Dear friends, if you like a good chuckle, dim-witted heroes, and larger-than-life villains, then you'll love this fascinating series. On Wednesdays and Sundays, 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.
#2: Enchanter on the Roof ® James Field. Part 47
In the last post: The police were coming to fetch Bert and he froze in panic…
Bert closed his eyes and summoned a deep breath, holding it in. Turning his head a fraction, he listened to the impending police sirens. They were definitely moving in his direction.
He still wore his best clothes from last evening's disco: a new pair of blue denim jeans and a clean white T-shirt. The garments were thin and he shuddered, but not because of the cool morning air. He felt trapped and couldn't make his mind up what to do next.
If he scurried away, the law enforcement would catch him and have a million questions. If he went to work as if nothing had happened, the force would still have a million questions. He rubbed the back of his neck and wished his best mate Alf was with him to tell him what to do.
Then, to make matters worse, he sighted Chief Inspector Dobbs strutting toward him along the pebble lane. From the opposite direction, the police car came into view, bouncing over the pot-holed road to join them, a plume of dust in its trail, the siren blaring.
Unable to determine which way to run, Bert spun twice, first in one direction, and then the other. As he twirled, he patted himself down, searching for incriminating evidence. He dug his hands in his pockets and cursed, he'd found the handcuff keys.
Quicker than a spring-loaded mousetrap, his arm muscles triggered and he tossed the keys back onto the scaffolding boards above his head. In the same state of subconscious panic, he snapped the handcuffs over his wrists again, restraining himself exactly as Chief Inspector Dobbs had left him.
As the policeman drew close enough to see properly, Bert crossed his legs, leaned his elbows on a section of scaffolding cross pole, rested his head in his hands, and whistled his tuneless tune.
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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