To whomever finds this; hello, and goodbye. My name is Markus, I am, or was a normal boy who lived a normal life… most of the time. In this letter, I will recount the events of the last few years, weeks, and days, in hopes that all who knew me who remain forgive me for what I must do. About three weeks ago, I awoke to the screech of my alarm clock, knowing it was time to go to school. I got out of bed and was met by a chill, my house was cold.

I looked outside and I saw the one thing I wished I never had to see. Frost; covering the grass, the trees, the cars, and the cement. It was beginning of winter in our little town, and nobody alive enjoys our winters. I hoped that this year the worst wouldn't start until snowfall, and thankfully I was right. I got dressed, put my coat on, grabbed my backpack, and walked out the front door into the dry air of the late autumn.

As I walked down my driveway, my father stood in the doorway behind me and said, “You don’t have to go to school today Mark, it’d probably be better if you just stayed home.”

I dismissed his comment and continued walking. It’s about a ten minute walk to my school, and I saw very few people along the way, much fewer than on a normal spring or fall day. I did see a few people though, every one of them hanging their head low. They looked sad, and almost ashamed or guilty. As did I. I've lived in this town my whole life, and never have I understood why it turns to such a horrible place every winter. I arrived at my school, and as expected it was deserted, nothing but a few kids and maybe three or four teachers.

I went to meet my girlfriend, I knew she would be here, because we promised to meet once at the beginning of winter, and stay away from each other until spring. I walked down the narrow halls of my school and saw her standing by her locker. She had her face buried in her hands, she was crying. I ran up to her and held her, I had a feeling I knew what was wrong. As we pulled apart, I noticed very dull red blotches on her face and hands. That made me certain, I knew her pain, it could wash off but the stains stay for months, and the pain stays forever. I held her closer to me and tried to comfort her.

“It’s okay, it isn't your fault,” I said in her ear, “she’s in a better place now, any place is better.”

Her sobbing slowed as she looked up at me and said, “I can’t do this any more, I’m all alone now, I just can’t live here anymore; I just can’t live with this.” She began to sob heavily.

I held her closer and said, “You’re not alone Gina, I’m with you, I love you,” she seemed comforted, but not much.

“Some day it will be better, I promise, some day we’ll get away from here.” She buried her face in my chest and sobbed, “I love you too.”

I kissed her on the forehead and stood there, quietly and contentedly holding her for around five minutes. Finally I backed away slightly and told her we should get going, she nodded and agreed. And with a final kiss we said goodbye for the season.

“See you in the spring,” she said in an uncertain tone.

“See you then,” I responded.

I just left the school at that point, none of the teachers would've cared, and none of the classes would've been doing anything important, not with the winter starting. I walked from the school, down towards the main road. It had been snowing since I had arrived, and there was already a thin blanket of snow. I walked down to the grocery store to pick up some food to last a few weeks. On my way there I noticed a large puddle of thick, dark, red fluid spread across the sidewalk. I walked around it, I didn't want to know whose it was, or to whom it belongs now, but I knew the faster I got my food and got home, the better. I jogged the rest of the way to the grocery store.

Thankfully it was still open, despite having a policy of closing during the winter. I bought some bread, a bag of milk, and a bunch of canned beans. I went to the only cashier who greeted me with an obviously fake sense of happiness. We talked about how glad we’ll be when spring comes again. I paid for my food, put it in my backpack, and began my journey home. On my way I noticed a few more puddles of that viscous red liquid, some of it leaving large stains in the otherwise pure white snow.

The walk was quiet, almost deafeningly quiet; lonely, and as gray as the bleak sky that surrounded this awful place for months at a time.

Thankfully I made it home safely, my father greeted me and said, “We’re gonna be okay this year, all right? We’ll be fine.”

Though it had been years since my mother died, I still had a bit of uncertainty towards my father. Yes, it was true that we had been okay in the past few years, but to anyone who says time heals all wounds; you've never truly been wounded.

