It was a sad end to what had been the proudest and happiest moment of Zack Freeman's life.
Not only had Zack just arrived back on Earth after saving the world from a zombie butt invasion and rescuing his parents from Uranus, but he has also graduated from Silas Sterne's Butt-fighting Academy. In one had he proudly held his basic butt-fighter's certificate, and in the other a special medal of excellence for his work in the butt-fighting simulator.
Unfortunately, however, none of the challenges Zack had faced so far -either real or simulated- had prepared him for giant-brown-blobbification.
He was in way over his head.
And sinking fast.
He shut his eyes.
He pinched his nose.
He held his breath.
And then he did.well.nothing.
There was nothing he could do.
He could hardly move.
The blob was too thick. And too dark.or rather, too brown. Pitch brown.
He didn't know which way was up.
He didn't know which way was down.
North or South.
East or West.
Zack's mind was racing.
He didn't want to die.
Not yet, anyway.
And especially not inside a giant brown blob.
What if the giant brown blob set hard and became a fossil?
And what if one day in the future they dug it up, cracked it open, and found him?
He didn't want his body to be put in a glass case and displayed in a museum for schoolchildren to laugh at. "Eeerggghhh, yuck!" they'd say. "Blob-boy! Look at the disgusting blob-boy!"
Then again, perhaps that was better than not being found and having to spend eternity trapped inside a giant brown blob..
Zack shuddered at the thought. With a mighty effort he brought his mind back to the present. He had to stop worrying about what might happen in the future and start focusing on what was happening to him right now.
Zack smiled ruefully as he realized he was still clutching his butt-fighter's certificate. He'd been so proud to receive it, but in this situation a butt-fighter's certificate wasn't even worth the paper it was printed on.
Or was it?
The word triggered something inside of him - but what? What use was that paper?
Suddenly an image of his grandfather flashed into Zack's mind. Percy Freeman - one of the world's first butt-fighters: the Wiper. Armed with only a few rolls of toilet paper and an enormous load of courage, he had wiped some of the deadliest butts on the planet.
Even as Zack's oxygen-starved brain was shutting down, the two words forged a fragile, but lifesaving, bond in his mind.
Zack knew what he had to do.
He brought the piece of paper up in front of his face.
And started wiping.