In the last post: High in the branches of a fir tree, Alf wakes with a hangover and Morris wants to know why he's up there...
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 31
Morris watched as Alf freed his trouser belt and then untangled his robot. After taking a firm grip on the fir tree's trunk, Alf kicked the robot loose and it bounced through the branches and crashed to the ground in a heap. Then Alf climbed down, agile as a monkey, and stood before Morris. "Got any water?" he croaked.
Morris waved a hand in front of his nose and took a step back. "What in God's name have you eaten? Smells like troll shit." He plucked a bottle of water from one of the rucksack's side pockets and passed it to Alf.
After emptying the bottle, Alf's mouth remained tight, as if he could still taste something bad. Then he gave a quick, disgusted snort. "Trolls? You and me should know. There ain't many people in this world who's met a troll—like what we have."
Morris heard the sarcasm in Alf’s words but decided not to respond. When neither of them knew what had happened to the other, and how they had reacted, he felt that his honour was saved.
"I'll come for Crusher later," said Alf. "His hydraulics sprung a leak." Before Morris had a chance to scrutinise the robot, Alf swung Morris's rucksack onto his broad back and marched off.
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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