Outcasts (Ferryman Series #3)

Outcasts (Ferryman Series #3)

by Claire McFall

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Overview

Tristan and Dylan have escaped death and conquered destiny. Nothing is stopping them from being together.

But every action has a consequence, and their exile to the real world has caused an imbalance in the afterlife. It's owed two souls – and it wants them back.

When the world of the dead claims Dylan's parents to restore the balance, Dylan and Tristan are offered a terrible bargain: stay together and condemn innocent souls to death, or return to the wasteland to take their place and be separated. Forever.

Are they willing to make the ultimate sacrifice?

The stunning final instalment of Dylan and Tristan's epic love story, Outcasts is the much-anticipated follow-up to the award-winning Ferryman, and heart-pounding sequel Trespassers.

With more than two million copies sold worldwide, Ferryman is a cult sensation in China, staying in the top 10 bestseller chart for three years before securing a Hollywood movie deal in early 2018.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781782505648
Publisher: Floris Books
Publication date: 04/23/2019
Series: Ferryman Series , #3
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 794,254
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x (d)
Age Range: 12 - 16 Years

About the Author

Claire McFall is a writer and a former teacher who lives and works in the Scottish Borders. Her first book, Ferryman, won a Scottish Children's Book Award, was long-listed for the Branford Boase Award and nominated for the Carnegie Medal, and a feature film is in development. She is also the author of dystopian thriller Bombmaker and paranormal thriller Black Cairn Point, winner of the inaugural Scottish Teenage Book Prize.

