Ned was brought up in a poor suburb of town called Newton. Ned’s parents, Nina and John were simple people with simple lives. Nina and John both worked at the local school, Nina as a cleaner and John was the caretaker.
They had met many years ago when they both attended that same school. It was ironic that they both ended up working there so many years on.
They both enjoyed their jobs, they were loyal to the school and the community they lived in.
Ned attended the school when he was five but he was a quiet child that didn’t make friends easily. He wasn’t the brightest child and often he’d get picked on.
Unexpectedly when Ned was eight, Nina became pregnant again. Nina and John hadn’t planned on any more children but these things happen and they were excited when they learned they were having twins.
Ned wasn’t sure how to feel. He’d always been the only child in the family and deep down he didn’t want that to change. He was extremely jealous of the new arrivals to the family, Tally and Andy.
As the twins grew up Ned being the older brother thought he could boss them around. He’d been bullied at school and felt he had some power over his siblings that he’d never been able to have before.
But the twins weren’t fooled by him. They worked together and found out they could quite easily manipulate their older brother and he’d be none the wiser.
While the twins plotted against Ned, Ned plotted against the twins. It was a love-hate relationship.
When the virus started to take hold of the city, Ned and the twins were reminded by their parents that they would be the only ones left. For their own sake they should stick together and look after each other. At the time they didn’t really listen.
One morning both Nina and John had to be taken to hospital. They were deteriorating quickly. Ned, Tally and Andy said their goodbyes before their parents came to an end.
Ned took charge and found himself being quite protective of his younger brother and sister. He took them back to the house to devise a plan.
Ned, Tally and Andy were back at their home gathering together everything they could. They’d made a list of everything that was able to be carried and that might come in useful. They didn’t have much as the family was poor but the necessities were there.
They decided to head off into the countryside and see if they could find an abandoned house and farm. They knew that the city would become a trouble spot and thought their chances out of town were better.
They did find a house but it was just a shell. It had already been ransacked and not even any furniture remained. But it was dry and it would keep them sheltered. It even had a large water tank that caught the rain water.
Within a month they had run out of food and needed a new plan desperately.
Being the cunning group they were they decided that it was in their best interests to put themselves first. Everyone else had to fend for themselves so why shouldn’t they?
Two miles down the road was the main road heading into the city. Many people walked it each day either heading into the city or leaving it and Ned and the twins knew that it was possible they could trick these people into giving up some of their food and belongings.
Tally and Andy looked so sweet when they had to. Tally would lie in the middle of the road and cry her eyes out. Andy would stand by and look absolutely worried and helpless.
They were given food, blankets and water by almost everyone that passed. But their plan worked almost too well! Sometimes they were offered to be taken away to somewhere where they would be well looked after. They had to convince these people that after a good bit of food they’d be fine and were looking in the opposite direction for their older brother.
This carried on for a few weeks but then some of the same people started travelling the road. The tricksters couldn’t keep this up forever… then the Chosen arrived.
Ned had heard that they were looking for slaves and decided that he was big enough to catch some people and make some money.
On their first slave catching day they got more than they bargained for when they came across Pride…