Holiday  Magic


(With an Arizona Twist)




M.D. Anderson, Author






M.D. Anderson, Author   


Christmas Season, 2009



Copyright© 2009-2018, Original Works of M.D. Anderson, All Rights Reserved







Author Comments on “Twelve Tales of Holiday Magic



( For 12 days of Holiday Reading Entertainment! )


Day 1: The List

This is a light but enjoyable tale that brings back belief to two teenage brothers who have long ago quit believing in Santa Claus.  But, when they discover their own grandfather IS Santa Claus albeit in a spacecraft instead of Reindeer and sleigh, belief quickly returns!


Day 2:  Hot Coffee

A county road maintenance worker rushes home after getting off work in a snow storm for a midnight Christmas Eve dinner with his pregnant wife.  He is shocked to find he has driven by her car in the ditch during the storm and didn’t know she was actually delivering her first baby back in the ditch. The tale has a nice "twist" at the end.


Day 3: The Gift

This story profiles the stigma of becoming homeless for a young teenage girl and her family and the resulting problems it causes her at school.  But, it also provides for a wonderful recovery and redemption for the contrasting characters. One who discovers she shouldn't be teasing...the other that she should not give up hope. Both, experience the rewards of having a true friend, just before Christmas!


Day 4:  Sweet Dreams

This warm tale hits the mark in addressing one of the most common holiday time problems -- melancholy and mild depression.  Especially for those who have recently lost a spouse or other loved one.  It provides a nice cure for the main character in the story, albeit it being highly unconventional in nature.


Day 5:  The Joker

Being funny has its privileges.  In fact it may even help save the life of this well known comedian in this interesting and funny tale about a man whose self deprecating New Years Eve act hurts much more than the audience may know.


Day 6:  Fate

With a plot twist lifted from the movie “Dual”, a mysterious motorcyclist appears to be terrorizing an Arizona family that were leisurely driving to their family Thanksgiving celebrations. It isn’t known until the end of the tale just how “fate” will play a part in the final outcome.


Day 7:  The Decision

This story is a magical tale mimicking real life events when the President of the United States is forced to make one of the hardest decisions of his Presidential life during the holidays.  But, he discovers that he has some extra White House “guests” that just might help him decide.


Day 8:  Cheers!

Two friends and partners in a successful software company on the verge of getting rich decide to toast the New Year in one more time and do so with great enthusiasm. But the story's mood changes quickly for one partner when the ball starts dropping at midnight.  Suddenly experiencing serious revelations about his life we are left wondering, "Will he be able to make it home safely to write out new resolutions?"


Day 9:  Treasure of Picacho Pass

On Christmas break, two young Arizona love birds about to marry in a few months decide to visit and explore around the Picacho Peak Arizona area. The couple, being greatly concerned about how to cover their upcoming wedding bills, had recently prayed for a miracle. They never expected an answer like this!


Day 10:  Restoration

This story is a heart wrenching tale of a young Mexican boy whose family is too poor to provide holiday gifts. Then on Christmas day, he is rushed to Children’s hospital with a mysterious illness that has suddenly gripped his life. Doctors rush to find out what is causing his illness while a pet group visitation is called to cheer him up.  The tale provides a surprise ending the reader will treasure.


Day 11: Reversal of Fortune

An interesting tale about a “down on her luck” Las Vegas performer who is suffering from terminal breast cancer.  After opening her last Christmas gift from a sister in Israel she is surprised to receive a beautiful, but very old antique vase. When 2000 year old coins are found stuck to the bottom, her bad luck quickly changes and her illness begins retreating. Only when her cancer returns does she discover the coins may not be as lucky as she first thought.


Day 12:  Ticket to Ride

Final story about an Arizona family that saved up to buy tickets for a historic train ride on an old fashioned steam engine powered locomotive. They travel from Williams to the Grand Canyon during the Christmas break.  But, as soon as the train leaves the station, the characters in this magical tale realize all too quickly..."they aren't in Kansas any more!"





M.D. Anderson, Author / Chandler, Arizona / 1-800-782-2806 / E-mail:





The List

 The spacecraft shot out of the machine shop like a bullet! Every Christmas Eve, local residents reported seeing UFO’s in the Montana skies. Sightings increased at midnight and then again right before dawn. But this time, on this night, Joe and Leonard Shapiro were experiencing it first hand.

  After seeing the big sliding door on the ranch shop slide open, they had just witnessed a shiny spacecraft fly out sideways and then shoot straight up! They had heard nothing. But, what they saw was alarming. More like incredible, unbelievable – perhaps....even impossible!

  A visual “swoosh” was all they could see with a streak of white and red colors mixed together in their visionary path, and now emblazoned into their memory. But, they saw it. A “V” shaped spacecraft about the same siz
e as Leonard’s old Camaro. “Joe, my gosh -- can you believe what we just saw?”

  “Leonard, that wasn’t from this planet...was it?” “I don’t know Joe – I am so excited, I can’t think straight. I have never seen anything like that --EVER! Leonard suddenly spun around to see if anyone else on the ranch was there.
No one but them!  “We have to tell someone about this”, Leonard piped back. “Yea, O.K., but who is going to believe that a UFO just buzzed out of the machine shop and disappeared up into the night sky?”


  “Well, no one probably.  Everyone in Great Falls would just make fun of us.” “Yea, only Grandpa believes in them I think. Or at least he says we should keep an open mind. Maybe we should go tell him...” “Super idea” Leonard said, cutting Joe off abruptly.  “Let’s see if he is in his shop.  By the way, just what was that thing doing inside Grandpa’s shop?” “Don’t know. And...don’t know if I want to know”, Joe replied.


  Both Joe and Leonard hurried over to Grandpa Nick's shop. He was pushing 75, yet he looked like a man 20 years younger.  He worked out, watched what he ate and was fit as a fiddle.  He had owned the family ranch for over 30 years.  The boys’ father, Jonas Shapiro, was the ranch manager and Joe and Leonard both planned to finish college and then come back to join the family ranch enterprise.


  “Look Leonard, the door is open and the shop lights are on.  He must be in there. You would think he would have seen something...”


  “No doubt, Joe.”  But, when the boys went into the enormous shop decked out with expensive tools and machines, Grandpa Nick was no where in sight.


