This weekend I am reposting my three part series, Frostbite: A Mafia Family Christmas, about the Kaszinov Family(portions rewritten).
I had fun last year imagining what it would be like to celebrate Christmas in a Russian Mafia family, well, at least a goofy one. These posts were my first #FridayFlash-es.
This is Part 2 of 3 in a series, if you haven’t read the beginning, you can read Part 1.
Tasha frantically trudged through the knee-deep snow oblivious to her scant clothing of slippers and pajamas. She dropped to the ground next to Great Aunt Urola’s frozen body trying to free her from the snowbank. The kids were running around joyfully playing. They continued throwing snowballs at her and Great Aunt Urola.
“Knock it off! Get in the house!” Tasha’s bare hands were growing numb as she revealed the frozen legs.
“Tasha! Get back in here! You’ll freeze to death!” Mama tightly held her robe closed in the kitchen doorway.
A creepy sensation took over Tasha’s numb fingertips as she dug at the stiff legs. She suddenly stopped digging, realizing she had no idea what to do once she revealed the dead body. She stood up and clumsily walked towards the house, dragging her half-frozen legs.
Grabbing her at the doorway, Mama quickly flung her robe around Tasha. “What are you thinking?”
“Well, gee!… I… don’t… know! Maybe that Aunt Urola is out in the snowbank! And, maybe I should DO something?”
“Tasha, you’re over-reacting.” Mama started the tea kettle on the stove.
“There is a DEAD BODY outside and the children are playing with it!”
“Oh yes, Anna dear, could you tell the children to come in now. I don’t want them to get too cold.” Mama motions as Tasha’s cousin Anna as she steps towards the door.
“Hold it! No one is going anywhere until you explain what happened!” Tasha’s eyes shot frigid daggers towards Mama and Papa.
“Tasha, it’s no big deal. Aunt Urola had a heart attack and died in her sleep. Just ask Uncle Marek.” The doctor in the family poked his head out of the crowd of relatives now gathering in the kitchen.
“Yes, it’s true. She had heart trouble for many years. You know she was eighty-five years old.” Uncle Marek walked towards Tasha as she backed away.
“Oh yeah? Then why is she in a SNOWBANK!” Tasha thrust her trembling finger towards the door.
Papa Viktor joined in the conversation. “There is another storm coming, we may be stuck here a long time. I’m sure you heard the old Hungarian custom…ah…. Ya’ know, putting bodies out in the snow when they die in the middle of winter… because you can’t bury ‘em until the thaw.”
“We don’t live in the good ‘ol days! Has anyone even called the police?”
“Tasha, that’s enough! We didn’t want her stinking up the place with all these people here!” Papa Viktor abruptly walked out of the kitchen.
“Now get out of those wet clothes.” Mama poured tea for her sisters.
Tasha saw no point trying to reason with them and gave up hope of getting a truthful answer. She drug her freezing wet body upstairs and took a long hot bath. Outrage ignited her sense of justice. Family or not, these people will not get away with this. She became more resolute to carry out her plans.
Mid-afternoon, Tasha walked downstairs in time for the gift exchange. Huge piles of presents surrounded the fifteen foot tree. Tasha slumped in a chair to watch the spectacle. Kids wildly ripped open presents tossing paper until it was two feet deep. Adults licked their lips and opened their gifts like rabid dogs. Numerous electronic gadgets, expensive pens, exotic guns, rare books, and several pieces of antique jewelery spilled out of perfectly wrapped boxes.
“Oh, I remember this one, she didn’t wear it very often, only for fancy parties.” Aunt Nadya admired the diamond necklace.
“That is beautiful, look at those stones! She used to buy the most expensive jewels, I never would have believed it.” Aunt Grusha giggled as she and the all of Tasha’s aunts placed the antique jewelery around their necks.
“Let me see that!” Tasha ran across the room. “I’ve seen that necklace before! It’s Aunt Urola’s!”
“We know that! Don’t make a scene!” Mama stomped through the wrapping paper, tripping over toys, yelling at Tasha in a loud whisper.
“How could you give away her jewelery when she is still in the snowbank?”
“Well…SHE doesn’t need that stuff anymore! Now be quiet and open your presents!” Mama stood with her arms crossed until Tasha sat down.
“Oh, that’s fine! We can really use one ‘a those out here.” Oblivious to Tasha’s outburst, Papa was admiring a photo of a helicopter.
Great Uncle Ermil leaned in close to Papa. ”Oh yeah, its a beauty, and it’s parked out back, the crew is livin’ with the Boys, they’re ready when you are!”
Tasha pretended to not overhear their conversation and opened her present from Mama and Papa. She pulled out computer-printed receipts and a picture of an expensive sports car waiting for her in Chicago. She noticed the date and time stamp on the the receipt. It was purchased three hours ago.
Tasha began to rise from her chair to give Mama a few more choice words, but a few red dots on the cuff of Uncle Marek’s pants caught her eye. Upon examining the clothes of the other men, she noticed red dots on Papa’s and Great Uncle Ermil’s shoes.
She ran to the kitchen. Her body was gone! That was it! They have gone too far! The gift exchange gave her a flash of inspiration to carry out her mission. She launched her plan into high gear.
Strange screaming erupted from the livingroom. Tasha raced back to find her aunts writhing in pain and frantically grabbing at their necks. Their husbands were screaming just as loudly, “Hold STILL! I can’t get it off!” They erratically jiggled the clasps, trying to remove Aunt Urola’s necklaces.
Mama grabbed ice from the bar and pushed it at her sisters. But, in their desperate state, they refused help. Ugly red blotches and blisters erupted on their necks.
Blotches, and boils, and blisters! Oh my! Tasha smiled and busted into gut-wrenching laughter.
Why you cunning old bird, you must have seen this coming! Just wait until I add the finale…
Continue the story by reading the conclusion in Part 3.