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Adventures in Perilocentrism

Perilocentrism: the belief that unavoidable danger follows a person

By Suze KayPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 1 min read
Adventures in Perilocentrism
Photo by jirayu koontholjinda on Unsplash

It's not that Kelly's clumsy or disorganized; it's just that bad things keep happening to her. She discovers she's allergic to shellfish at her brother's wedding. She takes a piece of cake, not realizing it's a corner piece being saved for the birthday girl. She gets hit by a bus with broken brakes.

But Kelly trundles on, hoping the karmic scales will right themselves. When she tells her dad she's touring Europe, she can practically hear him grit his teeth.

The baggage handlers in London are on strike, so she has to buy everything new before continuing to France. In Paris, her passport is stolen and the US Embassy is closed due to riots. So is the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, even the pâtisserie she follows on Instagram. The rest of her tour group leaves for Italy ahead of schedule. Kelly stays behind.

The night before the Embassy reopens, she treats herself to escargot in the hotel restaurant. They're chewy and garlicky, with a sliminess that's not at all unpleasant. She licks the buttery hollows of the ceramic plate upon which they were served. By the time she requests the check, her throat is itchy and her face is swollen to twice its usual size.

The hospital doctor scolds her in burred English. "Pure arrogance, to know you can eat no shellfish and still order snail."

"It's not my fault," she protests. "It's just that I'm perilocentric."

"This word does not exist," he seethes, while writing her the wrong prescription.


About the Creator

Suze Kay

Pastry chef by day, insomniac writer by night.

Catch me here for spooky stories, crushable poems, and overall weird thoughts.

Or, let me catch you on my website!

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Comments (9)

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  • Paul Stewartabout a month ago

    hahaha. Love this one. Poor Kelly. What I find fascinating much is this based on you? You have this inate ability to really inhabit your characters, even in small pieces like this. This definitely should be a word. I mean, have you seen the kind of half-assed words that get excepted into the general lexicon these days? Great job, Suze!

  • Mariann Carrollabout a month ago

    Nice , great word invention

  • Mother Combsabout a month ago

    love this, Suze

  • Novel Allenabout a month ago

    This was fun and unique and quirky and sounds like a real word. Nicely done.

  • Andrew C McDonaldabout a month ago

    Ah the dangers of ill fortune. Nicely done. Best of luck.

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Hahahahahahahaha this was so hilarious! Perilocentrism reminds me of Murphy's Law! I also wrote a story about unexplainable bad luck happening to a guy. You're brilliant to come up with this word for that challenge!

  • A. Lenaeabout a month ago

    Delightfully well done! I'm so thankful I saw this story before I read the latest challenge info because I was able to just tra-la-la through this captivating, quirky piece while believing perilocentrism is one sneaky affliction. Your quiet humor and buttery smooth language just made this so enjoyable.

  • Poppyabout a month ago

    Hahah omg this is great. Love the humour and the ending. I’m going to start using this word!!

  • Alivia Varvelabout a month ago

    I initially thought that last line of dialogue said “This world does not exist” and was like, okay now that’s quite a twist! 😆 oops

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