Mark Karle sat in an old lawn chair, near the back end of his back yard. The chair was something straight out of the seventies. It had nylon type straps, weaved through one another, that were white, orange, and brown. The entire yard for the house was about an acre wide, and the portion, where he was sitting, was brown, just like the chair. The yard was littered with an assortment of rusted junk. There was the burned-out shell of his old nineteen eighty-seven Buick Grand National. A pile of tires. A couple of old refrigerators, and a dishwasher. Parked directly behind his house, and out of sight from the road, was his nineteen eighty-nine Fleetwood Southwind motorhome, and right next to that was his father’s old wood panel station wagon. The end of the yard, was designated by the transition of roughly cut grass to waist high weeds, that made up the large field behind his house.
Mark twisted the top off of his beer bottle and took a long drink, before setting the bottle down in an empty stone bird bath that his chair was seated next to. He started to play with his old high school class ring, which he still wore on his right hand. It had a football on one side, and the number of his senior year jersey number, 33, on the other, and was topped with a green colored gem. The last week had been a living hell, as his mother had been extra needy, and extra disruptive. He needed a vacation from his life. No, what he needed was for his mother to die, so he could be rid of her once and for all. Then, and only then would his life return to normal, he told himself, but since he couldn’t bring himself to do what he yearned to be done, he was stuck with her.
He picked up the beer bottle and took another long drink. Even at the back end of the yard, he could still hear his mother calling his name. She probably shit herself again, he thought. He had no idea why she couldn’t tell him before she had to go. That would make life so much easier. That’s probably why she doesn’t tell him. Mark felt, that deep down, his mother enjoyed making his life a living hell. It was her way of getting back at him for leaving her in the first place.
Mark’s mind drifted back to the day when he had first seen Lilly Barnes jogging in the park. Her long blonde hair, had been tied up in a ponytail, that bobbed back and forth, while she ran. She had been wearing a pair of black yoga pants, that showed off the curves of her firm little ass. He swore his mouth started to drool at the very sight of her. He drove his old motor home past her ever so slowly, taking in the scenery for as long as he dared, without seeming to creepy, while looking at her in the side mirror.
He drove down the small lane road that wound itself through the park, and stopped in a big dirt parking lot, right next to a large open grassy area, that had several soccer fields on it. He wrote down the time, three twenty-seven, before making his way to the back of the motor home. All of the curtain were closed, and he made sure to close the door behind him, as he entered the small bedroom at the back of the RV. He climbed over the aged mattress, and peeked through a small slit in the rear curtains. It didn’t take very long, before Lilly came running into view.
The front of her looked even better than the back, Mark thought, watching Lilly’s small breasts bounce up and down. He moved his hand down and started to rub himself on the outside of his pants. She was just his type, blonde, and young. She would do just fine, he thought, just fine.
“God Damn it!” he screamed out loud, setting his beer down in the bird bath. He knew that there would be no one anywhere near his house to hear him. “Shut the fuck up! For the love of God, die already!” he shot up out of his chair and roared like a beast. His beer bottle tipped over and began to spill its contents out into the stone basin. He gave the beer bottle an odd look, before picking it up and throwing it as hard as he could. His breathing had become hard and labored. He sat back down, and picked up another beer bottle. He guzzled the whole thing in a matter of seconds, before throwing that one as well.
It had only been six months she had buried Lilly Barnes in the woods near Laflamme Ohio, but already he could feel his hunger building within. He had hit her too hard in the head, and she never fully regained consciousness. He continued to turn his class ring around his ringer. He had had his fun, but it didn’t last very long. Mark liked to tease his girls. Toy with them, the way a cat plays with a mouse before killing it. Some might call it torture, but for Mark it was pure enjoyment. He would pretend that the girls were the one person in his deprived world that he truly hated. His mother. He would hurt them again, and again. He would humiliate them. Own them. Starve them. Rape them.
