This is one of my #FridayFlash fiction stories. Each Friday, members of the #FridayFlash group on Twitter write fictional stories of 1,000 words or less and share them. Join in the fun!

This flash fiction is part of a series called Twisted Family Bonds (follow the link to read from the beginning).  It is a mixture of light and dark humor written in the soap opera episodic style about the happenings in the Kaszinov family, who live on a family compound in the Hungarian countryside near Budapest. Russian mafia members have family lives, too, they just behave a little differently, or do they?

Previously, in Twisted Family Bonds… Tasha removed all the children from her family’s house because of their involvement in murders. Tasha has returned two years later after they were all exonerated of their crimes to see if they changed their evil ways. She brought Inna, a Hungarian Child Welfare worker to the mafia family compound to conduct an evaluation. They arrived as the family was celebrating their victories in court in high mafia style. Tasha’s father, Viktor, was furious and gave Inna a “special” glass of wine.

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Episode 3 of 6: Gratitude

Kaszinov Family Crest

“Get movin’ you ingrates!  You want your kids back? Then get this place cleaned up!” Viktor waved his arms furiously as he strutted into the living room.

Tasha followed him as her cousins and aunts ran haphazardly around the house trying to figure out where to start.

“Papa, you can’t leave Inna on the floor!”

“Tasha, I got it handled.  Boys! Get that woman and bring her over here. Marek! Come take care of this.”  Tasha’s Uncle Marek grabbed his doctor bag and met the Boys at the sofa to watch Inna.

“As for you…” Viktor pointed his finger at Tasha. She backed up as visions of being bound, tortured and interrogated flared in her mind. She began regretting her bold, but foolish move to bring Inna here.

“Papa, I know everyone hates me, but I care about those kids. Hardly anyone from the family has called in the last two years. Since my cousins are asking for them back, I need to make sure this place is suitable for the kids. From the looks of it, nothing has changed.” Tasha tried to stay strong even if her own fate was hanging by a thread.

“I don’t want that woman poking her nose into our business! Our family life will NOT be aired out in public. We’ve had enough problems.”

“I know, believe me, this will not be public…” Tasha pleaded.

“You know nothing is private when outsiders are involved, damn it!” Viktor was beginning to turn purplish-red. “I agreed to go along with this, but I’m handling it MY way, out of family loyalty and because I am grateful.”

“What? You mean you are grateful that I took care of the children?” Tasha thought she was hearing Viktor wrong.

“Ah…I mean I’m glad you worked with Laszlo when you drugged the entire family two years ago. Remember him? One of the Boys? Well, he has been promoted.”

“Are you kidding?”

“Not only did you remove the kids from underfoot during all that mess in court, but it gave your cousins time to build the Family businesses, which are thriving now, thanks to you, Laszlo and our new products.” Viktor smiled.

“What?” Tasha couldn’t believe her father uttered the word “product.”

Laszlo - Mafia Chemist for the Kaszinov Family

“That formula we just slipped into Inna’s drink is the same stuff you used on us. Turns out Laszlo came up with a brilliant formula to drug people, it knocks ‘em out good.  It is powerful, lasts a long time, and is untraceable in blood tests. We are producing a lot of it now and we are making a killing on it! Every Family in the Eastern World is coming to us for this stuff. It has bought us protection from the Chinese and Korean Families and we have the perfect leverage to protect our territory. Laszlo, show her…”

Arctic Ice - Puts 'em in the DEEP Freeze

Laszlo stepped behind the bar and pulled out bottles and jars. “Here is our star product, the formula I made for you, in liquid form. We call it Ice.  It is used to put in food and drink.  It’s completely odorless and tasteless.  I have also developed Ice for use in creams, ointments and lipstick. And, one of my favorites, darts for our mini-shooter.  I’m working on a new line of products called Arctic Ice with the same properties, but it has more…ah…permanent results.”

“That’s enough! We aren’t gonna talk about that right now!” Viktor shifted in his chair and glanced to see if Inna was still unconscious.  ”We are really UP-TOWN now, I had no idea any of the Boys had talent.  Izsak, get over here. We got ourselves a Family geek.”

Izsak proudly continued. “I have developed a secure shopping network and we are getting ready to launch our business globally. We have demonstration videos, with Nadya and Grusha as the stars, of course…”

Nadya perked up. “We have been adding free samples of Ice sewn into the back covers of our cookbook. Only our special clients know about it. That may be why our book sales are through the roof.” Aunt Nadya giggled as she swept up the shattered glasses in the fireplace. “But don’t worry about all this knock-out poison, honey, we have our own supply of De-Icer.  It makes the poison useless on us. It’s our own very secret family recipe.”

Tasha sank down into a chair, staring.

“Tasha, you’re the best thing to happen to this family. We owe you. ” Viktor smiled and chewed on his cigar.

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After the drunken mad chaos of the household clean-up, the family members were seated in the living room trying to look “normal,” but getting ill from earlier excesses, and feeling uncomfortable sitting around with nothing to do.

“What happened?” Inna was rousing from her stupor.

“You had some kind of fainting spell and went into a seizure. I’m a doctor and I have been monitoring your progress. Do you have a medical condition?” Marek looked concerned.

“Nothing like this has ever happened before. Where am I?”

“Inna, don’t you remember? I brought you here to evaluate my family.” Tasha helped Inna stand up. She looked around the living room with a furled brow.

“Oh yes, Tasha, I’ll continue that later, but since you gave me so much background on your family, and due to the fact the children haven’t lived here in a long time, I am filing orders with the court tomorrow to get everyone started in the MAFIA rehab program.”

“We ARE NOT the Mafia! We were exonerated of all charges! You can’t come in here and make those accusations…” Viktor stood up and moved towards Inna.

“Let me be more clear, I’m referring to the Mothers And Fathers Impaired Attachment rehab program. Since you are living here together, I expect all of you to attend the first few support group meetings.” Inna was walking quickly towards the door. ” I’ll see you all next Wednesday evening at seven o’clock.”

Continue reading with, Twisted Family Bonds – Episode 4