In the last Post: Fleeing from the troll, Alf wished he had wings. But they were for angels, not sinners like him...
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 22
When Alf reached the large oak tree at the base of Trollop Knoll, he skidded to a stop on the other side, lent against the trunk, and heaved for breath. There was no point running further, the troll was gaining on him. Whatever was about to happen could happen here and now. And there came the troll, hissing and puffing like a berserk steamroller.
The troll slowed its pace and trundled to a standstill. It sniffed the air like a bloodhound, followed its nose to the oak tree and peeked around the trunk. But Alf, who had regained his breath, dashed around to the trunk's other side.
So it's come to this, thought Alf, a game of tag. Even though Alf was fitter than fit, and had the advantage of nimbleness, he didn't think he could play this game indefinitely; certainly not until the sun rose to turn the troll back to stone or make it explode.
But for now, all Alf could do was stay on his feet, stay out of sight, and keep the trunk between them. The troll sniffed and followed his twitching nose around the tree. It trod slowly at first, and then picked up speed until the two of them tore along in a blurring headlong sprint.
To be continued…
Image: Tree by Gert Aldmann
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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