Super Cute, Volume 1
by Matt Wade
Alex Winthrop has just been offered his very own Mystic Realm. The weird thing is, Mystic Realms are supposed to be for girls only. But the guys in the suits have given him an ultimatum--now or never. He chooses now. However, he soon discovers--much to his great surprise--that not only can he travel throughout his own Realm, he can cross over into ALL of them. And so, he sets off on a series of adventures that might change his life forever--if they don't end up trying to kill him first. Because when you're dealing with girls who are reckless enough to jump headfirst into the relative unknown, death is a real possibility. Even when those girls are SUPER CUTE. This first novel by Matt Wade is a coming-of-age, Young Adult Urban Fantasy about an average young man who thrusts himself into extraordinary circumstances. The Realms offer their owners the opportunity to create and do nearly anything they can imagine, but at what cost to themselves? It examines gender perspectives, identity, love, friendship, and the fantasy/reality dichotomy from a quirky, postmodern viewpoint, all while maintaining senses of fun and wonder (even at the darker points). If you're a fan of such titles as Ernest Cline's Ready Player One and Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim series, this book might be right up your alley.
Paige untied the ribbon from her waist and began twirling it rhythmic gymnastics-style. Then she flicked her wrist, and the strip of fabric shot straight toward me. Hah. This would be easy. When the ribbon was just inches from my body, I quickly side-stepped it and grabbed it—then cried out in pain. The weapon had shredded my palms, and my blood sprayed the mat. Sometime while it was in mid-air, Paige had changed the cloth to metal. I needed to give myself time to heal, so I had no choice but to dodge her attacks for the time being. Grunting and groaning, I darted back and forth as she repeatedly cracked the steel ribbon like a whip, trying to strike me with it. As rapidly as I could, I traced hard lines on my palms in order to close the deep wounds. A whip strike shot toward my head, and I ducked just in the nick of time; the metal edge ripped open the top of my cloth head covering. Soon, I had closed all of my wounds.I was ready to counter-attack. Running in all directions, so I wasn’t an easy target, I threw a flurry of
shuriken at Paige’s body. With another flick of her wrist, she straightened out the ribbon into a long blade and began batting at the throwing stars, deflecting them away from her and towards me. I dodged many of them, but many others hit their marks—arms, legs, stomach. Meanwhile, only a few shuriken had grazed her arms and legs, while none of them hit the rest of her body. It was clear she was athletic when she was younger, but I had no time to ask her about it. I quickly yanked out the shuriken, then fled for the cage walls. Once again, I needed time to heal. As I clung to the cage with one hand and began healing myself with the other, I glanced over my shoulder at Paige.
Calmly, she pulled the bow off her head and shook it with a flick of her wrist. As she did so, a glint of light raced across its surface. Like the ribbon before it, the bow was now a metal weapon. She brought it back over her head, then threw it at me. It cut a wide arc in the air, like a boomerang. I ran toward it, then tucked and rolled in order to escape its path. Unfortunately, it shredded the back of my clothes, and my back began to bleed. Damn, she must have manipulated the air molecules to change its path. And that’s when it hit me. I wasn’t thinking big enough.
I dashed toward the cage wall, then clambered up the side and toward the ceiling. While turning around, I pulled out a kusari-gama from beneath the waist of my pants. A short scythe, it had a long chain attached to it, with a weight at the end. I grabbed tight to the chain and flung the scythe right at Paige. She ran to dodge it, but her attempt was futile. Manipulating the air, I redirected the scythe to follow her wherever she moved. The chain whipped around her body, and the scythe embedded in her stomach. “Gaaah!” she screamed in pain. “Okay, you wanna play rough, let’s play rough!”
Wincing, Paige ripped the scythe out of her stomach and quickly wiped a hand over the wound to seal it.A glowing sword materialized in her hand, and she chopped at the chain, easily cutting the links. I tossed the now-useless weapon away and pulled out a blowgun, then began blowing a flurry of darts at her. Many of them struck her instantly—arms, legs, boobs. It was a shame to hit those, but I couldn’t go easy on her. I needed to win this, by any means necessary. Paige grimaced in pain as she dropped her sword, but made no movements to pull out the darts. Instead, she tightly closed her palms into fists, then reopened them. They were now filled with what looked to be red marbles with wicks attached. Cherry bombs. Shit.
I jumped off the cage wall and landed on the mat, a long bo materializing in my hand. Paige
tossed a fistful of bombs right at me, and the fuses immediately lit. Swinging the bo, I deflected many of bombs right back at her and they exploded loudly near her feet, sending up thin clouds of smoke. Two can play at this game. Unfortunately, many bombs also exploded near or on me, burning through cloth and flesh. I screamed, and tears welled up in my eyes. It was time to finish this, once and for all.
I thrust my palms at Paige and focused with all of my might. As in the freezer of my restaurant those many months ago, a large pillar of flame shot forth. This time, though, I strained even harder, and the flame took the form of a tiger. Paige stood frozen in the middle of the mat, staring in shock and horror as the tiger reared up over head. With one final push, I threw my arms downward, and the flame raced toward her body.
