It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...
March 6, 2017 3:41 PM   Subscribe

Improve any novel by changing its second line to “And then the murders began”, a proposed addition to Elmore Leonard's rules for writers, though possibly more related to Raymond Chandler's (possibly not serious) "When in doubt have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand." - Some more rules of writing.
posted by Artw (306 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
 
"He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. And then the murders began."
posted by SPrintF at 3:45 PM on March 6 [9 favorites]


It was a dark and stormy night. And then the murders began.
posted by hleehowon at 3:47 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]


Quentin did a magic trick. And then the murders began.
posted by fiercecupcake at 3:47 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


Y'all, it was a dark and stormy night, or somethin'. And then the murders began.
posted by Xere at 3:48 PM on March 6


It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. And then the murders began.

Call me Ishmael. And then the murders began.

A screaming comes across the sky. And then the murders began.

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. And then the murders began.

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. And then the murders began.

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.

The world is everything that is the case. And then the murders began.
posted by hleehowon at 3:49 PM on March 6 [14 favorites]


While I would not go so far, perhaps, as to describe the heart as actually leaden, I must confess that in the eve of starting to do my bit of time at Deverill Hall I was definitely short on chirpiness. And then the murders began.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 3:50 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveler. And then the murders will begin.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 3:50 PM on March 6 [21 favorites]


Discovered last night, while rummaging through my hotel room:

This works disturbingly well with pretty much any verse in the Bible.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 3:50 PM on March 6 [28 favorites]


The weather beaten trail wound ahead into the dust racked climes of the baren land which dominates large portions of the Norgolian empire. And then the murders began.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:51 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And then the murders began.
posted by ardgedee at 3:51 PM on March 6 [165 favorites]


Marley was dead to begin with. And then the murders began.
posted by davros42 at 3:51 PM on March 6 [22 favorites]


It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York. And then the murders began.

All this happened, more or less. And then the murders began.

I have never begun a novel with more misgiving. And then the murders began.

Vaughan died yesterday in his last car-crash. And then the murders began.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:52 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


This works disturbingly well with pretty much any verse in the Bible.

Pretty sure this is the plot of a Thomas Harris novel.
posted by Artw at 3:52 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


"Jeeves," I said, "may I speak frankly?"

And then then murders began.
posted by SPrintF at 3:53 PM on March 6 [69 favorites]


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 began.
posted by Cookiebastard at 3:53 PM on March 6 [12 favorites]


The sun rose slowly, as if it wasn't sure it was worth the effort. And then the murders began.

You can't go wrong with Pratchett.
posted by vverse23 at 3:53 PM on March 6 [7 favorites]


"Mr. Isherwood?" And then the murders began.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 3:53 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him. And then the murders began.
posted by davros42 at 3:53 PM on March 6 [12 favorites]


Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun. And then the murders began.

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 began.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:53 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. And then the murders began.
posted by thelonius at 3:53 PM on March 6 [16 favorites]


Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot. But the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, did not. And then the murders began.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:54 PM on March 6 [22 favorites]


The bridge of the Enterprise-C was smokey and things were not going well. And then the murders began.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:54 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


There once was a boy named Milo who didn’t know what to do with himself – not just sometimes, but always. And then the murders began.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 3:55 PM on March 6 [19 favorites]


In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. And then the murders began.
posted by graymouser at 3:56 PM on March 6 [8 favorites]


I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their scanners, or why. And then the murders began.
posted by madcaptenor at 3:56 PM on March 6 [21 favorites]


One fish
And then the murders began.
posted by Sangermaine at 3:56 PM on March 6 [52 favorites]


In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. And then the murders began.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:57 PM on March 6 [12 favorites]


It was a dark and stormy night in Elizabethan England, a night of driving rain and howling wind, God save the mark! when even the stately oaks bowed their great heads and giant ash trees clawed with spidery fingers at the tempest, duck ponds and horse-troughs were lashed into foam, chimbley pots toppled on the heads of honest citizens, staring owls clung to their perches with difficulty, and broom-riding witches circled crazily over blasted heaths, stacked and waiting in vain for clearance to land, Steeple Bumpstead was whirled away leaving a gaping hole in the middle of Essex, cows and domestic animals were overturned, slates and washing flew every which way, and stout constables, their lanthorns awash, kept out of the way of sturdy beggars and thanked God they were rid of a knave, leaded casements rattled in stately Tudor homes, causing the noble inhabitants to give thanks for roaring fires and bumpers of mulled posset what time they brooded darkly about sunspots, global warming, and the false forecasts of Master Michael Fishe, he o’ the isobars, who had predicted only light airs gentle as zephyrs blowing below the violets, would you believe it, while out yonder, in lonely hamlet and disintegrating hovel, the peasantry scratched their fleas and gnawed lumps of turnip and blamed it on the Almighty (poor churls, what did they know of warm fronts and depressions o’er Iceland?) or on the hag next door, her wi’ the Evil Eye and black familiar Grimalkin and devilish spells, curse her, and wagged their unkempt heads as haystacks and livestock crashed through their thatches, and asked each other in fearful whispers whether such raging fury of the elements portended the end of the world, or the Second Coming, or another bloody wet week, and agreed that it was alle happenynge, gossip, and where would it end?

And then the murders began.

Don’t blame me, blame George...
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 3:57 PM on March 6 [9 favorites]


It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times. And then the murders began.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:58 PM on March 6 [9 favorites]


The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, Spring-cleaning his little home. And then the murders began.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:59 PM on March 6 [13 favorites]


It was June, 1933, one week after Commencement, when Kay Leiland Strong, Vassar '33, the first of her class to run around the table at the Class Day dinner, was married to Harald Petersen, Reed '27, in the chapel of St. George's Church, P.E., Karl F. Reiland, Rector. And then the murders began.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 3:59 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


He speaks in your voice, American, and there's a shine in his eye that's halfway hopeful. And then the murders began.

I am seated in an office, surrounded by heads and bodies. And then the murders began.
posted by LionIndex at 3:59 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


"To be born again," sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, "first you have to die." And then the murders began.
posted by triage_lazarus at 4:00 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]


I used to have a cat, and old fighting tom, who would jump through the open window by my bed in the middle of the night and land on my chest. And then the murders began.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 4:01 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


"Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do. And then the murders began."

Seems legit.
posted by The Bellman at 4:01 PM on March 6 [15 favorites]


Μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεά, Πηληιάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,
πολλὰς δ᾽ ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Ἄϊδι προΐαψεν
ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν
οἰωνοῖσί τε πᾶσι· Διὸς δ᾽ ἐτελείετο βουλή·
ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα διαστήτην ἐρίσαντε
Ἀτρεΐδης τε ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν καὶ δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς.

And then the murders began.
posted by XMLicious at 4:01 PM on March 6 [18 favorites]


"Where's Papa going with that axe?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast. And then the murders began.
posted by barchan at 4:02 PM on March 6 [56 favorites]


Rage- Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighters' souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds.

And then the...oh, right...never mind.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:03 PM on March 6 [19 favorites]


In 1815, M. Charles-François-Bienvenu Myriel was Bishop of Digne. And then the murders began.

A little girl called Sophie was having tea with her mummy. And then the murders began.
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 4:05 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


Dammit, XMLicious
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:05 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]


Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns
driven time and again off course, once he had plundered
the hallowed heights of Troy.

And then the murders began.
posted by antiwiggle at 4:07 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


And then the murders began.

