Aiden’s Letters…


Letter 3,

Fuzz nuts,

Two more days until Baghdad.  48 hours, precisely, until we start the invasion.

I wonder if you will watch it on TV as the bombs drop.  Probably not.  If I know your mother, she will not turn on the TV that day.  Instead, she will play the Moonlight Sonata, over and over again, hoping somehow I will hear it and driving you crazy in the process.  So, perhaps, you will look it up on the Internet.  You will read that Baghdad has a zoo of 650 animals, and you may wonder how many will survive when your father is done with it.  You will see it has about 7 million people, and you will wonder how many I killed.  You may see before and after pictures.  You may see even me, Marshall, Hendrix, Kerry, or Jazzman.  You will read that the locals want to burn us alive.   You will wonder if I am okay (of course I will be).  You will read that the Americans won.  

I’d tell you not to read it but that would be the wrong advice.  If you are my son, you probably have the guts.  No, I want you to read all of it.   Every single word.  If you will be angry with me for what you see, there is no wrong with that.  If you want to break my picture, that’s fine.  If you will worry, and even want to shed some tears, do it.  If you want to miss school that day, you have my permission.  But at the end, I’d like one favor.  Ask why.  Why are we here?  Why are we doing what we are doing?

I can give you the answers I was given.  Or I can tell you my reasons.  I am here because, at night, I still believe that I need to leave a better world behind for you and for your mother.  And because I have to believe that, when the raid is over, the images you see on TV will make your sleep a little safer, even if they give you bad dreams.  In short, I am here because this is where my country needs me to be.   A man has desires, wishes even, but he also has a duty.   So, as the clock ticks, here are more of your lessons:

9.  Pick a duty, and do it every day.  (This is in addition to your first duty which is  to take care of your mother; see Lesson 8.)

10.  Read the paper.  I started with the Seattle Intelligencer, but now I read BBC online.  

11.  Don’t – no matter how tempted you are – smell your socks before putting them on.  If your mother sees you, she will tear your fuzz nuts apart.  She has a point:  if you need to smell it, you probably should not wear it.  (I give you this lesson because Jazzman just smelled his socks and threw them my way.  It is perfectly fine, under these circumstances,  to call your buddy an asshole.)

12.  Men, for some reason, tend to regress to animals when we are together.   From burping to bragging.  Enjoy it!  

More later, 

Your father

30 Nights of Snow ©2013 Ani Surnois

Ch. 7. of TMM/30 Nights is up (link below)



The Muse breathes

And sighs…In ripples

Solid gray and liquid silver,

Swirling, dancing, smiling.

Living…Underneath his fingers.

The Painter paints, waits, wonders,

Stands…In silence.

Persuasive.  Loud, yet quiet,

Painting, convincing, forming.


Neither one gives while the other takes,

Neither one falls while the other stands.

The hook that joins them, the final dance.

Neither one conquered, nor freed in the end.

Link to Chapter 7:

Ch. 5 and 6 in TMM/30 Nights, Ch. 4 in Aiden’s Nights, and the Poem Anthology of 30 N are up (links below)



Who said that love comes with bugles and clamor,

I have known it to be the silent kind,

The void that long mutes your ears,

The deafness a heartbeat leaves behind.

Who said that love blinds with fire,

I have seen it give the darkness sight,

The skinlight that gleams under desire,

The star that burnishes the solstice night.

Who said that love lives, love thrives,

I have known it to destroy and to deprive

The carnage, the strife to stay alive,

The love I have known doesn’t live.  It survives.

– Ani Surnois

Links for Chapters:

Aiden’s Letters…


Letter 2


It was a silent day today.  Mostly.  As silent as the desert can be.  Maybe muted is a better word.  You know how you get water in your ears when you are swimming?  Kind of like that, but with sand, instead of water.  We are closer to Baghdad.  It’s the quiet before the storm.  We walk in a straight line, in full battle rattle – that’s what we call combat load.  If I ever return, I’ll bring you some of it.  I think you would like the helmet.  And the night vision goggles.  

We rarely talk when we walk in the desert.  There is nothing insignificant enough to say.  You may have started to notice, it’s the real thoughts, the real words that don’t come out.   But we each know what the other is thinking.  Marshall is thinking about Jasmine, hands-down, guaranteed.  He gets this lost look, and trips every so often.  If you ever get to the point where you are tripping over your own feet for some girl,  I’m buying you a car.  Or… since I will likely be a broke war vet, probably concert tickets.  In the meantime, here are more of  Aiden Hale’s Life Lessons to His Fictional Son.

5. Avoid getting sand anywhere near your balls.  Yes, you can call them balls.  In your case, they are still fuzz nuts but you will get there.

6. Men can reek.  Shower every day, even if you don’t think you smell. 

7. Sing in the shower.  It doesn’t matter what.  I prefer Led Zeppelin.  You should start with Ray Charles, I’ve Got A Woman.  It was my first shower song.

8. Take care of your mother.  This is not a lesson, it’s an order.  She likes books.  Lots of books.  On Sundays, pick up The Brothers Karamazov and start reading it to her, one page per week.  It will bore you to death.  Maybe we will finish it together.  But one day you will know why you are doing it.

More later…

Your Father

30 Nights of Snow © 2013 Ani Surnois


Because of you, the story now has over 250,000 views on fanfiction, over 63,000 visitors and over 2,000 reviews and private messages!  I could not have done this without you.

Grazie a voi, la mia storia, adesso ha più di 250000 vedutas su fanfiction, 63000 visitatori e  2000 commenti e messaggi privati​​! Non avrei potuto farla senza di voi.

Grâce à vous, l’histoire a maintenant plus de 250000 vues sur fanfiction, 63000 visiteurs 2000 commentaires et messages privés! Je n’aurais pas pu le faire sans vous.

Grazias a ustedes la historia tiene ahora más de 250000 vistas sobre fanfiction,  63000 visitantes y  2000 comentarios y mensajes privados! No habria podido hacerla sin ustedes.