Day Nine Hundred Forty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The wind changed and was at our backs when we walked out of the wilderness into the village. The streets were deserted but we didn’t think it strange, given the time of day- early afternoon.

The only building not closed up was an inn on the main street. We entered and were greeted by the innkeeper. He remained friendly even after we said we would not be staying. When Elijah asked after the news of the day, a youngster sweeping the floor sidled away.

The innkeeper had just finished his account of police patrols combing the area for two strangers, when in burst five men who seized us.

As they placed us in their vehicle I saw the pesky villager.

Day Nine Hundred Forty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We had the wind in our faces all day. Few words passed between us while we were moving. The couple instances when talk was necessary we stopped and huddled on the ground.

The first time we discussed how long to keep going today. We decided to press on while it was light.

We halted the second time when the village at the edge of the wilderness came into view. I wanted to alter course to avoid it and the nosy villager. But Elijah was eager for news, even if it were more than likely hopelessly out of date.

He just had a sense that something important awaited us.

Thus we forged on in silence, retracing our path to the village.

Day Four Hundred Forty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Heavy rains moved in today. The Captain’s concern grew when the wind picked up. He ordered the ship underway after a thorough checking of the lashings. In charge of that detail, Tomas had some of them doubled.

I watched from the bridge as the shoreline slid by. Elijah pointed out the rickety staircase by which we climbed up off the beach. The wind then died and a mist settled in along the coast of the island.

We were no sooner into the channel between the island and the mainland when the wind freshened. And within seconds day turned to blackened night and the wind mounted in ferocity.

The Captain commanded the ship about and we sailed away from our destination.

Day Two Hundred Twenty Late Morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle writes:

I meant to check out that water fountain, but was sidetracked by a voice calling out my name. Thought it might be Enough calling for help.  

But realized it was the wind and my imagination.

Must be wary of my weakened state.

Day Two Hundred Six Late Morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Enough writes:

So good to rest after walking the night through. Though when moving I did not feel the hunger so keenly.

Wish I could wash. I was pelted with ash borne by the wind from the fires. Did my best to shake it off, but the smell lingers.

Should pass into the desert tomorrow.

Look to the Spirit’s leading.

Day One Hundred Sixty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

All witness accounts line up. The single column of smoke rising from the center of the first district made its first appearance two days ago.

I went into the city to investigate. I walked to where the gates to the first district once stood. They have been removed, and the gap walled up.

An easterly wind pushed the smoke in this direction filling the sky overhead. It bore with it the sound of cymbals and drums.

I turned my back on the sights and sounds and strode away. A man came out of his house and stopped me. He asked what it all meant. I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Nothing good.”

Peace returned to me in the walled courtyard.

Day Sixty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The rest of the night was uneventful. With the dawn the wind died down. Since Lyle stood the last watch I let him sleep in.

I checked around outside. Nothing. Though the message was still on the door.

I brought in some wood to restock the fire and made some breakfast.

Then we prepared to set out as planned. After the briefest of discussions in which we again confirmed to one another our agreement to keep to the plan and continue on into the mountains, we shuffled the dirt from our shoes and hit the trail.

After the next valley and the following ridge, since nothing came to view, we knew we would again be camping out under the stars.

Day Sixty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I rushed out the front door and Lyle followed. Nothing was there that either of us could see. Lyle flashed his light this way and that and still nothing.

I began to think that it was just a chance occurrence, like a tree limb falling or something.  The wind was still running fresh. The only sound outside was its mournful moan rising and falling with its intensity. But here again definitely not human.

We decided to head back in.

And there it was on the door – scrawled in large letters – GO BACK THE WAY YOU CAME.

Startling, but we shrugged it off quickly after Lyle opined that it was pure intimidation – all bark, no bite.

I stood the first watch.

Day Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have now completely examined all of the village’s buildings. We indeed are all alone.

We have packed all that we deem useful, leaving much that is too bulky or unwieldy.

I proposed that we spend one more night before taking to the trail again. My proposal was agreed to.

The wind kicked up as the sun went down. It felt good to be indoors. And with a fire in a fireplace.

We turned in after supper, but kept to the floor. Lyle can’t sleep on anything else, and I don’t want to get used to not roughing it.

We decided to suspend our times on watch. Not a good decision as it turns out. For the night went bump.

Day Fifty One PM #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It’s getting so that I trust Clarissa better than the electronics package on my drone.

A wind swept in from the mountains, carrying the fragrance of alpine flowers and pine needles. I felt the urge ever stronger to be on my way. I decided to give Lyle one more day. If he does not show by tomorrow morning, I’m going to press on.

My drone has revealed that there appears to be two paths to choose from.  One is wide enough for vehicles; the other is just a footpath. It is harder to see where the latter goes for it often disappears beneath the forest growth. I am seeing that characteristic as very desirable.

The sooner tomorrow comes the better.