I’m on pace to make my release deadline for Don’t Touch Me (November 4). It will be free to read on Kindle, BN, Kobo, and others. I didn’t go for an illustrated cover on this one because it’s a Tina Kolesnik short story – like Boy 90 and Mine to Keep; I went with another stock photo from FreePik.


Even though I’m three chapters into 4 Kings, I’m taking the book to NaNoWriMo in November. It’s been years since I’ve taken part and I look forward to the nagging lure of posting daily word counts.

Last night in bed, I got hit with another short story idea.

Naturally, it was after watching Walking Dead – but I’d been thinking of writing something set in a zombie-infested world since reading Tomita Douji’s manga, Dead Boys, but also read another manga recently called Bad Boys, Happy Home wherein writer Shoowa inadvertently answers the question – can an exploited boy grow into a man and fall in love?

This plot sketch came in fragments, with more structure than my last idea, ‘Get Excited.’ There’s an expression in Polish that goes przytul mnie, which means, let me be the one. It sounds desperate, and that’s why I like it so much.

While ghouls roam the countryside, Kostek and Tomko find love after a troubled childhood spent in a perverted man’s survivalist compound.

Colonel – [shorn black head – blue eyes – age 57], a former soldier and pedophile, lives within an underground bunker surrounded by an entrance yard and a 12-foot concrete block wall. Obsessed with disaster prepping, he is prepared when the ghouls begin rising; two years afterward, he collects two orphaned boys and brings them to his secured Mazury basecamp.

Kostek – [blond – brown eyes – age 23] After his parents became ghouls, he lives at the refugee center in Reszel Castle. At age 9, he leaves there with the Colonel (whom he must call Sir) where he is raised as a soldier and taught to read, cook, clean, and skin animals. He is sexually abused regularly by the Colonel until age 16, and then intermittently until age twenty.

Tomko – [brown hair – blue eyes – age 21] After his mother tests positive for COVID, they’re discharged from Reszel Castle and forced to live outside. His mother dies on his 6th birthday, turns ghoul, and attacks. Tomko is saved when the Colonel arrives with Kostek in tow. At basecamp, he is trained as a soldier and taught woodworking, hunting, trapping, and archery. He is sexually abused by the Colonel until age fourteen.

My story begins with a couple of men in their early twenties bowhunting in the lakes region of Poland. After tracking some deer, they take out some ghouls before retiring at sunset to a large tree stand built by their ‘father,’ the Colonel. They don’t call him dad because this will get them clocked upside their head. They’ve addressed him as Sir since he found them before age 10; they know they’re not related—even though Sir says they’re brothers. Sir taught them survival skills, but he molested them throughout their childhood. Sometimes, Sir got too drunk and made them perform fellatio on each other for amusement. Sir hasn’t touched Tomko in years; he grew tall, muscular, and no longer attractive. Kostek, unfortunately, retains a boyish face and slight build, yet his large penis displeases Sir, so he’s often ordered to give the man oral sex. The unwanted attention occurs when Kostek smiles, so the young man rarely expresses happiness. Tomko and Kostek have sex that night and enjoy it. Kostek likes Tomko’s small penis; it doesn’t hurt his ass and feels good inside of him. Kostek is well-endowed, and Tomko likes sucking him off.

They wake in the morning and, working together, bring down a sixteen-point buck. They proudly return to ‘base,’ an underground bunker topped by a large yard surrounded by tall cinder-block walls. The buck impresses the Colonel, and he compliments Tomko on the kill—but when Kostek emits a toothy smile at Tomko, the older man knows they’ve been intimate. Without warning, Sir attacks Tomko and strikes Kostek. Sir handcuffs one of Tomko’s wrists to the ‘punishment bar’ and pulls out his whip. Kostek pleads with Sir, claiming he touched Tomko first, so it was his fault. Tearing free Kostek’s pants, he finds no sperm but prods around and feels that Kostek’s ‘hole is soft.’ He berates him for being a slut and strips him. Tomko screams that since Sir doesn’t touch Kostek anymore, why can’t he have a taste? Sir turns his attention to Tomko, who has broken his wrist, trying to free himself. The man strikes him repeatedly, then pulls out a knife. Sir intends to cut off Tomko’s ‘little dick’ to keep it from going where it’s not allowed. Kostek throws himself between them and lies to Sir, telling him that Tomko just used his fingers, not his cock. Sir punches Kostek enough to make him delirious; he then cuts two of Tomko’s right-hand digits—leaving the young man with a thumb, reading, and index finger. Sir drags Kostek to the canning shed and brutally rapes him without lubricant.

Later, after whipping Tomko, Sir stitches up his wounded hand. Sir blames himself for the young man forgetting his place; since he stopped fucking him, he’s allowed Tomko to build up his body and shave his head—to emulate him, which wasn’t wise since Tomko will never be Colonel. He then praises Tomko and reminds him that as his second in command and strong right arm, he must resist distractions like bitches in heat. A bruised and aching Kostek dresses the deer nearby, listening as Sir explains how sluts like Kostek try and elevate themselves by sewing discord in the ranks—there are roles in Sir’s army, and Kostek cooks and cleans. They’re brothers, and Tomko cannot fuck his brother; if Tomko wants to fuck, he can raft south and score himself some ‘civilian ass.’

Two months later finds Tomko kayaking to the nearest settlement to sell vegetables and fruit that Kostek has canned in jars. He returns with booze and other things the Colonel wants. Sir praises the Polaroid pictures Tomko takes of boys from the settlement but scolds his belligerence toward his brother; Tomko shows Kostek nothing but disdain and never speaks kindly to him. Crushed by Tomko’s sudden vitriol, Kostek retreats to his room daily and cries. While in the yard one morning, he and Tomko exchange words over something trivial, and Kostek flees to the canning shack; moments later, Tomko appears and gently grabs his neck and kisses him. He whispers heartfelt apologies and tells Kostek that he loves him so much—he then quickly retreats when Sir appears in the yard.

Sir declares that he and Tonko will kayak to the settlement to acquire a ‘new recruit.’ He orders Kostek to prepare a room and Tomko to load up supplies for trading. Avoiding ghouls, he and Tomko arrive in town and trade their goods. Sir is disappointed when the boy he wants isn’t accessible, so he decides they’ll overnight at the shoreline and acquire their mark next month. Paddling back to their island, they find ghouls under the water. They check their ‘ghoul traps’ on the opposite shore and discover one of the stake-laden pits full, allowing ghouls to pass over the stacked mass and amble right into their waters. Sir douses the pit with lighter fluid before setting it ablaze. They retreat as more ghouls approach, lured by the scent of burning flesh and firelight.

At the compound, Kostek greets them in the yard. He expresses his disgust for the Colonel, calling him a vile and filthy pervert whose old body makes him sick. Kostek then flees, and Tomko secures the wall door before giving chase after both of them. He catches up at the canning shack, where he finds Kostek standing on the opposite side of a trench in the floor. Sir in the hole and impaled on a stake. Tomko moves to free him, but Kostek begs him to stop. The pair regard one another a few moments before Tomko pulls out an arrow and draws his bow. Sir pleads for his life, reminding Tomko that without him, they would be dead. Tomko lets loose the bolt, killing the Colonel.

I’ll flesh out an ending when I draft this story in the Spring.

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