Read an Excerpt

You’ve got to be kidding me. Dylan stared in horror at her reflection in the full-length mirror. Her eyes were wide, ringed with a thick border of black eyeliner topped with smoky-grey shadow. It had a slight shimmer to it when she turned her head just right. Yeah, her eyes were OK. But the rest…
Her hair had been pulled and twisted and teased until it stood out from her head in what could only be described as a rat’s nest. The lipstick that had been smeared across her mouth was a garish shade of red that made her look like a vampire after a quick snack. And then there was the dress. It was taffeta. Taffeta. Until Joan had frogmarched her into the ‘Special Occasion’ section of the big department store at the bottom of Sauchiehall Street, Dylan hadn’t even known what taffeta was. She did not like it. Especially not in this hideous shade of peach that made Dylan think of over-cooked salmon. There were bulbous sleeves and tight tucks down her mid-section that pinched in all the wrong places. The skirt was apparently meant to swirl in beautiful, graceful swishes around her legs as she walked, and maybe it would, if the tights Joan had shoved at her as she was getting dressed weren’t rubbing against the bloody taffeta and creating enough static electricity to power the whole Central Belt.
I look absolutely hideous , she thought, shuddering with enough force that her reflection vibrated subtly in the mirror. She’d been overjoyed when her parents had told her they were getting married, and even more excited when Joan had told her she’d be a bridesmaid.
That was before the dress shopping.
“Oh darlin’, you look absolutely gorgeous!” Dylan’s Great Aunt Gladys sat in a chair in the corner of the hotel room, a handkerchief clutched in her swollen, arthritic fingers and tears glistening in her eyes. She did have cataracts, which might explain the old woman’s assessment. Or maybe this look had been on-trend when Aunt Gladys had been young. Sometime before the Vikings invaded.
“Thanks, Aunt Gladys,” Dylan managed to grate out.
“You’re the prettiest girl in the whole town, do you know that?”
Dylan grimaced. Heat was rising up her neck, clashing with her gown. She could not go out there looking like this, she just couldn’t.
A knock at the door made her jump.
“Dylan, you ready? It’s just about time.” Dylan spun to the door to see the gleaming brass knob begin to turn. “They’re waiting for—”
“Just a minute!” she screeched. The knob stopped turning and, mercifully, the door stayed closed. “I’m not quite ready, Tristan. Hang… hang on.” Panicking, Dylan turned to Great Aunt Gladys, but there would be no help from that quarter. The old woman was rearranging her walking frame, beginning the laborious process of standing up.
“Come in, boy,” she hollered. ‘Boy’, that’s what she called him, despite Tristan introducing himself clearly – and loudly – and Dylan correcting Great Aunt Gladys three times since.
Tristan opened the door and Dylan turned away from him, hoping to spare herself the look on his face when he saw her done up like this. It was a futile effort, because she could see him in the reflection of the mirror as he stood in the doorway, and her eyes instinctively fixed on his face without her permission. He stared at her, his gaze raking up and down her back before looking into the mirror to see the front. He kept his expression carefully blank, Dylan noticed, only his lips twitching slightly.
“Wow,” he said.
“Speechless are you, boy?” Great Aunt Gladys hollered. “There you are, young lady. I told you, you look stunning.”
“I am,” Tristan agreed. “I’m speechless.” He gave Dylan a tiny grin. She offered him a wry smile of her own, that widened a little as she took in the gleaming shoes, smart black trousers and bold blue shirt that Tristan was wearing. She’d never seen him so dressed up; it was a good look for him. Especially the shirt, which made his cobalt eyes seem to almost glow, more striking than usual today because his slightly unruly dark-blond hair was swept back from his face.
“You look great,” Dylan told him.
“Out of the way, then.” Aunt Gladys used her walking frame to manoeuvre Tristan out of her path as she inched step by painful step out of the door. “I’ll go and get myself sat down. No, don’t offer to help me, boy. It’s not as if I’m ninety-two.”
“I… uhm…” Tristan shifted awkwardly, clearly searching for an excuse. Dylan bit her lip against the smirk that wanted to break free. It wasn’t as if he could tell Aunt Gladys the truth: the large function room downstairs where the wedding was taking place was just too far away. The bond that tethered Dylan and Tristan together would rip and tear at them, leaving them breathless with pain, if they tried to put that much distance between them. It had been bad enough having Tristan get ready in the hotel room next door; she’d known he was there, but she couldn’t see him.
Luckily, at that moment Dylan’s father, James, appeared behind Tristan.
“Tristan.” He clapped his hand down on Tristan’s shoulder by way of greeting, possibly a little bit too hard, going by the grimaced “hello” he got back. “Hey beautiful, you look lovely.” The words came out of James’s mouth before his gaze settled on Dylan, but even then, his smile didn’t falter. Dylan didn’t think there was anything that would remove the grin from his face today. Undeterred by the fact his daughter looked like a giant salmon meringue, he turned to Great Aunt Gladys. “I just came to see if you needed a hand getting to your seat, Gladys. We’re starting soon.”
“Well.” Great Aunt Gladys looked somewhat mollified. “At least someone here has manners!” Shooting Tristan a disgusted look, she started shuffling away, leaning heavily on her walking frame but swatting at James when he tried to take her elbow to steady her.
“I don’t think she likes me,” Tristan confided to Dylan, once they were both sure the old woman was far away enough not to hear. For ninety-two, she had ears like a bat.
“Well, she thinks I look good,” Dylan confided in a stage whisper, “so I wouldn’t rely on her judgement too much.”
There it was, Tristan’s opportunity to confirm what she knew – that she looked like she’d had a makeover from a hyperactive five-year-old. And she was going to have to go and stand up in front of over a hundred people… dressed like this.
