In the last post: Bert had accidentally executed the gardener, Lance. Chief Inspector Dobbs wants answers...
Dear friends, if you like a good chuckle, dim-witted heroes, and larger-than-life villains, then you'll love this fascinating series. 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 for free, or wait to buy the entire story when published.
Enchanter on the Roof ® James Field. Part 28
Aroused by Olive's piercing scream, a small crowd of early risers gathered. Half of them were young ladies, vacationing at The Stables. The rest comprised workers and owners who had been up since dawn to groom the horses, tend the farm animals, or mind the pets in the mini-zoo.
Bert blinked, he couldn't believe it: they sniggered and laughed as if attending a Punch and Judy show.
At the neighbouring terrace house, Dick Charmer opened his front door and stationed himself in the frame, hands on hips. “Pleasant morning for a hanging,” he said, and a fresh round of laughter broke out.
“What’s so funny?” Bert demanded to know, lips pinched into a white gash. He swung away from the ladder, clutched on by one hand, and twisted to gawk at the mob. “Can’t you see Lance is dead?”
This triggered a rowdy guffaw from Dick Charmer, and the crowd went into hysterics, clapping and stomping their feet.
“That’s enough,” growled Chief Inspector Dobbs, struggling to look authoritative in his dressing gown and slippers. “Everybody go about your business; and no photos. Put your mobiles away or I’ll confiscate them.”
To be continued…
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Like to know more about Alf, Bert and the rest of the gang? You can read their chaotic history in What on Earth.
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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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