A Mafia's Princess

January 22, 2008
By Tara Evans, Tewksbury, MA

Once upon a time in a land far, far away lived a princess. She lived in a castle surrounded by guards at every moment of the day. She was not allowed outside at any time, and had no friends outside of the castle walls.

“The kingdom is not safe,” her father said. “There are many people who would kill you as soon as you walked out the door.”

Everyday the princess would watch the men walk in and out of the house, swords in hand, ready to fight the enemy. They called themselves the protectors. They would take down anyone who tried to harm the king. Substances of far away lands were passed from hand to hand, and money greater than any amount of jewels was given to the king.

“Dear daughter, someday you will marry and take over the kingdom,” the king said. “You will rule with an iron fist, and cause the enemy pain. No longer will they plague our lands, and forever will we live in prosperity.”

The princess looked up to her father with bright eyes, ready to do as he said and take over. She wanted her people to be safe and happy, no matter what the consequences.

“Tony, you have the stuff?” His cigar was hanging out of his mouth, slurring his words. His arm flopped over the table, holding his hand expectantly for the bag of white powder. Tony shuffled around, a bead of sweat making it down the side of his face.

Frankie licked his lips, “I’m sorry boss.”

Tony just shook his head and waved his heavy hand. They both know he had failed, they both knew what his punishment was going to be. Frankie walked out of the room slumped over. Tony picked up the phone and pressed three buttons.

“Take care of Frankie.”

Isabella listened outside the doorway. She wondered how it was going to happen this time. A gunshot, a cover up, another gang blamed for her father’s choice. It always happened this way, she wished just once her father would spare a life. A tear rolled down her face for Frankie, he couldn’t even begin to imagine what was coming to him.


The princess was sad at the death of her favorite knight, but the king had said he was a traitor to their land. Traitors were not allowed, they were the worst of all the poisoners. She did no know what he did, but she knew he made a mistake. A grave mistake that cost him his life. Her father was just and fair, he would not murder someone simply for his pleasure. This is how it was everyday, and each night, as soon as the sun went down the fighting would start again. The princess would hide in her room, scared of the screams of men. The king told her that she was safe, that he would never let anything harm her, and she believed him, for he was always right. The swords would never touch her, the violence would never reach her if the king was in charge. But still she hid, waiting for the dawn to break and the violence to cease, waiting for the screams of men to end.

Isabella huddled under her covers, the sounds of gunshots ringing through the air. Tony wasn’t out fighting tonight, but she knew that Frankie was being taken care of. Another murder covered up, more blood shed in the face of failure. Life was the ultimate price to pay in the business they were in. She untangled herself from the covers, wanting to see what was going on just outside the house. Another gun shot rang clear as she stepped onto the floor. Looking outside she saw the battle, men fallen and blood all over the street below.

“Isabella, don’t look out there. It’s not for your eyes. You are safe in here and that’s all that matters.” She covered her mouth, tears running down her face. She knew her father had killed men, but never before had she seen the true destruction he caused. Never before had she truly understood how little he cherished life. And still he let it happen, right outside her window. She looked outside once more, only to see another man fall to his knees. Another brave man killed in doing a job for her father.

“Daddy how can you let this happen?” She wanted him to say it wasn’t his choice, that he didn’t make it happen. She wanted him to make it all disappear. She wanted him to be her hero.

“Bella, you have to understand. Sometimes there are bad people in the world, they need to be taken down.” Isabella shook her head. She didn’t believe it, no one deserved this horrible of a death no matter what they did.

“You are a fool if you really believe that.” She shook her head. Her father looked her in the eye.

“You are a fool if you don’t.” He walked out of the room and slammed the door behind him. Isabella fell to the floor, listening to the screams die down outside. It was almost morning.

The princess woke the next morning to the birds chirping and sun shining through her window. Her dress of white satin and pink lace was laid out at the foot of her bed, and breakfast was being made downstairs. All remnants of the battle the night before had simply disappeared and her happiness was once again restored. No longer did death hang over her shoulders.

“Morning princess.” The king greeted his daughter as she walked down the stairs. There were two new knights sitting at the table this morning. The traitor knight had been slain, and one other had been killed in battle. He died an honorable death, and for that he was one of the bravest knights of all. Her father always told her to respect those who had fallen to keep her safe as she slept.

“Good morning father.” She took her seat and was introduced to the new knights. She knew not to get close, for it could be the next morning that they were ripped away forever. They protected their kingdom, they were the ultimate warriors, but even the best fall at times.

The princess watched her father and the knights talk about the latest conquests of the kingdoms around them. They had done wrong and needed to be taken down for it. Her father was the only true king, and the greatest king who ever lived.

Isabella awoke quickly to the yelling of name downstairs, knowing that if she upset him it would be h*** to pay later on.

She dressed quickly and walked down the stairs, looking for the members that had been there the morning before. Only two were missing. Frankie had been killed, and one other was shot down. She saw him die outside her room. Memories flooded into her mind, of the man falling to his knees, grasping his chest. She shook her head, ridding her mind of the blood like so many times before.

