And welcome to a special post on Peace, Love, and Comics. Today, I want to give everyone a special preview into a world all my own. This year, I’m releasing my first novel to the world. It’s called Mystic Man. This book is the story of a man named Isaac Eckspo. He’s a famous scientist who lives in San Francisco with his wife, Cynthia, and his daughter, Alisha. One day, they mysteriously disappear and he receives powers and becomes the superhero called Mystic Man. This book marks the start of my very own superhero universe and while I’m nervous for the book to come out, I’m excited because I’ve worked hard on this. I wanted to create a universe with the best heroes and I also wanted to create a diverse world too. It’s the world I see everyday and it should be represented. With that being said, today I want to share a short story from the Mystic Man universe. This story should give you a sense of the type of story this is, as well as the tone, and the themes I cover in the book. Hopefully, you read this and your interest in the book goes up. But if not, and you think I suck, that’s totally fine too. Below is the cover for my book as well. I hope you enjoy the story
– Toren Chenault
The gold aura of Erasmus’ sword wasn’t as bright as he normally liked it to be. Blood tended to do that. Other things did it too, but blood was the worst. The way it mixed with the gold of the sword almost made it look brown on impact. There wasn’t time to wipe it off though. Erasmus didn’t recognize the men who were attacking him, but he knew that style of armor from any distance. He knew their cause and why they were trying to kill him. As they charged forward, energy could be seen coming from their bodies. They were erratic. With every swing of their swords and knives, Erasmus felt his energy changing. Although he didn’t know whether the change in energy was good or bad, he really didn’t care. These men were going to die all the same.
Four men in total. Two holding swords, one with a knife, and the fourth wasn’t carrying anything. He was just sitting behind his friends, waiting to strike. Erasmus decided to test him. He jumped into the air, going over the other three men and attempted to strike the man without a weapon. Except, Erasmus soon realized that the man was a weapon himself. The man dodged the sword and followed up with a swift kick to Erasmus’ jaw.
I felt that, Erasmus thought.
He flew back as one of the other men slashed Erasmus’ arm. Surprisingly, the kick hurt him more. Erasmus didn’t want to give these men a chance to gain any momentum. With his experience, he knew that when someone landed a strike on someone they knew they couldn’t beat, they became slightly cocky. And he knew these men, maybe minus the unarmed man, didn’t believe in themselves. That first hit gave them confidence. He could feel their energy surging and he matched it with energy of his own. Erasmus planted his sword in the ground, which released a bubble of golden colored energy around him, sending three of the men flying back. The one who wasn’t affected much, charged at him, but Erasmus had his sword out of the ground mere seconds later and it found its way into the chest of the man who charged forward. He decided to act quickly. The shock of seeing their comrade die might provide an opening. He was right. The two other men with weapons ran towards him. Erasmus quickly charged his sword with energy and threw it as hard as he could. It went directly through the two men, killing them instantly. The only person left was the man without a weapon. Except he didn’t rush in. No, he just stood there for a second, observing Erasmus, and Erasmus was doing the same, observing him.
Fighting was never a problem for Erasmus. He’d been doing it a long time. One thing he never had gotten used to though was fighting his own kind. Even being from a different universe, Erasmus came from a place where racism existed. He always felt a sort of hollowness whenever he was forced to fight fellow black men. As he looked over at the other three dead black men behind him, he winced a bit because his soul hurt knowing that he had taken life from his brothers. He had to abandon that state of mind though, because this man’s eyes didn’t carry any remorse or sympathy.
“I’m surprised you aren’t running anymore” the man said with a smile.
“What’s your name?” Erasmus asked.
“Kobu,” the man said. “You know, I must thank you. If it wasn’t for the rift you left open when you first teleported, we wouldn’t have gained these powers. Then again you always were a fool.”
Erasmus looked to the sky. He could somewhat see the ripple in the clouds from where he came from. He figured that’s how these men had the same powers he had, and now he knew.
