First Lines

Last night before turning in , I was served up a site that challenges one to come up with a story in one line (www.onesentence.org). There are some great ones on there, check it out.

Anyway, this set my mind off on a tangent, as it is wont to do and I got to thinking of the first line, “It was a dark and stormy night…”. Many don’t realize these are the actual words from the 1830 novel Paul Clifford, by Sir Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton.

“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents – except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

Baron Lytton also gave us “the unwashed masses” & “the pen is mightier than the sword”, but I digress.

My mind was churning with the now melodramatic language and when I woke in the wee hours of the morning random lines kept popping into my head. I offer but a few here:

Zoos, as a whole, bothered me.

She hated plastic bags.

She smiled as the exhaust choked the pretentious bastard in the convertible
behind her.

The curve of her hips reminded him of the smooth swerve of ice cream carved
out by a spoon.

He was right, I’d never seen one before.

Who knew that an elephant can’t jump?

There is a precipice at the edge of sanity.

It was a childhood dream come true and she wished she could wake up.

And the dish ran away with the moon, what’s up with that?

George continued to stare wondering how on Earth it got there.

Now if I could just get the second sentences going, I might have a chance in The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. (www.bulwer-lytton.com)

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