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The City of Angora

Valorie stepped cautiously through the forest, gracefully maneuvering through the twigs and fallen leaves. Her light blue dress was made especially for her as it followed behind her not making a sound. The light weight threads that had been weaved through it were made especially for fighting. The dress was made by Valorie’s best and trusted seamstress.
Valorie flashed her dark grey eyes, scanning for the camp as she proceeded forward. She smiled, holding onto the handles of both her revolver and a slender foot long knife, its blade lightweight and yet could cut through steel. Valorie had another gun against both of her legs, along with more ammunition. Another knife, identical to the one she was holding, hung from her waist in its leather holder.
She had two servants who had been insisted to follow her, even though she didn’t have any use for them. It wouldn’t be very hard to kill this man.
Ahead she heard the talking silence ahead of her. They knew she was here. She focused her mind ahead and heard the movement of feet coming at her. She ran towards them just as they sprung at her. She easily slid the knife along the man’s neck and shot the other man in the head.
Shouts and cries rang out from ahead of her, as they hurried to get their king out of the forest. She listened as more men came at her. Her eyes flashed as her pupils narrowed on each man that dared to come near her. Bullets flew past her as she dodged each one; swords and knives swung at her as she sliced open the men’s bodies. Valorie threw her gun to the ground when it ran out. She ran towards a man who was fumbling with his gun, trying to get it to load.
Valorie pulled out the knife from her waist holder and used both to cut through his throat. Blood splattered from him, but wasn’t quick enough to hit her as she was already killing more. She smiled as she threw both knives, hitting two men in the chest ahead of her. Valorie ran, slid them out of the bodies and began to kill the rest.
Valorie looked ahead and saw the king sitting in his large chair with a grim expression of acceptance and defeat. He calmly watched her move toward him, his men fighting to keep him alive. Finally the last three men hurtled towards her. She smiled an elegant smile and stayed in her place. When they were inches from her, raising their swords at her, she ducked and plunged her two knives through two of the mens’ stomachs. The third man jumped, aiming his sword at her head. Valorie slowed the time around her, looking up at him. She pulled both of the swords out from the men and thrust one through the man’s chest and the other through his pelvis. She stood up using the knives to hold him up as the blood slowly began to drip down in slow motion from his mouth. She threw him and his body slid off of the knives and hit the ground with a dull thud.
Time began to speed up. The crimson blood hit the ground around her, as if it was scared to touch her. Valorie looked up at the king and she saw his breath catch. Her breathing was normal as if she had been sitting the entire time. Valorie smiled and walked calmly towards him.
“I see that you have not changed much, Queen Valorie,” Jakobi whispered. He looked up from his chair through his eyebrows. Valorie calmed her expression more.
“There is not much that needs to be changed when it comes to dealing with fools, Jakobi,” Valorie replied. She stepped lightly towards him. His breathing didn’t change. “Not when it comes to killing them.” Valorie stopped in front of his chair and looked down at him. Jakobi stood up and inhaled.
“How’s Angora doing, lately? I see it is still under your power,” Jakobi noted looking at her dress.
“It’s doing much better than your kingdom, Jakobi. Of course, everything seems to be doing better than your kingdom,” Valorie snorted. Valorie saw through the deceit that tiptoed in his eyes.
“Have you come to take me, then? Make me beg for mercy every time I come in contact with your presence?” Jakobi asked, standing only centimeters from her face.
“Oh, Jakobi, you would like that too much,” Valorie scoffed and kissed him on the lips. She felt him jump and then relax against her. Jakobi slid his arms around her waist. She dropped one of her swords and it made a clang against the flat stone at the chair’s base. Valorie took her free hand and ran her fingers through his thick, blonde hair. Jakobi pushed her in closer.
Valorie opened her eyes and thrust the sword through his side with her right hand. Jakobi pushed her away and fell to the ground, gasping for breath. Valorie looked down at him.
“Not much has changed with you either, Jakobi,” Valorie said, unimpressed. She turned and began walking back the way she had come.
“Are you not…going to…kill me then?” Jakobi asked, pausing for breath as he slowly jerked out the knife from his side. Valorie turned around and looked back at him. Jakobi glared at her with his green, blazing eyes.
“Well, since you asked,” Valorie replied and grabbed her gun with incredible speed. She took aim at his thick skull. “Good-bye, Jakobi.” With that, Valorie pulled the trigger. The sound echoed through the forest.