  They walked over to a huge hydraulic hoist and noticed it was still a few feet in the air.  Both Joe and Leonard stepped up on the hoist ramp and it immediately jerked, almost knocking them off. Then, it started going down. Just as they were about to jump off, it just kept going.  Past the shop floor and into a dark abyss below.


  “What in the world is this Joe?”, Leonard quizzed his brother in the dark.  “I don’t know, but I’m finding out right now”, Joe replied. The brothers found the light switch after floundering around for a couple minutes.  What they saw next was magical, unbelievable, and so very incredible.  They observed assembly lines, toys, letters from children, tools, and a spare red and white spaceship!


  “There is no way...OUR GRANDPA IS...SANTA CLAUS!”, Joe shrieked in sudden belief.   “Leonard, you know what that means don’t you?” “Yea, Grandma Shapiro is MRS. SANTA CLAUS!”, Leonard snapped back. “No, you dummy…


  O.K., I guess you may have a point... this means that everything we have believed as being... Reality... up to this point is now going out the window!”


  “Joe, you know what?  “What Leonard?” “This explains those years Grandpa was away on that secret military project”. “Yep!  And, that flying saucers are not necessarily from outer space”, Joe replied.  “Yea right, but how do you explain that Santa Claus is real, doesn’t live at the North pole, our Grandfather?”


  With that, the boys shook their heads, shut the lights off, found the switch to go up, and quickly left the secret lair of Santa Claus.  They had some questions for Grandpa Shapiro in the morning.  And plans to leave a long list next to milk and cookies just in case he dropped in early this Christmas eve night…





The End




Hot Coffee



  The snow plow pushed through the gray slush and freshly fallen snow on Interstate 17, cleaning the road once again for the winter travelers passing through the south interchanges of Flagstaff.  It was 11:35 P.M., yet traffic was still brisk on this Christmas Eve night.  John Newman glanced at his watch. He couldn’t wait to get off duty and head back home.  He thought about his wife Sarah and the new baby that was due early January.


  He knew a year from now they would have their first Christmas together as a family. Just the thought warmed him for a minute from the cold that was seeping into his truck.  Both John and Sarah had agreed not to do the ultrasound to see if it was a boy or a girl – kind of an old fashioned way they thought. This was their  miracle baby; on it’s way after years of failed testing and treatments. But one day, something they didn't understand changed and the doctor told them... to start buying baby furniture!


  John suddenly noticed some cars in the ditch as he passed by an intersection he had salted just a few hours before. He saw a gray Honda that looked like his brother-in-law’s car, but quickly dismissed the thought since they weren’t due to arrive until Christmas day.  He called dispatch who would have a highway patrolman assist the stranded motorists.  They all appeared to have slipped into the shallow ditch unharmed.


  Another peek at his watch confirmed it was time to head back. Sarah was waiting at home with a midnight meal surprise.  His stomach growled in anticipation as he thought about her food creations and how they were a treat to the taste buds!  He knew his relief driver, Larry Right, would be waiting there doing his nervous tapping ritual.  And sure enough, as John pulled into the service entrance he saw Larry inside comically tapping his fingers and twitching his feet.  His giant stainless thermos was sitting next to him!


  John quickly parked so they could service the truck for Larry’s shift.  He headed directly into the employee entrance. “Larry, it’s kind of rough out there’d better keep your eye out for cars in the ditch, as I counted at least three on my way back to the barn.” “Oh, don’t worry about me John, I am always alert and watching – you know that!” “Yea, I know.  You are always wired from all that coffee you inhale”  “O.K. John, I might drink more than most do.  But, they now say coffee is good for you.”  “In moderation, Larry, moderation...”


  With that short exchange, Larry hastily exited the building while John checked out of his shift.  As soon as the time card was stamped, he put on his snowmobile gear and headed out the back door.  His new Ski Do  “Invader” snowmobile was out back ready to take him to his waiting wife and promised midnight meal.  A short minute warm up and he was heading home. Trees blurred in his side vision as he raced down the wooded trail to his home.  Thoughts of Christmas trees and presents, and a warm fireplace and a loving wife drifted through his mind as he neared the final stretch.  He could even distinctly taste apple pie and couldn't rationalize how that was even possible...


  He saw the back porch light on and quickly parked. Galloping through the freshly fallen snow, he opened the door only to witness Sarah jump up and scream and then burst out crying!  “Sarah, gosh...what happened to the baby?”  “I’m not Sarah, John, I’m Sally!  Didn’t you know we came early because of the storm?”


  Though relieved that Sarah had not lost the baby, and that this was her twin sister who must have borrowed Sarah’s Christmas sweater, John quickly inquired where Sarah was. “I’m sorry to scare you.  Just Sarah?  Is she...



O.K?”  “She’s fine John.  Bob took her in our car to the hospital when the water broke.  But, they slipped in the ditch out there on the mix master.”


  The phone rang just as Sally finished, and John recognized Larry’s voice. “Larry, did you find Sarah?” “Yep, she’s fine and the baby boy is fine too!”


“Baby Boy?”


  “Congratulations John – we’re in the ditch...the thermos was keeping your new son warm, and the ambulance just took them both to the hospital!” 





The End





The Gift


  A group of friends exited the school cafeteria line and looked for a place to sit together.  As they walked by Samantha Sloan sitting by herself, someone muttered… “POOR GIRL!!”  “I hate you!”, Samantha fired back, not knowing which one said it. “We hate you too Samantha!  BTW, Nice clothes!” piped back Elizabeth Beck, the popular leader of the group. Samantha broke down and cried while the snooty group of girls walked away. But, suddenly they turned around in unison for one last insult.  “BABY!”


  Having been born with a twin brother who died during childbirth, Samantha felt the “spirit” of her baby brother inside and calming her when she was teased. If only he was here with her…  Samantha’s dad had been a successful executive for a California company. But, one day the company’s sales dropped, and he soon lost his job.  Samantha’s family lost their cars and their upscale San Diego home.  They were forced to move in with their ailing grandmother in Phoenix.


  Grandma Sloan passed away soon after the move, and her mortgage program required the home went to the bank at her death.  With no jobs found yet, the family became homeless!  And, then to make things worse, Samantha was diagnosed with Leukemia. Though her parents eventually found new jobs in Phoenix, the cost of her care without insurance took all of the money.


