Ford doesn’t like to go to the beach alone. First of all, it’s his and Stan’s place; being there without Stan feels like walking around without his glasses. But Stan really got in trouble with Crampelter a while ago, requiring him to stay for a long detention after school. Ford offered to stay with him, but Stan thought he was more needed elsewhere.
“Our ship needs your attention! I’ll get there when it’s over, okay?”
Given how much Stan loves their ship, it was impossible for Ford to say no to him, even though the idea of going to the beach while Crampelter and his cronies might be patrolling the area is scary to him. But tonight, Ford is there alone, waiting for Stan to arrive as he looks over the boat, trying to detect new colonies of creatures that could be inhabiting it and discoveries yet undiscovered.
It’s the search for latter that ends up leading him to the cave where they found the ship in the first place. The boards covering the entrance are still broken, still marred by the perfect triangle-shaped hole that Stan had punched into them; Ford is still very impressed with that. He climbs inside the hole, ventures into the cave, looks around for something cool to take home.
That’s when he sees something grey pointing up from the sand.
It looks like a top part of a cylinder, which makes Ford assume it’s metal first; yet when he kneels down before it and reaches out to touch it, he discovers that it’s stone. He is even more baffled when he starts digging out the sand and uncovers a small top hat and slender fingers of an even smaller hand, stretched out as if in a greeting. He digs more, more and more until he has uncovered a statue of a triangle.
Once the statue’s feet are free, Ford lifts it out of its hole and sets it on more solid ground, brushing sand off its stony body. It’s a simple thing, really; it has a big, staring eye on its front, with a slit pupil, it has two hands and feet and that’s pretty much it. Ford looks it over, trying to see if it has any keyholes or locks on it, but it doesn’t; it’s smooth all over, cool to touch, easy to handle. All in all, there is nothing remarkable about it.
Yet somehow, it’s the neatest thing Ford has ever seen.
He thinks about taking it home for a moment - it wouldn’t be the strangest thing he’s ever brought - but the thought soon makes him apprehensive. Instead, he starts looking around the cave to see if there is something there where he can hide the statue, keep it safe from nosy kids, adults and animals. In the end, he has to compromise about the last part as the only good hiding place is the body of water in the cave, where he sets the statue to lie onto its back.
“I promise to come clean you up every day,” he says. He will need an excuse, he realizes, to slip away from Stan to the cave and convince Stan not to come along. The idea hurts a little, but he tells himself it’s all right; it’s not like Stan has never kept secrets from him nor lied to him. It’s okay if Ford lies to him a little, too.
“My name is Ford, by the way.”
He walks out of the water when he starts to hear hollering from the beach, knowing Stan has arrived. He shoots one last glance at the statue lying in the water before leaving the cave, vowing to come see his new treasure again as soon as possible.