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Rise of the Snowman 1: Chance Combat in the East Orient
by Monsieur le Bonhomme de Neige

All my waking hours I hunt for a Bonfemme de Neige. I'll confess now: I'm a homicidal romantic. Everything I do is ultimately in the service of love, no matter how tangential it seems. Love conquers all; I could serve no lesser master. So when I came upon the news during my recent tenure in the Tokyo underworld that "snow white girls, pure as the driven snow" were for sale in Malaysia, you cannot imagine how

an artist's conception - by Stevie
hot the fire burned in my breast to finally meet another of my kind. Upon pressing the contact for this offer, I learned there was only one left in stock at a popular Malay port. I named my successor (Hashimoto, the only one who would not have sent men after me if I had not chosen him, but who evidently would if I did choose him, and wasn't that fun when they found out what happens when you shoot me?) and left, alone, determined to fight to the ends of the earth to find the lady of my kind and take her back to Quebec, my sleepy home.

The first person I met in town was Hop Min, the proprietary guide arranging the sale between myself and the snow-slavers. I decided not to tell him that I planned to double-cross them, to escape with the money and my darling. Hop Min's English was almost excellent. I learned that he was a practicing Catholic of Mandarin heritage, and smiled to myself, because it's obvious, even at this point in the story, what's going to happen to Hop Min.

I was taken aback by how muggy and warm it was there. An infant of my race could never have survived. She must have been as strong as I. I wondered that I had never heard of her. Perhaps she was a retard. When we finally arrived, after a 22-hour boat ride, a wait through customs, an interminable bus drive into the city, and a lengthy drink while Hop Min gave endless passwords to several large, ugly men letting us into successive steel doors . . . it was a tiny asian girl.

Hop Min didn't last long, but he went colorfully (I had hard-packed my forearm that morning, alone, feeling that it was going to be a smashing day), and with a great noise coming out of his mouth. I wish I'd recorded it. He probably could have been a top cartoon voice talent, another role of the dice. I ended up giving the girl a solid kick in the ass too, because while I disagreed with what had been done to her, I didn't like her at all. Turned out, though, her horrible Oriental screeching was to warn about the large, ugly men cocking and aiming behind me.

It was then I decided to adopt her. They weren't any faster than you'd expect, so they were no good for exercise, but they WERE good for teaching the little one how to make blood angels. I took her back to what was now my boat, and gave her a chunk of myself to teach her to snowball fight. The girl, who'd never seen snow, was amazing for someone with no ability to shoot them out of her mouth. I wish I could call her something, but I still haven't decided what to name her. I plan to teach her Western styles of eating, bathing, manners, and such-like, so rather than stand and throw things at an amazingly agile opponent, I put her little lights out with my knockout arm and gave her her first lesson in Western competition.

But it wasn't ten seconds after I put her to bed that I felt a terrible, hungry nibbling on my hindquarters! I turned around to find a heated canine trying to cool down by devouring me. I took a brute swipe at him, but the cur, unexpectedly, ducked and sent a spear-hand thrust right through me. I froze his--arm, apparently--where it was and began to beat him mercilessly. I got only a few hits in, though, before he began blocking with incanine speed, and soon had leveraged his well-bred little body around his trapped arm to throw me directly to the ground. I twisted hard and let go his foreleg, to send him off the boat, but that cursed other hand grabbed the back of my skull and took a good chunk with it, cutting short his flight. I fired several icicles from my fist, but the cur kept dodging and before I knew it I was blind and couldn't tell what was going on--quickly I came to realize that SOMETHING IS EATING MY FACE. Realizing his greatest strength was his greatest weakness, I sought out his hand and employed a kote-gaish wrist-slam, just as he was to plunge another hand directly where my crotch should be.

But let's leave off that for now. Hitting the ground and twisting his hips violently, he almost cut me in half with a roundhouse kick. I could see that both of us were natural fighters, like you hear about in Korea sometimes--he had had training, obviously years of the best while I had virtually none, but I was far more inventive, being the world's most positive thinker, and ultimately, let's face it, I'm a snow monster. So, forgetting for a moment that the whole thing about the "virgin" asian brat had been a scam, I vowed I would never lose a fight to the death until I had found a snowwoman, beautiful and delineated away from Snow-manhood by firm-packed breasts and a coal frown rather than a smile. (Even given those characteristics, do you have any idea how difficult it is to find any kind of snow-being with whom you can have a conversation? Let me give you a hint: I've been trying my whole life.)

I plowed my smashing arm into his rib-cage and prepared to bite the throat, but he just used my bent-over position to jam his thumbs into my eyes, driving the red-hot coal back deep into my skull. Backing away, and I guess having just spent too much time in Japan, I acknowledged that two masters are too valuable to kill each other, and bowed to him. He seemed to catch the vibe, and said to me, with a peculiar accent from somewhere around the pacific rim but exactly where I couldn't quite place, "You are not a snowman for eating." We were immediately friends, because he understood my problem exactly. The Dog said his name was spelled 'dwuh,' and that he was on his way back to Japan to interview Kurosawa. That's when the Yakuza finally caught up with me. The dog and I had a great Japan vacation, and Kurosawa turned out to be dead.