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Literature / Alice and the Allergy

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Published in 1946, this is one of Fritz Leiber's lesser-known short stories, about a man whose wife is psychologically haunted by the memory of her near-murder at the hands of a rapist / serial killer. And then things get worse...

Tropes to which the reader may prove allergic include:

  • The Bad Guy Wins: Or, at least, succeeds in murdering Alice.
  • Choke Holds: As is common for fictional mid-20th century serial killers, this one commonly does so by strangulation.
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  • Deceptively Silly Title: "Alice and the Allergy" sounds like it's going to be a sweet romantic comedy. Actually, it's about the rape and attempted murder, followed by the post-traumatic terror, and ultimately the successful murder, of a sympathetic, innocent and lovable young wife.
  • Kill the Cutie: The fate of Alice, who is the most innocent and vulnerable person in the story.
  • Rape as Drama: Alice has been almost psychologically broken by the previous attack by the strangler.

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