In the last post: Morris didn't suspect Alf had acted the troll, or that a real troll had later tossed Alf high into a fir tree...
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 29
Morris had stood crouched in his tent the whole night, taking slow, cautious movements, stiffening and going still at every sound. Wasn't it me who had pooh-poohed at the idea of trolls, he thought. And now here I am, pooh-poohing in my pants. He sagged against one of the tent's poles and reached out to steady himself; his manhood had taken a serious bashing this night.
As the first golden rays of morning sun touched his tent, Morris dared to draw the canvas aside and peek outside. Time to set off for home, he thought, without the magic toadstools. Poor Sibyl would be disappointed, but under such circumstances she should be glad he was still alive. Gritting his teeth, he sent a probing gaze into the woods; but today there was no sign of a troll.
There was no method in the way he took the tent apart. He ran around pulling stakes, dragged the canvas from the poles, and stuffed them in his rucksack. Bits bulged out all over the place, and he could hardly make the buckles reach to snap shut. Fifteen minutes later he set off, and if he hurried and didn't bump into any trolls, he'd be home in time for breakfast.
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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