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FOURTEEN

It was later that same night. JimJim, SueSue, and PosterGuy were at Council Headquarters. The Council trio still didn’t have a strategy.

They had popped into the Great Council Hall at Council Headquarters. The large round table was there. The chairs were around the Council table. The other nine Council Kids were sitting around the Council table. This was not right. It was not what JimJim, SueSue, and PosterGuy expected. It was very strange.

The Council trio was hiding in a corner far away from the Council table. They hoped no one saw them. JimJim, SueSue, and PosterGuy couldn’t believe what they saw.

The nine other Council Kids were sitting at the Council table. They were relaxing. They were talking. They were drinking chocolate milk. They were snacking on cookies. The Council trio heard a few Council Kids laughing. They were having a totally terrific time.

JimJim whispered, “The other Council Kids look like they are having a good time. Where are TT and the other two Shadow Kids? What happened to the purple shadows? This is very weird.”

The Council trio was shocked. This was definitely not what they expected. It was like nothing dangerous was going on. It was like the Shadow Kids were never there. It was like they had only imagined the purple shadows.

PosterGuy started to pop on over to his seat at the Council table. JimJim and SueSue grabbed his arms at the same time. They both spoke at once. “No. Wait. It may be a trick.”

PosterGuy didn’t understand but he waited. He didn’t pop on over to his seat at the Council table. He looked at JimJim and SueSue. He saw that they were thinking. He wondered why they were holding him back. He didn’t understand what was happening.

JimJim pulled on PosterGuy’s and SueSue’s arms. He lead them farther back into the dark corner of the Great Council Hall. They pressed their backs against the wall.

They stared at the other Council Kids. Yes, all nine were there. Yes, they were talking and having a very good time. No, TT and the other two Shadow Kids were not there. Yes, the purple shadows were gone. It was very strange.

JimJim quietly said, “This isn’t right. Something is wrong. Something is very wrong.”

The Council trio stood against the wall for a long time. They held very still. They were quiet. They stared at the other Council Kids.

Suddenly JimJim said, “That’s it. I see it. It’s a trick. It’s a clever trick. TT really is a genius. He is a very clever genius.”

JimJim turned to look at SueSue and PosterGuy. He said, “We have to go. We have to go right now. I hope it’s not already too late. We have to get out of here right now.”

JimJim and SueSue linked arms. They were ready to pop back to JimJim’s room. They looked around. Where was PosterGuy? Why wasn’t he there?

SueSue saw it first. She pressed her hand over her mouth to keep from screaming. She was staring at the other Council Kids.

The Council table was there. How was it Possible? There were suddenly ten Council Kids sitting around the table. PosterGuy was in his chair. It was definitely PosterGuy sitting at the Council table.

It was even worse. It was way worse. The purple shadows were back. There was now a purple shadow over PosterGuy’s head. The Shadow Kids had captured PosterGuy.

The situation was definitely very bad. TT and the other two Shadow Kids were back too. TT was waving his gadget. He was yelling. JimJim and SueSue couldn’t understand what he was saying. He was yelling at PosterGuy. TT was definitely a nasty bully. It was very scary.

JimJim and SueSue were shocked. They couldn’t believe it. This couldn’t be happening. It couldn’t be real but it was. They were the only Council Kids who hadn’t been captured. It was up to them. The Council was depending on them.

They were too shocked to move. They just stared.

JimJim and SueSue took a deep breath at the same time. They couldn’t just stand there and stare. They couldn’t just wait. They would get captured too. They had to do something. They had to save PosterGuy and the Council.

JimJim saw it first. A huge purple shadow was sliding across the Great Council Hall. It was headed toward him and SueSue. They didn’t have much time. There wasn’t a second to spare.

JimJim and SueSue linked arms. They concentrated. They popped out of the Great Council Hall. It wasn’t a second too soon. They both felt the tug of the purple shadow as they popped away. It almost got them. They came within a wink of being captured.

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