An Insidious Momnapping

These 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 whole book will be available to purchase soon, so keep checking back! 🙂

Chapter 2

An Insidious Momnapping

When Trevor woke up it was dark outside. And someone was pounding on his door. That, too.

“Trevor! Open up now or I’ll beat this door down!”

He groaned. The voice belonged to Emily, his bossy fourteen-year-old sister. What did she want now? He rolled out of bed wondering if he had forgotten to take the garbage out again.

“What?” he asked. He didn’t unlock the door.

Emily’s frantic answer was the last thing he expected her to say. “Mom’s missing! She didn’t come up from the basement and we can’t find her anywhere!”

Trevor stopped breathing. Missing? He glanced back at his bed. The momnapper’s note was still there, crumpled up next to the suspension notice near his pillow.

He unlocked his door and turned around. He picked up the note just as Emily burst into the room.

“Oh thank goodness!” she said. She grabbed him into a suffocating hug. “I thought you were missing too!”

He pushed her away, annoyed. “I was just taking a nap.” He looked at the note in his hand. “I… think Mom was momnapped.”

Tabitha followed Emily into the room just as Trevor handed the note to Emily. Trevor noticed for the first time that both his sisters were in their pajamas. It must have been later than he thought.

“I… thought it was a joke,” he said lamely.

Emily looked at him sideways and smoothed out the note on her robe.

“Do you know where Mom is, Trev?” Tabitha asked.

Emily held the paper up for her sister to see. “No, but he found a note.”

Tabitha’s eyes grew wide and she grabbed for it. “Let me see! Does it have any clues?”

Emily read it out loud. “Dear Tate Kids. I have been kidnapped. Don’t forget to do your homework and chores. Love, Mom Tate.”

“Wait, what? Let me see.” Tabitha took the note from Emily and frowned at it. “Not one clue. And it doesn’t even make sense!”

“That’s why I thought it was a joke,” Trevor said. “Mom knows we don’t have chores on school nights.”

“Well, duh. Besides the fact that Mom wouldn’t write a note to tell us she’s been kidnapped in the first place,” Tabitha said.

“Oh. Yeah. That too,” Trevor muttered.

“Why would she call us the Tate Kids? Why not just say ‘kids’, or ‘EmTrevTab’ like she does when she yells at us to come to a family meeting?” Emily said.

Trevor took the note from his twin and scowled as he re-read it. “It’s a shoddy note for sure. No way Mom wrote it.”

“Shoddy” was a word Trevor had recently learned. It meant cheap and bad, like a video game with only two levels. He had used it exactly 2,917 times since learning it. When he got to 3,000 he’d find a new word and start all over. Trevor liked words a lot. Knowing big ones made him feel smart, and they made up stories of courageous heroes and dastardly villains that he could escape into for hours, pretending that he was brave, too.

Emily nodded in agreement as she studied the note. “Someone’s taken Mom and tried — badly — to pretend to be her. But why and who?”

“It’s a mystery!” Tabitha said. “Just like Sherlock Holmes!”

Trevor elbowed his twin in the arm. “Don’t you care about Mom at all?”

“Of course I do!” Tabitha said. “But I bet I can figure this out and save her. It should be easy.”

Emily smirked. “Easy? With no clues at all?” She shook her head. “No way. We have to call the police.”

“No!” The twins yelled at the same time.

“They’ll split us up and put us in foster care!” Trevor said. “Being an orphan is horrible! Haven’t you ever read Oliver Twist?”

Tabitha looked at Trevor like he had just grown a new head. “Actually, I was just thinking that maybe it wasn’t a person that took Mom.” She looked out the bedroom door and her voice dropped to a whisper. “Maybe… maybe it was one of her experiments.”

Trevor’s stomach dropped. All three Tates stared out his bedroom door, but their minds weren’t on the upstairs hallway.

They were on the dark stairs in the kitchen that led to Mom’s forbidden basement lab.

Chapter 3

An Idiomatic Discrepancy

Trevor followed his sisters down to the kitchen in silence. For a while they all stared at the basement door, lost in their own thoughts. None of them knew what exactly their mother did in her top-secret lab, just that she worked on some major experiments that earned the family a lot of money. The kids had never been allowed down there. Not even Emily.

“Do you think… she was making monsters?” Trevor whispered. Grainy old horror pictures of his mother in a mad scientist lab coat and frizzed hair flickered into his mind. Despite his fear for Mom, he smiled. “Like… like Frankenstein! Our mom’s Doctor Frankenstein! That’s so mag!”

Tabitha snorted at him. “Mag?”

Trevor shrugged. “Short for magnificent. It means the same thing as awesome but awesome’s boring.”

Tabitha rolled her eyes. “Whatever floats your boat.”

Emily stepped up to the basement door and touched it with the tips of her fingers. “I don’t think she made a monster Trev. Monsters are always stupid.”

Trevor grabbed a handful of cookies from the jar on the kitchen table. He sat down and took a bite, but his eyes were still on the basement. “Tha nofe waf pwey fupid,” he mumbled.

“Yeah the note was stupid, but whoever left it could write at least. I don’t think monsters are literate.” Emily was quiet for a moment, then nodded curtly. “I’m going down there. Wait for me here.”

“No way! No fair! We’re coming too!” Tabitha said.

Trevor almost choked on his cookie. We?

“It’s probably dangerous,” Emily said. She opened the door and looked down the dark stairs. She shook her head. “I can’t put you in danger. What would Mom say?”

Tabitha put her hands on her hips. “She’d say she was proud of us for rescuing her, that’s what.”

Emily snorted. “Rescuing her from what? Some moronic note-writer? Mom can rescue herself from someone that dumb.”

Tabitha scowled.

“She’f wight Tab,” Trevor mumbled. He swallowed. “I mean, if one of Mom’s own experiments took her, then what chance do we have against it?”

Tabitha glared back at her twin. “What, like Mom’s a superhero or something? First she’s Dr. Frankenstein and now she’s a superhero? Get a grip, Trev. This isn’t one of your dumb storybooks. Mom’s a person just like we are.”

Trevor glared back. “Well why couldn’t she be a superhero! Why else would she be momnapped anyway?”

Momnap is not a word, Trev. And no more cookies. Do you know what time it is?” Emily pinched the bridge of her nose like Mom did when she felt impatient with them. “You two would give anyone a complex, you know that? Mom has to be a superhero to put up with you.” She looked at Tabitha and sighed. “OK, fine. You can come.  But If I get distracted having to watch out for you you’re coming right back upstairs!”

With a squeal of delight Tabitha took off, pushing her sister out of the way. She was down the stairs within moments.

Emily shook her head and looked at Trevor. “Well?”

Trevor swallowed his cookie and peered past Emily into the dark hole. He smiled crookedly and stood up. “OK. S… sure. No prob.”

Emily stepped away from the door. “Well then, after you.”

“Age before beauty huh?” Trevor said with as he passed her. “Heh.”

Emily looked at him blankly. “I’m older than you.”

He sighed and headed down the stairs without another word. Maybe Emily was a genetic experiment gone horribly wrong, too.

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4 Responses to “An Insidious Momnapping”

  1. I love your book but you need to quit posting it because I want to buy it and hold it and read it in book form and its too tempting to keep reading what you post instead. It needs to be published soon so I can read the whole thing in one gloriously long and self-indulgent sitting! 😉

    • Don’t worry. This is all I’m going to post. 🙂 I’m SO glad you like it! Mostly I’m just waiting on my wonderful illustrator to get it all ready to buy!

  2. Your post have the information that is helpful and very informative. I would like you to keep up the good work. You know how to make your post understandable for most of the people.

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