This letter is fictional, created by moi. Mata Hari was a muse, dancer, prostitute and inadvertently became involved in espionage activity during World War I, which led to her execution. If Dear Abby was around at this crucial time in Mata Hari’s life, her story may have changed (assuming she’d be willing to write).
I recently returned to my birthplace of the Netherlands after years of living in Paris, the only place that ever felt like home. While there, life was exciting. I managed to become one of the most highly acclaimed (and controversial) female modern dancers thanks to my introduction of sensuality to the stage. Sure, that led to an indecency charge, but the policeman dropped it. He and I even went out for dinner! Impetuous situations as this happened often. It’s almost as if I was living a dream. Fancy dining, exquisite clothing, and my own petit château very close to the city. Now that I’m back in Holland, everything feels bland and meager. I have been longing to return. Thankfully, one of my neighbors from Germany has offered to send me back but there is a small clause. I must obtain information for him. I do not know what it is for and I do think it is harmless. But I hold some reservations. See, I’m a modern woman. We are in 1915 and have come a long way, right? But in this wartime one can never be too trusting. This is why I am writing you. Should I take this opportunity to return to the life I was destined to live or should I stay in a place that leaves much to be desired?
Messenger in the Making
Dear Messenger in the Making,
In memory of Margaretha Gertruida Zelle, also known as Mata Hari (1876-1917) and Pauline Phillips, also known as Dear Abby (1918-2013).