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Ch 2:3

Good? That is not a normal response at all! Marcus pet Lolli’s head.” So cute. But also very confusing,” he had starting talking to himself.” Why is that little toy always on you?”
“Oh uh, this is my Fluffy!” It was true. If Lolli could help it, Fluffy would usually be in her arms or nearby. If not, Fluffy had a habit of following Lolli around itself.
“It looks well taken care of, good job,” Marcus said. Lolli smiled awkwardly.
“Well, everything seems nice here. But I am a busy man. I’ll have to come visit later.” Not wanting to seem rude, Lolli agreed. Then, Marcus let himself out.
“What was that?!” Lolli cried. Iowa shrugged.” But you let him in!” He shrugs again.” What happened to your arm?” And again. Lolli launched herself into Iowa’s chest. “It’s scary when you do weird things.” Iowa sighed and hugged her back. “You’ll be safe, okay?”
“I don’t care about me, I’m worried about you!”

Iowa frowned. He was sure Lolli was worried that Marcus would hurt her. But Iowa had already made Marcus promise to leave her alone. But apparently, she was worried about him?” Don’t worry about me either. You just met me.” Iowa wiped her face. She had started crying. Slowly, they started to freeze on his thumb. “But you’re my friend now!”
“Oh, who decided that?” He asked with a smile.
“Huh- you jerk!” Lolli playfully smacked his chest, giggling. Iowa held her hands in place. Perfect.

Marcus walked past Lolli’s house and deeper into the forest. Past a river, and past the thickest trees. In an opening, there laid a beautiful woman. She didn’t need clothes, for fully blossomed flowers covered her chest and below. Expect for a hole directly in her chest. Right where her heart was. Marcus kissed the woman’s forehead.” You look lovely today, Mother,” he told his scarf.” The plants look healthy today, too! Oh, I forgot to tell you!” He held out a little seed. “This little one is going to make the garden that much greater.”

Iowa tucked Lolli to bed and watched her fall asleep. Then, he flipped through her book. Not once did they mention a reaper who controlled plants. It was impossible. They were creatures of death. How could they possibly control life? Iowa removed the bandages on his arm. He could barely move his arm anymore. The vines had embedded themselves into his skin, up to his shoulder. He didn’t want to know what would happen if it reached his core. Iowa would have to see Maxwell again.

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