In bed!
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:07 PM on March 6 [29 favorites]


I always get the shakes before a drop. And then the murders began.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:07 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


A friend submits: "One evening in Toronto, the gods Apollo and Hermes were at the Wheat Sheaf Tavern. And then the murders began."
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:08 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. And then the murders began.
posted by Rob Rockets at 4:09 PM on March 6 [12 favorites]


About thirty years ago Miss Maria Ward, of Huntingdon, with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate Sir Thomas Bertram, of Mansfield Park, in the county of Northampton, and to be thereby raised to the rank of a baronet's lady, with all the comforts and consequences of a handsome house and large income. And then the murders began.

Late in the afternoon of a chilly day in February, two gentlemen were sitting alone over their wine, in a well-furnished dining parlor, in the town of P--, in Kentucky. And then...
posted by bonehead at 4:09 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]


When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere. And then the murders began.
posted by antiwiggle at 4:10 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


Om! Having bowed down to Narayana and Nara, the most exalted male being, and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered. And then the murders began.
posted by ardgedee at 4:11 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. And then the murders began.

Not 100% sure that's not actually the second sentence.
posted by The Bellman at 4:12 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


I don't do it for the money. I've got enough, much more than I'll ever need. I do it to do it. Deals are my art form. And then the murders began.

-- Donald Trump, The Art of the Deal
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:13 PM on March 6 [13 favorites]


Laidlaw's Law doesn't quite roll of the tongue but it is a lot of fun to contemplate.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:13 PM on March 6


"Good morning, and welcome to the Black Mesa transit system." And then the murders began.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:13 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


It is now some years since I detected how many were the false beliefs that I had from my earliest youth admitted as true, and how doubtful was everything I had since constructed on this basis; and from that time I was convinced that I must once for all seriously undertake to rid myself of all the opinions which I had formerly accepted, and commence to build anew from the foundation, if I wanted to establish any firm and permanent structure in the sciences. And then the murders began.

We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid (D. N. A.) And then the murders began.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. And then the murders began.

Out of love for the truth and from desire to elucidate it, the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and ordinary lecturer therein at Wittenberg, intends to defend the following statements and to dispute on them in that place. And then the murders began.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And then the murders began.

It is known that Maxwell’s electrodynamics—as usually understood at the present time—when applied to moving bodies, leads to asymmetries which do not appear to be inherent in the phenomena. And then the murders began.

About three centuries after Newton we are thoroughly familiar with the concept of natural science most unequivocally with physical and biological science. And then the murders began.

Of the chemistry of his day and generation, Kant declared that it was a science, but not Science - eine Wissenschaft, aber nacht Wissenschaft - for that the criterion of true science lay in its relation to mathematics. And then the murders began.

WHEN we look to the individuals of the same variety or sub-variety of our older cultivated plants and animals, one of the first points which strikes us, is, that they generally differ much more from each other, than do the individuals of any one species or variety in a state of nature. And then the murders began.

The notion of an Algorithm is basic to all computer programming, so we should begin with a careful analysis of the concept. And then the murders began.
posted by hleehowon at 4:14 PM on March 6 [8 favorites]


Samuel Johnson was born at Lichfield, in Staffordshire, on the 18th of September, 1709; and his initiation into the Christian Church was not delayed; for his baptism is recorded, in the register of St. Mary's parish in that city, to have been performed on the day of his birth. And then the murders began.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:14 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


Hale knew, before he had been in Brighton three hours, that they meant to murder him. And then the murders began.

(Makes that one a short book.)
posted by kyrademon at 4:14 PM on March 6 [10 favorites]


This time there would be no witnesses. And then the murders began.

(I believe this is pretty much how the Netflix reboot of Dirk Gently actually goes down, in fact.)
posted by kyrademon at 4:16 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


“Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug. And then the murders began.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 4:16 PM on March 6 [27 favorites]


Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife. And then the murders began.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:18 PM on March 6 [11 favorites]


Applied to great texts in world history that are more philosophical, it seems more like an accurately frightening portent:

All states, all powers, that have held and hold rule over men have been and are either republics or principalities. And then the murders began.

I went down yesterday to the Piraeus with Glaucon the son of Ariston, that I might offer up my prayers to the goddess; and also because I wanted to see in what manner they would celebrate the festival, which was a new thing. And then the murders began.

Henry VIII., the unconquered King of England, a prince adorned with all the virtues that become a great monarch, having some differences of no small consequence with Charles the most serene Prince of Castile, sent me into Flanders, as his ambassador, for treating and composing matters between them. And then the murders began.

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. And then the murders began.
posted by barchan at 4:18 PM on March 6 [6 favorites]


There once was a boy named Milo who didn’t know what to do with himself – not just sometimes, but always. And then the murders began.

Another story about CPAC?
posted by Jahaza at 4:19 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


Hwæt! We Gar-Dena in gear-dagum
þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon!

And then the murders began.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:20 PM on March 6 [13 favorites]


> "Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife. And then the murders began."

You laugh, but you basically just wrote "In Cold Blood" there.
posted by kyrademon at 4:20 PM on March 6 [43 favorites]


Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife. And then the murders began.


Accurate!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:20 PM on March 6 [6 favorites]


One summer afternoon Mrs Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupper-ware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary. And then the murders began.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 4:21 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made. And then the murders began.

... that's actually a pretty good summary.
posted by Rush-That-Speaks at 4:23 PM on March 6 [24 favorites]


'Come the summer, we'll borrow old Polly and the spring cart from the "Wagon and Horses" and all go over to Candleford,' their father said, for the ten-millionth time, thought Laura. And then the murders began.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 4:24 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. And then the murders began.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 4:24 PM on March 6 [9 favorites]


Once upon a time, a little girl named Laura traveled in a covered wagon across the giant prairie. And then the murders began.

There was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid. And then the murders began.

The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another his mother called him 'WILD THING!' and Max said 'I'LL EAT YOU UP!' so he was sent to bed without eating anything. And then the murders began.

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.
posted by barchan at 4:25 PM on March 6 [31 favorites]


As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. And then the murders began.
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:27 PM on March 6 [7 favorites]


In the week before their departure to Arrakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a nearly unbearable frenzy, an old crone came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul. And then the murders began.

Well, yes.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 4:28 PM on March 6 [8 favorites]


"My aunt will be down presently, Mr. Nuttel," said a very self-possessed young lady of fifteen; "in the meantime you must try and put up with me." And then the murders began.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 4:30 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
And then the murders began.
posted by ericbop at 4:32 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


In the name of the most holy and individual Trinity: Be it known to all, and every one whom it may concern, or to whom in any manner it may belong, That for many Years past, Discords and Civil Divisions being stir'd up in the Roman Empire, which increas'd to such a degree, that not only all Germany, but also the neighbouring Kingdoms, and France particularly, have been involv'd in the Disorders of a long and cruel War: And in the first place, between the most Serene and most Puissant Prince and Lord, Ferdinand the Second, of famous Memory, elected Roman Emperor, always August, King of Germany, Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Arch-Duke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Marquiss of Moravia, Duke of Luxemburgh, the Higher and Lower Silesia, of Wirtemburg and Teck, Prince of Suabia, Count of Hapsburg, Tirol, Kyburg and Goritia, Marquiss of the Sacred Roman Empire, Lord of Burgovia, of the Higher and Lower Lusace, of the Marquisate of Slavonia, of Port Naon and Salines, with his Allies and Adherents on one side; and the most Serene, and the most Puissant Prince, Lewis the Thirteenth, most Christian King of France and Navarre, with his Allies and Adherents on the other side. And then the murders began.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:32 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


See the child. And then the murders began.
posted by kneecapped at 4:32 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. And then the murders began.
posted by blaneyphoto at 4:33 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


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.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:33 PM on March 6 [20 favorites]


Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter. And then the murders began.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 4:34 PM on March 6 [29 favorites]


Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. And then the murders began.

“Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes. But I warn you, if you don’t tell me that this means war, if you still try to defend the infamies and horrors perpetrated by that Antichrist—I really believe he is Antichrist—I will have nothing more to do with you and you are no longer my friend, no longer my ‘faithful slave,’ as you call yourself! But how do you do? I see I have frightened you—sit down and tell me all the news.” And then the murders began.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:34 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. And then the murders began.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:36 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


WHAN that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
And smale fowles maken melodye,
That slepen al the night with open ye,
(So priketh hem nature in hir corages:
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmers for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes;
And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende.

And then, the murders begin.

—Chaucer, The Canterbury Purge.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:37 PM on March 6 [15 favorites]


Aujourd'hui, maman est morte. Et puis les meurtres ont commencé.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 4:37 PM on March 6 [19 favorites]


3 May. Bistritz. __Left Munich at 8:35 P. M, on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late. And then the murders began.
posted by graymouser at 4:40 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


For a long time I used to go to bed early. And then the murders began.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:41 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


Gaul is a whole divided into three parts. And then I began the murders.
posted by madcaptenor at 4:43 PM on March 6 [9 favorites]


It starts with oil. And then the murders began.

Wow, Theatre of the Gods keeps on givin'.
posted by middleclasstool at 4:45 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. Before the murders began.

I am seated in an office, surrounded by heads and bodies. And then the murders begin.

The idea of eternal return is a mysterious one, and Nietzsche has often perplexed other philosophers with it: to think that everything recurs as we once experienced it, and that the recurrence itself recurs ad infinitum! The murders begin, and then begin again.
posted by a car full of lions at 4:46 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


"I was once an adventurer just like you, but everything changed after the fire nation attacked and I took an arrow to the knee. And then the murders began."
posted by bigendian at 4:47 PM on March 6


On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, on Vixen, on Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen. But doooo yoooou recall... how the murders began?
posted by madcaptenor at 4:47 PM on March 6 [7 favorites]


"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.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 4:49 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


When Zarathustra was thirty years old, he left his home and the lake of his home, and went into the mountains. And then the murders began.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 4:51 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to call to mind, there lived not long since one of those gentlemen that keep a lance in the lance-rack, an old buckler, a lean hack, and a greyhound for coursing. And then the murders began.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 4:52 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails, presents itself as “an immense accumulation of commodities,” its unit being a single commodity. And then the murders begin.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:52 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


It was hot. The night we burned Chrome. And then the murders began.

Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost. And then the murders began.
posted by runcifex at 4:54 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


It was the year when they finally immanentized the Eschaton. And then the murders began.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:55 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


For sale: baby shoes, never worn. And then the murders began.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:55 PM on March 6 [12 favorites]


The Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us. And then the murders began.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 4:56 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or then the murders begin.
posted by Artw at 4:57 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


Rai and Jiri at Lungha. Zinda, his face black, his eyes red.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:57 PM on March 6 [6 favorites]


When on board H.M.S. 'Beagle,' as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the inhabitants of South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. And then the murders began.
posted by sfenders at 4:57 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. And then the murders began.

that could totally be the real second line.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:57 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


I owe the discovery of Uqbar to the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopedia. And then the murders began.
posted by a car full of lions at 4:58 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof. And then the murders began.
posted by daisystomper at 4:59 PM on March 6 [7 favorites]


Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. And then the murders began.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 5:03 PM on March 6 [6 favorites]


Nobody died that year. And then the murders began.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:04 PM on March 6 [8 favorites]


I'm really pissed that every good idea I had for this has already been posted by someone else.

And then the murders began.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 5:06 PM on March 6 [12 favorites]


The cosmonauts were transfixed with wonderment as the sun set — over the Earth — there lucklessly, untethered Comrade Todd on fire. And then the murders began.
posted by kyrademon at 5:08 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


Behavioral Science, theFBI section that deals with serial murder, is on the bottom floor of the academy building at Quantico, half-buried in the earth. And then the murders began.
posted by Artw at 5:10 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


Was playing this in the Twitter thread. Works well with children's books.

Frog ran up the path to Toad's house. And then the murders began.
posted by Gotanda at 5:10 PM on March 6 [7 favorites]


Notably, this meme was born from the New Yorker's Twitter promotion of this story about murder of Osage tribe members once oil was found on their reservation:

In the 1920s, oil was discovered under the Osage Indian Nation reservation, in Oklahoma. Then the murders began: http://nyer.cm/fzaY1PY
But apparently I'm the only one following the New Yorker on Twitter, even all these famous authors *grumble grumble*

Anyone know how to update Know Your Meme?
posted by JoeBlubaugh at 5:11 PM on March 6 [8 favorites]


Her lover one day takes O for a walk in a section of the city where they never go - the Montsouris Park. And then the murders began.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:12 PM on March 6


This works disturbingly well with pretty much any verse in the Bible.
KJV Genesis 6:4: There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And then the murders began.
It checks out.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:13 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


"Scott Pilgrim is dating a high schooler!" And then the murders began.

Once there was a tree...
and she loved a little boy.
And then the murders began.

A country road. A tree.
Evening.
Estragon, sitting on a low mound, is trying to take off his boot.
And then the murders begin.
posted by a car full of lions at 5:13 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation. And then the murders began.

(Really the murders came first. Or, as I was reminded on Twitter, it was pretty much all murders all the way through.)
posted by Gotanda at 5:14 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


Vaughan died yesterday in his last car-crash. And then the murders began.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:15 PM on March 6


In the great green room there was a telephone and a red balloon and a picture of the cow jumping over the moon. And then the murders began.

In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf. And then the murders began.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 5:16 PM on March 6 [6 favorites]


People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day. And then, of course, the murders began.
posted by saturday_morning at 5:18 PM on March 6 [6 favorites]


'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

And then the murders began.
posted by 4ster at 5:20 PM on March 6 [13 favorites]


In the year 1878 I took my degree of Doctor of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the army. And then the murders began.

Who that cares much to know the history of man, and how the mysterious mixture behaves under the varying experiments of Time, has not dwelt, at least briefly, on the life of Saint Theresa, has not smiled with some gentleness at the thought of the little girl walking forth one morning hand-in-hand with her still smaller brother, to go and seek martyrdom in the country of the Moors? And then the murders began.

The lamp must be replenish'd, but even then
It will not burn so long as I must watch:
My slumbers -- if I slumber -- are not sleep,
But a continuance of enduring thought,
Which then I can resist not: in my heart
There is a vigil, and these eyes but close
To look within; and yet I live, and bear
The aspect and the form of breathing men.
And then, no wonder, the murders began.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:21 PM on March 6


Having placed in my mouth sufficient bread for three minutes' chewing, I withdrew my powers of sensual perception and retired into the privacy of my mind, my eyes and face assuming a vacant and preoccupied expression. And then the murders began.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:23 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


Once there was a tree, and she loved a little boy. And then the murders began.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:25 PM on March 6 [6 favorites]


In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. And then the murders began.
posted by 4ster at 5:27 PM on March 6


It was the day my grandmother exploded. And then the murders began.

Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo. And then the murders began.

The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. And then the murders began.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:28 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


I don't think this actually improves things all that much.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:28 PM on March 6


It is said that fifty-three years after his liberation he returned from the Golden Cloud, to take up once again the gauntlet of Heaven, to oppose the Order of Life and the gods who ordained it so. And then the murders began.

