Writing prompt: Charity begins at home

”Oh no. Nuh-uh. Don’t even think about it!” The woman said as soon as she saw Vladimir walk through the door to her shop. She was solid. Not fat, but rather muscular. She made me think of German Valkyries though her voice was thick with a Texas swagger and I couldn’t help but wonder how on earth she had wound up in St. Petersburg of all places.

“Come now Rita, I have not even told you why I’m here yet. Maybe I’m here to introduce my new friend here?” Vladimir’s voice rumbled calmly almost like a summer thunder.

Rita turned her eyes to me and smiled an impossibly wide smile. “Hello dear, I’m Rita.”

I waved a hand and said “Hi, I’m Aino.”

“Lovely to meet you Aino.” She turned back to Vladimir. “Now what are you really here for?”

Vladimir chuckled “Nothing gets past you, does it? We need a ride.”

“I KNEW it! This is gonna get Lou shot again, isn’t it?”

“Oh sweet sister, I implore you.”

Rita turned back to me. “It always goes like this. I say no, he pretends not to hear. I list the many, many, MANY reasons for me not to go along with whatever cockamamie scheme he’s got cooked up this time and then he pulls out the sister-card and I end up going along with it anyway.”

“Charity begins at home.” Vladimir said with a sing-song voice that seemed so out of place coming from him.

Rita laughed and punched her brother’s arm. “Oh shut up you.” She sighed heavily, and somewhat theatrically. “Fine. I’ll do it.”

Vladimir pulled Rita into a huge bear hug. When he pulled away he said “I knew you wouldn’t disappoint.”

“Yeah, yeah. Lou better come back in one piece.” She said, brandishing her finger like a blade.

“I promise.”

“Now where have I heard THAT before?”