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EIGHT




Later that same afternoon, JimJim was at recess. He was
sitting on the step. He was thinking about what happened. It was definitely
weird. He heard the voice.



JimJim looked up. PosterGuy was on the building beside the
door. JimJim quietly said, “What are you doing here?”



PosterGuy said, “I’m just doing a little hanging out.
What is up with you?”



JimJim told PosterGuy about what happened with TT.
“Here is the weird part. TT heard my thoughts. At least I think he did. At
least he stopped playing with his gadget. He started paying attention to the
teacher. At least it worked the first time.”



PosterGuy said, “It worked the first time? What do you
mean by that?”



JimJim said, “It’s very strange. There I was. I was
thought-zapping, trying to stop TT from getting a timeout. It worked. I thought
it would work again on the kid in front of TT. That kid was whispering.



“There was this weird purple shadow that got in the
way. It stopped my thoughts. I tried to zap the kid with a timeout stopper. The
purple shadow bounced my thoughts right back to me. It was like an echo. I
heard the echo. It was weird. It was also very confusing.”



PosterGuy said, “I’ve got it. I understand. You were
trying to zap the kid who was whispering. Instead, the purple shadow echoed
your thought-zap back to you. It was like you got zapped before you could
finish doing some zapping yourself. Do I have that right?”



JimJim shrugged and said, “You’ve got that one right.
It’s very weird.”



PosterGuy said, “I didn’t think it would happen yet. I
didn’t think you would find out about it yet. I thought you would have more
time to get used to being a Council Kid. I didn’t think you would meet the
enemy yet. I will tell you all about it. We don’t have time right now. I will
tell you later. Until then, be careful, very careful. Maybe you should not do
any thought-zapping until we have time to talk. We will talk later, maybe this
evening.”



That evening, JimJim hung around. He did his homework. He
ate dinner. He shot some hoops. He watched some TV. He played some games on his
computer. He was a little bored. He expected PosterGuy to pop in and talk with
him. He expected to learn more about thought-zapping. He expected to find out
more about the purple shadow.



PosterGuy didn’t pop in. JimJim’s bed time arrived. He
snuggled into bed. He hugged his pillow. He was dozing off to dreamland.



“Welcome aboard, again. It’s time for you to learn
about everything. It’s time for you to find out about being a Council
Kid.”



JimJim couldn’t tell if he was awake or dreaming. It was way
too weird. He sat up to check it out.



JimJim looked around. He was back in that strange place. All
of the chairs were full, except one. JimJim took his place in the empty chair.
The Council was ready for business. PosterGuy started the Council meeting.



By the time the meeting was over, JimJim learned the whole
deal about the Council. They needed a new Council Kid to be their main
thought-zapper. They knew he would be a totally terrific thought-zapper. They
knew that he could handle it because he was soooo smart.



Council Kids have a mission. It’s what they do. They keep
kids from getting into trouble. Timeout stopping is one of the things they do.
Timeout stopping is a big deal for Council Kids. That was JimJim’s first
assignment. His job was to stop timeouts.



Shadow Kids are the enemy. Their mission is to get kids in
trouble. No one knows much about them. They are definitely out there. They are
very clever.



JimJim got his first experience with how clever Shadow Kids
are. He saw it when they pulled the echo trick on him at school. JimJim knew
about the Shadow Kids now. He was ready for them. They wouldn’t surprise him
again. Shadow Kids BEWARE.





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