In the last post: distressed after being hassled by a troll all night, Morris hurries home in the morning sun...
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’ is drawing to a close. Next up is ‘Enchanter on the Roof.’ Starting soon.
Eerie Eve ® James Field. Part 30
Just after Morris skirted Trollop Knoll, a new shock brought him to a standstill. High in the branches of a fir tree he saw two black objects that looked like large animals. Apart from deer, there weren't any large animals on the Cloud estate and none that could climb trees. The trolls! He humped the rucksack higher on his back and bolted off, leaving the threat behind.
But then he noticed a pair of long legs in trousers and a shiny bald head glistening in the sunlight. It was no other than Alf who hung there, him and his daft robot. Cradled in the robot's lap, Alf snored, as if it were the most natural pursuit in the world.
Morris staggered back to the evergreen, dumped his rucksack, and blew out his cheeks. What was the Cloud estate's security guard doing in a tree? Sleeping on duty?
"Hello, Alf, see any burglars from up there?" he shouted, feeling safer now that he wasn't alone in the forest. "Or are you hiding from trolls?" It proved big tough Alf was no braver than him, so he forced a laugh, thinking it better to make light of the situation and cover his own distress.
Alf woke with a jolt and almost fell from his perch. Lucky for him, his trouser belt snagged in a branch and held him back. He rubbed his eyes, smacked his tongue, and showed all the signs of a major hangover.
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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