  “Samantha, can I help?” Keenan Powers asked. “Oh, I’ll be O.K…., those girls bring out my worst...”  Keenan was in Samantha’s history class and he had always been nice to her. He recently had heard about her illness, and personally delivered a cash gift from his family to hers. “Keep your head up Samantha, things will get better!” he whispered in her ear while passing by.  Keenan’s dad owned a big lumber yard that supplied many of the home builders in Phoenix. Though the housing crisis had hurt their sales, the business was still doing well.


  Samantha finished her lunch and slowly got up, knowing her illness was affecting her strength now just a little.  After finishing classes, she started walking back to her temporary home.  It was just a big tent right outside the city limits. She dreamed about the life she used to have in California but quickly dismissed Keenan’s words as fantasy.  Tears flowed down her cheeks as she walked the long miles home…


  That night, Elizabeth was going to her brother’s piano recital with her family when their car suddenly stopped just before they reached city limits. Remarkably, no one had a cell phone. Though instructed to stay in the car, the whole family followed Mr. Beck into a small cluster of tents close to the road. And that is when Elizabeth saw Samantha.


  “Samantha, what are you doing here?” “My family is…homeless Elizabeth”, said Samantha, expecting more teasing. Elizabeth burst out crying instead. A wave of shame and guilt hit her hard remembering the horrible teasing at school she had been doing.  “Samantha”, she said in a broken voice, “I…I am so sorry for the way I have been treating you.  Will…will you forgive me?” “I will Elizabeth. I guess you can see why I don’t look as nice as you do in school.” “It’s O.K. Samantha, is there any way I can help you?”


  “Just stop teasing me – it’s harder than putting up with my cancer.”  Elizabeth started sobbing again, not knowing. Her mother had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.  The girls hugged each other, and each promised it ended there.  Someone in the camp made a cell call and the Beck family was rescued just in time to attend the recital.


Months passed and things did get better for Samantha’s family. Elizabeth changed friends too.  On the night of Christmas Eve, a shiny black car suddenly pulled up to the Sloan’s new apartment.  Out stepped Elizabeth and Keenan.  They went up to the door and rang the doorbell.  “Merry Christmas!” Keenan piped up as soon as he saw Samantha at the door.  “Merry Christmas Keenan!”, Samantha quickly replied, expecting another fruit basket to suddenly appear.


  Elizabeth gave Samantha a hug and then placed a set of keys in her hands.  “These are for your family Samantha”.  Samantha asked sheepishly…”What are they for?”  “Keenan’s dad supplied the lumber and land, my dad supplied the building crew, and a community group helped furnish…IT’S YOUR NEW HOME SAMANTHA!   And your new family car!”





The End



 Sweet Dreams

  Ruby Beckwith woke this December day to an especially bright and sunny Arizona sky. She had turned 84 on her last birthday and was proud to still be living on her own and driving.  Her husband Richard had passed away exactly two years ago.  She missed him dearly and felt a deep void in her life without him. The bond they had developed during 58 years of marriage was unmistakable. The holidays made it especially hard for her.


  Having 3 grown children, 6 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren, Ruby enjoyed spending time with them.  But she also enjoyed her quiet moments alone at home looking at photo albums and viewing old home movies.  And, she loved to read the many poems Richard had written for her over the years. The family understood her independent ways and had no problem with it. In fact, they often teased her about her Irish spunk. Richard had always tried to make her laugh and was often successful.  Yet, the funniest times they had together was when he tried and failed. Being a red head, Ruby’s face could turn “beet red” and match her hair color when she got mad!  Usually, she would eventually see the humor in what he was doing and both would burst out laughing uncontrollably.


  “Grandma, it’s Jonathon – can I come in?”  “Sure, Jonathon, Grandma knew you would be stopping by after school.  Come on in to the kitchen.  I have some hot chocolate chip cookies I just baked and a cold milk waiting for you.”  Jonathon set his backpack down, kicked his shoes off and hurried over to the milk and cookies. “Are you coming to the science fair tonight at school Grandma?” Jonathon inquired.  “Wouldn’t miss it for anything sweetheart.  I want to try out that time machine you made.” “Yep, Grandma, the teacher really likes it.  My dad made the time dial -- you can dial forward or backwards….  I just wish it worked!” “What, it doesn’t take you backwards or forwards in time?  Maybe it will for Grandma when I try it out tonight!”, Ruby kidded.


  Early that night, Ruby met Jonathon and his mother Maureen at the school science center.  She was really proud to see an A+ and a pretty blue ribbon proudly displayed on the time machine.  “Way to go Jonathon, you really have built a great project!  Can I give it a try?”  “Sure Grandma -- just sit down and dial the year you want to go to!”, Jonathon said excited. Ruby did just that.  She set the dial to exactly one year before Richard died.   Jonathon and Maureen went on to see the other projects on display and Ruby shut the time machine door.  She then noticed a little sign Jonathon had placed on the dash:





  Checking the date one more time, Ruby pushed the big silver pedal down.  But nothing happened of course. Ruby thought how foolish this all was -- pretending to go back in time to see Richard again. But, she decided she must close her eyes and make a wish to know when she would join Richard in Heaven. Just then, she heard Jonathon,  “Grandma, come look at more projects!”  “O.K., O.K., your Grandma just got back from 2006!” she joked to humor him.


  Back home, Ruby said her usual prayers and went to bed early that night.  The day’s events had been exhausting for her.  Just before falling asleep she worried that she had lost her coin purse.  Great relief came as she found it safely in her sweater pocket. She then remembered the wish she had made earlier that night. And that is when she noticed a gray paper sticking out of her coin purse.  She was thrilled to find the same gray stationary Richard used when he was alive.


 She quickly unfolded the note and read out loud…





  A huge smile came across Ruby’s face as she rushed back to the dresser to comb her hair, now silver, and put just a touch of lipstick on.  She then took a quick look around her room, got back into bed, and tucked herself in real good.  She closed her eyes and felt a rush of complete peace and tranquility encompass her mind and body as she fell into what would be the deepest sleep of her life.




The End



The Joker



  Steve Bang was reaching the end of his comedy routine live and on stage at the Tempe IMPROV.  He had this holiday crowd right where he wanted them. It was the last show on New Years Eve,  and though the crowd was quite happy by the time his 11pm show started, he wasn't taking any chances. Needing to top the comedians before him, he chose the routine about his parents and their weird relatives and his overweight body...


  “My mama took one look at me when I was born and asked God -- Will he ever become a big deal in this world?...I don’t know Mom…I’m now 310 pounds since Thanksgiving…is that big enough for you? The crowd roared in laughter.  His big size came off as "funny" on stage, but the self deprecation really hurt off stage. But it was his act,...he needed to stick to it tonight.


