In the last post: neither Alf nor Morris admitted to being accosted by a troll; some things are best left unspoken...
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 32
Side by side, Morris and Alf walked back through the forest. At the rear side of the mansion, Morris took his rucksack from Alf, almost toppled under the weight, and swung away toward the kitchen door.
"I'm coming with you," said Alf. "I need one of Sibyl's potions for me headache."
So did Morris. But the kitchen smelled of egg and bacon, and he’d rather have the food than one of Sibyl’s disgusting concoctions. There had been no time for breakfast at his campsite.
"Hungry?" asked Sibyl. She glanced over her shoulder, and when she saw Alf cracked six more eggs and dropped ten extra rashers of bacon into two separate cast-iron frying pans. "Either of you fancy mushrooms?"
Morris glanced at Alf and saw his own lack of enthusiasm reflected there. "No thank you," they said in unison.
Sibyl half turned and studied them. "I see," she said. "No toadstools for me?"
Morris slid his hands into his pockets and let his shoulders roll forward. "I'm sorry," he mumbled, and flopped into a chair at the table, "but clouds covered the moon at midnight. There were no toadstools that I could see."
"I found one," said Alf, expanding his chest.
Both Morris and Sibyl stared at him.
"Only a small one," said Alf, displaying its size with his fingers.
"Yes," said Sibyl, "what did you with it?"
"I ate it."
Sibyl's eyebrows shot up and her jaw shot down. "You did what?"
"I, eh, ate it. I'm going to be all right, aren't I?"
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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