“I think you look…” Tristan ran his gaze over her outfit once more, clearly hunting for something nice to say – and failing miserably. “Well, your eyes are very pretty.”
“Great,” Dylan snapped, feeling those eyes well up a little, which was even worse. She would not cry like a baby on top of everything else. “I’ll just put a paper bag over the rest of it then, shall I?”
“You’ll need a big bag,” Tristan mused.
For a moment Dylan just gaped at him, aghast. Then she laughed.
Then she thumped him.
“Very helpful,” she mock-glared.
“I try,” Tristan replied, smirking. He sobered, reached out to take her left hand. “Honestly, I think you’d look beautiful in whatever you wore,” he said, “ even a paper bag. But, I feel the need to remind you that it’s your mum’s big day, not yours. Everyone will be looking at her, I promise.”
“Right,” Dylan said, eyeing him dubiously. “I’ll just blend in with the background.” There was no way anyone could fail to notice Dylan in the Giant Peach. “Maybe I’ll get lucky and I’ll match the wallpaper or the curtains. If I stand in the right place, I might just disappear.”
“That’s the spirit!” Tristan grinned, leaning forward to kiss her lightly on the forehead.
Just then, the door across the hall from Dylan’s room opened and her Aunt Rachel reversed out of it, appearing unflatteringly ample, peach-covered bottom first as she bent over, fussing with something. A second later she moved out of the way and Joan stepped through into the hallway. Dylan gasped. Joan’s normal attire was a starched navy-blue nurse’s uniform. At home, she wore comfortable clothes, more often than not smothering her body in an assortment of ugly, woollen cardigans.
Today, she was transformed.
High heels meant she stood several inches taller than usual. Her slim figure was hugged by the satiny cream dress that wrapped around her from cleavage to knee. There was a single thin strap that wound around the back of Joan’s neck and disappeared into a wide banding of beautiful, pearl-studded lacework where it met the dress.
In her hands, she grasped a delicate bouquet of pretty purple flowers surrounded by small sprays of baby’s breath.
“Mum!” Dylan clapped her hand over her mouth and, to her surprise, started welling up.
“Oh no, don’t you dare!” Joan pointed a finger in Dylan’s direction, the nail glistening with pearl-coloured varnish. “Don’t you get me started!”
But it was evidently too late. Joan snatched the handkerchief that Aunt Rachel held out and started frantically dabbing at her eyes.
“This isn’t supposed to be a day for crying,” Aunt Rachel commented. Her own eyes were tear-free, her lips slightly pursed.
“Oh, please,” Joan sniped back. “I remember on your wedding day you locked yourself in the bathroom for an hour, bawling because your hair wasn’t sitting right.”
Aunt Rachel opened her mouth, her eyes lighting up in outrage, but no sound came out. It was just as well Dylan was used to the little spats that constantly broke out between the two sisters, and knew it wasn’t unusual for them to descend into all-out catfights.
The little squabble seemed to have steadied Joan, however, because she sniffed and drew herself up, then beamed at Dylan. “Are we ready?” she asked.
Dylan glanced down one more time at her bridesmaid’s ensemble and thought she’d never be ready, but, like Tristan had said, this was Joan’s day. Not hers. “Shouldn’t you be in your seat?” Aunt Rachel asked Tristan, the sharp tone in her voice giving away her irritation over Joan’s well-aimed jab.
“Rachel, Tristan is escorting my daughter,” Joan bit back.
She’d softened towards Tristan immeasurably over the past few months, but Dylan knew the comment was more about quieting her sister than defending her daughter’s boyfriend.
They were a quiet group as they took the lift down to the hotel’s ground floor and then traversed the gleaming lobby to the entrance of the function suite. The double doors were closed, twists of white netting pinned around the doorframe and tied in bows around the handles. A smartly dressed hotel worker waited for them, ready to let them in.
“Perfect timing.” He smiled at them. “They’re just about ready for you.”
Joan nodded and Dylan watched the slightly tense frown melt from her face, replaced by an eager anticipation that made her look years younger. The traitorous tears threatened to burst forth again as Dylan rearranged her grip on her bouquet, a smaller version of Joan’s. It was about to happen, she realised. Her parents were getting married; she was going to have a proper family for the first time. Tristan’s warm hand on her back, meant to steady and reassure her, almost tipped her over the edge. Because he was there, too. Standing beside her.
Aunt Rachel sighed, and Dylan scowled at her. If she said something to ruin this moment for Joan… But the look on Aunt Rachel’s face was wistful. “It’s a shame Dad isn’t here, to walk you down the aisle,” she said quietly.
Sadness flitted across Joan’s face for a heartbeat, but then her gaze settled on Dylan and it faded. “It’s all right,” she said. “I’d much rather be escorted by my baby, she’s all I need.”
Joan had no idea, no idea at all, how close she’d come to losing Dylan. James understood some of it, but they’d had to keep it a secret from her mum – how Dylan had died, fought her way back to life and then had to fight again to stay here. Joan’s words hit deeper than she could have realised and Dylan sniffled, swallowing hard against the lump that had suddenly lodged in her throat.
“Thanks, Mum,” she croaked out.
Joan smiled at her, then gestured with one hand. “Front and centre, young lady,” she said. “You’re leading the way.”
Dylan turned, positioning herself in front of the closed double doors just as the first notes of ‘Here Comes the Bride’ began. Tristan stood beside her, ready to slip into his seat when the bridal party started down the aisle.
Sudden nerves gripped Dylan and she yanked in a deep breath. Then the doors were opening and, as one, the gathered guests turned to stare at them. At her, standing frozen in the doorway, garish in peach taffeta. A hundred pairs of eyes and the long, long stretch of aisle waiting before her.
“Oh God,” she whispered, low enough that only Tristan would hear. “This is hell!”

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