“Bella meet Marty and Ricky.” She nodded to them both. Ricky looked like someone who could make his own way, but Marty would be dead in the morning. She already knew it.

She listened to the conversation as she ate her food. The Puchillos, the murders of their men. The traitors, the guns, the blood, the fighting. Every word ran through her body like a bullet. Death hung over her shoulders and at every glance she saw a new way the man next to her would die. No longer were they people, they were disposable men, ready and willing to die for a little bit of money. They were spineless creatures who did what they were told. They were fools.

Then she heard the words she dreaded.

“Tonight we fight.”

It was going to be another sleepless night hiding under the covers, waiting for the death and destruction to end. It was going to be another night of murder.

The princess went out that afternoon to pick flowers from her garden. It was the only time the king allowed her out of the house, and under careful watch from the knights guarding the castle. Every flower was tainted with blood. It wasn’t a rare occurrence, but sad none the less.

She was sad for those knights that had fallen and their families who would have no one to support them anymore. But she knew it had to be done, no matter how many deaths there were. The knights were honored for their cost. They were loved and held above all. They sacraficed themselves for the kingdom. They were perfect knights for the perfect king.

The king was always right. The king was the greatest king that ever lived.

Isabella walked outside the walls of her house, watching the birds fly by and the leaves float in the wind. She breathed in the scent of concrete and blood, but still it wasn’t the air from the house. It wasn’t the stench of the hate that radiated off the walls. She longed for the moments when she got to go outside.

She watched the man behind her shiver and rub his hands together in an attempt to get warm. Grinning to herself she knew that he had no choice. That he would kill her himself if she made him angry enough. No one in this god forsaken business would think twice about shooting her down if it weren’t for Tony. No one cared about anyone but themselves.

The princess heard her knight call her name before she heard the hooves hit the ground. Looking over she realized it was one of the enemy kingdoms, come to slay her father, or one of her knights.

“Dear lady, which kingdom do you belong to?” She laughed at the ridiculous question, but still she held her tongue, knowing that she could not diminish the honor of her country.

“Good sir, I am the kings daughter. I am princess Isabella.”

The knight was now at her side, at the ready to defend her, he would not let her die and so she found herself becoming braver, more daring.

“I ask that you take me to your king.” He got off his horse. “We need to discuss the payments for his last offense.”

The princess was angry, her king did not do anything wrong. “Sir I ask you to speak of these offenses.

“Your king, dear girl, has taken the life of one of the women of my kingdom.” She gasped at this blasphemy. He was lying, there was no way her king could have done such a thing.

“Surely you speak slander sir. I beg of thee, tell the truth.”

“The truth I speak. He has killed the kings wife.”

The princess gasped. “Lies I say, lies. Knight, please go and inform the king of this treacherous man’s arrival.”

“Princess, you know I cannot leave you.” She looked at him once, and waved her hand.

“Away I said, find the king, and have him demolish all lies.”

Isabella looked over the horizon at the oncoming sunset. It was her favorite time of day, but it was a rare occasion when she got to see it. Tony didn’t allow her outside the house at anytime near sunset. He said it was too dangerous. He was a fool. There was more danger inside that house then there was outside.

She saw the car come to a stop in front of the house and two men get out.

“Who are you?” She walked up to them, wondering what they could be doing on her fathers property. They looked at each other then her, wondering what they should do. This wasn’t part of the plan.

“Do you know where Tony is?” Isabella sighed, he had done it again.

Another murder, but she wondered who it was. Still she covered for him, just like she always did.

“No,” she turned to walk away.

“We asked you if you knew where Tony was.” She rolled her eyes.

“And I said-“ She stopped, staring down the barrel of the gun held in front of her face. Looking over at the man who was supposed to be guarding her she saw him sneaking inside the house, she prayed he was going to warn Tony.

“Where the h*** is he?” She put her hands up.

“I, I don’t know. I don’t know where he is.” She kept watching the door, hoping for some chance of her father walking through and saving the day.

“Princess this is your final chance to take me to your king.” She laughed in the face of the man in front of her.

“You’re insane if you think I’ll take you to him with the lies you speak. Never will it happen.” She knew she was foolish for speaking to a knight this way, but still she could not help it. Her father’s name was at stake.

She looked toward the castle waiting for a sign of the king to come, to demolish the accusations spewed by this man.

When she turned back around she was face to face with his sword.

“Princess, I will ask only one last time. Take me to thy king, or perish.” She laughed once again.

“If you kill me, you will no longer have a mouth to breathe from, or a heart for your life’s blood. My father will be sure of it.”

“Your father does not scare me foolish girl.”

Once upon a time in a land far, far away there lay a princess. Her eyes no longer opened, and her heart no longer beat. The princess’s father grieved for his loss, and the war no longer raged outside the castle walls.

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