Day Three Hundred One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our room has a view of the harbor. Ships crowd the docks. And many more are out in the roads, waiting to come in, or awaiting the best conditions to depart. We will have to find one that is going our way before the clock ticks down the last eight days.

Elijah led us into the highways and byways to proclaim the warning.

It was as though all had blinders on, eyes open to their tasks, and ears closed to anything outside their focus.

Then we noticed that the streets were filling with soldiers trying to separate us from the crowds. And Stan stood at their head.

Elijah resisted and they fell back in a swoon.

Stan could only retreat.

Day Two Hundred Ninety Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We backtracked today, heading away from the seaport, all the way to Sy’s parents’ house. They had left me their keys and the invitation to replenish our supplies as we have need, and as long as they last.

Heavy rains swept the streets clear well before our arrival. We are reasonably certain that no one followed or saw us go in.

It felt good to be in and out of the drench and with the opportunity to rest and dry off.

We spent time together with the Spirit, petitioning for Elam’s well-being, and for his rescue.

And we also heard that we need to be at the seaport within eight days, or half way through this city’s final days.

Day Two Hundred Eighty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Acting on Elam’s urging, we did not return to the garden square last night. Instead he led us to an empty building on the side of the city nearer the seaport.

It was a relatively quiet night. The only noise drifted in from the government sector where some kind of rally was transpiring.

When we passed through the area this morning the streets were littered with bottles and syringes. Not a person in sight.

Elam gathered up his group from Sy’s father’s house, and we finally persuaded him to leave with them. It will be the last.

Elijah and I checked our spot in the square. Elam guessed right. Someone paid a call last night.

Twenty two days and counting.

Day Two Hundred Eighty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

“Twenty eight days.”

Acting our herald in the streets, Elam continued to proclaim the warning.

We gathered a train of people on our way to the administration building. They saw us coming and shut and locked the doors in our faces.

As Elijah spoke to the assemblage, I circulated in their midst. Some people I recognized from past days, but the further out I went, they all seemed so new – and I could tell that they were hearing all of this for the first time.

When Elijah finished I turned back to join him. A small group accosted me. Each one complained to me that which ever direction they tried they were denied exit.

I had no answer for them.

Day Two Hundred Seventy Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Last night was quiet and peaceful from one end to the other. Elijah must have made a lasting impression.

Sy’s father put in a request to him. He would like us to get a message to his son. Elijah refused as we are not headed that way. But he added that the only reason for returning – part way at least – would be to point them in the right direction. That ended the discussion.

We left for the administration building. It was as though we walked in a bubble, for everyone on the streets avoided us. And it was the same at the administration building. They declined to let us in until we bear the mark.

We’ll try another tack tomorrow.

Day Two Hundred Seventy Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

There are indications of a great slaughter in this area also, just no human remains left behind to decorate it.

Elijah kept our presence hidden from view. At any sign of activity, construction or otherwise he turned us aside.

Our course was so erratic that we lost our orientation. We entered building after building in search of a vantage point from which to regain our bearings. At long last Elijah was satisfied, and we descended to take up our march towards a garden square in the next sector over.

Suddenly, as we neared our destination, people filled the streets. But we were just two more figures moving in the gathering dusk.

We will spend the night in the garden square.

Day Two Hundred Sixty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I convinced Elijah to return with me into the building above. I wanted him to get an understanding of the city’s layout. And I had something important to share – between us alone.

We felt the burn in our calves after ascending those stairs.

Coming out of the stairwell on the 20th, the view of where we’ve been, greeted us – the river, the bridges and the distant mountain. We crossed to the back where the view of where we’re going awaited.

There were stark contrasts – lots of construction ahead on the left – nothing to the right.

Elijah thanked me. He now knows where we will go next.

I then shared that I saw Stan last night. Roaming the deserted streets below.

Day One Hundred Ninety Eight Evening #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Enough writes:

Grazie appeared to me in my dreams. She took my hand and I stood to my feet.

My cell door lay open. Soon I followed her lead through empty corridors and out into the streets of the second district.

I was not asleep after all.

We hid in an empty house in the third district.

An image of Flowers graced one wall.

Day One Hundred Twenty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle had returned late yesterday empty handed.  He said it was as if the streets cleared out whichever way he turned.

We both trekked back into the west end today. He will again seek out the one who is above the know-nothing supervisor.

I sought out Kip. But he found me first. He was waiting for me in the second avenue entrance.

We walked back to his home, and he spoke the whole way.

Before going in, I sensed it, all along he’d been trying to misdirect me. I confronted him.

A nervous tic took over and he broke down.

His words tumbled out, not contradicting all he previously shared, but a confession of the fears that motivated him.

Day One Hundred Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Passing by the last villages on the way to the city, Lyle didn’t bother to look.

I did. Unexpectedly people filled their tiny streets. I wondered why they were not in the city, but then I remembered the widow’s rejection.

Lyle kept the mother and her son close by. At some distance from the city gate, we flowed into a pen with waiting people. The son explained that only one can go forward to speak for his group. They hope that Lyle can persuade the gatekeepers of the metropolis to accept us.

We found an end to the line that wound through the pen, and joined it.

We had only advanced halfway when the gate closed.

We dared not leave.