GS Wiley’s Sweet Tooth
Middle-aged Marshall Vincent is less than thrilled when his wife tells him she wants to take a bus tour of Europe. Once on the tour, Marshall, a great candy lover, is thrilled to find what is quite possibly the best chocolate shop in the world in a quaint Swiss village.
When Marshall takes a peek into the shop’s back room, he goes from innocent tourist to accidental voyeur. What he sees reminds him of an uncomfortable incident from his past, something he’s spent the last three decades trying to forget.
I’m a fan of GS Wiley and there is an inherent engaging quality to her writing. This story is no different as the character of Marshall comes to life with all the minute, almost boring, details of his life in an interesting and amusing manner. The picture slowly unfolds of an older man, married to a dominating personality but loves his wife, with several kids and now vacationing in Europe. The details are not spared as Marshall’s preference of golfing comes to the fore as does his love of sweets.
It’s the love of sweets that gets Marshall into a bit of trouble as he spies a romantic rendezvous in the back of the chocolate shop in a small village. This scene entices and excites Marshall, making him remember his past and brief flirtation with another man. Perhaps it sets Marshall on a new path for life or perhaps not. It’s difficult to tell and the ending is deliberate left ambiguous.
The story itself is fairly short, under 15 pages, and focuses more on the detail of the setting and the characters themselves over the very brief, barely explicit sexual encounter. This makes the story interesting and engaging as the story was almost over before I started to wonder about the gay romance aspect. Fans of Wiley’s like myself will enjoy the great attention to detail and unique voice always afforded one of her short stories.
Those looking for a hot erotica short may want to look elsewhere but the characters and relatable quality to the work should appeal to most. Perhaps a sequel will show Marshall on his long awaited trip to Georgia and the possibilities held there. I’d be interested to see exactly what Wiley was attempting to accomplish with the story. The humor and relatable characters are interesting but the actual sexuality of the character of Marshall is disputable. Is he gay? Bi-curious? Straight? None of the above? I have my opinions but check out this short story to make your own.
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