Zombie Preparedness: A Deleted “Prequel” Scene from
Detention of the Living Dead
By Rusty Fischer, author of Detention of the Living Dead
As the name implies, Detention of the Living Dead stars four unsuspecting teenagers who get turned into zombies when a fifth student stumbles in, already infected. I won’t say much more than that, if you haven’t read it, but what’s important for you to know is that it pretty much starts in a detention room and we don’t know much about anybody’s life outside of school.
That is, until now. Here, for the first time ever and available only on The Reading Fever blog, is a deleted “prequel” scene starring the book’s main character, Max, as she gets ready for her last day of school… ever:
By Rusty Fischer, author of Detention of the Living Dead
There is something on the news about an infestation in Ohio, something minor, easily contained, but there is always something about some infestation somewhere, so I kind of tune it out as I grab the carton of creamer from the fridge while, next to me, the coffee gurgles not nearly fast enough.
Dad is on the stationary cycle in the living room, legs moving slowly, dotting his forehead every few seconds with a light pink towel.He’s a butcher, by trade, a meat eater by choice and the doctor has told him to cut down on his cholesterol – or lose some weight. Rather than change his carnivore ways, he had a stationary cycle delivered, unpacked it in front of the picture window in the living room, and there it’s stayed ever since.I watch him over the kitchen counter of our humble apartment for two. He looks over at me grumpily, offers a weak smile. I smile back. Then I clear my throat.“What’s on your mind, pumpkin?”“Nothing much,” I lie. “It’s just that, you kind of have to move faster than a lazy Sunday stroll through the park if you want to do your heart any good.”He snorts, dabbing his forehead again. My Dad’s a sweater. Even standing still, dude can sweat through one of the white v-neck T-shirts he always wears beneath his butcher’s apron. “This is my transition speed,” he brags.Now it’s my turn to snort. That sounds like something he read in a men’s health magazine while waiting for his weekly haircut. “Explain, please.”“You know, my transition speed. I’m transitioning from doing nothing every morning to doing something, so anything is better than nothing.”Wow, that’s a whole lot of pseudo science psycho babble to take in while I’m still waiting for the coffee to brew. “Did you just make that up, Dad?”Another head pat. “No, I read it in Fitness for the Distinguished Male magazine while waiting at Spitz’s for my haircut last week.”Bingo. The coffee finishes hissing and I pour us two cups; me with soy milk and a raw sugar packet from the health food store and the same for him, too, though he’ll never know it.He pedals a little faster, just for show, and I smirk while turning back to the little TV he installed under the kitchen cabinets just after the first outbreaks started last year. Or was it…the year before?It’s in Detroit, the latest outbreak, not Ohio. Is there a difference? It’s far away from here, that’s all I know. I go to switch the channel and he says, “Hey, hey, hey, don’t switch that off, Max; we need to stay on top of this stuff, you know?”I roll my eyes. “I think they’ll tell us before the zombies get here, Dad.”He smirks. “Yeah? I bet that’s just what they thought in Ohio, pumpkin.”“Detroit.”“Same difference.”I take a sip of the coffee and it’s still too hot, but I drink it anyway because I needs it; bad.He’s right, of course. This latest outbreak, I dunno, that’s like number four or five for this year. Nowhere close to Florida, mind you, but like Dad said; who knows where they’ll pop up next?The thing is, we’re pretty prepared. I mean, Dad’s a butcher, right, so… our house is loaded with knives and he even invested in a dozen or so machetes, which we keep behind each door in the house, and he took three to work with him at the butcher shop.But, you can’t stay home all day, right?At school we’re supposed to have zombie awareness drills (or whatever the heck they’re called) once a month, but it’s been weeks since our last one and that was a joke, with Principal Standish spending half the time getting the microphone to work and the rest of the time getting the gym to settle down.I look past dad through the big picture window he’s sitting in front of, the sky already blue, the palm trees waving, the clouds soft and drifty. Even in a rundown apartment complex like the Seagull Arms, a morning like this can make it feel like you’re living in paradise.Zombies? In paradise? Possible but, I figure, pretty unlikely.I finish my coffee and pour a second in a to-go cup for the short walk to school. I kiss Dad on the (sweaty) forehead and start for the door.He looks over at me with a mischievous smile that says, “I love you, pumpkin, but the minute you’re out of sight I’m getting off this bike and cooking myself a pound of bacon.”I smile back and say, “I’m proud of you, Dad. Keep up the great work.”He chuckles. “Yeah right. Listen, stay safe out there, okay Max. I know we’re a long way from Detroit, but… you never know.”I look at the machete leaning behind the front door. “If only they’d let me bring one of these to school, huh?”He nods. “You mark my words, Maxine. One day, and one day soon, they will…”
So there you have it, a scene that never made it into the book and that you can only find here, on The Reading Fever blog! Thanks, Penelope, for hosting me and thanks to all of you for reading this. And I hope it will add to your enjoyment of the book if you ever get to read Detention of the Living Dead, out this month from Decadent Books!
Yours in YA,
Thank YOU, Rusty, for letting me (Penelope) host that awesome scene! I just love the interaction we get to see between Max and her father.
Readers: If you're looking for the perfect Halloween book, this is it! Check it out below.
About the Author
Rusty Fischer is the author of Zombies Don’t Cry, as well as several other popular zombie books, including Panty Raid at Zombie High, Detention of the Living Dead and the Reanimated Readz series of 99-cent living dead shorts.Rusty runs the popular website Zombies Don’t Blog @ www.zombiesdontblog.blogspot.com. At Zombies Don’t Blog you can read more about Rusty’s work, view his upcoming book covers and read – or download – completely FREE books & stories about… zombies!
Detention of the Living Dead by Rusty Fischer
Looking for even more to make your Halloween enjoyment complete? Check out my review of the hilarious Zombies Don't Cry by Rusty Fischer, and make sure to get a copy!