Derrick pulled his motorcycle into the apartment’s garage door. He checked his watch. The sky had already been black for six hours. He cursed under his breath. His neighbors were already suspicious of him coming in late all of the time without a plausible reason. Derrick looked around the garage, checking to make sure no one else was in it. He stayed still for a few minutes listening to every sound.
When he was satisfied, Derrick opened the hidden compartment on the side of the motorcycle with the small, silver key on his key ring. The key had small engravings for protective curses that made sure only he could touch the key. Derrick pulled out a gun and hid it in his pants, double checking to make sure he put the safety back on. He pulled out the blood soaked knife from the hidden compartment on his bike that he had used and put it its next hiding place. He slid the knife inside of his jacket pocket next to his heart. Derrick never wore leather unless he had to fight. Therefore, he always wore leather, but not the stereotypical biker gang uniform, but just a regular leather jacket with pants and thick leather shoes.
Derrick sighed and ran his finger through his brown hair, sliding it down to place it on his neck. He pulled out the silver key from the compartment. A soft click sounded after the key slid out. Derrick double checked to make sure it was closed. Derrick walked out of the garage, silently closing the door behind him. The thick boots made a dull sound when they hit the pavement pathway towards the three story apartment, but Derrick already figured they were up, watching him. The rundown apartment wasn’t much to look at, but Derrick chose it because no one would look for him there.
Derrick peered up at the window of the second story where the neighbor who was most suspicious of him always stayed up to watch him come in. The graying Mr. Enders stared back down at him. Derrick put a relaxed grin on his face and shrugged his shoulders as if nothing was strange about the scene. Mr. Enders shook his head angrily and closed the curtains. Derrick walked up the creaky porch and pulled out the house key. The doorknob creaked in protest, but gave way and opened.
Derrick walked onto the first floor and walked past the two apartments on both sides and went up the staircase that led to his own apartment. Derrick traced his fingers over the wooden railing that had been dulled down with age.
“Mis-ter Derr-ick,” called a small voice from the doorway of an apartment two doors down from Derrick’s. Derrick looked over at the small 8 year-old who had on a pair of glasses too large for his small face and a large button up shirt that reached to above his knees. He had on too large boxers and had on two large shoes that were each untied. Derrick smiled at him and reached the top of the steps.
“Timothy, isn’t your bedtime?” Derrick whispered, trying not to disturb any of the sleeping neighbors who didn’t pry into Derrick’s business. Timothy pushed the glasses up his nose as they started to fall. He peered through them with clear, brown eyes, his dark brown hair freshly cut. Light freckles speckled his face.
“I am a grown-up, Mis-ter Derr-ick,” Timothy muttered looking up at Derrick. “I do not need a bed time, just like you.” Derrick smirked.
“Well, until you get a place of your own, Mister Timothy, it’s way past your bedtime,” said a woman who came out from behind him. Her eyes matched Timothy’s in a way that could only be described by sight. She wore loose pajama bottoms and a tank top. Her dark brown hair lightly laid on her shoulders. She stood tall and smiled at Derrick. Timothy looked at his mother and then back at Derrick.
“Goodnight, Mis-ter Derr-ick,” Timothy said, waving.
“Goodnight, buddy,” Derrick said, smiling. Timothy turned around and clunked back through the room. Timothy’s mother stood in the doorway with her arms crossed, smiling. She leaned against the frame of the door.
“I guess he got into his father’s stuff, again, huh,” Derrick said, letting his smile fall a little. Timothy’s mother looked down at the ground and then looked back into the apartment where Timothy clunked into his bedroom. She turned to look back at Derrick with the same expression on her face.
“Yeah, it’s fixing to be that day again,” She muttered. Derrick looked past her and into the apartment. He pictured Timothy falling asleep in his father’s clothes like he usually did when the date of his father’s death came around.
“He really likes to pronounce words,” Derrick said, looking at her.
“Yeah, he likes to think it makes him sound more grown-up,” She said. “What are you doing coming in late, again? You know that everyone worries about what you do late at night,” She whispered and Derrick shrugged. She turned around again to look back in her apartment. “Sometimes he waits up for you to come back,” she said and turned back to meet his gaze. “He really likes you, you know.”
Derrick smiled. “The neighbors can wonder what they want. And I don’t see you exactly hesitant to wait up for me.” She blushed as she smiled and looked down at the ground. She raised her eyes and looked back at him.
“Fine, don’t give away your secrets, but whatever you’re doing, just be careful,” She said, thoughtfully. She pushed herself from the door frame. Derrick smiled at her.
“Goodnight, Molly,” Derrick replied, wearing a crooked smile. Molly shook her head, smiling and walked into the apartment.
Derrick watched the door close and walked to his apartment. He reached an old, oak door with a gold “5” on it that was now tilted. Derrick found the apartment’s key and pushed the silver metal into the hole on the rusty doorknob. He opened the door and locked it behind him, tossing the keys on a yellow sofa directed towards a window. Chipped green paint lined the room. Derrick looked for anything out of place in the room. There wasn’t much that could be out of place except for the sofa and the dinner table with a lonely chair that was angled the way he left it. Derrick looked at the thick curtains that hung snugly together, blocking out any life forms that could be looking in. He closed his eyes and searched for a heartbeat or anything that moved.
When he felt satisfied that only household rodents lived under the floorboards, he walked forward and into the small kitchen that connected with his bedroom and the living room. A dripping sink mimicked him as he approached it. Derrick turned the faucet on hot and pulled the knife and gun out of their hiding places and gently put them on the vintage flowered counter top next to the sink.
Derrick took his jacket off and tossed it at the sofa where it landed softly. Derrick looked down at his arms where the monsters grabbed him from earlier that day. Derrick sighed and poured the green dish detergent on them. He rubbed fiercely, getting the leftover blood splatters off. Steam began to rise up to kiss him on the face. Derrick put his arms under the water and rubbed the soap off of his arms and began scrubbing again.
When Derrick had cleaned the soap off of his arms, leaving them bright red under his sun tanned skin, he tore off paper towels and placed them on the counter. Derrick turned the faucet off and walked to his bedroom and opened the bottom drawer of a shabby dresser that was pressed against the far wall near his bed. He pulled out a bottle of weapon cleaner and shut it back.
Derrick walked back out to the kitchen, grabbing the chair from the dinner table and placed it in front of the kitchen sink. He had been through the same process for over a year to the point that it seemed monotonous. He had been working for the same man since he could walk and had been killing since he could properly hold a gun.
Molly’s conversation with him echoed through his head while he took apart both the knife and the gun. He placed the parts of the weapons on separate paper towels. Derrick stopped after cleaning his knife so he wouldn’t do a half-ass job on the gun.
Derrick turned around, putting his leg against the counter and balancing his chair on two legs. He stared at nothing in particular as he thought about what Molly had said.
“Sometimes he waits up for you to come back. He really likes you, you know.”
Derrick took a deep breath and began cleaning the gun.