There were four of us - George, and William Samuel Harris, and myself, and Montmorency. And then the murders began.
posted by N-stoff at 5:29 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. And then the murders began.

During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. And then the murders began.

Many years ago, I contracted an intimacy with a Mr. William Legrand. And then the murders began.

With Poe, it seems like just cutting to the chase.
posted by Adridne at 5:30 PM on March 6 [10 favorites]


There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie and Dim and we sat in the Korova milkbar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening. And then the murders began.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 5:32 PM on March 6 [6 favorites]


I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up. And then the murders began.
posted by Fuzzypumper at 5:33 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by Providence, impoverished, in squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar? The ten-dollar founding father without a father got a lot farther by working a lot harder, by being a lot smarter, by being a self-starter — by fourteen, they placed him in charge of a trading charter, and then the murders began.
posted by saturday_morning at 5:34 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


Manfred's on the road again, making strangers rich. And then the murders begin.
posted by jjj606 at 5:35 PM on March 6


The primroses were over. And then the murders began.

My nayme is Cow etc etc
posted by dismas at 5:35 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


I don't think this actually improves things all that much.

But it's a fun excuse to post a bunch of blind quotes from famous works.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 5:36 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


It was a fun excuse to post a bunch of blind quotes from famous works. And then the murders began.
posted by sfenders at 5:37 PM on March 6 [25 favorites]


We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. And then the murders began.
posted by delfin at 5:42 PM on March 6 [11 favorites]


’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And then the murders began.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 5:44 PM on March 6 [6 favorites]


"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of Number Four, Privet Drive, were happy to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. And then the murders began."
posted by Navelgazer at 5:46 PM on March 6 [7 favorites]


The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another his mother called him 'WILD THING!' and Max said 'I'LL EAT YOU UP!' so he was sent to bed without eating anything. And then the murders began.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:46 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]


Hwæt! We Gar-Dena in gear-dagum, þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon, hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon! And then the murders began.

Which is actually what happens next.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:49 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


When I saw Laidlaw's Law above, I thought this came from this Laidlaw
posted by ohkay at 5:51 PM on March 6


Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time. And then the murders began.
posted by borborygmi at 5:53 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


Cat-Scan.com is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. And then the murders began.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:56 PM on March 6 [9 favorites]


There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb and he almost deserved it. And then the murders began.
posted by comealongpole at 5:57 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


Oh man, it works great for history as well (presumably because it's always true).
posted by aspersioncast at 5:59 PM on March 6


In the shade of the house, in the sunshine of the riverbank near the boats, in the shade of the Sal-wood forest, in the shade of the fig tree is where Siddhartha grew up, the handsome son of the Brahman, the young falcon, together with his friend Govinda, son of a Brahman. And then the murders began.

My hat is gone. I want it back. And then the murders began.

The morning had dawned clear and cold, with a crispness that hinted at the end of summer. . And then the murders began.

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.

The first thing the boy Garion remebered was the kitchen at Faldor's farm. And then the murders began.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:00 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


Having placed in my mouth sufficient bread for three minutes' chewing, I withdrew my powers of sensual perception and retired into the privacy of my mind, my eyes and face assuming a vacant and preoccupied expression. And then the murders began.
posted by comealongpole at 6:01 PM on March 6


The day had gone by, just as the days go by; I had killed it, had softly killed it with my primitive and shy sort of lifestyle; I had worked for a few hours perusing old books, had had two hours of pain, precisely as old people do, had taken a powder and was pleased that the pains had subsided, had taken a hot bath and absorbed the lovely warmth, had checked the mail three times and gone through all the unnecessary letters and printed material, had done my breathing exercises but today out of laziness not my meditation exercises, had gone for a walk for an hour and found fine, tender, precious feathery little cloud patterns in the sky. And then the murders began.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 6:07 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


Hi my name is Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way and I have long ebony black hair (that's how I got my name) with purple streaks and red tips that reaches my mid-back and icy blue eyes like limpid tears and a lot of people tell me I look like Amy Lee (AN: if u don't know who she is get da hell out of here!). And then the murders began.
posted by gideonswann at 6:10 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]


Après moi, le déluge de meurtres a commencé.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:13 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


WHAT DID THAT SAY? On the first page, what did that say? Did that say there will be a MONSTER at the end of this book?

And then the murders began.
posted by delfin at 6:13 PM on March 6 [15 favorites]


It is usually easy to decide whether or not something is alive. And then the murders began.

[Thomas Jefferson, an Anti-Federalist (or Republican), who defeated John Adams, a Federalist, in the presidential election of 1800, was to take office on March 4, 1801. And then the murders began.
posted by traveler_ at 6:15 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


Tall sails scraped the deep purple night as rockets burst, flared, and flourished red, white and blue over the stoic Statue of Liberty. And then the murders began.
posted by Daily Alice at 6:19 PM on March 6


Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by this son of York. And now, let the murders begin.
posted by fedward at 6:20 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


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 began.
posted by ella_minnow at 6:21 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


When the phone rang, Parker was in the garage, killing a man. And then the murders began.
posted by Paragon at 6:21 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. And then the murders began.
posted by carter at 6:24 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


"This so-called 'abominable' snowman"
said the cryptozoologist, deadpan,
"Is as gentle and mild
"As the merest schoolchild!"
...And the the murders began.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:25 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


Grabbing the nearest book to me, which is Dave Barry's "Best. State. Ever:"

"Every few months I get a call from some media person wanting to interview me about Florida, where I have lived for three decades. And then the murders began."
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:25 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement is investigated by federal law enforcement agencies and is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. And then the murders began.
posted by XMLicious at 6:26 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


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 the murders began.

When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. And then the murders began.

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he’d reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him. And then the murders began.

Garp’s mother, Jenny Fields, was arrested in Boston in 1942 for wounding a man in a movie theatre. And then the murders began.

In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines
In two straight lines they broke their bread
And brushed their teeth and went to bed.
They left the house at half past nine
In two straight lines in rain or shine-
The smallest one was Madeline.

And then the murders began.
posted by carmicha at 6:26 PM on March 6 [6 favorites]


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.
posted by uosuaq at 6:26 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


Raiding my old bookreads/firstlines .txt file. Apologies for dupes or tone-deafness!
  • The small boys came early to the hanging. And then the murders began.
  • Some years ago there was in the city of York a society of magicians. And then the murders began.
  • As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a Den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and, as I slept, I dreamed a dream. And then the murders began.
  • Mr. Baker, chief mate of the ship Narcissus, stepped in one stride out of his lighted cabin into the darkness of the quarter-deck. And then the murders began.
  • No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine. And then the murders began.
  • I was buried in one of those profound reveries to which everybody, even a frivolous man, is subject in the midst of the most uproarious festivities. And then the murders began.
  • Clarence Chugwater looked around him with a frown, and gritted his teeth. And then the murders began.
  • Charon, the Ferryman of renown, was cruising slowly along the Styx one pleasant Friday morning not long ago, and as he paddled idly on he chuckled mildly to himself as he thought of the monopoly in ferriage which in the course of years he had managed to build up. And then the murders began.
  • I went down yesterday to the Piraeus with Glaucon the son of Ariston, that I might offer up my prayers to the goddess; and also because I wanted to see in what manner they would celebrate the festival, which was a new thing. And then the murders began.
  • The suburb of Saffron Park lay on the sunset side of London, as red and ragged as a cloud of sunset. And then the murders began.
  • In a castle of Westphalia, belonging to the Baron of Thunder-ten-Tronckh, lived a youth, whom nature had endowed with the most gentle manners. And then the murders began.
  • When he was nearly thirteen my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. And then the murders began.
posted by comealongpole at 6:27 PM on March 6


Lastly (I promise!) Anthony Burgess's infamous/celebrated first line from Earthly Powers:
It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me. And then the murders began.
posted by comealongpole at 6:33 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


Anything Shakespearean goes pretty smooth.