  “You know, I wasn’t born fat!  I was just born 2 and ½ inches too short! They say my Dad looked at me for hours through the hospital window admiring his new baby boy. Right up until the nurse told him...he was viewing the wrong baby!!!  Just kidding… Dad liked me a lot…when I was still little…really little…especially between conception and

birth!”  The audience exploded in laughter and applause.  Steve then twisted his face into a screwball concoction to sustain the laughter further.


  "...I went on a 30 day diet….lost a month!  My wife suggested I try a fast. So I bought a Vette!   Zoom Zoom!  Broke the seat…not because I’m too big for a Vette…no, no…it was just… two and ½ feet too short!!!  With that, it was time for his trademark exit. He pointed to people in the crowd as he ran out of the auditorium -- “Yea, you’re learning, you in the Nehru suit, you’re learning! ...YOU, with the ugly wife, you’re learning….and you, yea the one changing your mother’s diaper…you’re learning too aren’t you?”  As he ran out of the IMPROV auditorium, the unsightly fat swaying back and forth was the final insult on their funny bone!  The crowd howled.


  Jubilant after the show, Steve hurried home to celebrate the New Year with his family. But, he realized 2001 had arrived and it was time for some new material —and a diet. Steve lost 90 pounds by October 15th, the day the Guard called him back to active duty.  After a short training program, he was one of the early “boots on the ground” in Afghanistan -- just in time for Christmas! It was a cruel joke he thought.


  “So you’re the funny man?” his first lieutenant quizzed him the first night in the barracks. “Yes sir!  I've got a joke or two – never know when you might need one.  Maybe you’ll be featured sir!”  “What are you, some kind of Joker?", he responded. Funny boys like you wash out early!” 


  The next day, Steve's platoon went on their first mission.  It had been extremely difficult, but Steve had served in the Gulf war before this. “Good mission Bang, you did alright”, his first Lieutenant praised him.  Just then, a rocket propelled grenade hit their Humvee and Steve woke up later, only to find a machine gun barrel tip under his nose!  And he was surrounded by some guys with serious hygiene needs, he thought in his mind.


  "I'M A... PRISONER?", he slowly quizzed his captors.


  “Bang – that...your name?”, the enemy leader asked in broken English. “Me big bang theory – and you?”  “So you some kind of joker, huh?”  the enemy leader replied. “Yep, I’m the Joker and Batman is on his way!  Better run before...", ...Steve was knocked out from an enemy rifle slug to his head when they didn't appreciate his response.


  Steve woke up with great relief that his captors had run off.  He couldn't help but notice an empty sheepskin water bag on his chest.  As he rubbed his sore head, he shouted "What are you, some kind of Joker?", quickly remembering his Lieutenant's words the day before.  It made him chuckle.


  The rescue team found him and took him back to camp to treat his injuries.  He safely served his tour of duty and went back home to resume his career with a full plate of new material.  Steve wasted no time writing his new comedy routine on his humorous military experiences. He knew that soldiers and their families need a good laugh occasionally.





The End






Motorcycle Man  Light snow was falling as Mark and Cheryl Anderson pulled out of the driveway of their Flagstaff home.  The kids were restless to get to Grandpa and Grandma Anderson's house in Tucson for Thanksgiving dinner.  They had an extra day to get there and chose the scenic route to Phoenix to relax and enjoy their holiday trip more.


  “Mark, did you pack the video camera?” Cheryl inquired as the garage door shut. “Yep, it’s in the trunk my dear.”  “Well, I was just checking, we want to shoot a little video of the kids for our Christmas DVD."  "I know honey, Sedona will be beautiful this time of year."


  Just before leaving the city, Caleb and Ruth unanimously coaxed their parents to turn into McDonalds. Mark pulled behind a big pickup in the drive-through lane. The line just wasn’t moving, and he started backing up to go inside instead to order. He didn’t see the shiny black motorcycle that had pulled behind him and his car bumper banged into the bike's front tire. Mark got out quickly and noticed the rider's black helmet and dark visor covering his face.  “Sorry about that everything O.K?”  The rider didn’t speak but did shake his head up and down.  Mark got back in his car hoping

the guy wasn't upset.


  With their breakfast still in a bag, the Andersons pulled out of the parking lot and headed down the narrow scenic road south on their way to Sedona.  After 10 minutes on the winding route, Caleb suddenly hollered, “Dad, the motorcycle man is behind us again!”  “It’s alright Caleb, he is going home to thanksgiving just like us I bet.”, Mark assured him. “But Dad, he is right behind us and he looks mad!” Caleb hollered back.  “O.K., Caleb, I know you can’t see him – he has a dark visor...."  "No Dad -- his face is all cut up...he looks really mean...he's looking at me...I think he wants to kill us!


  Cheryl responded, “Mark, maybe we should just pull over and let him pass us…I don’t want Ruthie to get upset over this.”  Mark looked in his rearview mirror and sure enough, the visor was off and the guys face looked pretty rough.  “Alright, Dad’s going to pull off the road the next chance I get. That guy seems to have a real problem...”, Mark said angrily. The motorcycle was indeed, a little too close for comfort so Mark decided to speed up their BMW instead, just to put some distance between them. But as he did, the motorcycle man speeded up too!  “My gosh Cheryl, that guy must be mad the guy wasn't upset.


  With their breakfast still in a bag, the Andersons pulled out of the parking lot and headed down the narrow scenic road south on their way to Sedona.  After 10 minutes on the winding route, Caleb suddenly hollered, “Dad, the motorcycle man is behind us again!”  “It’s alright Caleb, he is going home to thanksgiving just like us I bet.”, Mark assured him. “But Dad, he is right behind us and he looks mad!” Caleb hollered back.  “O.K., Caleb, I know you can’t see him – he has a dark visor...."  "No Dad -- his face is all cut up...he looks really mean...he's looking at me...I think he wants to kill us!


  Cheryl responded, “Mark, maybe we should just pull over and let him pass us…I don’t want Ruthie to get upset over this.”  Mark looked in his rearview mirror and sure enough, the visor was off and the guys face looked pretty rough.  “Alright, Dad’s going to pull off the road the next chance I get. That guy seems to have a real problem...”, Mark said angrily. The motorcycle was indeed, a little too close for comfort so Mark decided to speed up their BMW instead, just to put some distance between them. But as he did, the motorcycle man speeded up too!  “My gosh Cheryl, that guy must be mad at us!” 


