For the most part, Doug’s sweet-tooth is something he keeps private.
His friends and colleagues know him as the gym buff, the off-road cyclist, the tough-mudder. He only pretends to be shy when he meets girls in the pub and they swat his chest, rear back in surprise and tell him, as if he needs to know, that it’s rock solid.
Halloween approaches and Doug feels his molars twitching in agony and anticipation.
He knows which café chains do the best Pumpkin Spice latte (Starbucks), which make the best toffee-nut brownies (Costa) and which supermarkets do a BOGOF on super-sized bags of candy.
‘It’s for the trick or treaters’, he says to his flatmates when they spot him coming back from the shops with tubs of Haribo and boxes of Mr Kipling Fiendish Fancies wedged under his arms.
‘Oh yeah,’ they laugh. ‘Better watch it or you’ll get a reputation.’
As it grows closer to Halloween, his stash builds.
Alone in his room, sitting at his makeshift desk watching horror movies on Netflix, he balances a tub on his knees.
If he plucks out the gummy fangs, he can’t resist shoving them between his upper lip and his teeth. He grins as the sugar dissolves and his tongue goes numb from the sherbert. His trick, his treat.