In the last post: Morris and Alf returned to Sibyl's kitchen, ashamed they found no toadstools for her. Alf boasted he ate one...
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. This is the last part of ‘Eerie Eve’. Next up is ‘Enchanter on the Roof.’
Eerie Eve ® James Field. Part 33
Sibyl turned back to the frying pans and flipped the eggs and bacon. Her well-padded shoulders bounced in silent amusement.
"What?" said Alf, nausea rising in his throat. "So I ate a tiny little toadstool. I'm going to be all right, aren't I?"
"Oh yes, mostly. But..." Laughter stifled her words and it took a moment before she could continue. "But if there's ever another full moon on the ninth day of September, you'll be so love-struck that you'll have to go searching for your lady troll."
It was then Morris noticed his wicker basket, still packed with toadstools, on a shelf above Sibyl's head. "Ah," he said, suspecting how she might have obtained them.
Alf followed his gaze and sunk into a dining chair. "Huh! How did that get there?"
Sibyl swaggered across the stone floor, a loaded plate of food in each hand. After placing one in front of each man, she wiped her hands on her pinafore, released her hairnet, swished her hair loose, and clapped them on their backs. "You boys care to tell me your version of why you're both so tired?" Her nose suddenly seemed longer than usual and her pupils had grown beady. She blinked at them, a mischievous twinkle in her eyes. “Had the company of Husminx, maybe?”
"I'll tell you about it later," mumbled Morris, which was his way of saying: let's not talk about it. All he wanted was to forget the night and his cowardly behaviour as best he could.
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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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