Day Nine Hundred Eighty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A hush hung over us all morning. Not a breeze was stirring anywhere atop the table plateau. All our conversations had the same quality, carried on in undertones. In fact even my thoughts seemed muffled to me.

The anticipated return of the water couriers was no doubt responsible.

I discussed my suspicions with Elijah about who among us may be the tares. Surprisingly of the half dozen I have identified (and the Purser concurs) only one is in uniform.

We thought it wise to have Tomas descend to the camel pen to keep a lookout- for them, and for the return of the water couriers.

The day was far gone when the couriers came over the rim followed by Jezer.

Day Nine Hundred Thirty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

My slumber was disturbed by sounds of movement without our camp. My thoughts landed on the pesky villager as the likely culprit. But when I arose to check, I encountered a wild dog instead. I chased it away and Elijah continued sleeping.

It was all a preview for the day ahead. If it were not curious critters, it was the occasional passing drone that kept us alert.

At one point along the way, Elijah deviated off the path to climb to the top of a round mountain.

At the top he stood silently. His eyes behind the mist of memory flit here and there around the scene.

And as suddenly as he had stopped he asked pardon and we left.

Day Eight Hundred Ninety #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We started out yesterday via a route aimed at Damascus. I followed with no comment. Rather my thoughts flocked around a recurring vision that revisited me over night.

Then, about midday, Elijah took us off the Damascus bound road and onto another.

In one action we reversed direction and are now on the way up to Jerusalem.

With this change I felt it appropriate to broach the topic of my vision to Elijah.

My unease increased when he shared his similar vision – rising rivers of blood flooding a broad plain.

He was quick to add that though it’s time was near, it was not immediate.

As we continued, I pondered my need to beware leaning into my own limited understanding.

Day Eight Hundred Seventy Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The authorities had given up their recent strategy, and no longer attempted to locate us. Instead they hit on the idea of making us come to them. They wanted us to surrender in exchange for the remaining widows and orphans in their control.

Neither Meesa nor Jezer were amenable to letting us act on that offer.

I was of the same frame of mind, but none of us knew what Elijah’s thoughts were on the matter.

For he had not been appraised yet about their demand. He had sequestered himself late yesterday.

And such we thought was still the case.

Then all of a sudden we answered a knock at the door and Elijah entered, widows and orphans in tow.

Day Eight Hundred Seventy Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have completed our first round of meetings, and they have resulted in a multitude of blessings. Besides the bonds that have been forged, the fact that we were kept on the move, thwarted the attempts of the authorities to locate us.

Meesa reports that all are encouraged by our freedom of movement, and they claim it to be the Hand of the Holy One at work on behalf of His children.

I confess to one lingering concern. If the authorities had indeed learned about the presence of Elijah and myself in the city, who told them?

My thoughts insist on returning to the individual who demanded that Elijah confront the persecutors with divine power.

Could anyone be so unwise?

Day Eight Hundred Forty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Snow remained atop the mountain to our front, lasting well beyond that which has disappeared down here on the desert floor. We should arrive at its base in one more night march.

That occasion will mark the extent of the instructions given to us by Quasimo. Elijah intimates that he has a sense for our next immediate destination, but thus far has not divulged it to me, wanting instead that I confirm it independently.

I am asking, but no answer has been forthcoming. Neither between my first and second watch, nor after the second.

I was tired and nodded off.

Perhaps during tonight’s march. I pray for a revelation.

Before drifting off again my thoughts turned to our absent friends.

Day Eight Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We left the easy path behind us at the well. It’s all up and down sand dunes now, so it’s hard to keep straight as Quasimo advised. We were supposed to keep the path of the moon perpendicular to ours. Hard to do as it was cloudy most of the night.

Though I was losing my bearings, Elijah kept steadfast. And our finding the next well depends upon it.

Upon the uphill trudge I would wonder what everything would look like in the daylight, but on the downhill slope all such thoughts fly off.

I realized I needed to focus my thoughts on something else. Something with weight.

As we settle in at daylight we hear barking in the distance.

Day Eight Hundred Thirty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were exhausted by the time morning rolled along, having been awake and moving all day and night.

Our path was easy going, helped along by the glow of the moon while it was up.

Still, as we turned in for the daylight hours, my mind was overfull with the trek so far.

The events from the bridge to the rock formation run over and over in my thoughts, colored by my apprehension that a drone might overtake us before we found it. And the trek through the desert night carried its own unease as we were alert to find our next landmark. A well that should mark an end to this effortless pathway.

It helps to breathe and pray.

Day Eight Hundred Twenty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We kept well off the road as we made our way west. The traffic thereon has been noticeably less than we remember. Tanker trucks were still in the majority, but more appeared to be headed west than we had seen rolling down to the megapolis.

Quasimo thought it an indication of big changes in store for the region and for the world. Stan always talked about moving west to Jerusalem. The financial levers would remain in Babylon. What he had planned for the City of David was on a whole other level.

Quasimo was silent for a spell, obviously disturbed by his thoughts.

Elijah moved beside him to encourage, and to tell him that certain things must come to pass.

Day Seven Hundred Thirty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Hour upon hour passed by. And not a peep from our captors. Nor did anyone look in on us. Not even to deliver a morsel of bread that has been our daily allotment.

We can only speculate that they have their hands full elsewhere. My thoughts went immediately to the return of the tanker trucks with combat units.

Tomas tried the door at one point. It was still locked. But no one outside reacted to the ruckus it raised.

This inspired the Captain to again rummage through the chamber for anything that could jimmy the door. As in every time before there was nothing that wasn’t bolted down. His efforts only raised his frustration.

Elijah remained calm and waited patiently.