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Dragons of the Cliffs: Anden’s Challenge

Posted by MDViews on January 11, 2015

Following starts the prologue of a novel I initially wrote for my grandchildren. Turns out, it’s more suitable for late teens and young adults than pre-teens and early teens. If you decide to let your 10 year old read this, read the chapter yourself first. Some of the descriptions are a bit graphic, I guess, although I think they’re only describing the story and are not gratuitous in my mind, certainly not like Hunger Games, or the Twilight Saga. Although the book is complete, I’m in the middle of a re-write so I hope this will motivate me to spend more time, ah, re-writing.

By way of introduction, Dragon stories continue their appeal to boys, (and girls–yes, there is some romance in this story) in spite of a seemingly saturated market. The Dragons of the Cliffs are different, special and possess some powers other dragons in other stories don’t have. I surmised that if vampires in the Twilight Saga can drink animal blood and tolerate light, my dragons have no limits. So, I hope you enjoy this first weekly installment. And, yes, it does have a Christian theme.

Dragons of the Cliffs: Anden’s Challenge


Stygian Darkich called for the retreat when Thursagon’s sword severed his Dragon’s head. The Dragons and riders blinked from the Cliffs of Norse to the GoldenMire outside the Master’s cave, their wounded fighters and Dragonless riders two on a neck. Stygian jumped from the Dragon whose rider saved him when he fell. This was a bad loss. Seven Dragons and riders gone and he, their leader, led them to—to defeat. A gash in his left shoulder throbbed. The left arm hung at his side, immobile. No matter. Fix it later. He had to inspire them, motivate them. From the front of the group, he pulled up and flexed. “They defeated us this time, but we regroup, we train, we will prevail!” He shot his right fist into the air.

A weak cheer landed on his ears. Curses sounded from the back. A murmur rolled through the group.

“We will defeat them, I say!” Quiet. No cheer?

Then a voice from the back. “How do you know? You told us we could not lose this time.”

Anger filled his chest and rose to his face. “Silence!” He’d find out who said that. He started toward the voice when the ground moved left, then up. The ground? Quakes and rolls followed. Up—he left his feet; down—face in the dirt. A gust of wind hit him from the Dragons who hovered above him to escape the convulsing ground. The quaking stopped.

Stygian rose to his feet and opened his mouth to speak when a voice came from the mouth of Master’s cave across the piles of gold, precious stones and coins.

A stooped old man walked across the treasure and shuffled his way. “You need not, ah, chastise,” he wheezed, inhaled, “the rider who spoke those words, Stygian.” The old man inhaled, coughed, exhaled. “He, ah, voices.” Deep breath.  “The concern of us all. How will you win when you allowed victory to escape your grasp?”

Anger ignited in Stygian again and exploded out his mouth. “Leave me, old man, lest I send you to the den of Lucifer!”

“Oh, I’ve no fear of the den of Lucifer.” Breaths inhaled, wheezed, exhaled, wheezed.

Was he standing straighter?

The old man continued toward him, his gait faster.

“For you see.” A deeper tone this time, louder and stronger burst from the visitor. What was happening?

“I happen to be.”

He, he was bigger. His arms and legs—bulged with muscles. He, what was he?


The man-beast grew and the wrinkles of age left him. His face turned a reddish black and the white hair disappeared. His size—he became massive. Stygian tried to swallow and couldn’t. The monster’s head tipped back, his mouth opened, his arms came out from his sides and a deep, dark laugh echoed from his throat. The man-creature smiled, took two steps and stood in front of Stygian.

“With the den. It’s my home.”

Stygian shook, staggered and thought his heart would beat out of his chest. His master, the Wyvern of Lucifer himself, stood before him. The yellow fangs and the grin penetrated his eyes, his head, his heart. He grabbed his chest. His heart stopped? No, it was going again. A pain filled his brain like a hot poker rammed through his skull. He fell to his face on the ground prostrate. “My master. What is your bidding?” The words left his mouth involuntarily.

“You’ve disappointed me once too often, young leader.”

The ground shook, then shook again. Stygian turned his head. A colossal black Dragon emerged from the cave, twice the size of any Dragon of the GoldenMire.

