The Fairy Diary Day 28 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The tracks we have been following run as straight as an arrow. Which is odd. For there is a constant up and down as we climb and descend hill after hill. One would think a more level and less arduous route would have been pursued. 

If anything it is revealing of the singleness of mind of the enemy. And perhaps, just perhaps, its weakness. 

All day Rumble kept close to our tiny friend, who continues to be very helpful, drawing from his knowledge of the terrain. 

Yet on our midday stop Dunfallon told us that he will soon be at the limit of his experience. And from what others have told him no pixie towns are to be found thereafter. Rather he fears the tales that trolls and dwarves dwell there, especially the closer one gets to the mountain. 

And that appears to be the destination of the mysterious tracks.

The Fairy Diary Day 27 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

In his forays in and around the burrows Rumble had discovered some suspicious tracks. He thinks they may be those left by the enemy when they attacked. Similar ones lead away. 

I concurred. So we set out to follow them whithersoever they lead. 

At first we had to restrain Dunfallon from running on ahead. Both Rumble and I feared for his state of mind. His grief was passing and something darker was taking its place. 

Finally I called a halt and we confronted him about it. 

He was resistant at first and loudly insisted on continuing on his own. 

I locked him in my arms and held him gently. He had no real strength to wriggle free. And at last fell quiet. 

I assured him that we would find those responsible. But added that we would handle things in a right and just way, not in a wrong or unjust way.  

Day Eight Hundred Sixty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

This time Elijah wasn’t the only one to notice. When the young woman overtook and passed us by on the road, I saw that she bore a mark, and I could tell it was very much like that of Jezer. Phony.

For her part when she looked back at us, shock registered in her face. And I knew that her surprise was due to the absence of the mark on either of us.

She stopped in her tracks, not knowing what to do.

Elijah rushed forward to reassure her. The fact that she was alone on the road, I believe, made her even more apprehensive, so I held back.

Elijah was able to calm her.

It was a propitious meeting.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Mei made the sighting. She was watching the skies, but was drawn to flashes on the ridge line far to the east of us. When I looked I thought it was the water survey party we passed a few days ago.

So it was good that we were all set to leave. Tomas had covered the tracks of Jordan’s group per the plan and had selected another path away from the area.

On Elijah’s order we torched the pile of debris and stepped out again for points north on a trail that must have been used by those fleeing from that direction.

Tomas stayed with the group to help us over the tricky parts.

We should have a solid lead.

Day Six Hundred Eighty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tracks continued to precede us on the trail. Another set joined the first at the juncture of the path with a mountain stream. This second set came up from below.

We slowed our pace by tacit agreement. I believe none of us wanted an encounter up here in the mountains.

We all felt relief on that score when the path forked and the pair of tracks took the upward bound route. We will stay the course and keep in view of the pass below.

We are left curious though. Tomas told us that the upward branch was marked with signs of warnings about radiation – like those in the hills up from the town on the plain.

Elijah alone remains unconcerned.

Day Six Hundred Eighty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We arrived in an area at a lower elevation – and less cold. The advance units of the army had disappeared further down the pass and the main body had marched into view.

They moved more swiftly than before. At the double quick.

At first I wondered how long they could maintain that pace, but then I was struck by perhaps a more important question – why.

Tomas chimed in with the thought that they may have discovered evidence of their enemy’s presence back in that defile.

Our discussion on this topic was interrupted by the Captain who brought the news that we were not alone on the trail.  He had found tracks on our path that merged onto it from above.

Day Four Hundred Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The crunch of our footsteps upon the caked salt, kept us company as we stuck to the tracks of the many who have passed before us.

It was easier to keep our heads down and eyes focused on the patterns on the ground rather than the over bright whiteness stretching beyond, made worse by the glowing haze that hugs the horizon.

That’s probably why we did not see the muddy quagmire until we almost stumbled into it. I looked up to see a man buried up to his neck in the sticky mess.

Elijah and I freed him with some risk to ourselves. He barely nodded his thanks as he sped away.

Does bearing the mark always make one surly?

Day Eighty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Steady climbing today. The notch the path is aimed at is in clear view.

We had an alert from Rufus. Something was nearby just out of sight. Lyle checked and did find some tracks. He thinks they’re from a bear. But they were headed away from us. My opinion anyway.

We’re both agreed that we’ll need to secure our foodstuffs over night. And set a watch. And launch a drone.

The last was my idea. But Lyle says it can’t and won’t be his. I guess if I feel that strong about it it’ll have to be mine.

After giving it some more thought I decide not to.

Another night of watchfulness. Yet so good to rest all our aches.