The Peeps from the Peach Lagoon

In all the universe, there were few sights more terrifying, few life forms that exhibited such single-minded and fiendish concentration as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura in a chocolate frenzy.

She rummaged through every drawer in her quarters before she was forced to acknowledge the dreadful truth. There wasn’t so much as a scrap of chocolate left. Not anywhere. And her peach bubble bath, in which she had planned to luxuriate while nibbling chocolate bon bons, was getting cold. The only candy she had found was a package of Peeps.

Stale pink Peeps, minus their plastic wrapper, to be precise. In disgust, Uhura went back into the bathroom and reached for the faucet, intending to add a bit more hot water to her bath. She was still holding the Peeps, which she planned to throw away in just a moment.

To her misfortune (but then, we wouldn’t have had a story otherwise, would we?) the Peeps slipped out of Uhura’s hand, landing with muted splashes throughout the tub. The little marshmallow candies all sank instantly through the thick mass of fragrant bubbles, which, of course, made it impossible for Uhura to see where they were.

On the assumption that anything so stale would have to be at the bottom, Uhura bent over the tub and reached in with both hands, figuring that it wouldn’t take long to scoop them all up. Not long at all . . .

Something in the depths of the tub suddenly grabbed her forearms and dragged her into the water. Bubbles completely covered her face before she had time to scream.

And just below the level of the bubbles, small pink ghostly shapes drifted in the water. They might have been normal Peeps once, but now their demonic eyes glowed with an evil light. Just as Uhura became convinced that they were intent on drowning her, whatever had seized hold of her arms let go of her almost as suddenly. She lifted her head out of the bubbles, gasping for air.

Only to find a large and vaguely reptilian face, adorned with clown’s makeup, gazing down at her from a point just below the ceiling. For some reason, it didn’t seem to have a body. It grinned delightedly, its big red clown’s nose waggling.

“Welcome to the Greatest Show in the Interstellar Void! Step right up, girls and boys, don’t be shy! Yes, believe it or not, it’s really me, the amazing entity known as — OUCHY THE CARDASSIAN!”

Uhura blinked peach bubble bath out of her stinging eyes. In response, Ouchy grinned again, the smile appearing far wider than anything a mere mortal could manage.

“Don’t be shy, I said! Go ahead and scream — I know you want to! A few good screams make the show ever so much more fun, especially when we get started with all your favorite ouchies! And I know what ALL of them are. How ’bout we start with that fantasy you have about Captain Kirk and the Spanking List? Your pal Ouchy is the galaxy’s very best when it comes to those smackie-whackies!”

A scaly hand appeared in mid-air and gestured toward the water. In obedience to Ouchy’s command, the Peeps all began to levitate, their tiny, slitted eyes still glowing wickedly. Within seconds, they had assembled themselves into what looked like a pink paddle.

“Now, I’m sure you’ve never had your cute little tuckus warmed by one of THESE! It’ll get you shrieking in a hurry! Or, if you’d rather, we can change them into a string of beads.” Ouchy’s disembodied hand waved again, and the Peeps rearranged themselves. “You know what kind of beads I mean, don’t you? The kind that go in a certain intimate orifice. Remember, there’s no need to be shy here, Nyota! I know EVERYTHING that you fantasized about doing with Spock and his meditation beads!”

Ouchy’s chuckle filled the room, seeming to echo from everywhere.

“Yeah — well, you can just shove them up yours!” Uhura lunged toward the mocking reptilian face. Her fist went right through it, and her knuckles scraped the ceiling as the laughter continued, without a pause.

The Peeps came apart and then flew at Uhura from all sides, biting voraciously at her flesh like piranhas on the hunt. Pink sugary piranhas. She crushed one against the wall, but it just popped back into its original shape an instant later and came at her again. Drops of her blood spattered all over the peach-scented bubbles as the monsters tore her to shreds, devouring her alive. The last sound Uhura heard was Ouchy’s jeering laughter all around her.

Then there was only silence, and cold.

But it didn’t feel like the chill of the underworld. Actually, it felt rather like cold water, with a cool smooth surface under it.

Uhura opened her eyes. She was alone in her bathtub, the water completely cold, without a trace of bubbles. A few half-melted Peeps were stuck to the sides of the tub here and there.

“I must have fallen asleep,” she muttered, looking down at herself as she climbed out of the tub, just to verify that she was still in one piece. Well, of course she was. Marshmallow candy couldn’t possibly come to life and attack her. It had all been a dream, brought on by chocolate withdrawal, probably.

All the same, the first thing Uhura intended to do was to beam every one of those Peeps out into space, on a wide-beam molecular dispersion setting. Just to be sure.