Welcome to the Book Extract parlour. Once a week, usually Monday's, I'll try and get you a free look at something cool coming out soon, or just released. For this, our first attempt, however, I'm putting up a print-only piece I did for Frankie magazine late last year. To mark some sort of Ferris milestone, or something. The brief was to imagine his life twenty years on.
Of course, I had to write a zombie story.
You known me. I'm Jeannie. I run the infirmary. And the hydroponic station?I helped set your arm that time you came off the quad bike getting away from Rooney.
Remember? Jeannie! Jeannie Bueller.
Sometimes some of the guys call me Shauna.………(Sigh).Yes. I'm Ferris's sister.
No! Don't! I don't want to hear about it. We do not need to ‘Save Ferris’. We need to find him and put him down. He's gone. Don't you understand? He thought the rules didn't apply to him. He thought he was special. He thought… no, he didn't think. He never does. Never did, sorry. He believed he was different to everybody else and he could just do as he damn well pleased.
You know he took the Warthog out with him, don't you? The only safe transport we have. The only way we have of keeping in contact with the other fortresses now that the radio's gone down. Oh, and remind me to tell you about my brother's contribution to that little snafu one day. He… what? Well of course I know he's been taking the Warthog out the joyrides with his stupid girlfriend. I'm the one who volunteered to pull the extra shifts in the motor pool when Edson got eaten. I'm the one who ponied up for the fucking minty fresh blood transfusion you enjoyed after your little quad bike accident and then backed up to do maintenance on the hog. Where I was able to check the odometer. Where I was able to confirm what I knew all along, that Ferris and his fucking glove puppet Cameron had been using the Warthog without authorization.
Three hundred miles they put on the clock. Three hundred and one and seven tenths to be exact, which I can, because God help me somebody has to around here. Three hundred and one point seven miles miles worth of gas and hard driving and wear and fucking tear because don't you believe for a moment any of Cameron's bullshit that he sticks to the cleared roads and drives only fast enough to keep ahead of the hunting packs.
Three hundred and one miles. As close to Three hundred and two as makes no god damn difference. In one goddamned day. I will bet you a weeks worth of rations they took that thing all the way up to Chicago and back. In one day. Probably drove it around Wrigley Field with half the city shambling after them.
I just… I just don't understand.I just don't understand why he gets all the breaks and everybody covers for him. It's his fault that Rooney ended up the way he did, you know. All torn up, dragging half a severed leg behind him and and groaning Ferris's name over and over again. You ever heard of one of them doing that before? Well? No. Me neither. The most you ever get out of them is, “Braaaaaiiinnnnz.” But not Mr. Rooney. Oh no. He was so intent on finding my brother after the last time he had one of his ‘days off’ that when one of the cannibal herds were finished with him the last thing anyone saw was his leftovers dragging themselves up the road croaking, “Ferrrrisssssss.”
So don't tell me… what? You want what?……No I am not giving you any donations for the Save Ferris drive. I've got about 3 bullets and one half chewed Twinkie to last me until resupply on Friday and I am deeply fucking dis-interested in being told I'm a heartless wench for not putting in. Honestly. You people. He will be the death of you. For a little while, anyway, until you reanimate.
My brother is not a hero. My brother is not our savior. He is a selfish, inconsiderate manchild who perfectly encapsulates the Romney era's near solipsist end-of-the-worldview and insatiable appetite for immediate gratification, which, when you think about it, makes him not a thousand miles removed from the creeping hordes of the undead out there on the other side of the Wall.
In a nutshell, I hate my brother.……No, I didn't blow him away, but I will if he tries clawing his way over the Wall. And you wouldn't want to be in my firing line when that happens.I'm not being a bitch. I don't know why everyone says that about me. I just need you all to understand that everything has changed. We have to grow up. All that crap that Ferris used to go on about, you know, finding the joy in life, because life moves so fast that if you don't stop and look around once in a while you could miss it, well those days are over. They've been over since the day that the dead decided they were missing life too and so they came back for seconds.We can't afford to live like that anymore. There are no days off for anyone. Not now, not ever again.… We will never see those days again… and… I'll never see my brother again… I'll never…
He's what? Where? No. How? I just… I'm speechless. Fucking speechless. How did he get all those sausages from Frellmans? Huh? Did anybody think to ask what he was doing, dancing down the trestle tables in the canteen throwing fucking sausages around like party treats? That factory is nearly 150 miles away. It's a fortress, a real fortress. With battlements and boiling oil and everything. Ask yourself, please just ask yourself, how did he get there and back? How did he even get in? Abe Frellman doesn't share anything with anyone. Not even the magnificent Ferris Bueller.I… he, he…I'll, oh, just forget about it and give me a fucking sausage.