Because We All Need a Good Laugh, by Elaine Owen

Because We All Need a Good Laugh, by Elaine Owen

Twenty twenty has turned out to be quite a year, hasn’t it? With everything going on in the world today, what we all need is a good laugh. So that’s what I decided to post today: a good laugh.

Several years ago there was a meme of sorts running around online. Perhaps you remember it. It said to take the first line of your favorite novel and then change the second line to, “And then the murders started.” Hilarity ensued. Being a serious Jane Austen fan, I had to try this with our favorite writer’s best known novel, and thus this short satirical story was born. Enjoy!

(With all due apologies to Jane Austen. May her ghost forgive me!!!)

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 started.

The very first person to be offed was the lovely Miss King, who had recently been found to have not only a charming disposition and a beautiful figure, but also a boatload of inherited money. The whole neighborhood was abuzz when when they heard of her untimely exit from not just the neighborhood of Meryton, but also of this entirely earthly dimension.

“The manner of Miss King’s death suggests a female murderess,” Mr. Bennet said with calm disinterest as he sat with his family at the breakfast table on the day after the horrible event.

“Oh, do not be so silly!” Mrs. Bennet exclaimed. “Just because Miss King was found dead at the bottom of the staircase with a pair of sewing scissors protruding from her chest does not mean that a lady did the deed! Anyone could have chosen that instrument. And besides, a lady would have made sure that the blood from the wound did not drip onto the carpet in such a disgusting way. No, I believe a man is to blame.”

“Nasty, freckled little thing,” Lydia laughed. “What do we care how she died, or who killed her? That just leaves more for the rest of us!”

“I am sure whoever killed Miss King did not mean to do it,” Jane said sweetly, in her usual slightly dense way. “More than likely it was an accident. In fact, now that I think of it, Miss King was probably running with scissors through her parent’s home in the middle of the night and tripped over the top step before landing on the floor below with a broken neck and multiple bruises on her neck and body. And scissors standing straight up in her chest, of course,” she added, frowning slightly. Then she thought of Mr. Bingley, with whom she had just fallen in love last week, and smiled.

“An eligible young man is always considered the rightful property of at least one of the families in the neighborhood,” said Lizzy, “and Mr. Bingley just moved here. It stands to reason, therefore, that one of those families must have had their hand in Miss King’s untimely demise.They would stand to gain the most in removing the competition.”

“But Lizzy!” exclaimed Kitty. “That would mean that Jane-” she broke off in horror, staring at her oldest sister as the thought occurred to her. Jane was still staring vacantly into space.

“Nonsense!” Elizabeth replied stoutly, though she did look at Jane suspiciously for a moment. But only a moment. “Jane is too good to see other ladies as rivals, let alone off them.”

“There’s my clever daughter,” Mr. Bennet said cheerfully. “Just the sort of logic we needed for such a question. No wonder you are my favorite. Hand me another scone, Kitty.”

“But if not Jane, then who?” Lydia wondered, her eyes wide.

“There is another rich, single young gentleman who recently arrived in the neighborhood,” Mary reminded them, speaking solemnly, “Perhaps the murderess hopes to make a match with him, and not with Mr. Bingley.”

“I wish the murderess had offed Mr. Darcy rather than Miss King,” was her father’s sanguine reply, “considering how he insulted my little Lizzy at the ball.”

“I quite agree,” said Elizabeth.

“Oh, hang Miss King!” exclaimed Mrs. Bennet. “And hang Mr. Darcy, too, for all I care, for if he does not wish to fall in love with one of my girls he is of no use to me! But Jane, you are not to set foot out of doors on your own from now until the murderer is found and locked away! It would not do for you to be killed just when you are about to marry a rich man! Promise me that you will go nowhere outdoors by yourself until I give you leave. Unless it is with Mr. Bingley, of course.”

“But mama, if I make a point of being outdoors alone with only Mr. Bingley, won’t my reputation be so ruined that he will have to marry me?”

“Jane, my dear, you are not my cleverest child but you are my most beautiful!” And Mrs. Bennet started her day with a happy smile.

You can find the rest of this absurd little story here. I hope you enjoy it! Please let me know what you think.

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17 Responses to Because We All Need a Good Laugh, by Elaine Owen

  1. If that sentence doesn’t grab someone and make them want to continue reading… I don’t know what will. LOL! I have to check this out. See what you’ve started!

    • You should try that same sentence in some other books. Charlotte’s Web, for example, becomes really dark really fast. Hope you enjoy this absurd little story!

  2. Oh, that was delightful! I can imagine several of the characters could have imagined taking such drastic actions at some point in time. Thank you for the laughter – as you said, it is needed. šŸ˜‰

  3. So cute!! I love the “And then the murders started.” threads. Really get the mind racing. Well done, Elaine! And oh yes indeed, how I needed to laugh!! Thanks so much for this.

  4. This was an interesting and amusing little story, thank you for sharing it here with us today.

    I hope you are doing well and staying safe in these strange times.

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