“Meet BlackHeart, my new Dragon.” A laugh filled his ears. A hand with strength previously unknown to Stygian circled his neck. Pain! Snap! No feeling below his neck. With a jerk, he traveled through the air, bumped and slid under BlackHeart. The talons surrounded his head. All went black.

Posted in Christian Speculative Fiction, Writing | Leave a Comment »

The Blather and Claptrap of Christmas

Posted by MDViews on December 28, 2014

The checkout line at WalMart stopped. Her heels had squeezed her feet all day and now they rebelled with a constant ache. She needed a long, hot bath. The song, “White Christmas” played overhead. She mumbled, “If I hear that song one more time, I think I’ll—“

What, puke?”

She turned toward the voice behind her. A short, twenties-something guy with brown hair and glasses grinned at her.

His smile vanished with her look. “Sorry to comment.”

I didn’t know anyone heard me.” A ding came from the check-out. The light above the register blinked.

Mr. Short with Glasses stepped beside her. “So you don’t like Christmas? Or just that song?”

Both.” She moved away enough so he’d notice and stared at the register. “I’m fed up with the mandatory give-gifts-or-you’re-a-bad-person thing. At the office, I refused to join this “Secret Santa” ruse. The office girls treat me like a criminal or something.”

Yeah. I…”

I what?” She turned toward him.

Oh, I hated Christmas, too.” He looked up, his eyes focused on hers. “It seemed to me the corporations promoted the manger claptrap and blather to enrich themselves. Let’s see, God gave us Jesus, so let’s all spend money.”

She chuckled. “About right.” She turned again to the checkout. The manager spoke on a two-way radio to someone in toys for a price check.

I guess I like it now though. About six months ago, a friend introduced me to Christ and—“

Now they’re doing a price check in toys. Just our luck.” She interrupted him on purpose.

Hey, have you ever seen the movie, ‘White Christmas’? I just love it, especially the last scene with the snow and Bing Crosby and the song.”

The manager shifted from one foot to the other. No response from Toys. This Christmas-loving pest had her trapped.

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?” She frowned. The line seemed to harden like concrete. Her anger sparked to life—the line, this guy, Christmas, the stupid song.

Finally, the line moved.

He reached into his pocket. “Listen, let me give you my card. I’m a computer guy—you know, web design, computer repair, all that. I’m independent, so if you ever need anything computer, give me a call.”

He handed his card to her. “Jeff.”

She said nothing.

He pointed to his name on the card. “That’s my name.” His face turned crimson red.

Thanks, Jeff. I’m Julie.” She stuck his card in her jean pocket to dump in the trash later, swiped her credit card for the gift wrap, scissors and tape and grabbed her bag.

Bye, Julie.” She heard his words as she walked away, but kept her pace.

As she approached the door, she heard her name.

Julie!” Jeff ran up. “You forgot your tape.” He dropped it in her bag and smiled. She felt her face heat up. Is this guy human super glue? “Uh, thanks, Jeff. Appreciate it.”

In the crosswalk, she scanned for her car when tires squealed to her left. Her head jerked around. A red car moving fast was only yards from her! Something hit her from behind—hard. She went flying and landed on her side, skidded, rolled to a stop and blinked her eyes open. The red car went speeding through the crosswalk of the other entrance. Bodies flew. The car reached the street and disappeared.

She struggled to her feet. Something ran down the left side of her face. She wiped at it. Blood. Screams, moans and sobs came from everywhere. She took a step and found her knees weak but they held her up.

The biggest crowd stood only fifteen feet from her. She walked closer. It was Jeff. Two people were doing CPR. A stream of red ran from his head across the back and yellow surface.

You’re the one.” She turned to the man who spoke. “You’re the one he saved.”

What? What do you mean?”

That guy there on the ground. When he saw the car coming for you, he sprinted and pushed you so hard, you flew in the air.” He shook his head. “He didn’t hesitate even a second. The car just missed you, but that guy took if full force.”

