“Cries Beneath the Plaster” from Trysts: A Triskaidecollection of Queer and Weird Stories by Steve Berman, (Lethe Press, 2001).
Joseph lures hustlers to his studio, pays them for sex and does let them leave again, but also tricks them into spilling a bit of their blood – which he later uses to complete his latest macabre work. He earns a living creating deeply twisted statues, and they’ve made him somewhat famous, too. He’s regularly feted by the gallery owners who buy – and sell – his work. It all goes according to plan until he wakes up and finds one of his statues possessed – animated by the lost soul of the now-deceased boy whose blood was used in its making….
A riveting, disturbing story about the intersection of creation and commerce, the terror of letting your work out into the world, and how powerless it feels to watch as it takes on a life of its own.