“I’ll try to be more careful next time,” Erasmus said.
“There is no next time, traitor. How dare you abandon your people? You get these powers and forget where you come from. Forget who helped raise you. Forget Alistair.”
“Don’t you ever mention Alistair, you peasant,” Erasmus said. He could feel power flowing through him. He hadn’t felt energy like this since the first time he got these powers.
“Hit a soft spot? Emotional and stupid. You were never fit to be a ruler,” Kobu said.
“You’re right. Which is why I left,” Erasmus said.
The man began to beat his chest and chanting in a foreign language, it was a battle cry Erasmus recognized, but honestly, he hadn’t seen it in such a long time, that it almost made him laugh.
“Your confidence will kill you,” Erasmus said. “Fairly soon, I predict.”
“Glory to Ajani,” Kobu said as he charged forward.
“Was wondering when you were going to say that,” Erasmus said chuckling.
Their fight started conventionally, Erasmus decided to not wait go on the offensive. He didn’t want to give Kobu a chance to counter or think, so he closed the distance and began quickly throwing punches and kicks, but mindful not to tire himself out. Kobu was doing the same. Their hand-to-hand fight felt long and drawn out. Even though neither was landing, each knew the severity of the situation. Even the slightest misstep could end their lives. Erasmus was the first one to make the mistake. Kobu had been charging energy for some time and had stored it in his fist. Except he didn’t use the energy for power, but rather speed. His hand moved ten times faster than usual and hit Erasmus directly in the nose. Erasmus flew back and knew that his nose was broken. He tried to get up, but Kobu once again used the energy for speed. A kick landed directly on his ribs and Erasmus began to spit up blood. Another kick attempted to land, but Erasmus caught this one and threw Kobu across the field and into a nearby body of water. It was only then, that Erasmus realized the city he was in. He flew over the water to look for Kobu. He couldn’t see anything. A burst of light appeared from the water. Kobu appeared and Erasmus noticed that Kobu was panting heavily.
. He put a lot of effort into that blast, he thought. Now is my chance.
Except Kobu was still dangerous. He landed a hit on Erasmus that sent him flying towards the city. Kobu caught up to him and punched him again before Erasmus knew what was happening.
Can’t fight in the city, he thought.
Erasmus flew across the river again and landed in the field. Kobu was right behind him, but this time, Erasmus blasted him with a stiff uppercut. He could hear Kobu’s bones crumble from the hit. Now, he had a chance to retrieve his sword. When Kobu got up, he did the same, getting the sword of one of his fallen comrades. Both men were tired and just stood still for a moment, trying to catch their breath. They had put a great amount of stress on their body. Erasmus wasn’t all the way used to these powers, and he knew for a fact that Kobu wasn’t as well. But Kobu decided to act first. He charged forward, his sword glowing a bright yellow. Erasmus knew that Kobu was using the rest of his energy.
With each swing of the sword, Erasmus could feel Kobu’s energy and stamina dropping. So much in fact, that after a couple of minutes, Kobu wasn’t moving much. He was just carrying the sword, arduously walking towards Erasmus. Sweat was pouring down his face, anger still in his eyes. Erasmus landed a quick hit that sent Kobu flying to the ground. Kobu was struggling to breathe, but he clearly wanted to say something.
“Speak,” Erasmus said pointing the tip of his sword at Kobu’s chest.
“You won’t run from your problems,” Kobu said. “No matter what corner of reality you run to, we will find you.”
“Your leader is gone,” Erasmus said. “Now that I know how you bunch found me, no one ever will again. You die a lonely follower. No one left to care about you.”
“Look at you,” Kobu said struggling to breathe. “All these years of living and you still have so much to learn.”
“Maybe,” Erasmus said. “But nothing from you.” He drove the sword through Kobu’s chest and could feel the life being sucked out of him.
Erasmus then took a moment to relax. There was a decent amount of blood on his black jacket and gloves, but not too much. Then, he decided to center himself and focus on why he was here in the first place. Clearly, he was on Earth, he just didn’t know how this Earth was different from his. He flew into the city and began walking the streets.
