PRINCELESS by Cam Jace Storykiller
Copyright©by Cameron Jace
January 15 2019
It had taken Venus time and arguments to convince her mother to buy her a new phone that matched today’s needs. Earlier, Mother had given her a battered old-school phone she once saw in an old age movie called the Matrix. Her mother called it a banana. A black phone that looked like a banana with a flip cover she had to push up to answer calls. Venus never used the cover. She never answered phones cause no one called her. No one knew she existed.
In fact, her contact list had one name on it: Mother.
But the new phone was up to date, and though checked daily by her mother, Venus learned how to hide files from her.
A hidden file on her phone hosted her well kept secret. She had written the code herself and kept it hidden from her mother.
Whenever possible, late at night, as her mother slept, Venus would type in the password and decrypt the file. She would lay in her bed in the dark and read with starry eyed.
It wasn’t a picture.
Not a video.
Not a voice message.
It was something about boys.
A book. The Brothers Grimm fairy tales. A lost masterpiece written more than two-hundred-years ago.
Mother forbid Venus from reading fairytales, not even watch Disney movies. She called them misleading. Stories and movies that convinced girls they have to be princesses and that a prince charming would someday come and save them.
From what exactly, the tales didn't elaborate. Mother hated the idea from the deepest, darkest graves in her heart.
“No one’s coming to save you,” Mother yelled at her after discovering Venus had watched the 1937 Disney version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves on her phone. “You’re on your own.”
“It’s just a cartoon, Mother.”
“It will spoil you. You’re a kid. It will stay with you.”
“Yeah,” Venus rolled her eyes. “Like when you said ‘shit’ the day I was born. That stayed with me.”
Mother didn’t answer her because Venus didn’t actually utter the sentence. How could she defy her mother? It was just in her mind.
“Girls are not destined to become princesses,” her mother insisted. “If anything, women are better off without a prince.”
Still Venus read those stories of princesses in castles, in high towers, wearing dresses and going to dance balls, and most of all: finding love.
But only in the dark could she dream such fantasies. So much that she fell in love with the picture of the prince in the book. With his old stupid outfit, hat with a feather in it, and that cute smile. She so wished she would die of a poison apple, only to be revived by a prince who would love her and give her a chance to be whoever she wanted to be.
Venus’ door banged open.
Her mom’s silhouette stood by the door as if she were the boogeyman. Too late to hide the phone now.
“Why aren’t you asleep?” Mother said.
“You have to exercise tomorrow,” her mother approached. “What’s that on your phone.”
Venus froze. She handed the phone to her, hoping Mother wouldn’t be upset.
“Fucking prince again,” her Mother murmured.
Mother sat next to her on the edge of the bed, sighing. The look in her eyes both suggested anger and empathy. She actually feared for her daughter, but Venus couldn’t understand why.
“Was father a—“ Venus began.
“A prince?” Her mother squinted.
Venus nodded in silence.
“You’re such a smart girl,” Mother said, her voice hoarse but feeble. Venus hadn’t seen her mother shrug before. “He was…”
Venus smiled. She knew it. A prince, of course.
“For a couple of weeks,” said her mother.
Venus eyes widened.
“That’s what princes do,” Mother said. “They charm you for a couple of weeks then you realize you’ve been dragged to hell by the devil himself.”
“Was father the devil?”
“Who knows? He surely rivaled him,” Mother leaned forward, kissing her on the forehead. “I have an idea,” she said, touching her face. “How about I read you fairy tales?”
“You would?” Venus said.
“Yes,” her Mother said. “The real untold stories, not the rosey version disney wants to think is true.”
And thus began the darker education of Venus Wild.