Prologue: The Orphan and The Mafia

The house was old and falling apart; it was small, both on the inside and on the outside. The sidewalk leading up to the front door was cracked and a fair amount was missing. There was no grass to be found, only the dirt and gravel that surrounded every home. Windows where missing as well, and in some of the walls you could see bullet holes from the drive bys that happen often. There were only two rooms, a living room hooked on to what was believed as the kitchen, and the bathroom which didn't really earn the name of a bathroom because of the state it was in. In the house there lived a family, or really a man, his ho, and an abused little girl who was forced to live there. The neighborhood was crawling with criminals and lacking the proper amount of cops. The school wasn't really a school at all. It was more like a daycare center or just some place to drop your kids off while you go home and get high. This is what the rich folks called the ghetto. While they lay at home getting everything done for them the less fortunate are getting high or worst yet getting shot. The only thing remotely good about this neighborhood was how unpredictable it was. You never know when someone gets killed or a gang mishap goes down. You always hear word about the gangs on the street. Best of all, you hear stories of The Mafia.

This story, as you may have or may not have, is about the poor abused girl in the worn down house and The Mafia, kings of the streets. Its funny how one city can connect two completely, and utterly different things together. It all started when she was adopted. The name printed on her birth certificate is Madelena Russo, a full Italian name belonging to a full Italian girl. She was first adopted by Agapita and Celio DeBoer. They were just what Madelena could have dreamed of at the age of five until they were killed. They were old enough to be her great-grandparents and yet instead of death by old age they were murdered, by the people that she was forced to live with now, Fidelio and Casila Goodwin. Although they were still full blood Italian just like Madelena they showed no remorse or love for her. She was just another mouth to feed, even though she was always starved. She was just another body to clean, even though she was always dirty. To them she was just another body to take up room, even though she was given a terribly small room to sleep in.

At the age six, only a year later, she started getting chores. After she came home from the neighborhood school she would be given something to do. Directly after she finished something she would be given something else; almost like Cinderella only there would be no Fairy Godmother or Prince to save her. After she cleaned a room they would dirty it again. She was exhausted and tired by the end of the day and always had to be in her room by 8:00 which would be locked from the outside.

School was the only thing that Madelena could escape to. Although it was terrible and hard to learn Madelena still did the work and passed will flying colors through kindergarten and first grade until she was pulled out at age eleven.

When Madelena made it to the age twleve, just on the verge of womanhood , things worsened for her besides getting pulled out of school. Anger was taken out on her. She had many cuts and cigarette burn marks on her small, fragile body from the anger of Casila. She may only be twelve, but she was what looked like the devils spawn. She never spoke unless spoken to. She never entered a room unless motioned in. Her eyes where suppose to be light blue, but appeared black from the abuse and anger she holds in. Her black hair hung low almost touching her knee and most of the time covered her face because she always looked down. She seemed as was what some may call disturbed. She didn't have to cut herself because Casila did that for her and the bruises that Fidelio gave were just a reminder of what happens if she disobeys, but they never touch her face. Her arms legs and back where burned, bruised, and cut, but her face was never harmed, so that they appeared as good parents.

It wasn't until the third of September that things started to change for Madelena. That day, Madelena was instructed to stay in her room because of the little get together Fidelio was having. There weren't any windows in her room, but a couple years ago she made a bullet hole bigger in the wall so that air would be let in at night and she could see what was happening outside.

There was a knock at the crusty old door causing Madelena to look out with curiosity. She saw four guys all surrounding another guy out of the whole to a hat to hide his face. Madelena thought nothing of it although the people who usually came to this house looked less menacing. Fidelio was usually dealing drugs and selling illegal guns, that is how he paid the bills. This time it was different, the door wasn't answered right away so Madelena continued to take in the men appearances. Suddenly one of the guys was looking straight at her. His black hair, much like hers, was pulled casually back in a ponytail. His face was tanned slightly, but there were red marks on his neck. His brown eyes dug into her soul as hers dug deep into his. She didn't blink or flinch as some one else in her position might have done, but she smirked right at him and broke eye contact to lay down on the small pallet she slept on.

When the door was finally answered Madelena heard low talking, just below regular talking and just above a whisper. When she heard the door slam again she looked back out of the small hole and watched them get into a blue car. After they left Fidelio started jumping around and saying things in Italian that Madelena couldn't understand, for any Italian she was taught by her former foster parents was beaten out of her and forgotten. When Casila came home he kissed her and practically had sex with her right there in the living room before taking her out of the house making sure to yell loud and clear, "You stupid slut don't leave your room until I come home." For some unknown reason she obeyed, when they came home they were drunk. Madelena thinking that they were too drunk to hurt her was attempting to read a book, but Casila burst into her small closet of a room and decided that she would 'decorate' Madelena's left thigh with a new set of burn marks; Casila later stated that Fidelio cheated on her with some girl from the club. Madelena did not cry, she did not frown nor scream she just took the pain and didn't even bother to nurse the wounds.

