A sweet story of peril and redemption: Chapter 5
Maltose and Dextrose flew onward in search of the Eggs, leaving – uh – Candy to – um – her new life. The Basket quickly carried them beyond the City limits, and soon there were no streetlights or lanterns. The Peeps couldn’t see a thing.
“We’d better land, before we hit something,” grumbled Maltose.
“We’re going to spend the night? Outdoors?” Dextrose’s eyes grew large with fright.
“Oh, don’t be such a chicken,” Maltose scolded. “There’s nothing to worry about.”
But when they landed, Maltose’s confidence faltered. The darkness was thick and full of sound, and it was not hard to imagine monsters lurking behind every branch.
Dextrose was shaking. “Let’s stay in the Basket,” he suggested. It wasn’t a bad idea, but Maltose was annoyed by his constant whining.
“No,” she decided, “let’s camp out. We’ll build a fire.” She started off into the trees. “It’ll be fun.” Dextrose whimpered and scurried after her.
Maltose had been a Peep Scout when she was younger, so she knew all about building campfires. She gathered up some sticks and laid them carefully crosswise, while Dextrose shivered uselessly nearby. “Don’t get too close,” she advised, and he jumped at the sudden sound of her voice.
But when she had built the foundation of her fire, she stepped back and frowned. “I’ve got nothing to light it with,” she realized.
“How – how’s this?” Dextrose handed her a small ZippoTM from under his wing.
“Where did you get this?”
He looked embarrassed. “Um. From the ‘Gator’s purse. She wasn’t looking. And it was shiny.”
Maltose scowled at the thieving Peep, but she was in no position to be picky. “Well. Thanks.”
Soon the fire was crackling nicely, and the two Peeps began to drift off to sleep.
“Maltose?” Dextrose’s voice pulled her back to consciousness.
“I guess camping isn’t so bad.”
“Hmmm,” Maltose agreed. She fell back to sleep.
“Maltose?” Dextrose ventured a few hours later.
“Mmmm?” She opened one eye. The sky was beginning to lighten; it was near dawn.
“What’s that sound?”
“Just the fire.”
“No, the other sound.”
Maltose cocked her head and listened. She heard only the fire’s chuckle.
“S’moooorrress” a small voice whispered. “Yummmm.”
“Shut up, Chewyhead!” hissed another.
“You shut up, Rubberbutt.”
“You shut up times twelve, Stretchynose.” There was a pause.
“How many is twelve, Rubberbutt?”
Maltose moved closer to Dextrose, and whispered, “Run.”
And from the trees and bushes around them poured dozens of brightly colored bears armed with wicked spears. The bears chased after them, howling.
Dextrose cried out as one of the spears found its mark.
And then another. And another. The punctured Peep scrambled on, close on Maltose’s heels, but he was weakening.
“I . . . I can’t!” he called out raggedly. Maltose slowed for a moment, swatted a bear off his back, and dragged him forward.
We won’t last much longer, she thought, terrified, as a spear whizzed past her head. It seemed she could hear more bears up ahead, but since she did not know which way to turn, she ran on.
Suddenly, they broke through the edge of the forest. The daylight blinded them for a moment, and they stumbled.
That’s it, Maltose thought drearily as she fell. It’s over.
But no spear came. As her vision cleared, what she saw astounded her.
“Forrard, Harch!” the foremost Purple Peep screamed.
The bears all shrieked as one, and several tripped over their spears as they fled back into the forest.
The Purple Peep army marched steadily after them, with two enormous monsters bringing up the rear.
“What’re those?” gasped Dextrose, lying prostrate on the ground, fluff protruding in a ghastly manner from his rear.
“Purple Peeple Eaters,” Maltose murmured. “I thought they were a myth.”
She watched as several bears fell under the Purple Peeps’ onslaught. What will become of us now?