Cooking smoke

Author: Ukari

To say here is far, and to call yonder nearby. Stories on the edge of the every day, strange tales you may or may not be moved by. Strange, curious, fantastic stories told by me, you, him and her. There are many stories but they’re all concluded within a single page, each story around 200 to 1200 characters in length, a short story collection you can easily read. Please enjoy them. Updated every Saturday at 6pm.

***

My friend, an art gallery owner, showed me a picture he treasured.
Even though this painting was his prized possession, it held little monetary value. The reason for that is because it was one of those so-called ‘pieces with a shady history.’

I was guided towards a landscape painting.
It depicted a mountain with rice fields.
Hearing that it had a shady history, I imagined something a little more frightening, but there was nothing scary about it. In fact, it looked rather peaceful.

“There’s a village behind these rice fields, you know.”
“How do you know?”
“I can’t say.”

He stopped talking and pointed to the clock on the wall. I’d come around noon, just as he’d asked, and the needle had barely passed five minutes yet.

“Usually around this time, smoke starts to rise around here. Look.”

Right on cue, smoke started to rise behind the rice fields. It wavered up into the sky and then disappeared.

“It’s got to be smoke from the villagers’ cooking, don’t you think?”

Well, it was lunchtime.
The art gallery owner let out a full-bellied laugh.

 

Original Japanese

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