“On your feet, all of you. There is much to be done in a short time. We are moving the temple.” Brother Michael’s usually calm voice was sharp and commanding.. His body rippled with motion as he carried boxes into one of the trucks parked outside.. He nodded to several crates and cots in the hallway. Within minutes the items were being loaded. They were an organized team of workers, asking no questions but doing as they were told. When the rooms were empty the Chosen stood around, uncertain what was to happen next.
“We are going for a long ride so relieve yourselves. We will not stop for anything..” Several women hurried to the bathroom like obedient children.Magdala tried to get his attention. At last he said sharply, “What is it?”
“Dorcas is not well, Bother Michael. We can’t leave her behind,” she pleaded.
“She is being provided for. Starting this evening at our new temple you will be my assistant.” He gave her only a fleeting glance and turned his attention elsewhere.
Dorcas sat down by the water fountain and stared up at him. “I didn’t ask for any special attention, Brother, Michael. Please don’t send me away.”
He stood looking down at her. ”Here is your bus ticket home. When you have regained your health you may join us again. This relocation would be too much for you. I will send word where we are so you may rejoin us. We will remember you in our payers.”
Dorcas was crying. “I can’t go home like this.”
“Say no more. Everyone into the trucks. Now.”
Magdala was the last into the closed truck. She looked back at Dorcas. Who stood on the step,crying and alone.
The ride was long and tedious. The Chosen could not see where they were being taken as they jostled in makeshift seats on boxes and cots, bumping into each other on unexpected turns and stops. .A few of them were crying, a few, sleeping, as they were carried along to a new temple. They made only one stop for a sandwich and some paper cups of water to assuage their thirst.The brief stop afforded them some light and they assessed their cramped quarters. For some the darkness and motion of the truck had produced, nausea and the smell of human waste added to their misery. Where Brother Michael rode was a mystery..
The first thing Magdala asked Brother Michael when they had finally reached their destination was, ”How will my father know where to send the key.? And how is Della?”
He was haggard and unshaven. His face was dark under a distant street light. “I had a call from the hospital before we left. Della has died.”
Magdala took the news silently, with no further thought of the key. She stumbled stiffly into the old farmhouse that would serve as their new temple.
The weary quickly set up their collection of lanterns and cots. The Brother assured them in the morning he would see to electricity and water. Despite the poor conditions, they were quickly asleep from exhaustion.
H is. is f ace was dark with only a distsnt street light. “I had a call from t he hopitaal before we left. Della has died.is face darkened in t he dim street light. I had a call from the kpospial before wwe left. Della has died.