Hi guys! Another week here, and now our family has added six new members. We are trying our hand at raising chickens for the first time. We're told they should have eggs for us by September!
This conversation is between Ko and Jin-Sun, another recruit she has befriended at the Academy. Seven paragraphs for the seventh month.
“Were you in Pyongyang during the famine?” Jin-Sun’s voice was quiet, like a breeze chilling the crisp autumn air.
Ko shook her head slightly, hoping he wouldn’t press, hoping they could go back to the text and get it over with.
“I was up north.” Jin-Sun didn’t raise his eyes to hers. “It got pretty bad.”
Pretty bad. What a polite euphemism. Sort of like the Great Hardship, the regime’s favored phrase to describe those months and years of scarcity and destitution. Yes, when a grandmother starves to death, leaving only a wrinkled draping of caved-in skin stretched loosely over a skeleton of hollow, brittle bones and nobody has the strength to mourn her or even carry her body outside for burial — that’s pretty bad.
When school kids run and hide when the neighbor appears because it’s rumored she goes around chopping up the homeless and throws their corpses into stew to sell to travelers — that’s pretty bad, too. When an infant dies at his mother’s dried-up breast, and she’s too weak to even roll over and set him down — what else is there to say without insulting the regime, without blaspheming the Dear Leader who, like Jesus, once promised feast and plenty to his flocks? That’s pretty bad.
Like a cold or an ear infection. Your parents pat you on the head, make little cooing sounds to try to soothe you, and leave you to your own devices until you heal on your own.
Random Fact: I'll be getting spoiled this week. In honor of finishing my third Agent Ko novella (first draft), my husband got me a surprise gift certificate for a massage!
Blog Love: Huge thanks to K L Schwengel for hosting the WIPpet Wednesday blog hop, where authors post snippets from their current Works In Progress.
Bargain: Slave Again is my first novel in the Whispers of Refuge series. It's about a woman who escapes a North Korean prison camp and is trafficked over the border into China. I lowered the ebook price to 99 cents for a while to see what happens. Agent Ko plays a minor role in this book.