Natsuki Kimura

Natsuki Kimura
Urayasu, Japan
June 21
I live in a country known for its many earthquakes; I live 200 kilometers away from three smoldering nuclear reactors; my father saw the mushroom cloud over Nagasaki as a boy; I watch movies with titles like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Gattaca; I read books with titles like Trout Fishing in America and In Our Time; I make collages about my wife and show them in Tokyo galleries; I spend weekends writing about nukes, aliens, vampires, and love child Vulcans.


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NOVEMBER 25, 2012 10:48AM

Short Story: Snow

Rate: 6 Flag



Mommy was sick.

The doctors said they were running out of things they could do for her.


I didn’t want to go to the hospital to see her.

I just couldn’t.

I got on a train and didn’t get off until the last stop.

The station was surrounded by a field.

It started snowing harder. 

As I walked across the field I came across an old graveyard. Its gravestones were small and crooked. There were tall weeds everywhere.

In the middle of the graveyard was a giant tree. It was at least a hundred years old. There were no leaves.

A gust of wind blew snow upward.

The tree looked like it was sucking souls out of the ground and sending them out into the sky.

I saw thousands of souls travel through the tree’s roots, its trunk, its thinnest branches and towards the clouds.

I turned away; it was all too much.

In a few weeks I was seeing spirits everywhere. Sometimes they look like tiny white dots. Other times they look like snowflakes.

Every once in a while a soul bloomed into a flower. The flowers are blue and tiny and look like little eyes. And, they are beautiful.

Mommy's going to be one someday. And so will I. 


Mommy’s still with us.

These days I visit her at the hospital every Saturday.

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I think you learn a lot in a cemetery. I loved the image of the tree. /R
This captures that sense of impending loss well.
Outstanding imagery! You write superbly!

I look forward to reading more of your posts here on Open Salon.


Hello nilesite-san,
This story is based on a visit to an old cemetery that had a big tree. Yes, much can be learned in cemeteries. I used to live near one that had Russian graves from the 1800s w/ cyrillic writing and Russian crosses. I wonder what it was like for a Russian person to die in Japan in the 1800s.

Hello just phyllis-san:
The problem w/ loss is that it's so difficult to prepare for them. I wanted the person in this story to be ready for a very big and unavoidable loss.

Hello skypixie0-san:
I'll be following your writing, too :-D
Good image! Sad and beautiful, very well done.
Thank you for sharing this beautifully written story, & artwork! Maybe those tiny blue flowers, like lights, which the child sees, are around, giving us a little wink now and then.
Hello Seth-san,
It was a cold day and I was listening to Johnny Cash's "Hurt" all day on the my ipod. Maybe I'll try the same thing this winter with something like the "Dark Side of the Moon."

Hello clay ball-san,
And thank you!
It's always great to read a story from you! I'm sorry it took me so long to get to this one - real life stuff has kept me away from OS a lot, lately. This was such a moving and beautiful piece of writing. Thank you for it.