Dear friends, if you like a good chuckle, dim-witted heroes, and larger-than-life villains, then you'll love this fascinating series. 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 for free, or wait to buy the entire story when published.
Enchanter on the Roof ® James Field. Part 25
Olive knew how to make amends to her fiancé. Bert loved his food, and the best way to his heart was through his stomach. After another shower, a quick plastering of makeup, and squeezing into jeans and T-shirt, she set about in her kitchen to fry a full English breakfast. As an extra treat, she found room on the table for mounds of chocolate croissants and cream-puff cakes; Bert’s favourites.
Uncertain how Bert would react when she fetched him from his neighbouring house, she paused in her lounge, faced the inside of her front door, and took a few deep breaths.
In spite of his ferocious appearance, at heart, Bert was as soft and sweet as marshmellows, and easily hurt. He’d never shown anger toward her, no matter what she did, but last night's flirtatious performance on the dance floor was bad.
She'd only been having a bit of harmless fun, but Bert wouldn't understand that. He'd looked so distraught that she thought he might do something foolish. And she didn't want to lose him.
No more delays. Time to fetch him and let him know she was his alone. She wiggled her hips, expanded her chest, pouted her lips, and counted to three. On the count, she flung the door open—and howled!
Bert Dangled from his neck in front of her, as dead as one of those scarecrows in the fields. She screamed, and then she screamed some more, until, with one last screech trailing off into a strangled croak, she fainted.
To be continued…
The real world:
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Like to know more about Alf, Bert and the rest of the gang? You can read their chaotic history in What on Earth.
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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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