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FIVE

JimJim slouched down in his chair. PosterGuy told him this story.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, PosterGuy was a regular kid. He did regular stuff. He just hung around. He had a totally terrific time being regular. It was that way until the day he stopped being regular and became special. That was definitely a day to remember.

He was sitting in his room. He was doing a little timeouting. He was just being regular. That all stopped when he heard the voice. “We need to talk.”

PosterGuy met the PosterGuy who came before him. He was stuck to the wall in PosterGuy’s room. He wasn’t supposed to be there.

There was the PosterGuy who was in JimJim’s room. There was the PosterGuy who came before him. He was in PosterGuy’s room once upon a time, a long time ago. It was definitely complicated.

PosterGuy was chosen by the Council. That was back when he was just a regular kid. The PosterGuy who came before him contacted him. He got PosterGuy off to a good start working for the Council. He didn’t like it much but they didn’t give him any choice. He became a Council Kid. That was the way it was.

JimJim said, “Let me see if I have this right. You were a regular kid once upon a time, a long time ago. You were doing some timeouting. You were just doing regular stuff. The other PosterGuy showed up in your room. This happened and then that happened. You said some stuff. He said some stuff. Zip Zap. You became a Council Kid. Now you are here. Have I got that right?”

“You really are soooo smart. You have it exactly right. That is just the way it is.”

JimJim shook his head. He slowly stood up. He walked over to the window. He stared out the window at his baseball glove. It was laying in the back yard. He thought, “I should put that away. I should take better care of my stuff.”

PosterGuy didn’t say anything. He just leaned against the computer screen and watched. JimJim turned away from the window. He walked to his open closet. He thought, “I should pick up that mess on the floor. I should hang up my clothes.”

JimJim’s thoughts were interrupted. SueSue jerked open his bedroom door. She stompped in. The purple shadow was very dark as it slipped over her head. She yelled, “Hey Beetle Brain. Will you stop talking to yourself. You are way too weird. What are you doing over here?”

She crossed to his desk. She was still yelling. “Let me see what else you have of mine. You probably took my colored pencils too. I can’t find them anywhere. They aren’t in my room. I’ll bet you took them. I’m getting sick and tired of you getting into my stuff.”

JimJim opened his mouth to yell at SueSue. No words came out. He couldn’t believe it. His sister was pawing through the stuff on his desk and he wasn’t upset with her. She was opening his desk drawers and he wasn’t getting mad. She was poking through the stuff in the box beside his desk and he didn’t want to yell at  her. This was very strange.

What did he do? It surprised JimJim almost as much as it shocked SueSue. He leaned against his closet door. He smiled at her. He said nothing.

SueSue could feel it. Something wasn’t right. She straightened up. She spun around to look at her brother. Why wasn’t he yelling at her? Why was he smiling at her? What was he up to?

She said, “Hey Beetle Brain. What is wrong with you? What are you smiling about? Why aren’t you yelling at me for getting into your stuff? Are you sick or something? Stop smiling at me.”

JimJim kept smiling. He said nothing.

SueSue stared at him for almost a full minute. The purple shadow was still over her head. JimJim just kept smiling at his sister. The purple shadow floated away and disappeared. SueSue shrugged her shoulders and slowly left his room. That time, she quietly closed the door behind herself.

JimJim walked back to his desk. He sat down in his chair. He glanced at the envelope with the note to his pen pal. There was something odd about it. It was the stamp. It was a regular stamp. The trophy on the stamp was gone. His picture on the stamp was gone too. He looked up and then he noticed. PosterGuy was gone. What happened to the stamp? Where was PosterGuy? JimJim thought, “This is very strange. It’s way too weird.”

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