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It was a very long day for JimJim and SueSue. They ate breakfast. They double checked to be sure they had their stuff in their book bags. They got to school on time. After that, they tried to pay attention. It was definitely not easy. They wanted to talk with each other. They wanted to figure out a strategy to rescue the other Council Kids.

JimJim arrived at school. He went to his classroom. He sat at his desk. He looked around the classroom. His mouth dropped open. He couldn’t believe what he saw. It couldn’t be true.

It was TT. He was there. He was sitting at his desk. He was smiling. He was playing with his gadget. How could that be?

The other two Shadow Kids were there too. They were whispering and poking at the kids in front of them. It looked like they were trying to get some trouble started. They were definitely nothing but a couple of bullies.

It was like nothing had changed. Could JimJim have imagined everything about the Council Kids and the Shadow Kids? It was like he just dreamed it all up.

The day creeped along. The two kids who were getting poked ended up in timeout. TT and the other two Shadow Kids acted like everything was just dandy.

JimJim tried to pay attention. He thought about PosterGuy and the other Council Kids. He wanted to talk with SueSue. He couldn’t understand what was happening. He watched the clock.

The school day finally ended. JimJim rushed home. SueSue was busy. She didn’t have time to talk.

JimJim ate dinner. He did his homework. He was in his room. He was just staring out his window when he heard the voice.

“We need to talk.”

The voice didn’t surprise JimJim. He didn’t think about it. He just said, “What is happening, PosterGuy?”

It took a second for JimJim to notice that there was something not quite right. He turned and stared. It was PosterGuy. It was definitely him.

PosterGuy popped off his poster. He sat on the old ball cap on JimJim’s shelf. He smiled.

JimJim caught his breath. He understood what was wrong. He could barely talk. He took another deep breath. He said, “You aren’t here. You can’t be here. You are in the Great Council Hall. The Shadow Kids captured you but here you are. You really are here. How did you escape?”

At that exact minute, there was a knock on JimJim’s door. SueSue peaked in. She said, “Who are you talking to?”

JimJim just pointed at PosterGuy. SueSue was very surprised. PosterGuy just sat there and smiled. JimJim sat on the edge of his bed. SueSue sat on the desk chair. PosterGuy just kept smiling.

For a while, no one said anything. SueSue and JimJim stared at PosterGuy. They looked at each other. PosterGuy kept smiling.

PosterGuy said, “You are definitely right about that. TT and the other two Shadow Kids captured me and the other Council Kids. I was trapped under one of those purple shadows.

“TT was yelling at me. I was getting very worried. I didn’t know how to escape. I didn’t know what was going on with all of that.”

PosterGuy stood up. He yawned. He stretched. He said, “I am very tired. I’m exhausted. Escaping used up all of my energy. I just hate it when that happens.”

PosterGuy stretched one more time. He bumpped the old ball cap he was sitting on. It fell to the floor. PosterGuy didn’t notice. JimJim reached and tossed it back onto the shelf without looking where it went.

PosterGuy popped onto his poster. He said, “This is better. I’m more comfortable on my poster.”

PosterGuy explained that he had been in the Great Council Hall, hiding in the corner with JimJim and SueSue. He was doing some staring. A purple shadow snuck up on him. Poof. He was at the Council table. He was in his chair. There was a purple shadow covering his head.

It took a long time. PosterGuy finally figured out how to escape. He concentrated. He imagined his poster. He imagined being on his poster. He concentrated. Poof. He was on his poster. He was stuck to the wall of the Great Council Hall.

PosterGuy watched for a while. Nothing changed. The other Council Kids were still captured. No, something was different. Where were TT and the other two Shadow Kids? They were gone.

PosterGuy watched a while longer. He saw it. More things were different. The purple shadows were gone too. The Council was having a meeting. It was just a regular meeting. It was like nothing ever happened.

JimJim and SueSue listened to PosterGuy’s story. They listened carefully. It was like nothing important was going on. It was like they imagined everything. It was like a dream but they knew that it wasn’t just a dream. Something very strange was happening.

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