"Grandfather, how did the Old World end?"
My son's son, a boy by the name of Jeremy, was a curious boy. Curiosity in a land where flesh-eating zombies have been a reality since I sired his father upon his mother is not a good thing, and I'd told my boy so many times- but to no avail.
I sighed. "There aren't many of us left that remember the Old World. If you managed to ask all of us that question, you would get as many answers as you would people. That's because what brought about the end is not just one thing, but instead a lot of little things coming together and having a big effect when together."
"Like when streams and creeks flow into rivers?"
"Like that, but bigger. Flood-like, really, if it really gets going."
The light of the fire in the hearth briefly reminded me of being that boy's age, when my own grandfather--who grew up without electricity--told me about how everything could change like a flood overnight.
"So, what did you do?"
This was now, again, a harsh world like my grandfather's was in his youth. No need to keep him from the truth; the sooner he knew what he'd need to do, the better he'd get at doing it.
"My part began in an elevator, at a convention, in the summer just before everything went wrong. This was long before I met your grandmother. I'd been pulled into the center of a long-running conflict, one I'd had to deal with all my life, and over the winter before I received proof that the people I'd been fighting had committed all sorts of crimes against me and my people for longer than I'd lived through lies and other bad things."
"So, what did you do in that lift thing?"
"This convention had a small gang, part of the larger group of crooks, do a very big get-together every year. They stayed in the hotel where the convention took place. I followed the two leaders into an elevator and waited for everyone else to get off. As soon as the doors closed, I drew my gun and shot them both--one shot, each, to the head--and got off on the next floor. They never saw it coming, as they both assumed that no one had a real gun due to the gun bans in place. Both died instantly."
"No zeds yet. Just living targets, all deserving." I said as I patted the old CZ-82 sidearm in my lap. "Yes, my boy, with this very one." I smiled. Well over 60 years later, and I still feel the greatest satisfaction from those first two kills.