Day Six Hundred Fifteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The stamp of feet no longer reverberates throughout the house. The last soldier column passed our crossroads around midnight during my watch.

The silence was welcome.

After my turn on guard I slept and actually got some rest.

Upon rising, Elijah was just returning from some time apart on the causeway. He reported more strangeness.

The farmers were on the roads again, but instead of being bound for the city, they were headed towards the army camp.

We decided to postpone our departure for today. Instead we dispatched the Captain into the city to reconnoiter.

The news he brought back was disconcerting. Not a single man of military age remains in the city, only women or children or old men.

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Day Six Hundred Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain and Tomas have kept to themselves since their ordeal. It’s clear to me that they were cowed by their experience. Our neighbor paid a call and they thanked him profusely.

After the ex-islander left, Elijah called us together for a talk. He had not planned on telling us, but something our neighbor had said, released him from his silence and indicated that it would be proper and right to reveal a truth about our friends’ future.

As calmly as only Elijah can, he told our friends that they will die martyrs’ deaths together.

Not surprised, Tomas told us that they each had a vision of the deaths of Elijah and myself.

And Elijah added, “Yes. In Jerusalem.”

Day Five Hundred Ninety Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Fog has settled over the area and unlike with the mysterious darkness, we know there is a sun somewhere up there. This, however, has not led to a change in attitude on the part of the denizens towards us.

The Captain went ashore (Mr. Kagi in tow) to initiate the handover of the ship.

In their absence, a robotic warship paid a call. And Tomas directed the transfer of the two deck containers to that craft.

The silence surrounding it was simply eerie.

Upon the return of Mr. Kagi and the Captain, we learned the fate of the ship. About the time we finish unloading Mr. Kagi’s possessions tomorrow, the global transport service official will arrive here to assume command.

Day Four Hundred Sixty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah took me on a tour of the city underground. The hum of electricity and the knock of water in pipes dogged our every step. Residence after residence proved empty. So Elijah changed direction and lead us to their subterranean meeting place.

Silence greeted us there. I found the light switch and turned it on. It broke the quiet only to reveal no one was there either. Elijah discovered a tally sheet. A vote had been taken – an unanimous decision to abandon the city for the island interior.

Explanations were made to the Captain in the morning from what little we knew. We asked leave to open the three cargo containers.

Inside was equipment to brand people with the mark.

Day Three Hundred Seventy Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Staying in the open last night presented no problems. The heat of the day stayed with us, so it was comfortable.

Upon commencing our journey, we were surprised that the silence over the city was broken. Then we realized that the sounds were down in the dock area and most likely due to the offloading of containers from our ship.

The noise faded away as we increased our distance from the city.

We came across a stream which was flowing back towards the ocean. Elijah suggested that we follow it to its source, knowing that the home belonging to the Purser’s mother, is on a lake.

Before the setting of the sun, we had our first glimpse of the lake.

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 Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Almost too much has happened today for me to write about.

And the sights I was witness to crowd out all else.

The storm clouds have moved on, leaving behind them a new reality.

The great city is no more. Its structures razed down to ground level – and below. The deepest depression appears to be in the area of the administration building. And there is no movement, of man or beast across the landscape. No fires burn and no smoke fills the air above. Silence only spreads its wings, flushing out the sighing of the wind.

Elijah and I returned aft to our cabin in the superstructure of the vessel, as the ship’s engines rumbled the deck beneath our feet.

Day Two Hundred Seventy Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Sy’s parents had been wary before admitting us, explaining that people who spend nights in the square are unsavory characters – molesters, drunkards, robbers – all around reprobates (their description). They keep locked up tight nights.

They offered us a place to stay as long as we want.

We thanked them, but Elijah countered by telling them that we are here to get them out and back to their son.

Our offer was met with frigid silence.

When the father spoke it was with adamant absoluteness. He will never leave. I saw the same resolve in the mother’s eyes.

We turned our talk to other things – of the denizens, their rulers, and the seaport beyond.

We hope they will change their minds.

Day Two Hundred Twenty Four Afternoon #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Enough writes:

Sense the danger is past. And the calming silence gives way to the whispers of the Spirit.

He infuses strength and a knowledge of His promised presence even through the coming trials.

Linger long by the drinking pool.

Day Two Hundred Twelve Morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle writes:

I thought I was hearing things, but then I realized it was only the pounding of the pulse in my ears.

I stood up and the roar died away. The silence of the night held the stars in place each step of the way.

I contemplated my dream and its assurances.