“Okay,” said Carmen, “we’re all here at the Council Building, love that name by the way Gavin, you’re such a politician, hehe. Everyone got their beans?”
“Yes,” they all replied.
“Laurel, you’ve got the tree stump?”
“Yes ma’am,” said Laurel.
“Luca, any chance you can quickly explain how you ended up a PlantSim?”
“No ma’am,” said Luca.
“Well, alright, let’s get this show on the road then,” said Carmen.
Laurel setup the tree stump, and added her two beans, which were Uncomfortable and Angry.
Gavin stepped up next to add his Confident bean.
Bo added the Flirty bean.
While Bo was adding his bean to the tree stump, Laurel noticed Luca having an odd reaction to the sun. “What is going on over there?”
“Haven’t you ever heard of photosynthesis? Mind your business.”
Luca stepped up to the tree stump and added the Sad bean.
Last up was Carmen. She placed the Playful bean in the center of the tree stump.
They all stood there for a moment, wondering what came next. Nothing seemed to be happening.
Then Carmen got an idea. “Well, am I a gardener, or am I a gardener? I’m gonna water this thing, and y’all just watch the magic happen before your eyes. Trust me, I know what I’m doing.”
Carmen listened to her instincts about the tree. “Y’all might wanna step back,” she said as she put some distance between here and the tree stump after watering it.
Before long, magic really did start happening. They watched as a stump with 6 beans on it turned into a magnificent tree.
Gavin: I swear I have come across more voodoo since I been hanging around these people than my grandparents ever encountered back on the island.
Carmen: It’s… beautiful!!
Laurel: Thank creator it actually worked, and I didn’t waste the club’s time.
Luca: Oh shit, it worked.
Bo: It is no longer a surprise that they are accepting of an alien in their midst when they have multiple supernatural occurrences in their everyday lives.
“Okay, who’s going in there? I’d go, but I worry they wouldn’t let me take the forbidden fruit in my current state,” said Luca.
“They? I wonder who this ‘they’ is that you speak of,” said Bo.
“Don’t worry about it, you two,” said Carmen. “I was too scared to be of much help in Forgotten Hollow, but dealing with a plant is right up my alley. Be back in a jiffy.”
Carmen approached the tree tentatively. It’s pale purple leaves looked like a a cross between palm fronds and feathers swaying in the wind. As she approached, nothing happened, the tree just continued to sway in the breeze.
When she arrived at the opening, she couldn’t see inside, so she had no choice but to go all the way in. She said over her shoulder as a joke just before the darkness consumed her, “Gavin, if I don’t come back, don’t let that vampire and Hugo take my son. You and Akira raise him.”
The last thing she heard before the silence of the tree was Gavin chuckling and replying, “woman, you’re crazy, but sure, I promise.”
Carmen was in the tree for a while. It was long enough for the sun to start setting and the rest of the club to head down to their council room.
She finally emerged, having accomplished her goal.
She decided to check to see if she could get more than one forbidden fruit, but it was not to be.
Carmen headed down to the council room, and happily set the forbidden fruit on the table. “Would you look at that. Pretty isn’t it? Oh, and Luca was right, there’s definitely a ‘they’ associated with the tree on the roof.”
“You came back,” said Gavin, “there goes my easy way to have a kid.”
“Sorry, not today,” laughed Carmen, “get your own baby, will ya?”
“Maybe I will.”
“That doesn’t look like I thought it would,” said Laurel as she eyed the fruit and tossed popcorn in her mouth.
“No, that’s what it’s supposed to look like,” said Luca.
“Since you’re the PlantSim expert,” said Gavin, “you want to tell us how you know this?”
“What’s your problem, bro? No one grilled Bo when we found out he was an alien,” said Gavin, feeling the uncomfortable after effects of being in the sun.
“That was different,” said Gavin, “he was born an alien and sworn to secrecy by those who sent him here. We all suspect you’ve done something unsavory to end up in your current state, so don’t compare the two.”
“It’s not even like that–,” Luca’s response was swallowed up by the surprise of leaves branching out of his arm. “What the hell? Oh plum, day five can’t come soon enough.”
For Luca, this part was even worst that the sunbeams that radiated around his body when he was outside during the day time.
Soon it was over, and he picked up where he left off with Gavin. “As I was saying, it’s not even like that. I was on my way home from work, and I stopped in the park. To put it kindly, Liz’s cooking hasn’t quite reached the levels I’d gotten used to with Daniella. So I figured I’d see if someone left something to eat on one of the picnic tables. Well, I saw what I thought was produce, and I ate it, and it turns out it was forbidden fruit. There, now you know what happened, so stop grilling me.”
Gavin wasn’t sure whether to believe him. “Heh, well if that’s true, it’s really funny. You should get Laurel to teach your wife how to cook so you don’t have to resort to picnic table leftovers.”
Bo however was more than amused. He cracked up laughing, for the first time finding something Luca said truly funny. “That was extremely funny! Am I glowing? I feel like that much hilarity would make me happy enough to glow.”
“Happy to be here for your amusement,” said Luca wryly.
“Okay, okay, boys, let’s refocus,” said Carmen, “at least now we know no one should eat this forbidden fruit.”
“Well,” began Laurel, “it’s in the name of it, so I agree, no one eat the fruit.”
“I’ll just plant it and see what grows,” said Carmen.
“Great! I think we can actually head home early today,” Laurel continued, “I just wanna fix one thing, this table. It’s not quite what I want it to be.” Laurel quickly chose a new table in Build Mode, then everyone gathered around the new round table.
“See, isn’t that better? We can all see each other without having to turn back and forth now,” said Laurel.
“This is better,” said Gavin, “and you got us a drink tray. Sweet!”
After Gavin made everyone a drink, Laurel said, “I think we’ve accomplished everything we set out to do today. Thanks for completing the PlantSim Challenge with me you guys. Carmen, let us know what kind of tree that thing grows and if the fruit is worth anything. Let’s finish our drinks and get home to our families.”
Everyone smiled and they toasted to friendship, support, and crazy adventures together. They finished their drinks around their new round table then headed home.