One of the first things he noticed was how dreadfully cold it was. Sure, it was probably winter, but it felt like the Arctic, not like a city. No one was outside either. For this city, Erasmus found that strange. Traffic lights were working, a few animals were about, and occasionally, a homeless person showed their face. Other than that, nothing. Erasmus walked around for what felt like hours. When he got to where he wanted to, he looked around. Where there were supposed to be flashing lights with advertisements and entertainment, there was a foreign language. Erasmus recognized the language and began to read it. He then started to notice a bevy of posters on the windows of what should have been fashion boutiques and restaurants. Erasmus almost laughed when he realized what was going on.
“Russian-occupied New York City,” he whispered to himself. “I feel like I’m in a Hollywood film.”
He didn’t discount it yet, however. There was still no sign of anybody, so Erasmus decided to sit down in the middle of Times Square. He closed his eyes and began meditating, attempting to let his soul break free from his body. It was something he was still getting used to, but something he knew he had to do to find whatever it was he was looking for. The only planet he’d been to so far was Earth, just different versions. Erasmus was scared to just jump to a random planet, because he wasn’t sure how far his powers extended, in terms of breathing and gravity. As he let his mind wonder through this new universe, he noticed many things. The wars that were had on this planet, the second ice age which had almost killed mankind, and Russia stepping up to save humanity when no one else could. Erasmus attempted to channel his thoughts to the other corners of this universe, hoping for something. More pain however, more wars, and more loss. Each universe seemed to be the same, even with their obvious differences. When Erasmus opened his eyes, he was disappointed. He didn’t know how much longer he could keep this up. He struggled to his feet and whispered to himself.
“What I’m looking for, it isn’t here.”
Just as that thought left his mind, he was spotted by Russian soldiers walking down the street. Immediately, they began screaming orders at him. There were some racial slurs in there as well and they were poised to shoot. Erasmus closed his eyes and was gone before they shouted their next slur.
This time though, he didn’t just see another version of Earth. He hadn’t even conjured a thought about where to go. This was definitely a foreign planet he had never been too before. Almost instantly, he began gasping for air, but when he realized he could breathe just fine, he felt silly. Erasmus began to walk around and examine this planet. But there wasn’t much to examine. No city life, no life he could really sense, and no sign of any men like Kobu. The planet was purple. That much was sure. In fact, it was almost too purple. Erasmus looked down at the ground, which felt more like sand. The purple sand glistened under the pink light of the planet’s sun. Erasmus felt as if he was in some sort of kaleidoscope. The sand changed into different shades of purple depending on how the pink sunlight hit it. A little further down, he found water, except this water appeared to be so pristine that the water was almost white. Mountains surrounded the body of water. They appeared to be black, but further inspection and Erasmus realized that they were some sort of metallic grey. The sky appeared to be some sort of green. A dark green, but the pink sun let the small amount of green come through vividly. This place was foreign, and unlike anything Erasmus had seen. But it was beautiful too. From the moment he stepped on the purple sand, he felt at peace. Like a weight had been lifted, and that weight was the size of a universe. It was a feeling he hadn’t felt since he was a kid. Erasmus dropped to his knees and began to cry. But he wasn’t sad. No, this place didn’t bring about sadness. For the first time in a very long time, Erasmus felt happiness flowing through him. He felt kindness. He felt love.
This is it, he thought. Don’t know how I found it, but I did. I found it.
Who is Erasmus? What’s his deal? And how in the world does he tie into Isaac’s story? Once again, I hope this story peaked your interest in my novel. On my Twitter @peacelovecomics I’ll be announcing the release date here soon. Expect the book to be available digitally on Amazon with an order to get a physical copy as well. Pre-orders will also be available when the release date is announced. If you liked this, spread the word because the world needs Mystic Man, and he needs us. Until next time, everyone!