  “Don’t jump to conclusions Mark, he may be in a bigger hurry -- that’s all.  The road's busy...why don’t you take the next turn off so he can pass by us?”


  Mark saw a county road exit ahead and signaled for the turn. The motorcycle blasted past them and shot down the winding road as they pulled to a quick stop.  “How long do you think we should wait?”, Mark quizzed Cheryl.  “Oh, a few minutes should be’s strange, why he isn't in a car this time of year.”, Cheryl added.  “Mommy!  Is the bad "motor psycho"  man going to kill us?”, Ruthie asked, finally showing interest." “No, no…he is gone Ruthie”, Cheryl assured her.  "We'll never see him again."


  That night, after arriving safely to their North Phoenix motel, the kids and Cheryl went for a swim while Mark caught the local evening news.  Flipping through channels, he caught the last end of a news story over a terrible accident that happened on the same road they had traveled on.  A soldier was trying to get home for Thanksgiving with his family.


  He had been sent home from Iraq to a Denver hospital to recover from serious head and neck wounds, and was released the day before. He had been pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.  A drunk driver had run a red light.

A deep sadness overcame Mark as he caught a quick flash of a crumbled black motorcycle. Mark knew who it was now. He told Cheryl the sad news when she and the kids got back.  The motorcycle man was just trying to get home…just like them! 


  Thanksgiving had special meaning that year for the Andersons.  They knew it could have been them instead -- killed or injured by the same drunk driver.







Sadly...The End for the Motorcycle Man



The  Decision



  The President didn’t know which way to turn. Terrorists had struck again after Thanksgiving, killing more innocent Americans. Sleeplessness during the middle of the night was becoming way too common to his liking. It probably was the hardest part of being President. The nighttime images of fallen soldiers being shipped back home hit him hard.


  He didn’t start this war or really support it at first, but as Commander in Chief of the armed forces he had a job to do. And, he understood a lot more now than before.  Always being trailed with the nuclear “football” was a real eye opener.  And seeing some “artifacts” on display in a secret underground bunker out in Nevada changed his opinion about the defense of the country and the world.


  But tonight, the need to deal with this latest tragedy in the war against terrorism was keeping him awake. Lives had been lost and for what reason?  The public expected a response and he knew he needed to step up operations in Afghanistan where many of the cells had grown back and overrun certain territories formerly protected. He knew his Commander in the field needed more troops and that he would be forced to send them at Christmas time. He felt a change was needed...but what?


  Only he and a few members of congress were aware of new weaponry perfected that could now do imaging right through thick rock and brush.  For the first time, it was possible to find the enemy when they hid in the deep Afghan caves and caverns.  But it was another new military weapon that needed his green light for it to be used.  After locating the enemy, a missile was now capable to penetrate deep underground rock and reach the inner sanctums where the enemy was hiding.  A small amount of uranium then released as a dirty bomb— predicting an eventual 100% kill rate. It was the nuclear option making him sleepless. “What if it fell in the wrong hands and was used against our men?" he kept asking himself.    


  After nervously turning back and forth until he woke the First Lady, the President finally got up to take a stroll. He loved discovering new things in the White House and with secret service agents keeping a watchful eye; the President scooted into the elevator.  He pushed the button heading to the bunker area below.  “I’ll be going alone”, he instructed the men.  But, the sound of the next elevator coming down, assured him he wasn't alone. Protocol was such a blessing and a curse!  As he stepped into the underground fortress, he headed the opposite direction from the big war room he had been spending a lot of time in lately. He noticed amazing architecture and design walking down the long hallway wondering why he hadn't seen it before....


  Light was coming from under the last door.  The President gave a quick glance back only to catch shadows of the agents trying to hide as nondescript as possible behind him. Then he looked down at his White House pajamas and slippers, laughing at how he looked.  Thinking he should just go back to bed, he was startled when the big wood door suddenly opened.


  “Welcome Sir, we’ve been expecting you.” (The man appeared as General George Washington in full military dress!) "I’m dreaming standing up – this is impossible!” the President gasped.  “Things are only impossible if you don’t try Sir”, the General responded. 


  “Where am I?” the President demanded.  “White House, Sir…you know that. Come, and meet Abe.  He has something for you." 


  The President walked into the room and saw a tall man standing in front of him with the same facial features, including crevices, as the original portraits upstairs. He was a dead ringer for Abe Lincoln!  Looking up into his eyes, he asked, “I’m supposed to believe… .you are... Abe Lincoln?Belief is the key”, Abe stated.  “Key to what?” the President sternly demanded. “Your decision, it is the key to your decision Sir.”


  The President woke up early the next morning realizing he had experienced a vivid dream the night before. He also knew his mind was fully made up and his decision was made.  However, he could not explain how or why until he reached into his pajama pocket where he found an old piece of paper with just one word scribbled ---------"BELIEVE".







The End





  Sam Sloan checked the bar clock.  He and his best friend and associate, Duane Perkins, had each paid the cover charge to consume all the alcoholic beverages they could drink on this New Years Eve. It was now 11:55 p.m. and the place was jumping with excitement and anticipation as the New Year approached.


  A few had already drank too much and you could see them flailing around the popular bar in a drunken stupor. “Hey Sloan --, jus whosa the decimated driver?”  “Well, it ain’t going to be you Duane -- you drunken code writer!” Sam wasn't doing much better, but he could hold his liquor better. Somewhere after the 3rd or 4th drink he and Duane became confused on who was supposed to be the designated driver. “Nobody is towing my Vette!” Sam told Duane.  But the drinks had kept flowing that night as they kept arguing about who was going to drive home.


  “Hey Duane, this year is almost over…get a fresh drink ‘cuz the ball is about to drop in Time’s Square.  Did you know it's already 2010 in New York?”, Sam quizzed Duane to see if his brain was still working. 

“Whatta ya think I’m stuped Sammy… my singal progammer friend?” Duane replied under the influence. “No, no pard, everything’s cool!” Sam replied.


  Just then, the ball on the television screen started dropping and the men held their glasses high to toast friendship, the business partnership, Sam’s dog “Pooch”, and his need for a girlfriend.  It suddenly turned 2010 in Arizona just as Duane’s aging cat “Fortran” received the final toast.


