In the last post: As Alf strolled along in his cheerful thoughts, he stopped. Was that a troll he saw...?
Dear friends, on Tuesdays and Saturdays I’m blogging nibble-sized chunks of new ‘Life in the Clouds’ stories. You can check in regularly and read them free, or wait to buy the whole story when published.
Eerie Eve ® James Field. Part 18
The troll was about Alf's height, which was towering for a human, and its shoulders and back were huge, like a gorilla on steroids. The top half of its body was bare, its skin rough and green like a crocodile's. A pair of baggy trousers, held up by belt and braces, reached to its bowed knees. Its hair, ragged, long and bleached, resembled a lion's mane. Two beady eyes glared at him, like an eagle sizing up its prey. And its nose, ah, well, long, like an erect penis.
Alf searched his memory for knowledge of trolls. As far as he could remember, trolls were powerful giants and enemies of humans. They live in caves or in castles on hilltops, robbing and eating any travellers foolish enough to stray into their domain after dark. Huge, hard-skinned, and impossible to destroy; sunlight alone could defeat them, either turning them to stone or making them explode.
The troll expanded its chest and drew a huge breath, then clenched its fists, bent forward, and released a roar that would have blown Alf's hat off if he'd been wearing one. The smell of the creature's breath made his toes curl.
Not believing his eyes, Alf closed them and opened his third eye. The creature still stood there, ugly and real as life.
The real world:
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A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
To save the jobs of those in the Japanese government who helped him escape, Masaji Ishikawa wrote: “…obviously I wasn’t going to start talking to the press.” Instead, he wrote this mammoth best-selling book? Sorry, but I don’t believe this man’s autobiography can be true. If it is, then he is likely responsible for the sacking of those government officials who helped his return to Japan, and worse, expose his family to torture or execution in North Korea.
It may well be that he moved to North Korea in 1960, aged thirteen, where he lived until his escape in 1996. However, I rather believe his memoir is an over dramatised collection of exaggerated incidents he picked up from others. In which case, good for him.
I hope this is the case; otherwise, he puts himself in a poor light. From his book, he already comes across as egoistic, beating up anyone who upsets him and often leaving his family to starve while he runs off to find work to feed himself.
North Korea is undoubtedly not an agreeable place to live, but propaganda and false news flourish. The story in this book is captivating and mind-bogglingly tragic, hence four stars. I just don’t accept Mr Ishikawa’s life was as awful, or maybe I don’t want to believe, as he relates.
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James at Goodreads