A month later they were back; the men with the black hair. Casila had just got done adding fresh cuts to Madelena's arms when the loud banging sound came from the door. She was forgotten about when they arrived therefore she could look to see who it was and discovered that it was, in fact, the same guys who was there last time. She thought it was just another exchange so she went back to her room. Not even ten minutes passed when she heard a loud noise coming from the front room and then hysterical screams. Madelena walked into the front room to see Casila on the ground leaning over something and the guys from last time there. One of them had their gun out and it was pointed towards Casila. "Why!? Why did you kill him!? Please, don't kill—" Casila couldn't even finish her sentence before a shot erupted through the house. Madelena saw blood splatter out from the whole in Casila's forehead. It was a sight, but it didn't frighten her. The men hadn't noticed her yet so she looked at them noticing that the small guy was missing.

"Hey, well, what do we have here?" said the guy who just shot Casila.

"It looks like a ragazza piccolo. Venuto giocare!?" One of the other guys said that 'It looks like a little girl. Come to play!?' in Italian perplexing Madelena.

"Riko!? Giusto uccidala e lascia per andare." Another guy told 'Riko' to kill her. The guy hoisted his gun towards her and she guessed what he said and who he was. This was a time when she spoke. She had no one to fear. Fidelio and Casila were dead and she expected the same doom.

"Hello." She said it almost as if there weren't two dead corpses in the middle of the room.

"Hello." Said some one else; the guy who was standing in the back. Madelena almost didn't recognize him as the same one who looked at her in through her window like hole. He looked into her eyes and noticed that they held nothing. She looked as if she expected to die, and that she did. As if she knew it was coming. "Los guardo, lascia giusto per prenderlo alla sporgenza." He directed it towards the three other guys in the room. He told them that they should just take the girl.

"Dicon, I don't know if that's such a good idea. The boss-man said we were to kill everyone in the house besides he doesn't take lightly to strangers. She doesn't even speak Italian."

"But she looks it Riko. She's probably full blooded or at least half blooded. Look at her hair, her eyes" All the guys looked at the little girl whose hair was still hiding half of her face, but the part that did show was full of dirt and grime, not helping the situation at all. She wore a dress that was tore in several places and she had no shoes so her feet were the worst of all.

"Man lets just go." Someone remarked and headed towards the door. The guy called Riko left too and the other strange guy left leaving the guy Dicon and Madelena.

"Come on, kid, time to meet the boss." Dicon started towards the door expecting Madelena to follow, but she didn't. He stopped at the door and without turning around beckoned her with her fingers. This time she followed. It wasn't known why she didn't come or why she had to be told. He knew she wasn't afraid, that much was clear.

They made it to a house that looked like any other. It was big and painted blue. It was pretty big, looked as it could hold a whole homeless shelter. Not what Madelena expected, but she couldn't complain. It was smaller than a mansion, but bigger than a house, and it was all alone in its own little place. No one spoke through out the whole car ride and even after they arrived it was silent. When they came to the front door the three other guys went another way up the stairs, down the hall way, disappearing into the house. When Dicon walked in she stayed where she was, right at the door, toes itching to take a step. He did what he did minutes ago and motioned for her to come and she followed. He started up the stairs and she continued following until they came to a room with big wooden doors.

"Stay, until I tell you to come in." Dicon smiled as Madelena nodded making her hair recover her face again.

"Dicon, I presume you came through with the mission. Where are the rest?" Madelena heard some one talk in a deep voice.

"They had business."

"Or in other words they left to eat, sleep, or do something else stupid. Yes, well, you are dismissed." Dicon saw his boss wave his hand in dismissal and looked back down to the papers resting on his desk, but he did not leave. "Or is there something else?"

"Umm, sir, there was some one else. A child; she had nothing to do with them. She looks to be abused and such. I thought maybe…"

"Send her in." The boss sat in a big arm chair. His hair was black and slicked back, but there was hint of gray peaking out in certain places. When Madelena came in she stood right in front of the desk. She was smaller than anyone her age would be from starvation, but she was tall enough to look over the desk. She saw a man who looked closely interested in her. "What is your name?"

"Madelena Russo." She still went by her last name even after being adopted.

"A beautiful Italian name. Are you Italian Madelena?"

"I do not know; I only know that my city and former guardians were, not the ones mister killed."

"Yes, well, do you want to stay here?." He drew off wondering if she would want to stay. "On one condition, you can not be seen; if people see you they will wonder and when people wonder they take action and I don't need people taking action. Besides I don't need everyone to start ignoring my orders... Dicon here will take care of you, but no one must see you, and as long as no one sees you then you can go into any room you want," He then looked up to Dicon, "Keep her in the Red Room. Teach her what I have taught you."

"Yes, sir, I'll take care of her like she was my own sister." They both made their way to leave the door.

"Oh, and Dicon?"

"Yes."

"I want you to feed, and bathe this girl immediately."

Dicon shook his head yes and left taking Madelena with him.