The First Line of Any Story

Hypothesis: The first line of any story can be made better by ensuring that the second line is "And then the murders began."

Please contribute evidence.

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. And then the murders began.

There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. And then the murders began.
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Comments

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Scarlet O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. And then the murders began.

  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. And then the murders began.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. And then the murders began.

  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. And then the murders begin...

    “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents, grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.” And then the murders began.

    There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. And then the murders began.

    'Where's Papa going with that axe?' said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast. And then, indeed, the murders began...
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. And then, you know, the murders began.

  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    Two households, both alike in dignity,
    In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
    From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
    Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
    And then the murders* began.

    *Only three murders, but also two suicides and a death from a broken heart.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton. And then the murders began.

  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    When shall we three meet again
    In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
    When the hurlyburly's done,
    When the battle's lost and won.
    That will be ere the set of sun.
    And then the murders* will have begun.

    *Too many to count.
  • Anna_BaptistAnna_Baptist Shipmate Posts: 29
    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And then the murders began.
  • The "Social Goings-On" column in the Laborday edition of the Hamlot Weekly News announced the not exactly surprising new news of the official Engagement of Betty Ann Wheeler and The Rev. Jacob Smithson. And then the murders began.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were—Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter. And then the murders began.

    Now is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer by this son of York;
    And then did first begin these murders foul.*

    The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
    In a beautiful pea-green boat,
    They took some honey, and plenty of money,
    Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
    And then the murders began.

    Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes.
    And then the murders began.

    *adjusted to fit the metre.

  • Betty had eyes that said come here, lips that said kiss me, arms and torso that said hold me all night long, but the rest of her body said, “Fillet me, cover me in cornmeal, and fry me in peanut oil”; romance wasn’t easy for a mermaid. And then the murders began.

    The notion that they would no longer be a couple dashed Helen’s hopes and scrambled her thoughts not unlike the time her sleeve caught the edge of the open egg carton and the contents hit the floor like fragile things hitting cold tiles, more pitiable because they were the expensive organic brown eggs from free-range chickens, and one of them clearly had double yolks entwined in one sac just the way Helen and Richard used to be. And then the murders began.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    Gustave Aschenbach - or von Aschenbach, as he had been known officially since his fiftieth birthday - had set out alone from his house in Prince Regent Street, Munich, for an extended walk. And then the murders began ...
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Once upon a time, there was a little engine called Edward. And then the murders began.

    Mr Sniggs, the Junior Dean, and Mr Postlethwaite, the Domestic Bursar, sat alone in Mr Sniggs' room overlooking the garden quad at Scone College.
    And then, the murders began.
    From the rooms of Sir Alastair Digby-Vaine-Trumpington, two staircases away, came a confused roaring and breaking of glass.

    "Nunc et in hora mortis nostra. Amen".
    And then the murders began.
    The daily recital of the Rosary was over.

    When that Aprille with his shoures sote
    The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
    And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
    Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
    Then do the modres first begin to shoot.

    Incidentally, how many of each others' suggestions are we all recognising and how many are complete mysteries?
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested. And then the murders began.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth. Then the murders began.

  • Gill HGill H Shipmate
    The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home. And then the murders began.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    It was a dark and stormy night. And then the murders began.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth 8th Day Host, Mystery Worship Editor
    Because I could not stop for Death
    He kindly stopped for me.
    And then the murders began.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    Marley was dead, to begin with. And then the murders began.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    Sherlock Holmes took his bottle from the corner of the mantel-piece and his hypodermic syringe from its neat morocco case. And then the murders began.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play, so we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day. And then the murders began.
  • Ray SunshineRay Sunshine Shipmate
    Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:

    —Introibo ad altare Dei.

    And then the murders began.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    A mile above Oz, the Witch balanced on the wind's forward edge, as if she were a green fleck of the land itself, flung up and sent wheeling away by the turbulent air. And then the murders began.

  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Betty had eyes that said come here, lips that said kiss me, arms and torso that said hold me all night long, but the rest of her body said, “Fillet me, cover me in cornmeal, and fry me in peanut oil”; romance wasn’t easy for a mermaid. And then the murders began.

    The notion that they would no longer be a couple dashed Helen’s hopes and scrambled her thoughts not unlike the time her sleeve caught the edge of the open egg carton and the contents hit the floor like fragile things hitting cold tiles, more pitiable because they were the expensive organic brown eggs from free-range chickens, and one of them clearly had double yolks entwined in one sac just the way Helen and Richard used to be. And then the murders began.