“NOOOO!” Paige screamed as the fire engulfed her. A split second later, a torrent of water doused her and extinguished the flame. Like she said, this wasn’t a deathmatch. She lay motionless on the mat, covered in third-degree burns. Her clothes were torn to shreds, and her hair was singed almost black. Paige would need a lot of time to heal herself, but she would live. I stumbled over to her, exhausted, and bent over her with my hands on my knees.
Panting heavily, I gasped, “Do … you … surrender?”
Super Cute - Volume 2
By Matthew Wade
The sequel to Super Cute is here! A year and a half has passed since Shelby Davenport escaped the Mystic Realms. With the help of her friends Alex and Tessa, she is on the verge of securing full funding and approval for the first project of her new venture philanthropy. Then, one evening, after a pitch meeting to potential investors, she receives an ominous phone call from Realms mastermind Leticia Ralston. It seems a young intersexed woman has just escaped from her former prison, and her attacker may have evil plans from the rest of the Realms inhabitants. That attacker's name ... is Abigail Green.
I shuddered again, then looked up into Cammie’s concerned face.“Something wrong?” she asked, sounding disappointed.
“It’s just the way Randa’s nude body looks,” I replied, mildly aghast. I looked over at the pond to see
Hannah walking into the water, wearing a navy-blue one-piece that exposed her back but covered most of her behind. Randa was smiling happily at her, and was already submerged up to her shoulders—thank God. “It’s just … unsettling.”
“Wanna talk about it?”
I looked back at Cammie and slowly shook my head. “Nah, the shock will eventually wear off. But
looking at her tail again got me to thinking about how weird this place is.”
“The pond?” Cammie asked, confused. “Gozo? Because I don’t think it’s weird at all. I think it’s very
“No, Gozo’s fine,” I agreed wholeheartedly. “At least for what it is. I meant the Realms in general.
Panda girls. Dragon ladies. Fairies. C’mon, it’s not normal.”
“Yeah, I supposed you’re right,” Cammie said resignedly, and her face looked mildly sad. “But on the other hand, we can truly be ourselves here, and the magic lets us do that.”
“Hey, wings and tails are one thing,” I said defensively, “but you and I both know there’s a lot more to it than that.”
“What do you mean?”
I looked at the leafy branches above my head, then focused my attention on the air around them. Within seconds, a light breeze began to blow through them, gently rustling them together. It looked perfectly normal, but it was far from it.
“I mean that,” I said harshly, turning back to her with a fierce gaze. “The magic gives us way too much power. It’s like … damn, I hate to say it, but it’s like we’re gods.”
“I think you’re exaggerating just a bit,” Cammie said with a chuckle. “I mean, I know we can create life and destroy it at will, and okay, we can control the weather, but we can’t control the entire universe.”
“Oh no?” I shot back, not caring that I was losing my temper.
I looked up into the sky, which was a brilliant blue. The large sun was high in the horizon, but despite its size and apparent closeness, it didn’t cast much warmth. That’s because it was mostly for show. And I was about to prove that. Staring hard at the “celestial” body, I willed it to shrink. And as I began to sweat from the intense effort, it slowly did. Within minutes, the sun was completely gone, and the sky was pitch black.
“What the hell?!” Randa cried out as she swam in place in the middle of the pond.
“Don’t worry!” I called back to her. “Here, look!”
Gazing back into the dark sky above me, I slowly materialized a field of stars, then a modest-sized moon.It glowed a brilliant white, and it was close enough that I could see its craters.
I turned back to Cammie with a triumphant grin on my face. “I’d call that controlling the universe,
wouldn’t you? Or at least the solar system.”
But Cammie didn’t answer me, at least not verbally. Her face said it all, though. It was turning a bright red, and her bespectacled eyes glared at me with fury. Yeah, she was pissed.
“You crossed the line,” she said flatly, then stood up and walked back through the grove of trees.
Hello, treasured readers! My name is Matt Wade. Although my childhood took me to such far-flung places as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Fairbanks, Alaska, I currently make my home in Lafayette, Indiana. I am a proud alumnus of Purdue University, having earned Bachelor's degrees in both Liberal Arts (with a focus on Professional Writing) and Biology (with a focus on Ecology and Evolution). In my spare time, I enjoy many activities, including bowling, going to the movies, reading, watching anime, attending the occasional live concert (sidenote: if you're ever in Los Angeles, be sure to check out Briagha McTavish. She's awesome :) ), and cheering on my beloved Boilermakers.
Ever since I was in junior high school, I have enjoyed writing fiction, and much of it has been of a fantastical nature. My love for science fiction and fantasy has its roots in the films I have watched and the books I have read. Some of these I naturally gravitated to, and some of them I discovered through my father (thanks, Dad!). I recently decided to pursue a career as a novelist, with the goal of publishing books for a long time to come. I hope that you will join me on my journey, and I welcome all feedback and constructive criticism.