And also:

O Captain, my Captain, our fearful trip is done.
    The ship has weather’d every rack, the murders have all begun.
posted by runcifex at 6:34 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


Jennifer stood there, quietly ovulating. And then the murders began.
posted by en forme de poire at 6:36 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. And then the murders began.
posted by pernoctalian at 6:38 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


One beautiful April morning, on a narrow side street in Tokyo’s fashionable Harujuku neighborhood, I walked past the 100% perfect girl.

And then the murders began.

To be sixteen on a July Saturday was heaven.

And then the murders ended.
posted by Splunge at 6:39 PM on March 6


According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. And then the murders began.
posted by schmod at 6:41 PM on March 6


Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And then the murders began.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:41 PM on March 6 [8 favorites]


When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. And then the murders began.
posted by uosuaq at 6:45 PM on March 6 [8 favorites]


I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

And then
the murders
began
posted by stevis23 at 6:53 PM on March 6 [30 favorites]


The Unix operating system originated at AT&T Bell Labs in the early 1970s. And then the murders began.
posted by schmod at 6:54 PM on March 6 [16 favorites]


I have the distinction of having become a legend in my lifetime, but not a very nice one. And then the murders began.
posted by The World Famous at 6:55 PM on March 6


I shall clasp my hands together and bow to the corners of the world.
And then the murders began.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 6:56 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


cherry blossoms fall
the deer leap through glades and then
the murders began
posted by ardgedee at 6:56 PM on March 6


The music-room in the Governor's House at Port Mahon, a tall, handsome, pillared octagon, was filled with the triumphant first movement of Locatelli's C major quartet. And then the murders began.
posted by stargell at 6:58 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


  GNU Emacs is a version of Emacs, written by the author of the original (PDP-10) Emacs, Richard Stall-
  man. And then the murders began.
posted by ardgedee at 6:59 PM on March 6 [11 favorites]


One morning Toad sat in the bed. “I have many
things to do,” he said. And then the murders began.
posted by ReluctantViking at 7:00 PM on March 6 [9 favorites]


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure. Et puis les meutres ont commencé.
posted by emelenjr at 7:01 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


When I was about 11 or 12 I set up a lab in my house. And then the murders began.
posted by debgpi at 7:05 PM on March 6


One evening, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight. And then the murders began.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:06 PM on March 6 [7 favorites]


That's from "Harold and the Purple Raygun", right?
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:08 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


There was a wall. And then the murders began.
posted by joeyh at 7:14 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


One hippo, all alone, calls two hippos on the phone. Then the murders began.
posted by 4ster at 7:15 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
Über alles in der Welt,
und dann begannen die Morde.
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 7:19 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


A specter is haunting Europe. And then the murders began.
posted by jonp72 at 7:20 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


The apparition of these faces in the crowd:
Petals on a wet, black bough.

And then the murders began.
posted by jonp72 at 7:21 PM on March 6


It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
'By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?'

And then the murders began.
posted by mr. digits at 7:22 PM on March 6


The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea,
In a beautiful pea-green boat,

And then the murders began.
posted by jonp72 at 7:25 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


New York 2099AD! where huge Star-Scrapers soar miles into the air! Small buildings like the Empire State are in ruins... hideouts for vicious criminals! and then the murders began.
posted by Artw at 7:25 PM on March 6


All children, except one, grow up. And then the murders began.
posted by needled at 7:26 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


She was so deeply imbedded in my consciousness that for the first year of school I seem to have believed that each of my teachers was my mother in disguise. And then the murders began.
posted by jonp72 at 7:27 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


--Money...? in a voice that rustled. And then the murders began.
posted by jonp72 at 7:32 PM on March 6


When Chili first came to Miami Beach twelve years ago they were having one of their off-and-on cold winters: thirty-four degrees the day he met Tommy Carlo for lunch at Vesuvio's on South Collins and had his leather jacket ripped off. And then the murders began.

"Like Mother used to make" is a cherished memory but no longer a standard for family cookery. And then the murders began.

In 1998, California voters approved Proposition 220, an amendment permitting judges in each county to merge their Superior and Municipal courts into a single Superior Court in each county. And then the murders began.

There was a desert wind blowing that night. And then the murders began.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:32 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


So. And then the murders began.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:40 PM on March 6


Beatrice Quimby's biggest problem was her little sister Ramona. And then the murders began.
posted by Lucinda at 7:41 PM on March 6 [19 favorites]


The beet is the most intense of vegetables. And then the murders began.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:41 PM on March 6


"In five years, the penis will be obsolete!" said the salesman. And then the murders began. [not entirely inaccurate]

The murders began. And then it was the day my grandmother exploded.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:44 PM on March 6


Mars was empty before we came. And then the murders began.
posted by joeyh at 7:46 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


"Where's Papa going with that ax?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast. And then the murders began.

Five little puppies dug a hole under the fence and went for a walk in the wide, wide world. And then the murders began.

Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmond and Lucy. And then the murders began.
posted by Lucinda at 7:46 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


There are a LOT of repeats here. CTRL+F, people!
posted by Chrysostom at 7:49 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?
And you may ask yourself
Where is that large automobile?
And you may ask yourself
When do the murders begin?
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:50 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]


My father's family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. And then the murders began.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:50 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


There are a LOT of repeats here. CTRL+F, people!

...And then the murders began.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:50 PM on March 6 [14 favorites]


Said Mayzie, the lazy bird hatching her egg; "I'm tired and I'm bored and I've links in my leg from sitting, just sitting here day after day." And then the murders began.
posted by Floydd at 7:50 PM on March 6


Mr. and Mrs. Brown first met Paddington on a railway platform. And then the murders began.

Once upon a time there was a pair of pants. And then the murders began.

Nancy Drew, an attractive girl of eighteen, was driving along a country road in her new, dark-blue convertible. And then the murders began.
posted by Lucinda at 7:52 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


All this really just makes me want to write a novel that begins, "And then the murders began."
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 7:52 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


The murders began in nineteen sixty-three (Which was rather late for me)
posted by Artw at 7:55 PM on March 6


In a certain reign (whose can it have been?) someone of no very great rank, among all His Majesty's Consorts and Intimates, enjoyed exceptional favor. And then the murders began.
posted by Floydd at 7:58 PM on March 6


GENTLEMEN,

I have perused your late mathematical Prize Question, proposed in lieu of one in Natural Philosophy, for the ensuing year, viz. “Une figure quelconque donnee, on demande d’y inscrire le plus grand nombre de fois possible une autre figure plus-petite quelconque, qui est aussi donnee”. And then the murders began.
posted by Floydd at 8:01 PM on March 6


The fretted hands of the bronze clock on the shelf stood at five to five. And then rhe murders began.
posted by The_Auditor at 8:01 PM on March 6


Stealing sheep? Letterspacing in lower case? And then the murders began.

When I started telling people that I was writing a book about how I do what I do, they all asked the same thing: "Aren't you afraid of putting yourself out of a job?" And then the murders began.

(What? I'm in the office on deadline with only professional books around me. The novels are downstairs.)
posted by maudlin at 8:04 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


When I left my office that beautiful spring day, I had no idea what was in store for me.

And then the murders began.
posted by mr. digits at 8:05 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the Bible-verse thing doesn't work for everything, but it works more often than not.

"Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you." And then the murders began.

"Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me," says the LORD of hosts. And then the murders began.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 8:07 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


The only writing instrument required in this manual is a pencil or felt-tipped pen. And then the murders beg[i]n.
posted by The_Auditor at 8:07 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


In the week before their departure to Arrakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a nearly unbearable frenzy, an old crone came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul. And then the murders began.

Or,

A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct. And then the murders begin.
posted by meinvt at 8:11 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


There are a LOT of repeats here. CTRL+F, people!

And then the murders began.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 8:14 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE is scrawled in blood red lettering in the side of the Chemical Bank near the corner of Eleventh and First and is in print large enough to be seen from the backseat of the cab as it lurches forward in the traffic leaving Wall Street and just as Timothy Price notices the words a bus pulls up, the advertisement for Les Miserables on its side blocking his view, but Price who is with Pierce & Pierce and twenty-six doesn’t seem to care because he tells the driver he will give him five dollars to turn up the radio, “Be My Baby” on WYNN, and the driver, black, not American, does so

(first sentence of American Psycho)

'What's it going to be then, eh?'
That was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie and Dim, Dim being really dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening, a flip dark chill winter bastard though dry.

(first sentence of A Clockwork Orange)

Well, you can't accuse them of making sudden wild tonal shifts, I suppose.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:16 PM on March 6


Over the weekend the vultures got into the presidential palace by pecking through the screens on the balcony windows and the flapping of their wings stirred up the stagnant time inside, and at dawn on Monday the city awoke out of its lethargy of centuries with the warm, soft breeze of a great man dead and rotting grandeur. And then the murders began.
posted by wotsac at 8:26 PM on March 6


Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table. And then the murders began.

(Too easy)
posted by anastasiav at 8:26 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


A few books from the basement yielded:

Orchids are grown for the astonishing beauty and variety of their flowers. Then the murders begin.

Once upon a lunchtime, Joss Whedon took me with him as he ran an errand. And then the murders began.

For most of the '50s and '60s, TV sitcoms were enveloped in the long night of white bread, when white, middle-class families lived in suburban homes where Dad knew best, Mom stayed home and never worked, and the kids ranged from cute to adorable. And then the murders began.

"So write about Camille Paglia," suggested the editor. And then the murders began.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 8:28 PM on March 6


And then the murders began?

I always thought it was "Then everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked."
posted by mogget at 8:38 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]


Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And then the murders began.

...

This is not the Book of John I grew up with.
posted by traveler_ at 8:40 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


Intelligent life on a planet comes of age when it first works out the reason for its own existence. And then the murders begin.
posted by peeedro at 8:51 PM on March 6


*opens thread*
*ctrl-f "Metafilter: and then the murders began"*
*no results*
*sighs*
posted by tzikeh at 9:02 PM on March 6 [6 favorites]


The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed. And then the murders began.
posted by KHAAAN! at 9:05 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


The Baby-sitters Club. I'm proud to say it was totally my idea, even though the four of us worked it out together. And then the murders began.
posted by Munching Langolier at 9:26 PM on March 6 [10 favorites]


aardvark: a large burrowing nocturnal mammal (Orycteropus afer) of sub-Saharan Africa that has a long snout, extensible tongue, powerful claws, large ears, and heavy tail and feeds especially on termites and ants.

And then the murders began.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:38 PM on March 6


Your first step in playing an adventure in the Dungeons & Dragons game is to imagine and create a character of your own. And then the murders begin.
posted by Banknote of the year at 9:40 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


Mr. and Mrs. Brown had one child. They called him Leroy, and so did his teachers.
And then the murders began.
posted by deludingmyself at 9:40 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]


That's not how I remember it, mogget.

Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then, the murders began.
posted by a car full of lions at 9:43 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. And then, the murders began.
posted by a car full of lions at 9:44 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


Everything around it moves, as if just this one time and one time only, as if the message of Heraclitus has arrived here through some deep current, from the distance of an entire universe, in spite of all the senseless obstacles, because water moves, it flows, it arrives, and cascades; now and then the silken breeze sways, the mountains quiver in the scourging heat, but this heat itself moves, trembles, and vibrates in the land, as do the tall scattered grass-islands, the grass, blade by blade, in the riverbed; each individual shallow wave, as it falls, tumbles over the low weirs, and then, every inconceivable fleeting element of this subsiding wave, and all the individual glitterings of light dying down, scintillating, then reeling in all directions, inexpressible in words; clouds are gathering; the restless, jarring blue sky above; the sun is concentrated with horrific strength, yet still indescribable, extending onto the entire momentary creation, maddeningly brilliant, blindingly radiant; the fish and the frogs and the beetles and the tiny reptiles are in the river; the cars and buses, from the northbound number 3 to the number 32 up to the number 38, inexorably deep along the steaming asphalt roads built parallel on both embankments, then the rapidly propelled bicycles below the breakwaters, the men and women strolling next to the river along paths that were built or were inscribed into the dust, and the blocking stones, too, set down artificially and asymmetrically underneath the mass of gliding water: everything is at play or alive, so that things happen, move on, dash along, proceed forward, sink down, rise up, disappear, emerge again, run and flow and rush somewhere, only it, the Ooshirosagi, does not move at all, this enormous snow-white bird, open to attack by all, not concealing its defenselessness; this hunter, it leans forward, its neck folded in an S-form, and it now extends its head and long hard beak out from this S-form, and strains the whole, but at the same time it is strained forward, its wings pressed tightly against its body, its thin legs searching for a firm point below the water’s surface; it fixes its gaze on the flowing surface of the water, the surface, yes, while it sees, crystal-clear, what lies below the surface, down below in the refractions of light, however rapidly it may arrive, if it does arrive, if it ends up there, if a fish, a frog, a beetle, a tiny reptile arrives with the water that gurgles as the flow is broken and foams up again, with one single and precise and quick movement, the bird shall strike with its beak, and lift something up, it’s not even possible to see what it is, everything happens with such lightning speed, it’s not possible to see, only to know that it is a fish — an amago, an ayu, a huna, a kamotsuka, a mugitsuku or an unagi or something else — and that is why it stood there, almost in the middle of the Kamo river, in the shallow water; and there it stands, in one time, immeasurable in its passing, and yet beyond all doubt extant, one time proceeding neither forward nor backward, but just swirling and moving nowhere, like an inconceivably complex net, cast out into time; and this motionlessness, despite all its strength, must be born and sustained, and it would only be fitting to grasp this simultaneously, but it is precisely that, this simultaneous grasping, that cannot be realized, so it remains unsaid, and even the entirety of the words that want to describe it do not appear, not even the separate words; yet still the bird must lean upon one single moment all at once, and in doing so, must obstruct all movement: all alone, within its own self, in the frenzy of events, in the exact center of an absolute, swarming, teeming world, it must remain there in this cast-out moment, so that this moment as it were closes down upon it, and then the moment is closed, so that the bird may bring its snow-white body to a dead halt in the exact center of this furious movement, so that it may impress its own motionlessness against the dreadful forces breaking over it from all directions, because what comes only much later is that once again it will take part in this furious motion, in the total frenzy of everything, and it too will move, in a lightning-quick strike, together with everything else; for now, however, it remains within this enclosing moment, at the beginning of the hunt. And then the murders began.
posted by no mind at 9:51 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


He was one hundred and seventy days dying and not yet dead. And then the murders began.
posted by N-stoff at 9:52 PM on March 6


Or a long sentence moving at a certain pace down the page ending for the bottom—if not the bottom of this page then of some other page—where it can rest, or stop for a moment to think about the questions raised by its own (temporary) existence, which... [and Barthelme goes on for another six pages without ever actually finishing the sentence. The murders are averted.]
posted by Shmuel510 at 10:06 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


"Christ, what an asshole." And then the murders began.
posted by stevil at 10:40 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]


The lights went out in the Nameless Bar just after nine. And then the murders began.
Not so much change there...
"I'm going to die," said Jones. And then the murders began.
Or there.
posted by clew at 10:46 PM on March 6


CTRL+F, people! And then the murders began.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:19 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


A merry little surge of electricity piped by automatic alarm from the mood organ beside his bed awakened Rick Deckard. And then the murders began.

