Day One Thousand One Hundred Thirty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

My old dream disturbed my slumber over night. The one in which blood dripped incessantly. But this time there were bodies afloat on the flood. There were stacks of them across the plain that disentangled from one another as the tide rose.

Once underway I broached the subject with Elijah. He was silent for the longest time after I finished speaking.

Reuben, who had been listening from the beginning, asked me if our angel were responsible. He meant for the carnage depicted, of course. Elijah broke in and confirmed this guess, but also went on to explain that he most likely was responsible for the dream itself.

At that instant we rounded a bend and saw Stan’s sacrificial high place.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Thirty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We stayed atop one of those dead-ends last night. We were too tired and it was too dark to make our way back down.

So when the morning dawned clear and bright we had an uninterrupted view down the plain. The army of the North had pivoted towards Babylon and appeared to be preparing an assault in that direction or setting up to receive one.

I admit I stared upon the scene with fascination.

But Elijah did not allow us to linger long. The view of our route ahead was also clear, at least as long as we could carry the memory we thought we should be able to avoid the next few dead end paths.

And so it proved.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our path as directed by Reuben guided us away from the plain for the morning hours. When we crossed back over the ridge the main body of the army of the North filled the plain. We took the main concentration centered on the side towards us to be the headquarters.

I asked Elijah if we were going to curse them per the wishes of the Supreme Commander.

He replied, “No. They are already cursed.”

With that Reuben hastened our pace to put some distance between us and them.

As they disappeared in our rear view, I could not help but wonder what our adversaries looked like up close. Were they the bloodthirsty barbarians of every report we had ever heard?

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Reuben skillfully tiptoed us around the lookout posts of the army of the North on these heights above the plain. However he did not know the routes nor schedules of their foot patrols, so we did have a couple of near collisions.

In the end I feel it was the hand of the Spirit that hid us from view. For I cannot fathom how otherwise one group failed to see us. They were headed down to a command outpost situated at the base of the hills, and should have been more attentive. Only one soldier at the rear of their column ever looked back. And I know, for one instant, he stared directly at me.

We pressed onwards silently rejoicing.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I don’t know who was more overjoyed, or relieved – Reuben or us. Perhaps it was dependent upon whoever was sharing. For we mutually encouraged one another by the good news we were each privy to.

All was well at the hiding place according to his account. And for him to hear from us that Tomas was well gave him immense satisfaction.

The fact that he was here was the result of his search for Tomas. The trail that he had pieced together to follow him, lead him to us.

He strongly considered going on to Babylon, but we dissuaded him. It was very providential to have him with us as we left the plain behind and climbed into the hills.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

All quiet today on the plain. No sign of conflict by sight or sound. By the end of the day it had been so quiet we had relaxed our vigil, especially when we sighted what we took to be the halfway point of our journey – the well to which Sy had led us – the one whose water was too low to access.

To our relief its water table had risen and we easily refilled our water skins.

Elijah volunteered for the first watch but I had no sooner turned in when he raised the alarm.

Alarm turned to joy when we recognized our intruder was our friend Reuben whom we first knew as a guard in the prison near Jerusalem.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Far to the west skirmishing between the two armies was ongoing throughout the day as we pushed into the plain.

We proceeded with caution. Our guess that we were behind the lines of the army of the North went unconfirmed, for thankfully we saw no one. Or more importantly – no one saw us.

The sounds of conflict dissipated the further we ventured into the expanse. Our confidence rising we picked up the pace.

Strangely after that my thoughts wandered and I found myself thinking about Moglen and Stan. I recoiled as though burned by just thinking the thought.

I told this to Elijah. He confessed to something similar. But added, “I am certain that they are thinking evil towards us.”

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 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 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.