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TWENTY-ONE

The next day at school, TT was feeling just dandy. He had definitely scared those three Council Kids. They wouldn’t be messing with him again. He taught them a lesson they won’t forget anytime soon.

The other two Shadow Kids were feeling great too. No one could stop their trouble making. TT had told them about the show he put on for the Council trio in JimJim’s room. It was hard for Them to stop laughing long enough for TT to explain what happened.

For a while after TT’s show in JimJim’s room, JimJim was very frightened. SueSue and PosterGuy were even more upset than JimJim. The Council trio was too sad to talk about what had happened but when JimJim got up the next morning, his feelings had changed.

JimJim wasn’t afraid anymore. He wasn’t sad. He had a new idea.

At school, JimJim walked into his classroom. He took his seat. He got his homework papers out of his book bag. He was ready for the teacher to get started.

TT’s Shadow Kid buddies were up to their old tricks. One of them was leaning over whispering to the kid in the next row. The other one was poking the kid in front of him. It wouldn’t be long. Someone was going to get a timeout.

TT was just sitting there looking around and grinning. His gadget was on his lap. He looked down at it. He glanced up at JimJim.

JimJim was concentrating. He was ignoring TT. He was thinking about his idea. “Shadow Kids are bullies and trouble makers. That is a fact. TT’s Shadow Kid buddies are over there doing some trouble making right now. How do they get so many kids into trouble? They must have a trouble making strategy. I definitely need to figure out how they do that.”

TT stared at the other two Shadow Kids. In a minute, he got their attention.

JimJim almost missed it. TT barely moved his head from side to side. JimJim looked up just in time to see TT shake his head and whisper, “Stop.”

JimJim thought, “TT is telling them to stop. He is telling them to stop trouble making.”

JimJim watched for a few more seconds. The other two Shadow Kids followed TT’s order. They sat up straight and started paying attention to the teacher.

JimJim thought, “TT is the boss. They do what he says. This is very interesting. They are afraid of him.”

The two Shadow Kids straightened up but there was trouble anyway. The kid who was getting poked was doing some poking himself. The kid who was being whispered to was whispering to the kid behind him. The trouble makers had definitely gotten some trouble started.

JimJim concentrated. He looked at the kid who was whispering. He started thought-zapping. “Stop whispering. Pay attention to the teacher. You are going to get into trouble. You need to stop whispering now.”

While JimJim was thought-zapping, he glanced at TT. Yes, TT was quickly pushing buttons on his gadget. At the same time, a purple shadow appeared over the kid who was whispering. JimJim’s thoughts were echoing back to him and there was something new. JimJim heard a bell clanging too.

Yes, TT was definitely hard at work. Yes, that was what JimJim had thought would happen. Yes, JimJim had the right idea.

JimJim turned his attention back to his teacher. She had started the lesson. He didn’t have time right then but would think about all of this later.

At recess, JimJim was sitting outside on the step. SueSue was there too. They were talking when PosterGuy popped in.

JimJim said, “We are happy to be back together. We all agree about that. Right now, we don’t have time to talk about how great that is.

“We have to get busy. We have to battle the Shadow Kids. They are getting more and more kids in trouble. It’s getting worse and I have figured out how they do it.

“The Shadow Kids do stuff to start some trouble. They whisper. They poke and don’t keep their hands to themselves. They probably have a lot of other trouble making strategies too. We need to know all of their strategies.

“Here is the really clever part. They stop their trouble making just before the trouble starts. When the teacher finally sees what is happening, the Shadow kids aren’t doing anything. Other kids get in trouble. The Shadow Kids grin and laugh to themselves. They start the trouble but don’t get in trouble.

“That is only part of it. TT is the boss. He has some very clever tricks of his own. I have finally figured it out. You are going to be very surprised when I tell you how he does it.”

Right then, the school bell rang. Recess was over. JimJim didn’t have time to explain things to SueSue and PosterGuy.

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