I never thought I would be the one to tell this story. I'm not sure it's my story to tell. Sure, I was there, played my part in the whole thing. We all did. Now I wonder if we were doomed to fail from the start. I don't know. What I do know is that I'm the only one left standing. So, if anyone is going to tell the story, it's going to be me.

Maybe we got too comfortable. At some point, we stopped looking for the next danger, the next big bad around the corner. The Original siblings had left Mystic Falls for New Orleans. Silas was dead. Apart from the random vamp showing up in town to snack on a few of the citizens, life was calm. That should have been our first clue. Calm was never in the cards for us.

I'm still trying to figure out how everything could so wrong, so fast. One minute we're planning a birthday party and the next we're planning funerals. It's hard to believe we had gone so long between funerals, years in fact. We went from planning funerals to abandoning those plans. There just wasn't time. In the end, I was left to bury the ones that we lost, that I lost. I could have used Caroline's help organizing that, but we lost her early on. Thank god for compulsion, because I'm sure I couldn't have gotten it done on my own.

Hey, Ric, could you get some more comfortable trees around here. If I'm going to be sitting here all night telling you this story, it would be nice if this tree bark wasn't digging into my back. At least I have some bourbon here to numb the pain, right? Want a drink? I can pour it right here on your headstone. If I'm going to talk to this ugly hunk of concrete, I guess I can share my bourbon with it.

You know I shouldn't have been the one left here to watch the kids, right? That should have been your job, Ric, not mine. Instead, you're wherever you are, I'm here and it's my fault they're all dead. My fault.

It all started with a knock on the door…

A/N - Thanks for reading! This fic is mostly in canon up to Gone Girl (5x15). There are a few exceptions and I'll note them when the time comes. I have about half of this story written, so I'm planning on fairly regular updates. And now, here's chapter 1 ...