  Party hats went flying, flashing lights spun above, streams of confetti fell on their shoulders and the men blew their party whistles at each other in unison. Everyone in the bar was doing the “same ol’ samo” Sam paused to think. “Probably the same drunks from last year,” he muttered under his breath. At that moment, he realized this was just a repeat from last year and the year before.  Everyone in the bar appeared to be having a good time -- accept him!


  Why was he drowning his dreams with drinks anyway?, he thought. The new projects at work made it difficult to find his dream wife.  But he now realized he would never find her here! Sam made his first resolution that this was his last New

Years Eve bar scene.  It was time to fix a strong Espresso at home and sober up some…


  “Duane, we’re heading home! I promised your wife I would get you home safely -- we both murdered enough brain cells for one night”, he kidded as Duane obliged. Both Sam and Duane graduated with Physics degrees before starting their company. They had designed scientific applications for portable devices that could measure air content and warn if toxic elements were present.  The military now used them in the war zones and the device could also sense a strong concentration of alcohol when a drunk driver was pulled over.  Police department orders were imminent. Their newest project retrofitted the popular iphone to run the application. They knew it could make them very rich!


Sam started the car, skipping his own breath test knowing he would be over the legal limit. Duane mumbled just a few undistinguishable words during the short drive to his home.  Carefully down-shifting as he reached the busy intersection close to Duane’s condo, Sam stopped and turned.  He was carefully moving into the 4 way intersection when the sudden horror of a speeding car caught his eye.  He tried to veer into another lane but it was too late.  The car caught the driver door and killed Sam instantly from the impact.  Duane survived a few hours but died later from his injuries at the hospital.


The Chandler police report later read


           “Both occupants of late

           model black Corvette under

           the influence were killed due

           to excess speed. 


Driver of red pickup tested negative.

Recovering at CRH.”




  Sam suddenly woke up…….“You ready to go to AA Sam?” Duane hollered through the door on New Year’s Day.  “Yea, be out in a minute.” Sam replied. 


The nightmare had been surreal, but he was grateful he and Duane hadn’t had a drink for a whole year!  He wished his new bride goodbye as he headed to the door to step into the corporate limo.






The End




Treasure of Picacho Pass




  Right before Christmas, Stephanie Andrews opened her G-mail.  “Mike, I just got fired!, Stephanie Andrews told her fiancé, Mike Stockton. “What?” ... "Why?” he asked in rapid fire. “Laid off I guess…or fired for being late last Friday." “Bummer!" Mike replied.  "All that work and money to become a journalist and now this?”, Stephanie said in disgust. “And... after writing that #1 "diorama" story last February!”, Mike reminded her.


  Though she was a journalism graduate, Stephanie had to start as a news assistant at the paper.  Her editor was nice and encouraged stories when she had free time.  One story really took hold and had went nationwide on MSNBC!  And the online version had received the most hits on the paper's website all weekend! A local high school class built a diorama which was later destroyed by an Arizona museum director.  The detailed Picacho Peak battle pieces profiled troupe positions based on accurate historical accounts.  Numerous updates followed due to public interest, even after she was let go.


  With the setback, Stephanie knew looking for a job at Christmas time would be almost impossible.  Journalism jobs had

shrunk along with subscriptions.  She would have to look for any job to find a way to assist on the wedding bills now.  Everyone on both sides of the families were feeling too strapped from the slowing economy to help them much. The February date was set after planning for months, but no plans were made for a lost job!  This new worry weighed heavily on both of them.


  Mike and Stephanie had dropped to their knees and asked God for help.  It was a simple little prayer.  But nothing seemed to change after that.  One day Mike suggested a short trip would do them good.  They had already gone on day trips all over Arizona.  "Hey Mike, why don't we just go down to Picacho Peak?"  "Great idea Stephie...let's go!"


  Quickly packing Mike's car, they took off and were pulling into the parking lot an hour later.  Both laughed when they observed  the "Peak" wasn’t much more than a big hill. But, Mike encouraged Stephanie to get out and go look at the Picacho Pass Civil War Memorial nearby. He was always on the phone with his mom in Minnesota, and this time was assuring his folks that their Christmas gifts had arrived safely.


  As Stephanie neared the memorial, she noticed a county sign --"DANGER!" it

read.  Rains had caused some ravines to wash out and she was careful walking on the wet and slippery desert landscape.


   "I should have had that sign at ASU while choosing my occupation!" she thought in her mind.  As she leaned on the sign to free her shoes from prickly needles, it suddenly pushed out forward and down and she was sliding right behind it!  Down and lower in a mix of wet thicket, rocks and sand -- she was rolling like a desert tumbleweed


“Mikeeeeeee,…. help meeeeeeee!!!!” is all Mike could hear as he looked up and saw the love of his life sinking down into the ground!


  "Stephanieeeeeeeeeee!!!” he cried back in desperation bursting out of the car and running toward her.  Just the top of her head was seen disappearing down into the ground as Mike stood above and started freaking out.  "I'm O.K. Mike… I'm...O.K!"  Though wet and covered with desert brush, she couldn't believe where she was..."It WAS a volcano!” she cried out, knowing her former research questioned whether it was a real volcano.


  Mike jumped into the slide of desert mush and plopped right alongside her.  “Stephie, can you believe this place?” 


“No, Mike – It’s beautiful!” Though it was a colder December day, the newly discovered Picacho Pass volcano cavern was nice and warm. “I hope it's not active yet!”, Mike warned.  "Mike, look at the spring water…it looks pure!” “Sweetie -- I see it!  "Mike!  Look -- there's something sticking out of the water!" 


  Mike tested for boiling temperature -- "It’s a warm spring Stephie” he happily reported.  He waded in and saw an old military style strong box just barely sticking out of the shallow water. The tattered leather handle was still attached and he grasped it, pulling as hard as he could.  "It's really heavy", he reported with extreme excitement.


  Stephanie's story research had uncovered rumors about a Confederate stash of California gold nuggets and coins hidden there by the soldiers as they retreated south to Tucson after the battle.


But no one ever reported finding them....







The End






  Pedro Rodriquez was crying on Christmas Eve after finding out that Santa Claus was not stopping that year to deliver his gifts.  His mama and papa had just told him Santa was passing over the migrant farm camp in southern Arizona because he had run out of presents.


