to the west spoke to a reservoir of memories within. Similar in all respects except for the presence of the town. My recollections for this spot in my consciousness held only open fields.

My reverie was interrupted by the Captain tugging at my sleeve. He wanted to discuss our departure from here.  He had learned a truck with room for all of us would be heading west sometime in the next two days.

The next moment Tomas brought news about the army.

Day Six Hundred Sixty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah remained in one of the two rooms we have taken in the inn, while the rest of us went out to look around the town. I don’t believe he will stir from there for the next few days. I am considering leaving our room solely to him and joining our friends in theirs.

We split up upon leaving the inn.

Tomas visited the town center, its marketplace and civic buildings. He reported an encouraging lack of presence on the part of the global authority. And no posters of Stan anywhere.

The Captain checked for transportation alternatives over the mountains. We have several possibilities.

I walked down by the river. It was even lower there than upstream.

We returned exhausted.

Day Six Hundred Thirty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Flock upon flock of birds passed over our heads today, originating from somewhere to the north and flying like arrows to the unmoving mountains to the south.

I think they are cranes. Tomas believes them to be as big as the condors he is familiar with.

Elijah caught up to us at midday. We had just finished our meal. I noticed that he did not eat anything. Nor, I believe, did he yesterday.

I did not call attention to it. Neither the Captain nor Tomas seemed to notice. They were more intent upon putting more miles behind us.

Elijah’s step is firm and energetic and shows no sign of lagging. His wit is sharp and engaging.

Should I fast too?