Post great last lines of stories you love.

Dammit, missed the edit window.

Was about to add that The Lottery was written by Shirley Jackson, in case anyone was wondering.

“The old man was dreaming about the lions.”

Ernest Hemingway, “The Old Man and the Sea”

The Lottery is among my favorite short stories as well! And speaking of short stories, here’s the last line of a very short one by Virginia Woolf:

A Haunted House. Gets me every time. I think that, if you take pure enjoyment and emotional impact and divide by the number of words used, it may just be my favorite.

“As he looked, the sky mysteriously darkened and chilled. From far off came the mutter of the unsatisfied thunder, and he knew it was the signal of the snow rolling over the sea. He turned, and felt its breath on him.”

-D.H. Lawrence, “The Man Who Loved Islands”.

Also glad to see Joyce’s “The Dead” was posted. One of my favorites.

“Never mind the 'John”,’ I whispered, raising the knife. ‘Just call me… Jack.’"

  • Robert Bloch, “Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper”

As a fourteen year old reading a short story anthology in my high school library, I can tell you that last line freaked me right the fuck out.

Here’s one from high school, which I have to quote from memory because I no longer own a copy and I can’t find this online (it must have made an impact to have lasted in my head for over 40 years):

…she said with truly mixed feelings,

“Good grief! It’s Daddy!”
Terry Southern, “Candy”

I’d post the last sentence of James Joyce’s Ulysses, but I fear that this thread (if not this whole site) would implode.

“In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases.”

“One bird said to Billy Pilgrim, ‘Poo-tee-weet?’” - Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

From the end of Jean Paul Satre’s Huis Clos. This is the play where Satre’s dictum that “Hell is other people” is expressed. The characters are in the closed room of the title, and eventually it dawns on them (and the audience) that they are in Hell to provide eternal torment for each other.

[spoiler]The last line is: Eh, bien. Continuons.

Often translated as: “Oh, well - let’s get on with it.” [/spoiler]

Depending on the translation:

“After a night of uneasy dreams, Gregor Samsa awoke in his bed one morning to find that he had changed into a giant cockroach.”

The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka

ETA: Dammit, I misread the OP. For some reason I read “great first lines.” Sorry.

Obligatory Onion link (related to The Lottery):


That was the funeral of Hector.

  • Homer, The Iliad

“Romance at short notice was her specialty.” From “The Open Window,” by Saki! LOVE IT!

But on the transverse avenue Forty we have succeeded in establishing a temporary Wall of high-voltage waves. And I hope we win. More than that; I am certain we shall win. For Reason must prevail.

(We, Yevgeny Zamyatin)

My favorite from amongst many by Hemingway is the end of his short story My Old Man:

Two guys talk about how they don’t care about Butler’s death “he had it coming to him” and then the kid narrates:
*And George Gardner looked at me to see if I’d heard and I had all right and he said, “Don’t you listen to what those bums said, Joe. Your old man was one swell guy.”

But I don’t know. Seems like when they get started they don’t leave a guy nothing.*

“Poor fish” I said

“Yes” said keeper Pan “But in Scotland the line cuts the water like a wire cutting cheese” - The Black Rabbit - T H White.
He lies back, in pain. He knows he’s not going to make it - The Chalk Giants - Keith Roberts.

I am haunted by waters.
–A River Runs Through It

It was a good day, he told himself, and a good place to be alive, if alive he had to be. But he was still Nathan Brazil, forty billion years out, bound for nowhere with a cargo hold empty of anything at all, even clothes on his back.
Still waiting.
Still caring.
But no longer alone.

-Jack L Chalker, Twilight at the Well of Souls

(And, interestingly, the first google hit where I found the whole quote is another SDMB thread…)

Saki is awesome in general.