Sometimes, his games would last for months on end. His girls were always there for him, when he needed a release from the reality of his life, but he had only kept Lilly for about a week. He was already taking care of one invalid, he didn’t need to take care of another. So, he cut ties, so to speak, and in doing so lost his buffering zone. Lost his only release from his mother. He had always waited one year between his conquests. It was enough time for the kidnapping to seem random, not connected. Blonde girls go missing all the time. After enough time passes, people forget. People move on.
“Jesus fucking Christ,” he said to himself. He had better go in and tend to her, or he would never get any sleep tonight. God, he needed a buffer.
After changing his mother’s nasty, shit filled, diaper, he stuffed several spoonsful of carrot flavored baby food in her mouth, and retired to his own room. He turned on his radio, and set the volume level just loud enough that if his mother called his name, he wouldn’t be able to hear her. He retrieved a wooden box made from cherry wood, with a bird’s eye maple lid, from underneath his bed. He felt like a child, hiding things under his bed, but he liked to keep his most prized possessions close to him, while he slept. Opening the lid of the box, he found five locks of hair. Each was blonde, and each had a different colored piece of silk ribbon tied around it. He reached in and removed the one tied with a purple piece of ribbon.
He laid down on his bed, and after a few minutes found himself masturbating to thought of Lilly Barnes. He put the lock of hair up to his nose and inhaled deeply. He concentrated on the way she smelled. The way she felt, both inside and out. It didn’t take him very long to finish, but when he was done, he found himself waiting more. Why did he have to hit her so hard? He would have to try a different approach next time. Six more months, he told himself patiently. Six more months of listening to his mother’s mouth. Six more months of cleaning up her shit.
Would six months really be that big of a deal? He had been doing this for a while now. Ever since his mother had taken a turn for the worst, and he had been forced to take care of her day and night. Lilly had been his fifth toy, and he had learned a lot between his first and her. Never shit where you sleep, was an old saying he had heard his father say once, when Mark was a young kid. He didn’t know what that meant at the time, but he had figured it out on his own. It meant that he would take his girls from somewhere far away. Somewhere where he had no connection to. Somewhere where nobody knew who he was. He would drive his motor home around which ever city he had chosen, looking for his prey with a keen eye for detail. He would spend several days stalking them from a distance. Learning their routines, and their habits, before making his move.
And then when he had had his fill, he would take them somewhere in the opposite direction. His motor home had proved to be an invaluable tool, when moving a body around from place to place. It gave him a certain sense of assuredness that he could take his time and find the right place. Somewhere where he wouldn’t have any distractions. Somewhere where he wouldn’t have to feel rushed. Somewhere where he could savor the last few moments he would spend with his girls, before laying them to rest.
Mark went into the bathroom and cleaned himself off. Would three months make that big of a difference, he asked himself again?
“You need this,” his reflection told him. “We need this.”
“I know,” Mark answered.
“The last girl barley fed our hunger. She was merely an appetizer, and I’m starving!”
“And your mother is driving me fucking crazy!”
“If you think you can hold out for six more months. Six long months. One hundred and eighty agonizing days. If you can, then you’re a better man than I. I say just go pack your bag. It will only take a few days at the most. She’ll never even know we’re gone.”
Mark stared at his reflection. He knew that he was right. Six months seemed like an eternity, and it would only take a few days. A week at the most. He had gotten that part down to a science. Find his girl, stalk his girl, and then take his girl. Easy peezy, lemon squeezy. Except he couldn’t hit this one in the head. Not this time. He had used the normal amount of sedative that he had always used, but he hadn’t expected Lilly to fight the way she did, so he hadn’t able to give her the entire dose.
His mother’s Doctor had given Mark the sedative he was using; the last time he had seen her at his office. She had thrown a major tantrum when the Doctor said he wasn’t going to give her any more Percocet, after he saw that the last prescription he had given her had already ran out, when there should be at least twenty pills left. Mark tried explaining to the Doctor that her tantrums were an everyday occurrence, and that the pills seemed to keep her from having her episodes. The Doctor told him that the sedative would work faster and longer, but to only give it to her before bed time, and only if she really needed it.