That night, my dad and I gathered up all of the knives, saws, or any blade in the house, locked it in a safe, and locked that safe in our shed. It was something we’d do every year and it’s probably why we've survived so long. The first week our so of the winter went fine, I would talk to Gina on the phone or online every day, I would eat dinner with my dad, and at night I’d lock my doors and go to bed. I went without an incident for previous years and so did my dad, but that all changed one night. I said goodnight to my dad and headed off to bed, I went to lock my bedroom door but the lock was jammed.

Stupidly, I decided to just go without for one night, I was tired and didn't want to bother. I laid down in my bed, and within ten minutes I was asleep. I remember that dream so clearly, every detail so real, every image burned in my brain. I dreamt of when I was a child, and I witnessed my father murder my mother. I stood back, crying, but I knew there was nothing I could do, and that this was our life.

But my dream played out differently than the real events; in my dream, instead of eventually running to hide in my room, I was filled with a feeling of rage. I was furious, I was spiteful, and worst of all; I was hungry. I ran up to my father and clawed at his face, he screamed but I did not stop, for some reason he wasn't fighting back, all he did was scream. As soon as the screaming stopped and my father fell to the ground, I awoke. It was not a peaceful awakening.

Blood, a lot of blood, it was on the sheets, my shirt, my face, my hands, my hair, and in my mouth. I know that most of the world is desensitized to blood after the boom in crime shows and the introduction of disgusting gore used to troll idiots on the internet. But trust me; nothing is more traumatizing than being bathed in the blood of your loved ones. What was left of my father lay in front of my, cut open, organs spread about the room, and his heart gone. I looked at the body for what was likely a few minutes, but felt like an eternity. I began to sob and held my father’s remains in my arms.

After crying for an hour, I finally wrapped the body in the sheets and carried it to my back yard. I threw the body and sheets into the snow and began to pile wood on top of it. I dumped a can of motor oil on the heap, lit a match, said my final goodbye to my father, and ignited his corpse in a bright flame. I knew this was the only way I could dispose of the body, because the ground was frozen solid and impossible to dig a proper grave in. I looked up to the sky and noticed a few pillars of smoke rising into the gray sky from a distance. I wasn't the only one who needed to cremate a loved one. I went inside, changed into a robe, threw my clothes into the fire, and went to the shower. I must have sat in that shower crying for hours before finally getting out, because by the time I got out the water was as cold as the dry winter air.

The next day I received a call from Gina. She could tell by my tone exactly what happened.

“Don’t worry Mark,” she said, “it happens to all of us, it got me too. It isn't your fault.”

I tried to hide my shame and agree, but it wasn't easy. She and I continued talking on the phone with each other every single hour of every single day, it was the only thing keeping us sane. But a few days ago, she called sounding very depressed.

“I can’t do it Mark, I just can’t do it,” she said somberly, “I keep having the dreams, I've woken up covered in blood and I have no idea who it belongs to, this town, this winter, all of it is just too much, I just can’t do it Mark, I… I just can’t.”

I tried to talk her down but no matter how much I told her we would be okay and that I loved her, she just ended up saying, “I’m sorry Mark, I love you,” and hanging up. I laid down on my couch and cried.

I haven’t heard from Gina since, but I know she’s dead. She lived a horrific life, even for someone who lived in this town. She watched her father get killed, she killed her mother in her sleep much like I did, and she even killed her little sister. This town is evil, I don’t know what causes it other than the winter, but I can imagine Satan sends those whose deeds are so evil that hell is not enough pain for them to live here and suffer.

All of the residents of this town suffer from it whenever the winter comes; they fall asleep, have a horrific dream, and in a trance sleepwalking state, kill those they love. I would of just moved away, but anyone who tries to leave seems to die in an “accident”. The worst part of it all is the blood, I can still taste it, I know that this…curse I guess… forces us to eat the hearts of our victims in our murderous trance state.

This life is horrific, and I am alone now. My father’s dead, my mother’s dead; all of my friends are either dead, going to die, or are going to kill me; and the girl I love is dead. I can’t do anything to stop it, I can’t escape, and there is only one way out now. As I said at the Beginning, Goodbye, and for your own sake, STAY AWAY FROM A TOWN CALLED WISHWATER CREEK. And to whomever finds my body: Burn me in my back yard, and let the wind carry the ashes of my body and soul away from this hell.