In the emergency room, a medical student cleaned her scrapes and placed two stitches in the cut in her scalp. She walked out, her feet more steady. A voice from a large room floated into the hallway. “Let’s call it. He’s gone.” A curtain pulled back and exposed Jeff’s body on a gurney, naked from the waist up, wires, IV’s and blood everywhere. Then she realized she had stopped walking. She’d never seen a dead body before, especially one who moments before placed the tape she left at the register in her bag. There he was. Lifeless. Unmoving. Dead. She turned and ran to the rest room as nausea overcame her.

She flipped on the TV when she arrived at her apartment. Nine people died and twenty-five were injured, some in critical condition. The police captured the perp in a high speed chase. The video showed him yell into the camera. “I hate WalMart, and Christmas and all you Christian hypocrites! You’re all evil and should die!”

A reporter interviewed a psychologist who said he was a troubled young man.

What? A troubled young man? “He’s a monster, a murderer!” She realized she yelled at the TV screen.

Sleep wouldn’t come. The sounds and sights kept rolling through her mind like a video loop—Jeff’s face, the squealing tires, the car bearing down on her, the slam that sent her flying, the people running, screaming and sobbing, the blood on the ground, then Jeff’s body on that gurney. She called in sick to work.

She went to Jeff’s funeral but didn’t know why. After the pastor spoke, he asked if anyone who knew Jeff would like to say a few words. Without a thought, she rose and walked to the podium.

My name is Julie and none of you know me. I only knew Jeff for about twenty minutes before he died. I’m the one he pushed out of the way of the, the car.” Her voice tightened and she lowered her eyes. “He, he saved my life, but gave up his own.”

A gasp left the large crowd. People sobbed openly.

She wiped tears from her own cheeks. “We stood in line together and he tried to explain Christmas to me. I’m still not sure I understand it, but I’m going to try.” She inhaled and looked up into the eyes of Jeff’s family and friends. “And, I now have a new favorite song. It’s “White Christmas.” She looked heavenward. “Jeff, I know you’ll understand.”

©Matt Anderson, 2014

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Flash fiction? What in the world it that?!?!

Posted by MDViews on January 20, 2014

Dear Reader,

Flash fiction is a short story. A short, short, short story. Depending on the magazine or e-zine or whatever or whomever publishes the piece, Flash Fiction can vary in length, but think, “short.”

Why bring it up? Because, I wrote a piece for publication in the flash fiction magazine, Havok, which comes out with its premier issue today, January 20, 2014. It’s a 1,000 words story with a Christian world view but in the genre of “Speculative Fiction” which is fantasy, sci-fi, steam-punk, cyber-punk or horror. (Yes, I had to look up ‘steam-punk’ and ‘cyber-punk,’ too.) My story is fantasy.

Havok is part of the Splickety Magazine family which now includes Splickety, Splickety Love and Havok.

Can a Christian write fantasy or sci-fi and be okay? Think Clive Staples Lewis for the answer.

I don’t have the web site for Havok yet, but when I do, I’ll include it. Maybe later today.

Matt Anderson

To buy (Yes, you have to buy it. The digital version costs all of $1.99.), click here.

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Posted by MDViews on November 5, 2013

NaNoWriMo?!? What is that?

It’s National Novel Writing Month, or, er, something to that effect. Maybe the “No” stands for November, I’m not sure. If you go to, you can find it.

The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. Hundreds of thousands have signed up from  all over the world.

Maybe it’s like blogging, “Never have some many, written so much, said so little and read by so few.”

For those of you who may be interested, 50,000 words is a little short for a novel and more like a novella, or a short novel, or a loooooonnnggg short story. Normally, a novel is considered to be over 60,000 words minimum. Some get into the 150,000 word range.

I’m trying it this year and am up to about 8,000 words so far. Novel writing is fun. I find I lose myself in my characters heads and what happens to them sometimes seems to jump off the keyboard on the page. Soon, I can see where they’re headed, generally a total disaster, then they have to find a way out without a Deux ex machina (look it up).

I write from a Christian perspective, although the novel is not “Christian” per se. I do avoid graphic…everything, or try to.

If any of you are reading this and involved with NaNoWriMo this year, you can be my writing buddy, matt8152, if you’re interested.

Matt Anderson

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