I write short fiction under my maiden name, Tina Kolesnik.
“Chłopiec 90” by Tina Kolesnik.
Fetish Mimik, Polish translation by Kori Czupak
Publication Date: January 15, 2012
Boy 90 by Tina Kolesnik
Rights Reverted to Author
(Tina Anderson/Gynocrat Ink)
Digital Publication Date: 2018
Cover Credits: breadandbutterfly / photocase.com
Pristine snow-white tundra stretched before him, its ennui fractured by sky-high concrete. His world wasn’t safe. Gangs of opportunistic women moved freely between the unprotected villages; even the villagers, despite their sorority, gave in to the occasional lure of violence. Very few men existed in this world, if at all.
River had known six, all dead.
Yanxi-Four was the eighth corporate-owned mining settlement he’d sought out, and he still hadn’t found her. The last town on the train route, the woman he sought, had to be here, if only it weren’t such a long way down.
The ridge would be too steep for his slender legs, and dreading the biting snow, he tightened the cording on each boot and pulled tight the belt keeping his short coat secured.
Steady at first, River lost his footing and tumbled down the remaining three hundred feet until he flattened out below. He lay there a few moments, adjusting to the cold. Once upright, he made sure nothing was broken or sprained before setting off for the walled settlement.
The gusty wind stung his cheeks, harbingers of a coming storm.
Intense whiteouts with deadly temperatures crawled over this land, lasting days at a time. He needed shelter from those winds, many strong enough to sweep him off his feet. Jogging through the snow, he made for the mining-camp perimeter.
Trash bins the size of plowing tanks lined the walls, but they carried no shanty-style tents or communal bonfires between them. Vagabond wanderers often camped around such structures to escape the elements. Perhaps the storm was closer than he thought, as the wanderers always cleared out beforehand.
River darted past one of the large-wheeled dumpsters, and along the wall, found the first of many corpses. He felt no pity; nomadic women like these had plagued River all his life, and a dead one meant another moment of safety. Wanderers were the lowest level of life. They earned no room assignments or ration cards, and they wore whatever they could salvage from Service landfills.
He witnessed the village women chipping out dead wanderers from the ice and butchering them for food when a boy. He wasn’t allowed to eat wanderers; his mothers had told him human meat was bad for his skin and digestive system.
Along the wall, exposure had made most of the coats and hats too stiff, their hoodless jackets not worth the trouble. River searched limbs sticking out of the snow for better boots and became excited to find a pair of brown ones pointing up out of the snow. They came attached to a lifeless body covered by a Service blanket.
He never learned to read, but he knew corporate symbols; this belonged to the medical crews. Medics, clad head-to-toe in bright blue, roamed the coast looking for the dead or dying. His mothers had warned him never to be seen by Medics. He cautiously tugged the edge of the blanket, leery of what waited beneath; frozen solid, the woman’s corpse had been picked clean of its vital organs, including her eyes.
“Mine to Keep” by Tina Kolesnik.
FHM Russia, Translation by Stacy Mendle
Publication Date: N/A
Mine to Keep by Tina Kolesnik
Rights Reverted to Author
(Tina Anderson/Gynocrat Ink)
Digital Publication Date: 2018
Cover Credits: Svea Anais Perrine/photocase.com
1 – Elaine Burak
Danika Wolcow’s massive head dominated the rectangular billboard. A flawless white face with confident blue eyes and brilliant white teeth, the short and stylish blond hair was as it had been in high school. She wanted your business if your business was going under the knife in the name of vanity.
Four years ago, Lainie was on the receiving end of a Wolcow-contract. A word-heavy treaty, such arrangements outlined an operative schedule with a negotiated payment plan and strict rules on what Lainie must provide as a plastic surgeon.
Lainie adjusted her glasses, never the sort for details. She left contractual trivialities to her office manager, Doris. The reliable matron routinely read through anything longer than a page and then provided her with copies containing arrow-shaped stickers marking where Lainie needed to sign.
The late afternoon herds crowded the sidewalks of Second Avenue. Rifling through the crowd, Lainie moved with purpose toward her favorite food cart; today’s self-care involved not just a soft pretzel but also a frozen coke. Splurging wasn’t typically on the menu, but Fridays remained special. Her pop had called them Funky-food Fridays. He’d rush home from work and whisk her and her mother to the boardwalk for something salty and cold.
She headed toward the subway station with the desired pretzel in hand to catch the four-thirty Q train back to Brighton Beach. On her way, she mentally reviewed her plan to guilt her friend Maggie into taking tango lessons at the Jewish Singles Center. Her teeth were well into a warm salty piece of dough when the sky-blue door of Downtown Mini-Storage swung out and nearly collided with her face.
Lainie got clear in time and forced her foot between the man’s leg and the door, holding it open until he passed through. He struggled to carry flattened boxes too obtuse to handle reasonably, and when he turned to thank her, she found a familiar face.
“Doctor Burak,” light eyes widened before delivering a smile that would’ve seemed forced to those who didn’t know him.
“How are you, Johnny?”
Jonathan Cole had been born Janette Colson. A child of Boston society, he’d walked into Lainie’s office twelve years ago diagnosed with gender dysphoria.
