In the last post: stranded in the high branches of a fur tree, Alf fell asleep and dreamed of his newfound love...
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 ® James Field. Part 28
Down by the mansion's small lake, Morris hadn't slept a wink in his tent. His rolled-up sleeping bag still lay in a corner, unused, and his neck and back ached so bad that he couldn't stand straight.
Something had scared him while picking toadstools on Trollop Knoll last midnight, and he’d escaped back to his tent—for all the meagre safety it offered. As much as he wanted to deny it, he couldn't contradict the evidence of his own senses: a troll had stalked the night. What could a man do, any man, in the pitch-black of night, with monsters loose, defenceless and weaponless as he was?
The troll had followed him back to the tent and thudded and kicked the canvas. The flimsy tent had threatened to collapse at any moment, and all he could do was play dead. He’d turned off the lights, held his breath, knelt on the floor with his head between his knees, and clasped his hands behind his neck.
He'd never been in such a crisis in his whole life. God must have heard his prayers though, because he was still alive this morning and nothing other than a miracle had saved him.
To be continued…
The real world:
Eeire Eve is drawing to an end. Next up is “Enchanter on the Roof,” where The Stable’s sleepy life is disrupted by a young charlatan, and Bert has the unpleasant task of sorting him out...
Rather than miss an instalment, it’s easy to follow my blog on bloglovin’. They’ll give you a friendly nudge as I release new parts.
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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