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PRINCELESS by Cam Jace Storykiller

Chapter 5

Copyright©by Cameron Jace

January 15 2019

Mother left the room and came back a few minutes later with a book in her hand.  An old treasure book like Venus saw in movies. Battered, stained, and with thick pages that sounded like history's doors creaked when pages were turned.

A hesitant smile spread across Mother’s face as she sat on a rocking chair nearby. Venus sat up in bed, anticipation drawing blood from her face.

“This masterpiece,” Mother tapped the thick volume in her hand, “is the true fairy tales that you’ve never read before.”

“What’s it called, Mother?”

“Doesn’t matter. In fact, everything I will read to you, you better pretend you've never listened to. Just comprehend the truth about fairy tales and how you — and the women of the world — have been lied to.”

Venus nodded, wondering if there were going to be princes inside. What she didn’t know was that the next few moments would shape the rest of her life and the lives of people around her, history itself, and eventually the targets she would end up killing.

“Here we go…” Mother sighed. “I will read the synopsis without going into details. They will shock you, but you will understand the book’s significance when you grow up,” she swallowed hard. “You have to put faith in me, and that I'm not lying to you,” then she said. “Well, time will prove I’m right anyways. It’s just that I wish to spare you the pain.”

Mother began to read… but Venus stopped her. “Shouldn’t you start with ‘Once Upon a Time’?”

“Honey,” Mother’s lips twitched. “You only use such phrases when you’re about to tell a lie,” she pulled a shawl across her chest and said, “True stories start with facts.”

“Facts?”

“Yes, names, locations, and most of all a specific dates…” Mother said and read her the following under the title:

 A Brief & Untold History of Princesses 

 by Storykiller

“Who is Storykiller, mom?” Venus asked.

“Don't worry about him,” Mother said. “Some crazy author–but one who knows too much.”

Mother flipped pages and began reading…

476 AD, Mesopotamia

The nameless princess had been trapped in an Oubliette, a room without windows or doors, inside an ancient tower. An oubliette was like a dungeon but in a high place, with only  an opening in the ceiling. An opening that had been barred with enchanted locks that was only to be opened by the tower’s master. The tower’s master was a dragon who had fallen in love with the princess. Instead of cherishing her and helping her prosper in life, his insecurities urged him to lock her up.

An insecure dragon imprisoning a helpless princess, you say? Well, that has been the story since the beginning of time.

Then one day a prince from a neighboring country heard about the princess’ predicament. Tristan was his name, and he considered her a damsel in distress whom he vowed to save from that dragon and make her his forever. Triston hadn’t met the princess nor did he know anything about her. All he wanted was a trophy, not someone to love.

Triston travelled ahead, waved his sword at the mighty dragon and threatened it.

From inside the oubliette, the princess heard her prince charming’s voice. Her heart fluttered with recognition and she felt what women at the time thought was love. Soon Tristan the Brave would slay the dragon and she would be freed.

Unfortunately, the battle between man and dragon didn’t last long. Tristan burned to ashes in a blink of an eye. What once was a mighty prince turned to a faux and was gone with the wind.

Furious, the princess demanded the dragon set her free, but the dragon refused. He called her Princeless and demanded she obeyed him or he wouldn't provide her with food inside the oubliette.

Princeless, she thought. Was her whole existence dependent of another person, prince or no prince? 

And so the prince/less lived shittily ever after.

1411, France

Baron Gilles de Rais, was a French knight, a nobleman and lord of Brittany. A man who fought for his country and prided himself to have won many wars for his country. There hadn’t been one girl in France who had not dreamt of him as a husband and father. A true knight was to be wed to a true princess.

And there she was, a beautiful princess who had been introduced to him by Joan of Arc, another mighty female soldier. Soon they wed in the castle he built for her in the highest of mountains with turrets that reached for the heavens. The princess trusted her man with all her heart. She made an oath to love him and breed his magnificent children.

Only one thing troubled her. Her charming prince had denied her the entry of a certain room in his castle, claiming he kept his hunting instruments inside.  One day, the princess’ curiosity took over and she forced her way into the room.

