eye“I feel compelled to report that at the moment of death, my entire life did not pass before my eyes in a flash.”

This week’s opening line, gleaned while meandering through my local library, certainly filled my mind with lots of questions about this character. First off, this character is honest to the core because they can’t just go along with the cliché memory reel. Based on the words they choose, the character is likely highly educated, some type of professional, from a snooty family upbringing, or this story is a historical where people talked “more proper” than today. Don’t snarl at me, but I could be hearing a British accent.

Second, but equally interesting, I guessed that either this character is a ghost reporting after the fact or the perceived moment of death was interrupted. (Yikes! Now I’m starting to write like this character might talk.)

So what happens next? Keeping with my British impressions, I could picture a proper matron perched on the edge of her chair sipping a cup of tea while sharing the latest gossip with a circle of interested ladies … or a rumpled professor making a formal statement to the police down at the station or from his hospital bed. Was she a melodramatic hypochondriac who just thought she was about to die and is milking sympathy from others … and the rest of the story would be about her shenanigans and getting caught crying wolf? Or is he a victim of a robbery who barely escaped death and now the criminals will try to silence him before he can identify them … and is later telling his story to someone he hired to help write his story?

It could go either way. (By this way, this line is from “I” is for Innocent by Sue Grafton, a murder mystery published in 1992.)

What about you? What ideas did you have about this character? What do you think happened next?

Story Starters – 7
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