“Oh my God, it’s been years,” he said, dropping everything to hug her tight. “I’ve been good since we last talked.” His pale eyes fell to her hands. “I heard you left Manhattan Aesthetic.”
“I haven’t worked there for over a year now,” said Lainie, pushing her glasses closer to her eyes. “I got a job with a friend, handling medical and insurance contracts.”
“That’s great to hear. I worried when Miss Doris told me you weren’t operating anymore,” his deep voice soothed her. “Can I ask what happened?”
“I was on vacation, and there was a pressure mishap in my diving helmet.” Lainie tapped her head with a bitten-off pretzel piece and smiled. “It messed with the stability of my hands.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, his smile fading.
“Oh, guess what?” Lainie chirped. “I got your Hanukkah cards and candy. You don’t have to do that every year Johnny, thank you.”
“You’re more than just my Doc,” he said. “I wouldn’t be who I am without you.”
Beneath his perfect complexion sat flesh and bone recrafted in the operating room by Lainie. His face, body, teeth, and hair, the very manhood between his legs, she’d done it all, and redesigning Johnny proved there was nothing Lainie couldn’t do with a knife.
“Your brain just needed the right body,” she said. “Fifty percent of the credit goes to you.”
“I never told you this,” he said, hugging himself. “I appreciated everything you did for me, even after the attack,”
I’m Sorry by Tina Kolesnik
(Tina Anderson/Gynocrat Ink)
Women ravaged by war hold no allegiances to men.
Filmed some seventy years ago, the colorless scene playing upon the wall felt like a sadist’s idea of posterity. The kerchief-capped group fell to their knees at gunpoint, but none begged for mercy. Dogs strained against their ropes, their vicious chorus fading when the women laced their fingers behind their heads. The Schutzstaffel’s angriest lacked a gentle hand, and when his words failed to produce the answers he sought, the heel of his boot accentuated his point.
One woman stood, unafraid.
Fear had abandoned her long before this moment, replaced by anger born from witnessing the murder of someone once carried within her for nine months. Newly gaunt from hiding in the woods, the camera closed in on her face, yet no amount of filth could mask her undaunted mettle.
Pistol secured to his waist, the Obergruppenführer paced between her and his heeled mutt, the skull-shaped medallion on his cap casting a silvery dot upon her brow.
“Your men helped themselves to my treasure,” his academic Polish was curt. “Tell me where they are, these thieves.”
Suddenly, a young Schutzstaffel stepped into the frame, whispering words that brought a smile to her inquisitor’s chiseled face.
“They’ve abandoned you,” he addressed them all now. “You owe them nothing,”
The standing woman looked him in the eyes.
“We took back what was ours,” she said.
“You and these crones?” His mirth led the armed men to laughter.
“Herr Rohde made us keep the dust off his stolen riches,” she declared. “Each day, we left with our cunts full of his precious trinkets. Not even your degenerates dare search a crone there.”
The Obergruppenführer’s eyes grew wide with rage.
“Tell me where your men are hiding,” he shouted, a hand full of her kerchief-covered hair.
Yanked off her feet, the woman’s hands grabbed at his wrists.
“You’ll all pay for what you’ve done,” she winced.
Disgusted, he tossed her aside and convened briefly with another of his Schutzstaffel. After a moment, he stepped to her again, and kneeling, put his face near hers.
“That sculpture my men found, where does it come from?”
A tear fell down her cheek.
“You will answer me,” he stood up, pulled his pistol, and took aim.
Her bottom lip trembled. “My daughter, Rozka-”
The Obergruppenführer pulled the trigger, “What was your daughter’s, is now mine.” Its pop brought a collective gasp from the other women, and as their leader’s head kicked back and her body fell forward, they sprang to life and rushed the armed men. Gunfire exploded, mowing down everyone.
Amidst the carnage, the camera jarred violently, pulling back to reveal the mountain.
“There it is!” Bolonski’s cry came on a cloud of stale beer. “That’s Książ!”
Like a gangly marionette, he bobbed to the projected scene on the wall and fixed a boney finger on a peak to the far right. He rambled about the hill’s history while the film continued, his skinny back plastered with German soldiers entering a cave.
“He’s right.” I shifted in my seat. “There’s the tip of the castle.”
“Old bag was telling the truth,” said Anasov, thick arms folded over his chest.
The old bag in question was the film’s original custodian, his grandmother, whose death last month provoked his return. His brutal physique came courtesy of the American prison he’d called home these past five years.
I wanted to share in Bolonski’s excitement, but I refused to get my hopes up about anything in this part of the world. “There’s nothing in the Owl’s,”
“Klatch is right,” Turkol agreed from behind the projector. Overweight since birth, Turk could thread a needle with a bullet, and that’s why we kept him around. “Better treasure hunters have raided that part of Riese’s asshole and came up with nothing.”
“The Polish government sponsors excavations in the Owls all the time.” I moved to avoid Anasov’s glare. “They’ve searched those tunnels with fancy sonar and plenty of eager-”
“—but not here,” Anasov barked.
Bolonski quickly moved between us—his habit from our youthful days in lockup.