On my naming day when I come 12 I gone front spear and kilt a wyld boar he parbly ben the las wyld pig on the Bundel Downs any how there hadnt been none for a long time befor him nor I aint looking to see none agen. And then the murders began.

Nearly three decades before this moment, I had walked through the tunnel and onto the pitch for my first home game, feeling nervous and exposed, I had waved to the Stretford End and been introduced from the centre circle as Manchester United's new manager. And then the murders began.
posted by Pink Frost at 11:49 PM on March 6


Let's set the existence-of-God issue aside for a later volume, and just stipulate that in some way, self-replicating organisms came into existence on this planet and immediately began trying to get rid of each other, either by spamming their environments with rough copies of themselves, or by more direct means which hardly need to be belabored. And then the murders began.
posted by busted_crayons at 11:54 PM on March 6


*opens thread*
*ctrl-f "Metafilter: and then the murders began"*
*no results*
*sighs*

And then the murders began.
posted by fullerine at 12:08 AM on March 7


We slept in what had once been the gymnasium. And then the murders began.

(Handmaid's tale)
posted by chapps at 12:11 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


I am Sam.
And then the murders began.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:37 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. And then the murders began.
posted by ardgedee at 1:11 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Just as topological or differentiable manifolds are made by gluing together open balls from Euclidean space, schemes are made by gluing together open sets of a simple kind, called affine schemes. And then the murders begin.
posted by vernondalhart at 1:28 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


I am Governor Jerry Brown
my aura smiles and never frowns
soon the murders will begin
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:32 AM on March 7


Polemarchus said to me: I perceive, Socrates, that you and our companion are already on your way to the city.

And then the murders began.
posted by No-sword at 1:35 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


The train came out of the long tunnel into the snow country. And then the murders began.
posted by No-sword at 1:36 AM on March 7


Mother died yesterday. And then the murders began.
posted by dlugoczaj at 1:40 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.
...and then the murders began
posted by TwelveNoteRow at 1:50 AM on March 7


umber whunnnn
yerrrnnn umber whunnnn
fayunnnn
These sounds: even in the haze.
And then the murders began.
posted by crossoverman at 2:01 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


I was twelve going on thirteen when I first saw a dead human being. And then the murders began.

Not technically the first line.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:08 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing. And then the murders began.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:10 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]


They called for more structure, then, so we brought in some big hairy four-by-fours from the back shed and nailed them into place with railroad spikes. And then the murders began.
posted by ubersturm at 2:13 AM on March 7


Gilgamesh sought to interpret his dream, saying to his mother, "Mother, in my dream I became mighty and wandered in the midst of omens, and from the heavens a meteor fell upon me, and then the murders began."
posted by kyrademon at 2:26 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Zugegeben: ich bin Insasse einer Heil- und Pflegeanstalt, mein Pfleger beobachtet mich, läßt mich kaum aus dem Auge; denn in der Tür ist ein Guckloch, und meines Pflegers Auge ist von jenem Braun, welches mich, den blauäugigen, nicht durchschauen kann. Also haben die Morde angefangen.
posted by Kinbote at 3:15 AM on March 7


At the hour of the hot spring sunset, two citizens appeared at the Patriarch's Ponds. And then the murders began.
posted by ubersturm at 3:44 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


At the hour of the hot spring sunset, two citizens appeared at the Patriarch's Ponds. And then the murders began.

My translation has it:
At the sunset hour of one warm spring day two men were to be seen at Patriarch's Ponds. And then the murders began.
posted by roolya_boolya at 3:50 AM on March 7


Heads.

Heads.

Heads.

Heads.

Heads.

And then the murders began.
posted by kyrademon at 3:53 AM on March 7


Gustav Aschenbach oder von Aschenbach, wie seit seinem fünfzigsten Geburtstag amtlich sein Name lautete, hatte an einem Frühlingsnachmittag des Jahres 19.., das unserem Kontinent monatelang eine so gefahrdrohende Miene zeigte, von seiner Wohnung in der Prinz-Regentenstraße zu München aus allein einen weiteren Spaziergang unternommen. Danach hatten die Morde begonnen.
posted by ubersturm at 3:54 AM on March 7


I'm going to regard this as a Pierre Menard style exercise. If the original Twitter discussion is reconstructed on Mefi, does it become a different, more interesting work?

not really
posted by Segundus at 3:55 AM on March 7


My translation has it:
At the sunset hour of one warm spring day two men were to be seen at Patriarch's Ponds. And then the murders began.


That does seem rather closer to the way I remember that line going. My other translation option was "An einem heißen Frühlingsabend erschienen beim Sonnenuntergang auf dem Patriarchenteichboulevard zwei Männer. Nachher haben die Morde angefangen." Which ends up pretty close to yours, actually.

If the original Twitter discussion is reconstructed on Mefi, does it become a different, more interesting work?

I mean, I'm pretty sure we can fit longer first lines in here. So we've got that going for us.
posted by ubersturm at 4:11 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]


Almost as much fun as jazz pianist George Shearing's game - take a classic song and replace the word 'love' with 'lunch'.
I'm in the mood for lunch
Lunch is lovelier, the second time around
posted by TwelveNoteRow at 4:15 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]


The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legends. And then the murders began.
posted by graymouser at 4:19 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


December twenty fourth, nine PM, eastern standard time.
From here on in I shoot.
posted by madcaptenor at 4:29 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her. And then the murders began.
posted by notquitemaryann at 4:31 AM on March 7 [4 favorites]


And after all the weather was ideal. And then the murders began.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:40 AM on March 7


I am Sam. Sam I am!
And then the murders began.

(Green Eggs and Ham)


Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches-
Had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly Sneetches-Had none upon thars.
And then the murders began.

(Guess)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:59 AM on March 7 [3 favorites]


This has me remembering one of my favorite moments from Cheers, when Frasier reads A Tale of Two Cities.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:11 AM on March 7 [3 favorites]


A maiden from the Bosphorus with eyes as bright as phosphorus once wed the wealthy bailiff of the caliph of Kelat; though diligent and zealous, he became a slave to jealousy (considering her beauty, 'twas his duty to be that.) When business would necessitate a journey, he would hesitate, but fearing to disgust her, he would trust her with his keys -- remarking to her prayerfully: "I beg you'll use them carefully; don't look what I deposit in that closet, if you please." It may be mentioned casually that blue as lapis lazuli he dyed his hair, his lashes, his mustaches, and his beard, and just because he did it, he aroused his wife 's timidity; her terror she dissembled, but she trembled when he neared. This feeling insalubrious soon made her most lugubrious, and bitterly she missed her elder sister Marie Anne; she asked if she might write her to come down and spend a night or two -- when he refused, this spurred her to the murders that began.
posted by kyrademon at 5:28 AM on March 7 [5 favorites]


Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. But with sound self-confidence you can succeed.

And then the murders begin.
posted by notquitemaryann at 5:52 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]




One sunny Sunday, the caterpillar was hatched out of a tiny egg. And then the murders began.

