At home that night, Conor's mom makes lasagna, which tires her out so much she falls asleep in front of the TV. He covers her with a duvet and goes to bed himself.
Right after he turns out the light, she comes in to kiss him goodnight.
Shortly thereafter, he hears her in the bathroom throwing up.
(Do you want to hug Conor's mom and make her a cup of tea? Because we totally do.)
Conor can't sleep after that. So he lies awake watching his clock say 12:05, 12:06…
At 12:07 he gets up and walks to the window, and there's the tree monster. It wants to come in and talk.
Sure, says Conor, that's what monsters always want—to talk.
The monster's totally cool with forcing his way into Conor's room, but Conor doesn't want his mom to wake up, so the monster says to come outside.
Conor goes outside, all, hey monster, what exactly is it you want from me?
The monster says it's not what he wants from Conor, it's what Conor wants from him.
Conor, as is to be expected, tells the monster he's whack. Conor doesn't want anything from any stinkin' tree—talking or not.
The monster says he doesn't yet, but he will.
When Conor tells the monster he must be a dream, the monster asks how Conor knows that everything else isn't a dream?
Fair question. But it never gets an answer because the monster's busy telling Conor that he'll be back. And the monster will tell him three stories, after which Conor will tell him the fourth—which is to say, the truth.
And if Conor doesn't tell the truth? Well, then, the monster will eat him alive.
Conor wakes up shouting. His floor is covered with poisonous yew berries, which have come in through his closed, locked window.