  "Papa is it because we are poor?" he asked between whimpers. "No, no Pedro… Santa brings toys and presents to poor children just like rich children.", his papa lied to calm his son. "He might come after Christmas, so don't give up hope Pedro".  The false reassurance seemed to calm Pedro down as he could be seen reconsidering his chances.


  Manuel and his wife Maria knew that they could never buy presents for Pedro this year. Entering the country legally had taken all of their money. On this uneventful Christmas Eve night, both parents were thankful for each other and little Pedro, but they went to bed wishing there was at least one Christmas gift the family could share.


  The next morning, Manuel was suddenly awoken by Maria screaming -- "Something's wrong with Pedro!" Manuel rushed over to Pedro's bed and found him having extreme difficulty breathing.  Luckily their farm manager was passing by outside to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. “HOSS! Manuel yelled, Pedro is not breathing!”  “Manuel, he… needs medical help... but I think he’s still breathing." HOSS then grabbed Pedro and ran to his pickup just a few yards away, while Manuel ran after them.


  "Maria, don't worry, Pedro will be O.K.! , Manuel shouted back.  Even though he had tried to calm her, he knew she was hysterical.  As they pulled out of the camp, she was inside the cabin still shaking uncontrollably and screaming some words about God taking away Pedro from them.  Not having gifts for her or Pedro that night had been gut-wrenching for Manuel.  And now this… he could not help but feel the same as Maria...


  Luckily, HOSS made short order of rushing Pedro to the Tucson hospital nearby.  They felt relieved that Pedro was breathing a little easier by the time they had arrived. Once stabilized, Pedro was immediately flown by helicopter to Children's hospital in Phoenix. HOSS drove both Manuel and Maria there and arranged for a room for them close to the hospital. The staff was extremely cheerful and full of holiday spirit which helped due to the serious medical condition of most patients.  Goodies from volunteers and staff also helped provide  some Christmas cheer.


  After a few hours, Pedro was feeling better and the staff rejoined him with his parents as soon as they arrived.  "Mama, Mama -- a puppy is visiting me today!” Big nurse Sullivan loved pets and had arranged for a local pet adoption service to bring some pets in to visit the children.  The program was new and a very big hit! It was sure to lift Pedro’s spirits. Just then, the nurse stepped into the room, “Here you go Pedro!  Curli has come to see you!”  Pedro’s eyes lit up like firecrackers!


  He had listed a puppy on his Christmas list but knew Santa ran out of presents and didn't expect a puppy this year. Pedro loved the little German Shepard  dog who really took a liking to him and the family. That afternoon, Manuel and Maria were relieved when the doctor reported Pedro just had asthma.  Manuel called HOSS so he could come pick them up.  He also asked if he would pay the  adoption fees on Curli as a surprise for Pedro.  HOSS agreed to loan the money and then secretly smuggle Curli back to the camp in the pickup rear. But, he reluctantly called back to report that Curli had just been adopted...


Back home, Pedro ran in to see if Santa had come while he had been gone. "Nothing!", he said feeling Christmas had past him by. A stream of tears broke out and trickled down his face when suddenly – there was a knock at the door. Big Nurse Sullivan walked in with authority and a little puppy running behind.  He was nipping her white hospital shoes as she walked.


    “It’s your new puppy Pedro, she’s... Curli’s little sister —Cali!”


  Pedro quickly wiped the tears away and hugged Cali when she jumped right in his lap.  Then both Maria and Manuel hugged Nurse Sullivan -- not knowing she was also slipping a thick sealed envelope into Maria’s pocket…





The End




Reversal of Fortune



The Christmas gift was wrapped in rich gold paper and had just arrived from Israel. Lola’s sister Loretta unable to come visit, found it in an old antique shop in Tel Aviv. Lola's Las Vegas hospital room was nicely decorated with Christmas cards, vases full of flowers, and a small Christmas tree. The doctor informed Lola this would be her last Christmas. Terminal breast cancer had drained all of her life and strength. Lola pulled on the pretty wrapping but found it difficult. Just then, Nurse Newsom stepped in to check on her.


  “Sheri, can you help me get the wrapping off?” she slowly asked the head nurse. “Nice package Lola…I bet something really beautiful is inside!” she said while lending a hand. The nurse gave a quick hug, and then checked Lola’s pulse. Lola’s face lit up like a child when she saw the present. “A beautiful gold antique vase!” Lola shouted. “Lola your face has amazing color – you look really nice today!” As soon as Sheri left, Lola grabbed her hand mirror on the stand and checked… Wow, I do look better!”  Her spirits lifted for the first time in many weeks.  And she noticed strength returning too...


  Lola set the vase on her stand and stole a wilting rose and water from another vase. Just then a nurse assistant came in with a wheel chair and was startled to see her standing. “Ma’am, please sit down!" Lola didn’t feel like going to the Christmas Eve program and just waived the worker out of the room.  A professional singer for many popular casino acts, she didn’t want to spend her last hours hearing a fat man sing out of tune!


  The rose in the gold vase was now brilliant!  She grabbed it and went to dump it out in the bathroom sink. “It must be a fertilizer pack” she said to herself needing to satisfy her curiosity. Then, Lola saw something round lying in the sink. Three coins had rolled out!  With some scrubbing she made out the date and could clearly see the image of Caesar!!!  “Authentic Roman silver coins?” she asked herself, chuckling since her last job was at Caesars Palace!


  That night, Lola held her coins tightly in her hands as she got into bed on her own, against Nurse Newsom's orders. Lola was convinced the coins were healing her. The head nurse knew this may be her last night to live and went along with it. Lola was nearly asleep when Nurse Newsom placed her vase right by her side, squeezed her hand and whispered “Beautiful Dreams.” Lola was already sleeping.


  The nurses station clock read “6:10 AM” when nurse Newsom looked up after a long night of reports and charts. Staring down at her was a beautiful woman! “May I help you?”  “I’m… going home Sheri.”  “LOLA?” “Yea…it’s me. Unbelievable isn’t it?” “I can’t believe they... you're beautiful!”, Sheri said in total shock. “I feel beautiful Sheri. I have been healed!


  Lola explained how she woke up to a feeling of love and peace with great joy filling her soul and mind. She described how a sense of nirvana came over her just as a Heavenly blue and white light filled the room and then surrounded her entire body for just a second or two before disappearing.


  “Alien abduction?” Sheri quickly asked. “No Sheri, it was something wonderful… something from a higher source I can’t explain.” With that, Sheri ordered blood tests because Lola’s normal appearance was actually scaring her.


