PRINCELESS by Cam Jace Storykiller
Copyright©by Cameron Jace
January 15 2019
Such a picturesque and colorful town, it was.
Venus sat by the cafe outside, wearing a colorful shawl and dressed like an elegant girl with quite a fashionable hat up on her head. She looked like a modern day Audrey Hepburn, Sailor had told her through a webcam on her cell phone.
The sun splayed its feeble warmth across the avenue filled with cafes and old buildings that looked as if cut from a fairy tale book. It had been three days since her mother had sedated her and she didn't want to recite the events that followed in her head right now.
Colmar, France was such a beautiful escape.
“Gorgeous town,” Sailor said on her phone’s screen.
“Thank you for sending me here,” Venus sipped a mojito. Her addiction to Rose had long passed. Too many beautiful drinks in this world to stick to one.
“It’s a job after all.”
“I can’t imagine one bad soul in such a town.”
“I can't imagine I have an asshole. Such a pretty man like shouldn't shit every day.” Sailor munched on popcorn with unseen women laughing in the background. Venus didn’t want to ask about her. Sailor was definetley an old charmer.
“I know. I know,” Venus said. “Let me just enjoy my drink and believe in a good world for just a minute please?”
Sailor continued talking, “Colmar was once occupied by Nazis, then the French took it back, then the Nazis took it back again, then Nazis ate shit. You know what I mean.”
“It explains the contrast of architecture, German old farm houses and French delicate color pallettes.”
“Exactly,” Sailor pushed away the woman trying to tickle him. “Point is the narrow streets and maze-like landscape could be a hassle if the mission goes wrong and you need to escape.”
“The mission won’t go wrong.” Venus said, crossing fingers. “The last was my first. A fluke.”
“Statistically, your first three missions go wrong. It is a privilege if you get the kill and come out alive. That’s why the Organization only tattoos you with their motto after three kills.”
Venus put her drink down and slowly brushed her right hand over her left arm where her Mother had tattooed her against her will after sedating her. A tattoo to remember. A statement. A mother's fear and punishment.
“I know your Mother gave you the tattoo earlier than most, but you should consider it a medal of honor.”
“It means she genuinely believes you will survive the three first assassinations.”
“Do all official assassins in the Organization wear the tattoo?”
“Not necessarily the phrase, but the image of swans, yes.”
“Why one swan?” Venus asked. “I know mother has four swans on her arm.”
“Think of it as a rank.”
“I'm a newbie.”
“How many swans can one get.”
“The highest is six.”
“Six Swans?” She mused. “I remember reading that fairytale by the Brothers Grimm. Is there a connection.”
“There is,” Sailor said. “Too soon for you to know though.”
Venus sighed. She hardly tolerated the secrecy now, but then she looked around and didn't want to spoil the beauty of the day by insisting on answers Sailor will not provide.
Still she was curious about one last thing, “Isn’t it a dead giveaway to have us assassins walk around with these tattoos and exposing us to the Colonnade?”
“The Organization doesn’t care. Their mission of statement is up front and in your face. Soon this world will go into a global war, but then you still don’t know much about the scope of things.”
“Do you wear a swan?”
“I’m not part of the Organization. I’m John Long Sailor, a freelancer.”
“I just realized I don't know much about you.”
“I would have been granted six swans if I were a member, if that helps.”
“And I saved your ass when I was only ten.” Venus smirked.
Sailor didn't answer for a brief moment. Then said, “I guess that proved I do have an ass.”
“And you shit like everyone else.”
“So does your next target. You ready for mission number two?”
“His name is Alan Drax,”
“Evil last name already. Sounds like a movie.”
“Not when you say it in French.”
“Is he French?”
“I think you’re saying he is one of the Nazis who once occupied Colmar but then when Nazis-went-to-shit he stayed and forged his papers and probably his look to pretend he is French.”
Sailor rose an eyebrow, “I’m impressed. What else?”
“He must be old,” she bit her lip, “Over seventy years — wait even over eighty—“
“His father, Oliver, is over ninety now—if you’re still counting his years in the grave. He’s the one who came with the Nazis. Son, Alan Drax, is fifty five.”
“I suppose Oliver's last name wasn't Drax.”
“Should've chosen a neatier last name in French. I guess the nazi in him liked the morbid sound of Drax.”
Sailor laughed. She loved to impress him.
“I would also assume Oliver was a fan of Alan Delon the French actor.”
“Don't read too much into your target. Knowing the enemy better isn't a privilege as most people think. Alan Drax owns the Crepe Cafe you’re eating at.”
Venus looked up at the sign. Crepe Alan Crepe. A play on words: Crep Ala Crepe.
She realized Sailor had arranged everything in advance. Nothing was ever a coincidence with him. Below the sign, she saw a smaller indoor restaurant where they served the crew. It was uncomfortably claustrophobic with dim lights and four tables.
“I can see him,” Venus said. “Alan Drax, white long hair, white beard, originally pale skin but now tanned, too much sun, too many wrinkles, tattooed arm under his white sleeve and black vest. Leaned back, loud laugh, hospitable, looks a like an Italian mafia mob who loves his family and kills people in his spare time.”
Sailor sent her a picture of a man in his fifties. Shoulder length white hair and trimmed white beard with specks of blonde. Not in shape. Not out of it. Not a businessman, yet looks like he worked for no one. Blue eyes. Used to have perfect genes. Looks jolly but may have been a misfit as a younger man. A man who cooks for his guests, not dine in a suit. A man who loved to pull back his sleeves and share afternoon wine. The swirl of smirk on the corner of his lips made her think of him as a womanizer.
“Alan Drax operates a Neo Nazi secret society inside Colmar. Their absurd intention is to slowly wipe out other races, other than Aryan of course.”
“Do people still believe in this stuff?”
“All you have to do is look behind closed doors, Venus. That’s where people take off their masks.”
“I guess the French police protect him again like with Ettienne Bissot?”
“Not this time. It’s hard to sympathize with Nazis. Alan created a nest. People know him. Love him. He lends them money. His daughters are married to French men. He has planted himself too close that it's hard to see his true nature anymore.”
“Can I ask how he is connected to Bissot? I mean Nazi or not, it's my understanding that they all answer to the Colonnade.”
“Think of the Colonnade as the devil. Dark souls of different races and interest operate under his umbrella.”
“They should've called them Grim Brothers.”
“What?” Venus was totally confused.
“Forget it,” Sailor said as if he regretted his comment. “Aland Drax killed over two hundred men, women, and children in the last thirty years.”
“A slow genocide.”
“Nothing compared to the lives you will save by killing him.”
“It’s not the people we kill. It’s those we save,” Venus reminded herself. “I'm ready.”
“Are you sure?”
“All I need is to to go back get my gun from the hotel room.”
“No gun this time, Venus,” Sailor said. “It’s a face-to-face combat. Your best asset is shooting. Second best is hand to hand. Let's create an equilibrium in your assets.”
“Choke him. Hang him. Boil him. The Organization doesn’t care, as long as you do it with your hands.”
Sailor hung up.
Venus stared at her own hands. The cruelty of the Organization was incomprehensible.