And there she found the prince charming’s previous wife dead. Hung, burned, and buried inside that morgue of a room.

The day after she found another room.

And another.

And another.

With a total of 13 previous wives whom her husband had tortured and killed.

In the absence of her husband, the princess cried for days, but having heard of the princess in Persia who’d been locked away till death by an insecure dragon years ago, decided to change the course of history.

She did the unspeakable.

The night her husband returned, she pretended she didn’t know anything about his atrocities and cooked him the sweetest apple pie. The devilish prince ate and drank feverishly, only to realize she’d poisoned him. He fell on his knees and begged for his life, but it was too late.

It was rumored that this princess was the first to not be the usual Damsel in Distress. Nameless, but legendary among secret societies that it's her lineage is still out there looking for justice against modern dark princes.

 

1812, Lohr, Germany

Centuries later, a descendant of Gilles de Rais’ widow, lived in a German town called Lohr. Her father was king. Her mother was dead. She was a true princess.

Pale skin, red lips, and black hair had been rare in her times, so she had been considered a beauty of all beauties. She lived in a large castle near a black forest.

Her father, feeling lonely, fancied himself a wife, a stepmother who hated his daughter with all her guts.

Fairy tales would tell you that it was her stepmother who tricked the sixteen year old princess to accompany a huntsman to the forest and had him kill her, rip out her liver and heart. It surely was the stepmother’s influence out of jealousy, but it was the king’s execution, as his sixteen-year-old daughter had become pregnant by a local peasant. The king would not allow for smearing his royal name, or chance a lineage of peasants' blood.

Once the stepmother knew of his vicious plan, she’d begged him to change his mind, but she was too late. The so called Snow White had been led to the deepest shadows of the Black Forest already.

And again fairy tales would lead you to believe the princess ended up in a glass coffin and was later resurrected by a prince’s kiss.

Truth was that little did anyone know that the princess had been trained by her ancestors, the princess who killed Gilles de Rais, an organization once led by the French knight’s wife to save women all over the world.

Snow White killed the Huntsman and escaped, so her father sent another huntsman after her. This time dressed as a prince to fool her and make her give in.

Snow White met the prince in the forest, and actually was about to fall for him, but then her training kicked in. She kissed him, only to take his sword and bring him to his knees to become the organization’s first proud assassin.

For years and years later, the organization had been proud of female assassins, bringing justice to the world and punishing men for the evil that they do.

The operation proudly called themselves: P.R.I.N.C.E.L.E.S.S.

The End of the brief history… 

And so Mother closed the book and smiled. Venus remained open-mouthed and in awe. She didn’t quite understand what this story meant, or the implication of what her life was going to be like. Part of her didn't believe her mother. Apparently the woman was deeply hurt by men — or a man, her mysterious father. Still, as dark and unsettling the stories came across, Venus felt satisfied. At least, her life wasn't in the shade anymore — well, part of it. Venus glimpsed into her own future and lowered her expecation of living a normal life.

Her Mother knelt beside the bed and reached for Venus' right hand. It baffled Venus why she hesitated with compliance. Mother felt like a strange all of a sun. The whiff of centuries old pages from the book in her hand attacked Venus. There was something sinister about the whole situation. An unspoken darkness that can be seen in people's eyes. Yet she thought she saw it in her mother's.

Mother patted her hand and lifted it up to her face and smoothened a kiss on the ripe flesh of her hand. “It's okay,” Mother whispered.

Venus gave in and let Mother guide her hand, touching the surface of pages. Thick and sandy with scattered small splotches of maroon. Dried blood.

“This is the blood of the women who trusted this book all through history,” Mother explained.

“And the blood of men killed?” Venus realized she had just age a few years in this sitting.

Mother nodded. “You won't understand now.”

I don't want to, Venus thought, so much that wanted to go to sleep and forget about this nightmare.

But then Mother gave her a way out, not only from this situation but from this prison called a house.

“I didn't want this to happen so fast, but I I think it's time,” Mother said, eyes moist. “Tomorrow begins your real training. I’m sending you to the organization.”

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