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A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness
A Monster Calls Chapter 1 Summary
A Monster Calls It's 12:07 a.m., and 13-year-old Conor O'Malley is awake again. He's just had his usual nightmare, "the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming." Nobody knows about the nightmare. Conor hasn't told his parents, his grandma, or any of the awful kids at school. He doesn't even tell us. But it's not the nightmare that woke him up tonight. It's the fact that there's someone outside his bedroom window calling his name. He tries to ignore it, telling himself it's just the wind, but it keeps calling, so he gets out of bed and goes to the window. He sees what he always sees: the church tower on the hill behind his house, the graveyard surrounding the church, and the giant yew tree that stands in the midst of the graves. He hears his name again and answers, saying, "What?" A cloud moves in front of the moon, darkening the landscape, and a giant gush of wind whooshes into his room. He hears a loud sound like wood cracking. When the cloud passes and the moonlight shines again, Conor sees that the yew tree is now standing in his yard. But it doesn't remain standing for long. It turns into a gigantic tree monster, with trunks for legs and branches for arms and needle-leaf skin. The monster grabs the roof of Conor's house, leans into his window, and tells Conor he's come to get him. But Conor's not scared (we are). Apparently, this monster's totally lame compared to the one in his nightmare. He tells the monster to shout all it wants; he's seen worse. The monster is shocked that Conor's not afraid, but tells him he will be before the end. Then it opens up its mouth to eat him.
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