The Crows’ Nest, Prologue and Chapter 1

I thought maybe some of you would like to see my actual writing, so here are the prologue and chapter 1 of Book 1 of “Guts and Glory, Freedom Fighters of Nil”. Enjoy, and if you want more, let me know!  – MM


“Guts and Glory lived in a dark, broken city called Nil, where Kids and Teens were always at war and Adults were only a myth. The twins were heroes to the other Kids of Nil, fighting against the Teens every chance they got. Then one day they stumbled across a terrible secret about their world and a mysterious evil that called itself RIP 2.0…”

“Seriously, Mom? You tell this part every night,” Ten-year-old Tabitha complained. She sat on her pillow with her back against the headboard and her arms wrapped around her blanketed knees. “Yadda yadda yadda. RIP 2.0 is bent on destroying all the Kids of Nil, and Glory and Guts have to find the six magic Cogs that will save them all. Come, on! We already know that. Skip to the good part, please!”

“Yeah,” Trevor said. He sat on the edge of his sister’s bed kicking his slippers on and off, off and on. “You’re always teasing us like this. It’s excruciating!”

Tabitha gave her twin a look.

“It means painful,” Trevor said.


Mom just laughed. “OK, OK. I just thought a little recap was in order.”

The twins gave her their best ‘you-have-GOT-to-be-kidding-us’ looks.

At this, Mom laughed harder. “Allright, allright. I’ll stop. Where did we leave off?”

“Glory was about to be pummeled by a giant cockroach!” Trevor said. “And Guts was about to come save her.”

“As if,” Tabitha said. “Glory was about to save herself, thankyouveryuch!”

Mom thought for a moment. “Actually, neither of those things happened. The cockroach…”

When the story was over, Mom kissed Tabitha goodnight and followed Trevor to his bedroom across the hall.

“Guts is so brave,” he said as she tucked him into bed. “I bet he could take on all the morons at RIP 2.0 easy!”

Mom kissed his forehead. “There’s more to bravery than fighting, Trev.”

Trevor closed his eyes. “Sure, Mom. Whatever you say.”

Chapter 1
An Immense Predicament

When Trevor found the momnappers’ note taped to his front door after school, he didn’t think much of it. After all, Mom had taught them all about kidnappers but she had never said anything about momnappers. And who’d want to momnap anyone anyway?

Besides, he thought as he glared at the crumpled-up suspension note in his hand, he had a way bigger problem to deal with just then.

Trevor was a geek. He didn’t want to be a geek. He didn’t even know why he was a geek. He didn’t wear glasses, he wasn’t very good at math or science, and he didn’t have allergies or an inhaler or anything like that. He was just a normal-looking kid with normal-looking short brown hair, blue eyes and some freckles over his nose and cheeks. He dressed like most everyone else he knew, too: just jeans and t-shirts and an occasional hoodie when it was cold out. He didn’t act all twitchy or weird as far as he knew, either.
But the kids at school said he was a geek, so that’s how it was. And it wasn’t like Trevor could change their minds, either. After all, they were led by the very worst kid of them all: Arthur, the meanest, smelliest bully in school.

And for reasons Trevor couldn’t fathom, Arthur hated Trevor  more than Trevor hated brussell sprouts.

As usual, it was Arthur who had given Trevor the black eye, bloody nose, and suspension note he carried home that day. Thanks to Arthur, Trevor had been in five fights already that year and it wasn’t even Halloween yet.

Mom was not going to be happy about another one.

Just before Trevor slammed the front door behind him, he heard a yell from down the street.

“Trev! Wait up!”


Along with being a geek, Trevor was also a twin. His sister Tabitha was one minute younger than him and in the same class at school, but somehow she wasn’t a geek. She looked a lot like Trevor with the same brown hair, blue eyes and freckles, and she was good at math and science. But she still wasn’t a geek. At least none of the kids at school said she was –not even Arthur –so that’s how it was.

In fact, besides their age and looking a lot alike, the twins were as different as pencils and oatmeal. Trevor was shy while Tabitha was outgoing. Trevor was a big reader while Tabitha enjoyed math games. Trevor liked action-filled adventures while Tabitha loved to figure out mysteries.

Sometimes Trevor wondered if they even were twins. He suspected instead that they were some horrible genetic experiment gone wrong and Mom didn’t want to tell them.

She was a scientist, after all. It was entirely possible.

Usually Trevor walked home with his twin, but he hadn’t that day, and he didn‘t wait up for her either. Instead he ran up to his room, slammed the door shut, kicked off his shoes and threw himself face-first onto his bed.

He tried not to think about what would happen when Mom came up from her basement lab to make dinner, when he would have to give her another suspension note.

A scene came to his mind anyway…

…Mom, with that pained look in her eyes as if her son had just stabbed her in the heart, would say, Trevor, why can’t you stay out of trouble? I know you’re a good boy. I have faith in you.

And Trevor would try, again, to explain to her that it wasn’t his fault.

But Mom wouldn’t understand. She never did. You always have a choice, she would say, you don’t have to fight. Go to the principal. Go to your teacher. They’re there to help.

Trevor screamed into his pillow, frustrated. But he fought from crying. He made it a point never to cry because if he ever did, everyone would know his very worst secret. A secret so deep and dark that it lived far, far down inside himself where the hairy, spidery monsters of his worst fears laid their eggs.

The secret that he was a coward.

And there was nothing he could do about it. He was just scared of everything and he couldn’t help it. So he did the only thing he could. He pretended he wasn’t scared at all. He had gotten good at it, too. Nobody knew of his fears.

And he intended to keep it that way. Forever.

So no, he couldn’t just walk away. He couldn’t tell his teacher or the principal or anyone. He had to stand his ground. No matter what. Even if it meant getting beat up every day. Because Mom was wrong. Walking away and telling on Arthur wouldn’t fix anything. It would just make everything so, so much worse. Because then everyone would know that he was a coward.


Yeah, Trevor had a problem, and it wasn’t just being a geek. It was being a cowardly geek. The very worst kind of geek of them all.

He screamed into his pillow until his voice hurt, then fell asleep, exhausted.

Chapters 2 and 3


One Response to “The Crows’ Nest, Prologue and Chapter 1”

  1. […] are chapters 2 and 3 of The Crows’ Nest. For the prologue and chapter 1, go here. I will not be posting the entire manuscript, but the book will be available soon, so keep checking […]

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