PRINCELESS by Cam Jace Storykiller
Copyright©by Cameron Jace
January 15 2019
Rio De Janeiro Port, 2008
Venus sat in the passenger’s seat of her mother’s old 1998 Honda, the same car in which they had both looked in each other’s eyes for the first time ten years ago. Her mother sat checking her gun with such devotion that scared Venus.
She felt like she didn’t quite know this woman. None of this tension had occurred during the past ten years—well, except maybe the bloody day she came into this life.
“You’re going to be just fine, Venus.” Mother said, not looking in her direction.
“Am I, Mother?” Venus’ voice, barely audible.
“The Princeless will take care of you. They will teach you how to care for yourself.”
“But I don’t want to leave you, Mother.” Venus wondered if this was a lie. She partially wanted to leave, to have a shot at the world outside of her mother's cobweb. Would she be brave enough to escape this place where she is sending her?
“We all have to leave, Venus. It’s how we’ve been raised for two centuries. My mother left me, too. I was a bit older though.”
“We who? I’ve never met anyone but you.”
“You’ll soon meet everyone. You will love them—and they will love you back.”
Mother stopped loading the gun and turned to face her. “I have to do my best to get you on that boat, baby.”
“Why are you loading guns then?”
“Because they don’t want me to get you on the boat.” She held her daughter’s hand.
“They?” Venus said. “Who are they?”
“You see, we have enemies. They don’t want you to turn into the next best assassin.”
“Assassin?” Venus’ face went white. “Me?”
“They’re the bad guys. We’re the good girls.”
“Why am I never told what’s going on?” Venus scoffed. She had almost about enough with this gender bias shit. Not that she understood it completely. But making men an enemy every fucking second of their lives bothered her. “I mean, I’m thrown into this life without my approval. You name me Venus without asking. Then you decide I’m going to be an assassin?”
Mother didn't comment or bother explaining. A bullet hit the left tire of the Honda and they both shook to the bump.
Venus slid deeper into her seat and ducked, watching Mother shoot back, like she’d done a thousand times before. This looked like a rehash of the day Venus was born — all bloody over again.
“Get your bag,” Mother screamed, still shooting. “We have to get you on the boat.”
Venus did as told. She was too young to die. She maybe wanted to leave but not die. In truth, it was her Mother’s exceptional shooting skills that kept her alive–again.
Crossing the pavement leading to the boat, Venus felt worse than an outsider in this world. Her mother was shooting at hordes of men hiding behind cars and buildings while innocent pedestrians ran away, wanting to have nothing to do with them.
Everywhere she went, people died. What kind of life was this?
“A man inside this boat will protect you all the way to where the Organization resides,” Mother huffed between shots.
“A man?” Venus ducked while running. “I thought the Princeless were all women.”
“There are still a few good men, Venus.” Mother pushed her onto the ledge, crossing waters toward the boat.
Venus considered that good to hear. It meant she still had a fracture of hope to meet a good prince one day. Her daydreaming was shattered by Mother kneeling beside her, now that they had entered the safety of some enormous ship.
“Listen to me,” Mother held her by the arms. “Whatever happens, remember I love you.”
Venus wasn’t sure about that, but when that’s all the love you can get, anything else is just fantasy.
Mother hugged her hard enough to almost suffocate her. “One day you will thank me, when you grow older and understand.”
Venus hardly hugged her back. Not out of disliking, but out of numbness. She could not fathom her life.
Mother kissed her forehead and turned back to face her enemies while Venus ran farther inside the boat until she was stopped by a man in a sailor’s outfit. A man who smoked a pipe and wore the longest white beard she’d ever seen. Not quite the assassin mentor she was willing to meet.