Day One Thousand Two Hundred Thirty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We depended upon Mawuli to lead us around to one of the last remaining approaches to the hiding place. Besides the difficulty of negotiating the terrain of the route he had another problem to deal with.

Small groups of soldiers kept impeding our forward movement. It was apparent these men were no longer organized patrols, and all were moving in one direction. Up to Jerusalem.

We were halted waiting for one such group to pass, when Mawuli led a guest back to us.

We crowded around Mei, overjoyed to see her.

Then it fell to me to break the news of the deaths of the Captain and Tomas.

Hiding tears she put on a brave face and led us in.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Ninety Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The terrain we have traversed is deserted. So Tomas’s job has been easy with not much to warn about or shield us from.

His focus, therefore has changed.  With yesterday’s earthquake there have been changes to the landmarks we have used in the past to direct our steps. Whole sections of rock have uplifted obliterating entire pathways.

The course of the sun is his best indication of direction.

I am left wondering how much this will slow our passage. And what it means to those who are and will be following us.

Tomas says I worry too much. And Elijah agrees.

Most likely so. I prefer to describe it as caring. But that’s not to say my companions care less.

Day Nine Hundred Sixty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Jezer had guessed right. Indeed, there were checkpoints where hitherto there had been none. But they were easily spotted and the terrain was such that we had no trouble screening our passage around them.

Reuben took the extra precaution of sending scouts forward to locate any lone sentinels positioned as lookouts. Thankfully there were none.

All these extra exertions were very taxing and slowed our progress as half the time we were headed away from our goal. This frustration we took in stride and made us the more thankful for Jezer’s thoughtfulness in supplying each of us with a water skin.

As we went along Elijah and I discussed with Reuben the things he should know about our mutual future.

Day Seven Hundred Ninety Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We covered a good deal of ground today. The terrain changed. We have left the hills behind. Now we have entered into the prairie – still on our southwest trajectory.

Our resting place this evening finds us at a crossroads. The six of us gathered for a meeting. Each one knew before a word was spoken that a momentous shift was afoot.

Elijah looked from one to the next in succession, and lastly to me.

It fell to my lot to make the announcement.

Tomorrow, Elijah and I were to part from them. They – Mei, Raj P, Tomas and the Captain and their groups will take the road west. Elijah and I shall head south.

There were no questions, just assent.

Day Seven Hundred Fifty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas did find another path. We have taken it and left behind the busy road and its dangers. It is pointed due north and looks to keep true to that orientation.

Early on I remarked to Elijah that the terrain we were passing through looked familiar. He replied that there was a good reason for my recognition of our surroundings. And stated that we were on the approaches to the place in the north we had visited by the power of the Spirit many months ago.

The memory of that time flooded me with peace. We had been there less than a span of a day, yet it was unforgettable.

And I’ll never forget Jordan’s astonishment at our sudden return.

Day Six Hundred Sixty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Dried up scrub characterizes the terrain we pass through. So all the more we are excited by the prospect of greenery in the distant valley. We should reach it tomorrow.

No doubt it will be refreshingly green, but I wonder for how long.

How long until it’s lushness gives way to the grayness that surrounds us here?

That question paled to nothing when the Captain reminded us that it’s been days since we last glimpsed the army to our south.

We know, per Tomas and later the ex-soldiers, that the warplanes did no damage to its viability.

Are they still behind us? Or have they gained or surpassed us?

I have a premonition that they must come through here.

Day Six Hundred Forty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The terrain has changed. Much less vegetation. And the trail has taken a turn to the south, following what I make out to be a river course – dry with not a lick of moisture.

Tomas was fully recovered and ranged far to our front, vigilant to protect us.

The night air was cold. We had to keep moving to keep warm. The Captain feels it most keenly.

I remained by Elijah’s side. (He no longer hangs back to pray, rejoining us at a later time). He has added a wealth of detail to what he told me yesterday, but I still await an independent confirmation.

We halted at the first streaks of dawn and prepared ourselves against the coming heat.

Day Four Hundred Ninety One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The terrain of our passage last night was for the most part level and easy going. I judge that we have covered the most ground yet.

As the first glimmer of dawn was stretching its fingers in our direction it revealed a town huddled around the road ahead.

Again no inhabitants were evident. Though the sound of engines rumbled somewhere within.

We were cautious on approach.

Elijah was intent on finding the best place to rest for the day. I was alert for the source of the engine noise.

Our road did not take a direct route through the town, but took a right turn off a central square.

As we took that turn we saw a truck speed away.

Day Two Hundred Fourteen Morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle writes:

The terrain has changed to a level expanse, running straight. (No place for a snake to hide and surprise the hapless passerby).

Studied my goal before closing my eyes. Made a decision. I shall drink the water that should be there, but I will continue to fast.