Mark opened the mirrored medicine cabinet and found the small bottle right where he had left it. It was still half full. He discovered that dear old mom would act out on purpose just to get the medication, and he had a feeling that she had done the same with the Percocet, but it kept her quite so he didn’t really mind that much, until one day, a few months ago, she threw a major fit, and when he didn’t move fast enough she reached into her diaper and threw a handful of shit at him. He decided that he would punish her and not give her any more meds. She could suffer for all he cared.
He snatched the small glass vial, and the syringe, and rushed back to his room. He went through his dresser and grabbed a few shirts, a couple of socks, and an extra pair of underwear. He stuffed them into his duffle bag, along with the sedative. He made his way down stairs, and placed the duffle bag on the kitchen table. He took a handful of baby food jars and a spoon, and took them up to his mother’s room. He opened the door as quietly as he could, because he didn’t really want to wake her up and have to hear her voice bitching at him. Mark had listened from out in the hall, and could hear her labored breath snoring away. As softly as he could, he crept into the room, and made his way to the side of her bed. He was about to place the baby jars on to the nightstand, when his mother’s eyes snapped open.
“Oh, Marky. You’ve come to help me get ready for my audition. You’re such a sweet boy,” she said, with a sincere look upon her face. That was until she saw the jars of baby food. “Are you leaving me alone again?”
“Just for a few days.”
“You mother fucker!” she yelled, trying to spit in his face, but her mouth was too dry. “Don’t leave me here by myself,” she cried, her mood doing a complete one eighty. “I don’t like being alone.” A few tears streaked down her cheeks, as she began to act like a small child.
“I have to,” Mark said, wiping away the tears. “The Director called, and they’ve changed the location of the audition, and they also asked for a few more head shots, so I’m going to take them some.”
His mother’s face lit up with a large smile. “You truly are the best son in the world,” she praised. “No matter what your father says about you. I’m going to be a star you know. And then I can leave this piece of shit house and move to Hollywood, where I belong. All the stars live in Hollywood. Anybody whose anybody.”
“What about me mother?” Mark asked.
“Oh, you can come and visit me anytime you want,” she said, before bursting out into a fit of insanity laced laughter. “Can you even imagine yourself living in Hollywood? I can’t. No, you and your loser father can stay here in the sticks, where you belong.”
Mark knew that she was going to say something like that. She always did. He hated hearing the words. They tore at his heart, what was left of it. But in a way, they made him stronger. Her words of hate, and resentment against him, fueled his own passion. He would become a star someday too, he reminded himself. When he was ready to show himself to the world, his star would burn brighter than any of those that came before him. Brighter than Bundy. Brighter than Gacy. Even Brighter than Ridgway.
“Where did you say you grew up again?” he asked his mother.
His mother stopped laughing and gave him an oddest of looks. “Warsaw Indiana, why?”
“Just curious is all. I’ll be back in a few days.”
“You can’t leave me here alone! Not again!”
“I don’t have a choice,” Mark replied, walking toward the door.
His mother started to reach her hand down into her diaper.
“Do that again, and I’ll never come back,” Mark told her, and the look on his face told her that he was telling the truth.
He made his way downstairs and grabbed his duffle bag, a dog leash, and the keys to his motor home. He then went out behind the house and got Gunner. He didn’t know if he would need the dog this time, but it was always good to have options. He sat in the driver’s seat of the motor home, and put the key into the ignition. She started up on the first try, as a feeling of serenity came over him. It had been a long time, since such a feeling had entered his soul. This felt so right, he told himself. What he was doing was his true calling. It was what he was put on this earth to do, and in a strange way, he owed it all to his mother. He knew right then and there, that he would never be able to kill her, for it was her spitefulness, that drove him to do things that he had done. Her hatefulness, that helped fill the void that she had left within him.
Gunner came up and licked his face, which made him laugh out loud. “That’s a good boy,” he said, petting the yellow lab on his head. The dog took his place in the passenger seat, and Mark rolled the window down for him. He put the motor home in drive, and gave it some gas.