The Deadly Sugar stories were first published as part of Buried Desires 1 and 2 together with Amy Spector’s Cold Finger stories, but the Buried Desires anthologies are no longer available.
After six years of a relationship going nowhere, Jett Thompson has moved away to start over. Maybe his new neighbour David can help distract him from the ache left by his ex’s absence. To get closer to David, Jett invites himself for a cup of tea, but things don’t go as planned. David is standoffish and secretive, and when Jett asks about the strange noises coming from the back of his garden, he gets no answers.
David’s life is good. He has a whole root cellar full of lovers, and he doesn’t need a nosy neighbour meddling in his business. He doesn’t need a friend, but maybe he can make room for another lover. Jett might make beautiful cakes, but David knows nothing tastes as good as thin feels.
Gay Horror: 20,281 words
Jett felt more alive than he had in a long time. His kitchen smelled of chocolate and vanilla, and the sticky cake looked perfect. Not even the white blob of whipped cream that fell to the floor when he lifted the whisk out of the bowl too quickly could dampen his mood.
He put on his shoes, not wanting to wait another minute before he handed over this magnificent chocolaty creation to his neighbour. It would make any man melt, and he felt giddy at the thought of trying it on the thin, brown-haired man next door.
Cake in one hand, the bowl of whipped cream in the other, he was ready to go. Slowly, he made his way around the cardboard boxes to the front door. As he tried to open it with his elbow, the tune of Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ cut through the air. Jett froze. He was dying to hear Josh’s voice, had been longing for it all day, for several days, but he needed to put some distance between them. The ache in his chest was overwhelming; he didn’t think he’d ever been this lonely in his entire life. He put the cake down on top of one of the moving boxes and took his phone from the pocket of his jeans. The butterflies in his stomach wouldn’t stop fluttering around, even though he tried to tell them it was over. Unless Josh changed his mind, they would never go back to being an item.
The display was lit, Josh’s name written in stark white over the black screen. Jett let his thumb hover over the green icon, the butterflies urging him on, but he managed to put the phone down without answering. He reached for the cake and hurried out the door. That didn’t stop him from hearing the phone start to ring again as soon as it had quieted. What’s making Josh so eager now?
The knot that had replaced the butterflies in his stomach made it hard to smile as he neared the neighbouring house. So typical of Josh. Jett had managed to forget about him for a few hours, had been excited about baking for the neighbour, and now all he wanted was to run back and fetch his phone so he could talk to his partner. His former partner, he reminded himself.
He tried to shut down his brain as he gazed up at the house. In the dark it almost looked like his, the white façade spooky in the moonlight, but still hauntingly beautiful. He shivered. He was being silly; this was the kind of house he’d always wanted. The fact that it was dark outside didn’t change that. It would’ve been better if Josh had wanted it too, but he hadn’t, and now here Jett was—in front of another man’s house.
With a deep breath, he raised his hand to knock on the door, but then he hesitated. Not a single lamp was lit. Maybe he wasn’t home. Jett listened. The wind rustled in the trees, and he thought he heard a soft clinking noise from the garden. Maybe he’s out working on something. Jett had seen some kind of garage on the side of the house, maybe it was a workshop of some kind.
He started to walk around the house. An owl hooted in the dark, making Jett flinch. He hesitated. He’d never been afraid of the dark, not really, but it was very dark. Raising his head and squaring his shoulders, he started walking, the gravel crunching beneath his feet. It’s just a few metres in the dark.
“Where are you going?”
Startled by the harsh voice, Jett whirled around and almost dropped the bowl of whipped cream. “Oh, erm…I thought you were in the garage. Thought I heard a sound.”
“As you can see, I’m not.” The neighbour stood inside looking at him, the door opened just a crack.
Jett tried to read his facial expression, but all he could see was the eyes glinting in the dark. “I brought cake this time.” He raised the plate and smiled.
The silence went on for a little too long before the man opened the door some more. “How lovely, why don’t you come in?”
“Are you sure?” Jett suddenly didn’t feel certain about going inside, cold washed over him as he waited for the man to answer.
“Of course, do come in. My name is David, by the way.”