“Where are you going today, Mis-ter Derr-ick?” Timothy called out. It was 5 in the morning and yet Timothy still managed to wake up before everyone else. Derrick turned around after he closed the door. Derrick had his old, worn-out suitcase in his hand. All of his weapons that he kept on him was in the suitcase folded with the clothes. He had spent all night cleaning, leaving no trace of him behind or anything that would lead to any more suspicions about him. He had become a professional at not leaving traces of him behind for others to find.
All that was left in the small, one bedroom apartment, was a urine yellow sofa, a shabby dresser, a pitiful excuse for a bed and the never-grew-up-from-the-hippy-era kitchen appliances. The lonely chair was pushed in under the table and the apartment now smelled like lemon-citrus instead of the Clorox and alcohol that it did smell like. Derrick had scanned the small apartment with a black light for anything that he missed after he was finished.
Derrick looked at Timothy from across the hall. He nodded his head for Timothy to come towards him. Timothy came over as Derrick fished out a hat that Derrick’s father had given him when his father had left. Inside the hat was an address under the tag that Derrick put there.
Derrick knelt down to Timothy’s eye level. Timothy looked at him seriously as if he already knew that Derrick was leaving.
“Timothy, I’m giving you this hat,” Derrick said, looking down at it. It was a well-worn cloth ball cap with nothing special written on it except for the address on the inside. “Look right here,” Derrick said and Timothy came closer to look on the inside where Derrick pointed. “Right here is an address, now I don’t want you to go to it until I send you a letter, but I want you to keep sending letters to this address okay? Send me letters about everything that you want to talk about, okay?” Timothy nodded and tears started to fill his eyes. Derrick pulled Timothy into a big hug.
“You’re a good kid, Timothy,” Derrick whispered. Timothy started to cry harder.
“I don’t want you to go, Mis-ter Derr-ick,” Timothy wailed. Derrick pulled Timothy back to look at him and smiled.
“I don’t want to leave either, Timothy, but one day I’ll come back. I promise,” Derrick replied. Derrick used his thumb to wipe the child’s tears from his face. “You have to promise you won’t show this address to anyone else, okay? Or else I might not be able to come back.” Timothy nodded. Derrick smiled and stood up. It wasn’t entirely true. If anyone found the address, all they would find was a large, abandoned house in the middle of nowhere under Derrick’s father’s pseudonym.
“Tell your mom that I said goodbye, okay?” Timothy nodded. “Good boy. Now go on, go back in the apartment, it’s too early for you to be out in the hall.” Timothy nodded again and walked inside, wiping his eyes. Derrick watched the door slowly close. Derrick sighed and walked down the stairs.
Derrick put the house keys that he had taken off of the key chain and put them in front of the Landlord’s apartment as well as an envelope expressing his gratitude and the months’ rent that was due.
Derrick walked out to the garage with his motorcycle keys in his hand. He looked up at his old apartment window as he rolled the motorcycle out of the building. Derrick sighed and began to push the bike up the road until he was sure he wouldn’t be heard. His next adventure was in the heart of Angora.

The City of Angora


Clayton, United States

  • Artist

Artist's Description

What happens when a man, who is destined to fight for the rest of his life, falls in love with a woman who is the most feared queen throughout the nation? War breaks out between monsters and humans. The war calls for Angora’s men, which also includes Derrick, the new, appointed general of the army, leaving Valorie to keep the kingdom, Angora, under control. When Derrick returns with his men back to Angora, they never dreamed of what they would find.

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