I’ve been seeing a post floating around on Tumblr a lot recently. “Take the first line of a novel, and add And then the murders began.”
It leads to some really funny outcomes, as one might expect. Take the first line of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway:
Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. And then the murders began.
Or Jane Eyre:
There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. And then the murders began.
Or one of my most beloved classics, I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith:
I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. And then the murders began.
So your writing assignment, this time around, is to grab a few books off your shelf (or look up a list of famous first lines, if you want some classics,) choose a first line, add the bit about the murders, and use it as a prompt for a flash fiction piece. If you end up using a line from a story you know well, you can adapt it to incorporate the murders; or you can just use the two lines as the start of an entirely new story.
I haven’t had the time yet to write my own–still slogging through WWNTR formatting–but expect my version sometime in June. Have fun and keep writing!