Suddenly Jeffrey heard voices coming from the top of the stairs. Some of the teachers were coming to investigate. He was about to try to climb out, but he realized it would be next to impossible to slip by them. An idea popped into his head and he hid behind the table in the blackness. As soon as the teachers entered the room, he snuck around behind them and quickly mounted the stairs. He emerged into the daylight, and then he had another idea. He reached down and pulled the switch again, and the section of the playground floor began to raise the swing set back up. Jeffrey grinned fiendishly. Served them right, being trapped down there. If they had caught him, they would have done a lot worse to him.

“What’s going on out here?”

Jeffrey turned to see the principal striding out into the playground. Before he could answer, the kid with the horrible sweater spoke up. “Jeffy trapped the teachers down in the secret lab!”

Jeffrey glared at him and opened his mouth to respond, but the principal sighed and grasped him by his arm. “Come with me, Jeffy. I’m going to have to tell your mother about this!”

At the mention of his mother, Jeffrey’s eyes froze wide open in fear. He thought back to the evening before and the torture he had experienced. His mother had chastised him, spanked him, and then sent him off to bed without any supper. Never before had he experienced such agony, and he had curled up in his bed that night, sore and hungry. He didn’t even have a comfortable Tempur-Pedic mattress or silk sheets. The boy shuddered as he tried to push away the horrible memories. He couldn’t go back to his mother. He struggled, but the principal’s hand was clamped onto his arm as if it were made of iron. Finally going limp and allowing himself to be led to the principal’s office, Jeffrey resigned himself to his fate.

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