Jett walked inside, carrying the cake as a shield. “Nice to meet you David. I hope you like chocolate.”
After being betrayed by his husband in the most unimaginable way, Josh Thompson has only three things on his mind; grab his son, find help, and get out. When Josh can’t get to his son, the plan to save them both becomes a little more complicated.
Injured and afraid, Josh doesn’t know where to turn. When he finally gets hold of the police, the bodies he could’ve sworn he saw are gone, and no one believes him. Did he see them? His husband, Jett, tells him he’s been in an accident and is imagining things, but Josh doesn’t trust him. He has to get out of there before it’s too late, but how to get his son away from Jett when he guards their every step?
Gay Horror: 19,639 words
JMS Books ::
The humming came first as if the wires were vibrating in the arched ceiling. Josh pressed his lips together, his gaze fixed on the wall in front of him. One after another, the light bulbs came on. The light that had flickered before settled on being on.
He allowed himself to stand there for a few seconds, not moving, hardly even breathing. His hand pulsated, the throb becoming more intense with each passing moment. He couldn’t stand and stare at the brick wall forever, and yet he couldn’t force himself to turn around.
His chest contracted as he fastened his gaze on the ground. The wasps were there, maybe not as many as his brain wanted him to think, but they littered the open area. Not looking at the bunks, he turned his attention to the far side of the room. There was a scale, the kind found in hospitals. The red locker Jett had been all too familiar with. A small filing cabinet in the corner.
Josh’s stomach clenched. He didn’t want to know what was in there. All he could think of was that picture of the young man he’d found—he did not want to see more of those.
Screwed to the wall was a clothes hook with several hangers. On every hook was a set of clothes and beneath each a pair of shoes in a perfect line. Everything tidily placed and organised. He frowned as he looked at them. His Jett didn’t do neat.
In the house, Jett’s things were in disarray—everything apart from his baking things. The straight line of shoes sent a shiver down Josh’s spine. Had he misjudged Jett so gravely?
The clothes were in different sizes and colours, but they all seemed to have belonged to men. A pair of purple trousers shone brightly among the blue jeans and dull-coloured shirts. Which of the decomposed bodies had walked around, alive and happy, in brightly coloured clothes before he’d met Jett?
Josh wasn’t sure he wanted to know. He could try to make things right once he’d got out, when Sam was safe, but it would never bring them back. Nothing would ever be right again, but these men’s families deserved to know where their loved ones had gone.
Tearing his eyes from the clothes, but continuing to ignore the bunks, he went back to the heavy iron door. He couldn’t get out through it, though it didn’t stop him from trying the handle. It was stupid, but a small, small part of him hoped Jett would let him out. He didn’t want to think Jett capable of locking anyone up, much less welding in another human being underground.
The door remained unmoving. A strangled cry ripped through his throat as he slumped against the chilly iron. What was he to do?
Wave after wave of unidentified emotions washed over him. He had to get out. He kicked at the door, not caring if Jett was outside and knew he’d freed himself of the cuffs. He kicked again, stumbled towards the wall, and almost fell when his foot caught on the crowbar he’d dropped on the ground when he’d walked in. Had it only been earlier in the day?
Silence overtook the room again. Did Jett know he had left the crowbar? Was it a test? Was he outside waiting for Josh to try to escape?
Somehow Josh didn’t think so. It might be naïve of him, but Jett hadn’t been thinking rationally, and it had been a ‘goodbye’ before he left—not a ‘see you later’.
Josh bent down to pick it up, the metal heavy in his hand. The walls were in good condition, the brick-like stones uneven but not cracked anywhere, and the plaster held up well, too.
Holding his breath, Josh lifted the crowbar and swung it against the wall with all his might. A jarring pain radiated from his injured thumb and up his arm. Refusing to give in to the shout ricocheting inside of him, he clamped his jaws shut. The hiss couldn’t be helped, though.
A small dent on the wall, that was what he’d accomplished. Nothing more. Bracing himself, he raised the crowbar and repeated the action, over and over again. Cracks appeared, plaster and stone shards bounced on the ground. The pain left him nauseated, but he kept going. A few more hits and he would be able to prise away some of the stones.