It was a dark and stormy night in the greater metropolitan area of Tokyo, perfect weather for making snowmen. It was the worst blizzard to hit the city in more than forty years. Who would’ve guessed that the low pressure system would so suddenly leave as soon as it came? I, the sole technician on the roster for what had been expected to be a slow weekend, was left to examine the chilly remains of somebody’s beloved at various locations on our now fine and sunny streets.
Large areas of carnage could be seen everywhere.
I slowly began my search in the concrete jungle. Snow people were gradually becoming increasingly hard to find as the heat sinks and asphaltum slowly spread.
Snowmen and their families usually congregate near dwellings inhabited by human children, but the grounds were barren around nearby highrises. All that could be found was one sad-looking snow bunny who was missing one ear. These li’l critters obviously did not multiply like rabbits under the heat of the midday sun.
Parasols and umbrellas were popular choices to prevent evaporation of delicate surfaces with high-moisture content exposed to the harsh reality of the day. Tucking an umbrella into the spokes of a bicycle was probably not a good idea considering that snow people usually do not have legs worthy of mobility. Escape was futile.
Some sought solace and support, drifting sadly into circles looking for comfort from others like them.
After searching in the distant hills, I found those who had dirtied their previously pristine reputations.
The photographs I was taking were the last remaining records of what were once some upstanding snow men and women. Additional forensics staff would have to be called in to determine more details by looking at the photos of the splattered snow.
Several victims had obviously realized the serious of their predicaments and tried heading for cooler pastures where the dark pavement would not absorb the sun’s harmful rays. Like Lot’s wife, they were immobile.
Some sought to console each other even though their relationship was dissolving before their eyes.
Some did not make it out of Skid Row; some sought sanctuary in local drinking establishments. I guess the Creator knew that those with bottle caps for noses might have a weakness for the brew.
Some poor sods never made it past the intersection where the nitty gritty of urban life ground them down to pulp.
Others only wanted cool shelter on an increasingly warm day. Entire families of snow people and snow animals fled for the hills and hunkered down in some kamakura, the local version of a snow hut or quinzee. Parents were willing to sully themselves if their children could remain untouched.
I stumbled upon the aftermath of what looked like the Great Snowpocalypse of 2014. I could picture it all: Snowman against snowman, snowballs piled high, and the thick, cold walls of the snow forts. These snow people were obviously great engineers and architects as well as masters of warfare.
Few wanted to step forth and give testimony about the horrors that they witnessed. The ducks and the rabbit refused to squeal. The dwarves were too happy about the whole thing for my liking.
Did anybody ever warn them that places with fuel trucks and palm trees might not be the best places for snow people?
Mountains of innocent victims piled high on every street corner? No sanctuary in refrigerated quarters or delivery service of items that must be kept cool was offered.
By the end of the day, all that was left was some sloppy, grey slush and a tin can that might have been a trendy snowman’s fashion statement in better times.
What can a snow man in Japan do but pray to the snow gods that they will be reincarnated as a snow drift or possibly a kamakura in Akita or Hokkaido to provide shelter to others in similar straits.
Remember these faces the next time you bear your shovel and think about who you might be hurting. Do not let their deaths be in vain.