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ELEVEN

JimJim was surprised. He didn’t know what to say. He had no idea that SueSue knew about that stuff. JimJim and SueSue talked for a while. They looked up and there was PosterGuy smiling at them.

PosterGuy said, “We need to talk.”

JimJim and SueSue waited for PosterGuy to say more. He was about to talk but the bell rang. Recess was over.

While JimJim and SueSue got up to go back to their classrooms, PosterGuy said, “Later, we will talk more later.”

A strong breeze came up and popped PosterGuy off the building. He floated up and drifted away like a kite. In a minute or so, he was gone.

JimJim and SueSue returned to their classrooms. The school day was nearly over. That was good because they were both having trouble sitting still and paying attention. They had a lot of stuff to talk about.

It felt like a very long time until the bell rang to end the school day. It rang at last. It was finally time to go home. JimJim and SueSue would soon get to talk. They definitely needed to talk but it didn’t happen that day.

After school, SueSue had a pile of homework to do. She had to straighten up her room. One of her friends called and they talked on the telephone for a while. The family had dinner and SueSue helped with the dishes. She had to finish the pile of homework. Another friend called. It was like that until bedtime.

JimJim was busy too. His pile of homework was smaller than SueSue’s. It still took a while to finish. One of his friends called and came over to play ball. He sat the table for dinner. He went for a ride on his bike. He hung around and watched a little TV. It was bedtime. He and SueSue didn’t get to talk.

They didn’t know how long they had been sleeping but JimJim and SueSue did know this. They weren’t sleeping anymore. They were wide awake and they weren’t in their rooms.

They both had been in that place before but it wasn’t the same. It had definitely changed. It wasn’t supposed to be like that. It was way too weird.

JimJim and SueSue stood very close to each other. They both felt a giant shiver as they stared. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing. It was amazing. It was scary. It was way too weird.

They were at Council Headquarters. Yes, they were definitely at Council Headquarters.

There was the big round table. It was right there in front of them.

There were the chairs. They were right there around the table where they were supposed to be.

There were the other Council Kids. They were in their chairs sitting around the Council table.

There was JimJim’s chair. It was right there. It was empty, ready for him to be seated.

Everything was like it should be. The Council Kids were waiting. JimJim needed to take his seat before the meeting could start. So, why wasn’t JimJim taking his seat? Why were he and SueSue just standing there?

Yes, this was Council Headquarters. Yes, the Council was about to have a meeting. Yes, JimJim’s seat and one other seat were empty. Yes, it was time for him to take his seat.

Did JimJim take his seat? No. He definitely didn’t. Did he know what was happening? No. He definitely didn’t have a clue. It was definitely way too weird.

Each of the Council Kids at the Council table was sitting very still. There was a dark purple shadow over the head of each Council Kid. Their heads were all turned to watch a kid who was talking to the Council.

The kid who was talking was holding something. It looked like a book.

There were two more kids who were hard for JimJim and SueSue to see. They were behind the one who was talking. If they didn’t look closely, JimJim and SueSue might not have seen them. Yes, there were definitely three of them.

JimJim and SueSue saw it at the same time. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing. It was TT and the other two kids from JimJim’s classroom. They were all three here.  They were right here in Council Headquarters.

SueSue whispered to JimJim. “We need to talk. We need to talk but not here, not now.”

She tugged on JimJim’s arm. He followed her away from the Council table, away from TT and the other two kids, away from the purple shadows.

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