A sweet story of peril and redemption: Chapter 2
Dextrose, Maltose and Fructose had a lot on their minds. Where could they find the Creme Eggs the Peep Council demanded? Why had they, of all the Peeps, been chosen for this task? Did anyone know how to drive this thing?
The last of these questions was, of course, the most urgent. Because Peeps are generally not avid travelers (being prone to motion sickness and having a horror of gas station bathrooms), none of the three unlikely envoys had ever before left the Council territory. Already, the Basket was soaring over unfamiliar lands. Maltose peered around, searching for the controls. She found only two pedals set close to the floor, marked “Up” and “Down.”
Fructose looked over her shoulder. “Well, isn’t that delightful. Now how do we steer?”
Maltose shrugged. “Let’s try leaning.” Sure enough, when the three Peeps all leaned to the right, the Basket tilted and turned in that direction, dipping slightly as it went. So thrilled were they by this discovery that they failed to straighten up in time, and the Basket began to spiral down to the ground. It bumped to a halt just under a large tree.
“Yo!” called a voice from above.
The Peeps looked up. A large rabbit sat in the crotch of the tree, wearing a green jacket and green shoes over long underwear. Fructose looked away, blushing.
“Hello!” Dextrose waved frantically at the stranger. “Excuse me – but – I’m sorry – we’re kind of – um – lost?”
The rabbit hopped easily out of the tree to stand beside them, and Dextrose stuttered through their story.
“Whoa, chill out, little brother,” the rabbit lazily flipped his ears back over his shoulder. “All you chicks need is a trip to the Store.”
“Where is this ‘Store’ of which you speak?” Maltose asked. As chicks, they had all heard rumors of such a place – it was said to be a cave filled with wondrous treasures – but no one in living memory had actually been there, and its location had long since been forgotten.
“Around the corner, man. That way.” The rabbit pointed north with one floppy paw, and Maltose quickly stepped on the Up pedal.
“Thank you!” called the Peeps as they all leaned to the north, and the Basket pulled away.
“Good luck, little dudes!” With a single bound, the rabbit hopped back into the crotch of the tree and closed his eyes.
The Peeps soon arrived at the Store of which the rabbit had spoken. They watched as humans clad in sandals and loose-fitting, natural-fiber garments wandered in and out of its sliding doors, carrying fresh fruit and sipping organic coffee drinks.
“This can’t be the right place,” Maltose whispered, horrified.
“Maybe he meant that one?” Dextrose pointed.
Maltose breathed a sigh of relief. “That’s more like it.”
The three Peeps cautiously approached the doors of the Store, which slid open as they drew near. “Perhaps they’ve been expecting us?” Dextrose wondered aloud.
Inside, the Peeps were astonished to see a veritable rainbow of pastels. Plastic-wrapped candies were everywhere, and above them fuzzy ducks, rabbits, chickens, cats and dogs all sat eerily still on stacked benches. Dextrose waved happily at them, but not one returned the gesture.
“They’re all dead,” Maltose realized.
“I want to go home,” whined Dextrose.
“Hexopyranose will have us flambéd if we go back without the Eggs. Look over there,” Fructose pointed to a box with a picture of an Egg on it. “Let’s just get it and go.”
They steered the Basket over to the box, past the blank-eyed corpses. Their hearts swelled with excitement.
But the box was empty. Shocked, they stared silently at their dashed hopes.