Sinful Temptation(2)

By: Ann Christopher


How are you? You’re staying safe, right? Please tell me you’re staying safe. And if you see any bad guys with guns and bombs coming, please RUN! They probably don’t tell you that during army training, but you should RUN whenever possible. Don’t stay and fight. That’s just crazy.

Oh, and I wanted to send you a care package with gum, sunscreen and hard candy in it, but my online research (because we have the appropriate number of towers here in New York!) tells me that soldiers get too much gum, sunscreen and hard candy.

Are there any treats you miss from home that I can send you?

Well, that’s it for now. Please write me back, unless you’re too busy RUNNING, in which case you’re excused from writing me back, but only until you’re safe again.

Your new pen pal,


P.S. I promised myself that if I ever wrote to a soldier, I’d tell him this: you are brave and strong, and I’m in awe of you. Thank you for your service.

August 30


How could I forget you?

Thank you for writing the “letter.”

And thanks for the P.S. Especially the P.S. I don’t always feel brave or strong, but I’m trying.


I, too, was unaware that there were such things as “letters” before I came over here, but I really like them, especially when they come from you. Oh, and I did mention your concern about towers to the local tribal leader, but he didn’t seem that receptive. Pardon the pun. He blathered something about needing food and shelter for his villagers, before he tried to shoot my head off.

Oh, and that reminds me. I wanted to RUN, but it turns out that soldiers are expected to FIGHT BACK and PROTECT PEOPLE. Who knew? So I will try that for a while and see how it goes.

I miss lots of treats from home. Can you fold up a hot pizza slice from John’s Pizzeria and send it along? Or a hot shower? If either of those turn out to be too tricky and won’t fit into one of those prepaid postal boxes, I’d love something spicy or salty.

In your next “letter,” please tell me about your painting and your students. In my next life, if I’m lucky enough to have one, I’ll probably be involved in running the family’s auction house. My major at West Point was Art, Philosophy and Literature, so I know just enough about art to be dangerous.

Until next time,


P.S. That reminds me— If you call me by my crazy-ass full name again, you will have to RUN. It’s Tony.

September 14

Dear TONY—

I have sent the hot shower and John’s pizza along via FedEx. If you experience any delays in receiving them, please let me know. I did keep the tracking numbers.

Meanwhile, I’m enclosing a pound of wasabi-coated peanuts. They were so spicy that when I tried them, I had to spit them out, soak my tongue in ice water and then proceed to the E.R. for treatment, followed by several rounds of physical therapy. So I figure they’re perfect for you!

I know who you are, of course. One of the sons of Davies & Sons. Big auction house. Art. Antiques. Antiquities. Jewelry. But here’s what I don’t get—what’re you doing in the army? Where’d your father go wrong with you???

What should I tell you about my paintings? I work with oils and acrylics to create abstract representations of nature, emotions and anything else that sparks my imagination. Translation: I paint giant slashes and squiggles in bright colors. Oh, and smudges. Lots of smudges. And I also use my studio to teach painting to kids because, let’s face it, most of them understand squiggles.

Exciting, eh? Aren’t you glad you asked?

But my reputation is growing and I am selling a lot of portraits these days, which is my bread-and-butter work. After my first solo show about three years ago, I turned a corner and my commissions have really taken off, which is good, since I like to eat and want to travel. Life’s short and there’s lots to see and experience, you know? So I charge rich people a lot to paint them with their favorite polo ponies and the like, and guess what? They pay it!!! See? Win-win for everyone!

Okay. Your turn. Tell me something about you. What about the wedding plans? How’re they coming?

Oh, and today I read an article about service dogs in Afghanistan. Do you have any?

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