("Hungry Caterpillar", or Hannibal fanfic? You decide!)
posted by Stacey at 6:01 AM on March 7 [3 favorites]


Dr Strauss says I shoud rite down what I think and remembir and evrey thing that happins to me from now on. An then the murdirs begin.
posted by delfin at 6:08 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]


A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. And then the murders began.
posted by emelenjr at 6:23 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


The sun sets in the west (just about everyone knows that), but Sunset Towers faced east. And then the murders began.
posted by emelenjr at 6:25 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


The truth is, if old Major Dover hadn’t dropped dead at Taunton races, Jim would never have come to Thursgood’s at all. And then the murders began.
posted by emmling at 6:27 AM on March 7


This Is Just to Say
I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

And then
the murders
began
posted by Smedleyman at 7:58 AM on March 7 [4 favorites]


You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter. The murders begun.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. And then the murders began.
posted by anastasiav at 8:40 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


kyrademon's "Grimm made Gay" made my afternoon, and then
posted by busted_crayons at 8:44 AM on March 7


"Who is John Galt?" And then the murders began.
posted by scratch at 9:22 AM on March 7 [3 favorites]


It began as a mistake. And then the murders began.
posted by lkc at 10:32 AM on March 7


For those who never heard of Twin Oaks before, I should explain that it is an "intentional community." That means it's a community with its own clear borders and membership. And then the murders began.
posted by annieb at 11:09 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


It was a pleasure to burn. And then the murders began.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:36 AM on March 7


On the 15th of May, in the Jungle of Nool, In the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool, He was splashing... enjoying the jungle’s great joys... When Horton the elephant heard a small noise. And then the murders began.
posted by gurple at 11:47 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression "As pretty as an airport." And then the murders began.

We're going through!” The Commander’s voice was like thin ice breaking. And then the murders began.

"The sphere, hanging from a long wire set into the ceiling of the choir, swayed back and forth with isochronal majesty." And then the murders began.
posted by ambrosen at 12:08 PM on March 7


From someone on my facebook feed, who really hates Jonathan Livingston Seagull - "It was morning, and the new sun sparkled gold on the ripples of a gentle sea. And then the murders began."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:11 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Once upon a time there was a very hungry caterpillar. And then the murders began.
posted by Sutekh at 1:29 PM on March 7


"That is my decision. We need not discuss it," said the man at the desk. Then the murders began.
posted by epj at 2:31 PM on March 7


Jack Torrance thought: Officious little prick. And then the murders began.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:58 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


surprised at the shortage of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy quotes:

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. And then the murders began.

“Space,” it says, “is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space. And then the murders begin.”

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened. And then the murders began.

The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t. And then the murders began.

Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And then the murders began.

The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backwards-somersault through a hoop whilst whistling the ‘Star Spangled Banner’, but in fact the message was this: So long and thanks for all the fish. And then the murders began.

“Forty-two,” said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm. And then the murders began.

“Since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensely rich. And then the murders began.”

now, who's going to start doing this with the opening lines of the books by MetaFilter Resident novelists jscalzi and rstross?

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. And then the murders began.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:01 PM on March 7


Now see, I think the obvious HHGTTG quote to use would be:

"People of Earth, your attention please. This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council. As you will no doubt be aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of the Galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route through your star system and, regrettably, your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly less than two of your Earth minutes. Thank you." And then the murders began.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:07 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


> "now, who's going to start doing this with the opening lines of the books by MetaFilter Resident novelists jscalzi and rstross?"

Surely you'd want to go with:

Dirk Moeller didn't know if he could fart his way into a major diplomatic incident. And then the murders began.
posted by kyrademon at 3:16 PM on March 7 [3 favorites]


Song lyrics too:

Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce / Another runner in the night. And then the murders began.

In the town where I was born
Lived a man who sailed to sea
And then the murders began.
posted by Chitownfats at 5:03 PM on March 7


This page intentionally left blank. And then the murders began.
posted by schmod at 6:00 PM on March 7 [5 favorites]


[[[ Severe spoiler warning ]]]

We should start back,” Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them. ATTMB.

Does make the waiting easier though
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 6:07 PM on March 7 [2 favorites]


Dear Penthouse Forum,

I never thought I'd be writing to Penthouse Forum, but then the murders began...
posted by jonp72 at 7:06 PM on March 7 [8 favorites]


Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen it's true face. And then the murders began.


Seems kinda redundant here, no matter what sentence I put it after, actually.
posted by nubs at 7:52 PM on March 7 [2 favorites]


More than the ones that are absurd, I love the ones that are accurate. Harry potter, for example. "Mr & Mrs Dursley, of number 4, Privet Drive, were proud to say they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. And then the murders began."

I mean, yes. After this exposition, but just before the actual scene of the first chapter, the Potters were murdered. It's also nice that it pretty much sums up the Dursley's experience - they were normal, until Harry was made an orphan.
posted by FirstMateKate at 6:36 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Says Red Molly to James, "That's a fine motorbike". And then the murders began.

Technically it was just one murder, but that's pretty close, actually.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 9:46 AM on March 8


surprised at the shortage of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy quotes:

Nononono. ATTMB is supposed to be the second sentence of the entire book. So it would be;

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun. And then the murders began.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:52 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Oh, just spotted a good one from Captain Corelli's Mandolin:

Dr. Iannis had enjoyed a satisfactory day in which none of his patients had died or got any worse. And then the murders began.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:56 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


In the great green room
there was a telephone
And a red balloon
And a picture of
The cow jumping over the moon
and there were three little bears, sitting on chairs
and two little kittens and a pair of mittens
and a little toy house and a young mouse
and a comb and a brush and bowl full of mush
and a quiet old lady who was whispering "hush"

And then the murders began.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:13 PM on March 8 [5 favorites]


Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse had signed a lease on a five-room apartment in a geometric white house on First Avenue when they received word, from a woman named Mrs. Cortez, that a four-room apartment in the Bramford had become available. And then the murders began.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:03 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Call me Jonah. My parents did, or almost did. And then the murders began.
posted by The World Famous at 1:21 PM on March 9


Says Red Molly to James, "That's a fine motorbike". And then the murders began.

Technically it was just one murder, but that's pretty close, actually.


I was nineteen when I came to town, they called it the Summer of Love,
And then the murders began.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:23 PM on March 12


Hello again …

… today we have a small favour to ask. More people than ever are regularly reading the Guardian, but far fewer are paying for it. Advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So we think it’s fair to ask people who visit us often for their help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

And then the murders began.
posted by Artw at 4:34 PM on March 13 [5 favorites]


Meditating upon recent events, I don't have better contribution anyway.
The Estates of Parliament, considering that Articles of Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England were agreed on 22nd of July, 1706 by the Commissioners nominated on behalf of this Kingdom, under Her Majesties Great Seal of Scotland bearing date the 27th of February last past, in pursuance of the fourth Act of the third Session of this Parliament and the Commissioners nominated on behalf of the Kingdom of England under Her Majesties Great Seal of England bearing date at Westminster the tenth day of April last past in pursuance of an Act of Parliament made in England the third year of Her Majesties Reign to treat of and concerning an Union of the said Kingdoms Which Articles were in all humility presented to Her Majesty upon the twenty third of the said Month of July and were Recommended to this Parliament by Her Majesties Royal Letter of the date the 31st day of July, 1706; and that the said Estates of Parliament have agreed to, and approve of the said Articles of Union, with some additions.

And then the murders began.
posted by runcifex at 7:42 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]


« Older How things end   |   They are but little but they are fierce Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments