Jim approaches Swamp Thing and admits that he's bored, and that he doesn't know how to be a friend. Swamp Thing tells him that to make a friend, he should be one, and helps a trapped snake.
Later in Houma, Jim approaches Obo. Obo says that he has a date for lunch and Jim goes into town. He stops at a fountain to toss in a coin and makes a wish, and then goes over to an arcade. Three boys are playing and Jim offers to help them. They tell him to get lost, and Jim walks back to the fountain. A girl, Lilly, is taking the coins from the fountain and says that there's nothing else to do in Houma. They introduce themselves and Lilly invites him to a foot race around the fountain. They race and Jim wins, and Lilly admits that she likes him because he's the first boy who has beaten him. Jim invites her to place around her house, and Lilly says that he's the first boy that's been nice to her. She goes over to get her bag... which is dripping blood onto the cobblestones. The three boys watch and wonder whether they should warn Jim about Lilly, but figure he'll find out for himself.
As they walk to the Kipp house, Jim talks about the swamps. They race but Jim realizes that Lilly isn't running. She says that there's no point in running a race she can't win. Swamp Things watches from the brush and smiles. When they get to the house, Jim invites Lilly inside. Before they go in, Lilly asks Jim to ask Tressa to stand in the open doorway when she walks up. She explains that she has always imagined that when she's seen the house. Jim invites Lilly in, and offers to take her bag. She snaps at him, saying that she doesn't like people pawing through her stuff. Jim half-seriously tells her to chill out and assures her that he's still inviting her in.
Inside, Jim gets some sandwich fixings. Lilly looks around and finds Tressa's room, and takes some of her jewelry. Jim goes upstairs to bring her a sandwich, and finds Lilly looking through Tressa's things. She admits that she was stealing some of Tressa's perfume, and she can't afford to buy any. Jim invites her to come down and have some sandwiches, and Lilly puts on some perfume and says that she's going to love Tressa.
Later, Tressa arrives and invites Lilly to stay for dinner. Afterward, she sees the girl drying a knife and then looks at the clock and says that she's late. Lilly ask to use the phone to call her mother that she's on the way. She asks her mother how she's feeling, and holds down the hook while holding a fake conversation. Meanwhile, more blood leaks out of her bag.
That night, Tressa wakes up when she hears someone moving in the house. She goes out and finds Lilly on the porch in a rocking chair. Tressa asks why Lilly came back, and Lilly says that she had nowhere to go. When she got home, her mother was drunk and hit her. Lilly asks Tressa to let her stay out on the porch, and Tressa invites her to stay in their guest room.
The next day, Jim and Lilly are playing hide-and-seek in the swamp. She's carving on a tree, using Jim's borrowed knife, and he tells her that it's bad for the tree. Lilly snaps at him, saying that he's not her mother, and comes at him with the knife. Jim runs off into the swamp and hides, and Lilly tells him to come out. She tosses down his knife and apologizes, but Jim stays where he is. After a moment, Lilly picks up the knife and walks away.
At the house, Tressa finds a note from Lilly saying that she and Jim are playing in the swamp. She smells rotting and finds the bag, and finds a dead rabbit in it, shot to death. She calls Sheriff Andrews and says that there's something strange about Lilly. Andrews says that Lilly is trouble and asks if Lilly is there now. Once he learns that Jim is in the swamp with Lilly, he tells Tressa to stay put and he'll go out to look.
Swamp Thing finds Jim and asks what's wrong, and Jim explains what happened. He thinks that there's something wrong with Lilly, and Swamp Thing suggests that she deserves a second chance. Jim figures that she's calmed down and goes to find her, and Swamp Thing follow.
The three boys confront Lilly and ask about her rabbit. Lilly draws Jim's knife and they grab her and shove her around. Jim arrives as they throw her to the ground, and Swamp Thing summons a wind to frighten the boys away. They run off and Swamp Thing pushes Jim out. He helps Lilly up and says that it looked like she needed help. Lilly wondered why he came back, and Jim said that he's her friend. The girl tells him that she's never had a friend, and never had anything except her rabbit Lady Gray. Lilly gives Jim the jewelry she took from Tressa, and asks him to apologize for her. Jim says that Tressa always forgives him when he's honest and leads Lilly back to the house.
Jim and Lilly return to the Kipp house just as Andrews pulls up. the sheriff explains that Lilly's mother drinks and her father is around on and off, and the kids hate her for no good reason. Tressa takes Lilly in to clean up her scratches, and Jim tells Andrews that Lilly didn't do anything wrong. He goes to the garbage can where Tressa dumped the bag with Lady Grey and takes it out.
Lilly gives Tressa the jewelry back and admits that she stole it, and apologizes. Tressa dismisses it as nothing.
Jim asks Swamp Thing to bring the rabbit back to life. Swamp Thing resurrects it and gives it back to Jim, and the boy takes it into the house. and gives it to Lilly. Lilly hugs it, crying.
Written by Gadfly on Jun 20, 2017