  By mid morning, Lola walked out of the hospital to go home with the coins still in her hands!


  The next morning, an emergency patient from the helipad was stabilized then brought to the hospice floor. “It's Lola!”, Sheri shrieked. ...“Can I do anything for you Lola?”  With a faint voice, Lola said:


  “The vase…the gold vase… not the coins... I forgot to bring it with me…”


  Sheri assured her it was safe in her office and ran to retrieve it. As soon as she walked in, she noticed the dying plants in her office were now — brilliant green!


  Then, a STAT alarm sounded over the intercom, but she missed the room number. Nurse Newsom raced back with the magical gold vase, but found an empty bed. Was it already too late? she thought. But then she saw Lola reflecting from the bathroom mirror. Nurse Newsom was heard all the way down the  hall -- "You're still alive!"


  Lola calmly replied, "And I'm going home again, very, very soon!








The End


 (but not for Lola!)



Ticket to Ride



  The conductor hollered “ALL ABOARD” as the crowd gathered at the Williams station. The Henson family was taking their first train ride to the Grand Canyon during Christmas break. The family gift was a surprise -- Stuart knew his wife Sandy loved trains.  Joining the large group now boarding, they chose the first passenger carriage behind the authentic 1901 steam locomotive. After boarding, they heard the conductor with a funny hat call out, "Ticket to Ride!  Got to have your ticket to ride folks!"


  Stuart gave his tickets to the conductor and found seats in the rear for their children -- Robert and Lilly, then sat with Sandy across the isle.  Looking out at the beautiful Arizona scenery, the family all jumped when the conductor hollered out "Last call!"  "That scared me" Robert whispered to his little sister.  "Me too", she replied back to her older brother always looking out for her.


  Sandy was excited as the train first clanked, shaking the carriage car, and then slowly started to move.  "Romantic huh?" she whispered in Stuart's ear.  "Quite" he said with a wink.  The sway of the train was invigorating and fun, but soon the entire family nodded off from the natural motion. Suddenly, Stuart was awoken, “Toto…I've a feeling we aren't in Kansas anymore.”, he said slowly. 


  The inside of their coach had been ruby red, but now -- was a washed out blue. And, the train sounded....louder, enough to wake Sandy too. In shock — "What?" was all she could say.


  "Kansas? You’ve got a long ways to get to Kansas Mr.” the man ahead suddenly replied.  "Where...where are we?"    "Arizona territory. You're in Arizona Territory!" the stranger said as he turned and fired a big stream into the brass spittoon sitting right by Stuart's feet. "Bingo" rang out as he wiped his chin with his fingers.  "Twilight Zone! 


We're in the Twilight Zone" Stuart told Sandy. 


  "Ain't no gold in Twilight no more folks!  Plum dried up last year.  Best you stake your claim elsewhere..."


  "Who are you?" Stuart briskly demanded. "Phelps... Ben Phelps from Philly -- and now Vulture City!" he replied after standing to offer his hand. Stuart obliged grimacing some -- "Stuart Henson -- Chandler!” Being a high school history teacher, he found it odd Ben had his mother's maiden name, especially since he remembered his mother's ancestors moved to Arizona sometime in the 1870's…


  "Did you see those guns?"  "Muscles?" Sandy asked back.  "NO, REAL GUNS!"  "Stuart...they're still legal in Arizona!"  The kids woke up probably from the springs sticking through the worn out train seats but instantly thought they were on some kind of new Disney ride...


  “Ben, are you heading to the re-enactment?" "What?" Ben replied.  "Shootout -- Western re-enactment show.”  “No Mr. Henson, I'm buying new mine equipment." Ben answered, turning around again. "...Last shoot out...left a hole in my partner’s leg!  That German Wickenburg fellow couldn't find the mine deed so I gave him a piece of lead to remember me by..." he bragged and then turned back in his seat. Stuart's face turned white.  He was very familiar with the story...


  The Canyon Depot sign suddenly appeared ahead and Stuart rushed everyone out to the platform between carriage cars. With block signals flashing, the train slowly finished pulling into the station. Perhaps as a reality check, Stuart looked back one last time.  He only saw ruby red walls and green leather seats again. 


  "We're back!" he shouted as they rushed down the steps and off the train.  "No more 1870's!" he whispered in Sandy's ear.  The beauty of the Grand Canyon at Christmas time paled compared to seeing modern amenities again.  Stuart tossed the return train tickets into a trash can having had enough history for one day. A shuttle service took the Henson family back to their car. Doubt about what they had just experienced set in on the long drive home...


  But then, Sandy noticed a large brown stain on Stuarts' left shoe. Both her and Stuart knew then -- their paranormal experience -- really happened! "I will never be able to discuss this with my class."  "No honey, you won't." Sandy agreed.


  His students had studied unusual Arizona events. Weird internet stuff like the "UFO" allegedly buried under the Dreamy Draw dam.  And, the recent Bigfoot sightings.  He knew this experience needed to remain secret. Especially since Benjamin Phelps... was his great, great Grandfather!





The End









    Merry Christmas!   Happy Hanukkah!


  I decided to enter the Holiday Tales short story contest in the Arizona Republic newspaper this last year, 2009.  Did I win?  Nope! But, the result of that effort developed into these 12 holiday short stories that can be read out loud to children with no embarrassment, or silently read of course as well.  Adults too will find these stories engaging and warm hearted during this time of year we concentrate all too much on the wrong reasons to celebrate.


  Many parts of my life are in these stories. It is a natural result of any writer. Those who know me well will recognize them. Writing this many stories in about a 10 day period called for a lot of content!


  I want to personally encourage you in these stories not to give up hope, not to stop dreaming, and to stand “still” just a little as we celebrate to consider what you truly believe.  Belief in yourself is a really good start!  Something “special” can and will happen in your life — if you only believe!


  Also, you will know I am lightly touching some real life areas that many may want to ignore — mainly the point is — some people need encouragement. Others just need a friend. Still others need support.  It can come in many ways.  In this case, the power of the pen in this special edition created just for you, is my way to say I care about you.


  Oh, and just what is the right reason to celebrate?  Jesus is the reason!  He loves you and wants to know you personally.  If you don’t know him, I encourage you  to seek him out as your new friend. 






M.D. Anderson




   Have a safe and   

     Happy New Year!













Copyright© 2009-2018, Original Works of M.D. Anderson, All Rights Reserved