    No fair using the Bulwer-Lytton awards! :)
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:

    —Introibo ad altare Dei.

    And then the murders began.

    Murders would have at least made that book interesting.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    When he was nearly thirteen my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. And then the murders began.

  • MamacitaMamacita Shipmate
    When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin. And then the murders began.
  • Gill HGill H Shipmate
    ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
    Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
    And then the murders began.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate
    So far I think the winner is "The Wind in the Willows"!
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    {tangent}
    Because I could not stop for Death
    He kindly stopped for me.
    And then the murders began.

    But the added line doesn't fit the rhythm of "The Yellow Rose Of Texas", which all Emily D's poems are said to do!
    ;)
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And then the murders began.

    And it's even true! Unfortunately.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. And then the murders began.

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    "Take my camel, dear", said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass. And then the murders began.
  • merewenmerewen Shipmate Posts: 25
    Dr Iannis had enjoyed a satisfactory day in which none of his patients had died or got any worse. And then the murders began.

    One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it - it was the black kitten's fault entirely. And then the murders began.

    The Rev. Septimus Harding was, a few years since, a beneficed clergyman residing in the cathedral town of ____; let us call it Barchester. And then the murders began
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
    And then the murders begin.


    Lyra and her daemon moved through the darkening Hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen. And then the murders began.


    The letter that would change everything arrived on a Tuesday. It was an ordinary morning in mid April that smelled of clean washing and grass cuttings. And then the murders began.

  • Ray SunshineRay Sunshine Shipmate
    September 3rd, 1939. The last minutes of peace ticking away. Father and I were watching Mother digging our air-raid shelter. And then the murders began.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    If music be the food of love, play on;
    Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
    The appetite may sicken, and so die.
    And then the murders began.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth 8th Day Host, Mystery Worship Editor
    Of arms and the man I sing, who, forced by fate
    Came from the shores of Troy to Italy and the Lavinian shore.
    And then the murders began.

    Mourn, O Venus and Cupid
    And whatever there are of men who fall in love:
    My girl's pet sparrow is dead.
    And then the murders began.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    The first ray of light which illumines the gloom, and converts into a dazzling brilliancy that obscurity in which the earlier history of the public career of the immortal Pickwick would appear to be involved, is derived from the perusal of the following entry in the Transactions of the Pickwick Club, which the editor of these papers feels the highest pleasure in laying before his readers, as a proof of the careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination, with which his search among the multifarious documents confided to him has been conducted. "And then the murders began."
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    One cold rainy day when my father was a little boy, he met an old alley cat on his street. And then the murders began.

  • Fawkes CatFawkes Cat Shipmate
    Anyone willing to go for 'Solar Bones' or similar?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_Bones

    Full disclosure: yes, I had to Google it.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Gentle Hostly Oink
    I think we'd run into the four-line-maximum copyright rule if anyone did!

    May I respectfully suggest just one example per post, as is usual in games like this one?

    Thank you.

    Piglet, Circus host
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate
    edited May 19

    OF Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
    Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
    Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
    With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
    Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
    Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top
    Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
    That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
    In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth
    Rose out of Chaos: or if Sion Hill
    Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flow'd
    Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence
    Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,
    That with no middle flight intends to soar
    Above th' Aonian Mount, while it pursues
    Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.
    And then the murders began.

    (I had no idea that first sentence was so long!)
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    The boys, as they talked to the girls from Marcia Blaine School, stood on the far side of their bicycles holding the handlebars, which established a protective fence of bicycle between the sexes, and the impression that at any moment the boys were likely to be away. And then the murders began.

  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth 8th Day Host, Mystery Worship Editor
    In the second century of the Christian era, the empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilized portion of mankind. And then the murders began.
  • Ray SunshineRay Sunshine Shipmate
    (I had no idea that first sentence was so long!)

    [tangent]
    That’s why I’ve never been able to read more than a few lines of Milton. His syntax is too much for me. I can’t disentangle it. I can’t find the subject, verb and object.
    [/tangent]

    Beach the butler, wheezing a little after navigating the stairs, for he was not the streamlined young under-footman he had been thirty years ago, entered the library of Blandings Castle, a salver piled with letters in his hand. Then the murders began.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice 'without pictures or conversation?” And then the murders began.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    All children, except one, grow up. And then the murders begin.

  • MamacitaMamacita Shipmate
    Once the Queen's head is severed, he walks away. And then the murders begin.
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