Mac Laidlaw now famously quipped that any story could be improved by changing the second line to “And then the murders began.”

I thought it would be fun to test that theory with some short stories from my FREE anthology, Minds and Machines:

Moving the empty containers was far more work than carrying the full ones would be. And then the murders began.


As he passed to the next life, Steve Jobs opened his eyes to a harshly-lit room. And then the murders began.

OK, that’s something I’d actually read.

“Basically, it accelerates cats around the ring at high speed in opposite directions and collides them head-on to see what happens,” our tour guide said as we gaped at the colossal machine, the final stop of the tour. And then the murders began.

At the claws of those poor kitties, one would presume.

Tommy Johnson stood at the crossroads at midnight, all his worldly belongings strapped to his back. And then the murders began.


The aliens served us twice. And then the murders began.


Got any more good examples, from your own writing or from famous sources? Please comment below!

(Psst– want to read the anthology these stories are quoted from? It’s free for subscribers to my low-volume reading list. Sign up here. Guaranted spam free; unsub anytime.