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Dear Cotten,

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Dear Cotten,

        I miss you. I know that you’re not technically gone that you and the rest of that town are just “Missing” but we all know that’s not true. That that thing in the woods finally got tired of what they were doing and just got rid of the whole lot. 

        But I can’t help but morn for you. Just like I did with James when his parents sent him off, just like I did with Malorie when she went into those woods. I know you were going to try and find her and I beg that you did because the only other option was that Ma was right. That you joined the rest of that village, the rest of those fools in those boxes. 

        Do you remember that summer before James was sent off? When all four of us were still together. Where Malorie didn’t have to worry about no marriage and Jameses parents were still in the dark. When we went out he had to come and change at one of our houses into proper clothes for a boy his age. Ma always said that his folks some of the worst kind even back then. She doubled down on it when they sent him off. 

        We always thought that we would get a happy ending that summer. That was when you and Malorie were still dancing around each other. Gods you were embarrassing. Thinking me and James didn't see every little move you two made. You were lucky that we ran interference or that incident at the festival would have made the rounds before the end of the hour. 

        Now it’s just me. James left first, sent off by his parents to that School. Malorie left second off into the woods to escape that thing her parents were giving her off to. I guess I left next, leaving that retched city before that thing came for us. Leaving you to its mercy. 

        But you would have never gone with me. Not without Malorie. We used to say that it was a good thing, that you too would never leave each other’s sides, but now I wonder. 

        There’s no place to send this to anymore since the towns gone and you with it. Me, Ma, Haddy, Sis, and her husband are gonna come see what’s left and maybe make a few gravestones. I think I’ll leave this on the one I make for you and Malorie. Even in death, you won’t leave her.

, I loved you for the time we had together