In the last post: Dick Charmer danced on a roof. A local committee of men watched, and they weren't impressed
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 free, or wait to buy the whole story when published.
Enchanter on the Roof ® James Field. Part 04
Bert, who had rushed outside straight from his bed, glared at the young man dancing on his rooftop. He saw how the young girls drooled over him as if he were a pop or film star. Even his fiancé Olive had started putting on extra makeup and taken to wearing her tightest clothes. “I think he’s a wanker, don’t we Alf,” he said to his best mate.
Bert looked down at his own massive body. A fully-grown male walrus might be proud of it, but not a gorgeous babe like Olive. Sadly, he could understand why she found other men more physically attractive, but she didn't need to make it so obvious. The way she'd joined the crowd and drooled over this randy newcomer made his blood boil.
“You look ruffled, my good friend,” said Morris, the Cloud Estate's dwarfish gardener and self-appointed general. "Haven’t you slept well?”
Bert’s best mate Alf laughed and punched his shoulder with enough force to bowl a normal man off his feet. “Bert’s worried about Olive. Thinks she’s gonna fall for that twit up there.”
“Huh,” said Morris, hands in pockets. He rocked on his heels and swung his potbelly to the music's deafening beat, “no need to worry yourself there, Bert. Strutting cockerels like Dick Charmer are not interested in old hens like Olive. They prefer the adorable young chicks.”
To be continued…
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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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