Jiro Ota is the “Shadow Man” who collects shadows from the bombing of Hiroshima--shadows still talking, reliving their last moments. Part of Jiro’s obsession is that his mother disappeared the morning of the bombing and desperately wants to reconnect. However, local henchman, Four-Fingers threatens Jiro if he doesn’t deliver more shadows to the Mafioso Rice King; moreover, the Rice King has what Jiro wants if he tries not to deliver.
A tale both moving and wonderworking. The surprise ending doesn’t quite work, but the conceit is still nifty. wrihas gone on to publish in F&SF.