The side of Stanley’s face was pressed flat against the dirt. He tried to protect himself, but Zigzag’s fists slammed off his arms and pounded his face into the ground . . . Then, suddenly, Zigzag was off of him. Stanley managed to look up, and he saw that Zero had his arm around Zigzag’s long neck.
The metal blade smashed across Mr. Pendanski’s face. His knees crumpled beneath him. He was unconscious before he hit the ground . . . Zero held the shovel out in front of him, as if he were going to try to bat away the bullets. “I hate digging holes,” he said.
Stanley was required to dig only one hole the next day. As he dug, he kept a constant watchout for Zero, but never saw him. Once again he considered going out on the lake to look for him, but he began to realize that it was already too late.
The truck went faster and faster across the dry lake bed. It bounced over a pile of dirt. Suddenly Stanley was slammed forward, then instantly backward as an airbag exploded in his face . . . He had driven straight into a hole.
Stanley didn’t know what to do. He had come to rescue Zero and instead drank the last of his sploosh. He looked off into the distance. “I want you to look at something.”