In the last post: Dick Charmer has a fantastic secret that makes his life worth living. Unless Bert finds out...
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 20
A knot swelled in Dick Charmer's belly. He just couldn't guess why Bert slept above Olive's front door, and somehow, it seemed sinister. One reason after the other ran through his mind, but nothing made sense.
He sighed and climbed back down the scaffolding ladder. Then his eyes popped open in disbelief. Was that a noose he could see, hanging head height in front of Olive's door?
It was difficult to see the crinkly wire in the shaded moonlight, but he was young and his eyesight was sharp. To make certain his peepers hadn’t deceived him, he reached out to touch it. There could be no mistake; it felt cold and thin and had a loose hangman’s knot twisted to form a loop.
A new thought came to Dick Charmer. In the weeks he’d worked at The Stables, he’d learnt that Olive and Bert planned to marry. From the way Olive had behaved at the disco, slobbering all over him like a frustrated spinster, it wouldn't surprise him if Bert were insanely jealous. But so jealous that he wanted to murder her? That took some believing.
The evening’s events replayed in his mind. Olive had tried to seduce him on the disco’s dance floor. If she’d been fifteen years younger, she might have tempted him; but the evening was about business, not pleasure. So he’d frolicked with her long enough to slip an impressive engagement ring from her finger and then moved on to the next chick.
Dick Charmer whistled softly as the puzzle cleared. Somehow, Olive had enchanted Bert and it was doubtful he wanted to harm her. More likely, Bert had expected them to saunter home arm-in-arm and planned to kill him.
Rather than fill him with shock or terror, Dick Charmer grinned. The big dummy had acted on blind animal instinct, which just went to prove he had more beef than brain.
Still, lynching somebody was a serious business and Bert needed a severe reprimand. One he wouldn't forget in a hurry. Oh, yes, he'd soon learn not to mess with a smart guy like him.
Careful not to wake Bert, Dick Charmer climbed up the ladder again and dangled Chief Inspector Dobbs identity card around Bert’s head; his skilful fingers were as deft planting loot as lifting it. Let him explain that when he wakes.
And because that was just one surprise he had in store for Bert, he had to clamp his hands over his mouth to stop himself from exploding in laughter.
To be continued…
The real world:
Rather than miss an instalment, it’s easy to follow my blog on bloglovin’. They’ll give you a friendly nudge as I release new parts.
Like to know more about Alf, Bert and the rest of the gang? You can read their chaotic history in What on Earth.
It's easy to follow James's blog on: Follow
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.
View all my reviews
James at Goodreads