It was late afternoon, leaning in to the gloaming, in the Ragg & Bone Junkyard in the Gut in New Babbage, when Petra Flax’s snowman lurched to apparent life, growling the same word over and over.
“Kill!” growled the snowman, reaching toward her.
“Is there an echo in here?” she replied, slamming down the lid on a nearby garbage bin, crushing the snowman’s arm off. It lumbered forward, seemingly undaunted. “Kill!” it cried.
Petra narrowed her eyes as she stood ready in a narrow gap in some nearby junk. “Surely you know, them’s fightin words.” she said, then she sprung back as the snowstrocity lurched toward her and she pulled a cord. The junk nearby tumbled down, tearing most of the back of the snowman off, glittering white blowing in to the wind. “Cripes,” said Petra, watching it advance from atop some nearby junk. “it’s like an argument with the pinhead… never ends.” She began climbing the junk – both to escape what was clearly a bonkers snowman and to retrieve a handy item from the House of Flax, perched on top of an old rusty silo.
The snowman smashed its snowy fists against the base of junk the girl was climbing, a mist of snow fluttering in the breeze. Its stone eyes glowed furious green as it watched Petra climb. “Kill.” it said.
Reaching the top of the silo, Petra ducked inside her rickety shack and retrieved her faithful Falls City Slugger, Mr. Lightninghouse, from its place on the wall above her bed. She kissed it as she turned and left the shack. “You got some work to do, buddy.”
“But Petra,” said the bat, as it often did when nobody was around. “How will we slow it down? You saw that sucker move. It was pret-ty, pret-ty, pret-ty… spry.”
She stopped and thought for a moment, looking down at the snowman from her advantage in the sky. It did look pretty spry. “Yep, it sure was.” she said to her bat. “I keep knocking parts off, but it keeps comin. At this rate, it might destroy the whole town.”
A dreadful thought presented itself to her. “Jeepers cripes! Just before Giftmas! I gotta stop this creep!” she looked to her bat. “Looks like it’s just you and me, Mr. Lightninghouse.”
“Like the old days. So, what’s the plan, Hoss?” the bat asked her.
“Well,” she said. “It didn’t seem ta wake up till I popped them beautiful green peepers inta its face.”
“So, stands ta reason it’s them ta blame fer its killin nature. We need ta get that head off.”
She turned to look around for anything that might help and noticed the remains of her original plan with Cyrus from the night before. “You reek-ah” she whispered, and snatched up the butterfly net.
Using an alternate route to ground level, Petra snuck up on the snowman, still thumping on the junkpile with its single arm. She swung the butterfly net over the snowman’s head, and yanked with all her might. The creature shrieked as the head toppled to the ground within the butterfly net. Its body slumped to the side and disintegrated.
“Kill!” the snowman head screeched.
Petra stood over the head, baseball bat in hand. “My thoughts, zactly.” she said, and brought the bat down in to the center of the head, pieces scattering.
The head spoke no more.
Petra wiped her brow. “Well,” she said. “that oughter buy me some points with the Boiler Elf.” she looked down at her bat. “I hope I get a whole pile of coal!”
The snow continued to fall on New Babbage.