Work Header

Little Boy Gone

Work Text:

Guy Mayer rested his head on his pillow and stared at the picture taped to the wall. It was a picture of him and his dad, taken on his eighth birthday. Even at that young age, you could see he was the spitting image of his father. The dark, curly hair sticking out from under the LA Dodgers baseball cap was a big tip-off, as were the expressive brown eyes. Eddie Mayer had never needed a paternity test where his son was concerned. All you had to do was look at his face.
There weren't any pictures of his mother on the wall. When Guy was growing up, he thought his mother was the most beautiful woman he'd ever known. At first, he thought her beauty was fragile, like a fluffy cloud on a summer's day that would disappear with the slightest breeze. Later, he would realize that it was her sanity that was fragile.
Much of Guy's childhood was spent in a tug of war between his father and mother, which was in essence, a tug of war between good and evil. His father was a decent man, hardworking and honest. Guy smiled as he remembered his friends' reactions when they met Eddie for the first time. They all said his dad was "scary", because of his loud voice and quick temper. But Guy knew the truth about his father. Eddie had a heart as big as all outdoors, and when it came to his children, the patience of a saint. His father's temper was never directed at them. Even after his mom and dad divorced, Guy never remembered hearing a harsh word from his father. Sure, when he and his sister did dumb stuff like throwing the ball around in the front room, he'd get mad, but his anger was always tempered with love.
Guy's mom, Janet, was as different from her husband on the inside as she was on the outside. Beneath that beautiful exterior lay a twisted, tortured soul. After losing her mother when she was only eleven years old, Janet was raised by her sadistic father. She endured his unwanted attentions for the next five years, until her father was finally caught and sent to prison for raping another teenager. Janet's scars were on the inside, but they filled every fiber of her being. She carried those scars through adolescence and to her wedding night. Guy never knew the cause of her instability, nor did he know how hard his father fought to break through the layers of emotional damage her father's incest had caused. He only knew his mother didn't want to be touched, by him or his father.
Guy knew that his father stayed with his mom as long as he could, but eventually her unstable personality became too much to endure. He moved out, and found a small house of his own, not far from his children. He knew that eventually her madness would consume her, and when that day came, he would need a home that was suitable for raising Guy and Vikki. Throughout the divorce, Eddie fought for custody, but lost. Though the idea of leaving his children with their emotionally crippled mother frightened him, he had no choice. As much as he feared for their safety, he still loved Janet, and didn't want her illness brought to light. Guy loved the small house, and Gwen Larson, his dad's girlfriend. It was his oasis in a sea of terror and pain. He felt as safe and secure with his dad as he felt terrified and alone with his mom.
Guy's sister, Vikki, was spared most of his mother's wrath, by virtue of being a girl. Janet was convinced that the male of the species was the spawn of Satan himself. Men were inherently evil, no matter how old they were. As an adult, Guy understood his mother's neurosis. It was impossible to have a healthy relationship with a man when all she knew was the unholy relationship she had with her own father. Sex was as abominable to her as walking through fire. She could barely endure the hugs of her daughter, but any touch from her son filled her with revulsion. Even his birth reminded her of the depravity she had endured as a child. So, Guy spent most of his childhood locked in his room, or kneeling in a corner, or huddled in a garbage can. He looked too much like his father. Therefore, he must be as evil as her father. Guy had committed the ultimate sin simply by being a boy.
When the two policemen finally intervened, and Guy was rescued from his tormentor, he and his sister were sent to live with his dad. Eddie tried to erase all the years of abuse with the love and affection Janet had never shown. He even moved away from California and settled in Iowa, close to his own parents. Guy remembered his paternal grandparents fondly. They were as basic and down-to-earth as his dad. Guy chuckled to himself. When he heard that description for the first time, he asked his dad if his grandpa and grandma spent all of their time lying on the ground. Through his laughter, Eddie had said that it just meant his grandparents were good people, and Guy would never have to be afraid again. The thought of living without fear was as alien to the boy as the thought of enjoying sex was to his mother.
Unfortunately, while Vikki flourished and grew under the Iowa sun, the dark history of Guy's abuse covered his happiness like a shroud. The agony of those formative years and the hopelessness of being held captive in his own home festered like an open wound in his soul. His father's kindness couldn't erase the years of horror he spent with his mother. He wanted to inflict the pain he felt on others. When he held a dragon fly in his hands for the first time and pulled its wings off, he imagined the helpless insect's screams of pain, and for a moment, his own torment was gone. As he drowned a puppy that he had coaxed into following him home, his own screams as his mother held him under the water were temporarily silenced. And when he nailed a stray cat to a board in his grandparent's back yard, and stabbed it mercilessly, the agony he felt at his mother's hands was avenged.
As Guy's torment increased in proportion with his body, torturing defenseless animals wasn't enough to ease the rage that consumed him. So, when he was barely seventeen, he ran away from the prying and pitying eyes of his family, back to the roots of his own insanity. He took a job at a meat packing plant and by day, vented his frustrations on the carcasses hanging in the giant refrigerated compartments. By night, he haunted the neighborhoods of his youth, carefully selecting his victims. Guy had never known the joy of living in a happy family. The heavy curtains that darkened the windows of his home hid the turmoil within. As he watched the scenes of caring fathers coming home, wives and children greeting them with affection, the rage he felt inside would build to intolerable levels. Then the feelings he had suppressed for so long would explode in a rampage of blood and gore. Each child that he stalked would know the true meaning of terror at Guy's hands, and for a while, the beast in Guy's soul would know satisfaction. Then his anger would build again, and the new cycle of horror would start over.
Whenever he felt the strong arm of the law closing in, he simply dropped out of sight, resurfacing a few months later in another small California town. Then, with a fresh supply of victims waiting to be harvested, he would roam the neighborhoods, selecting his prey. There was always an abandoned house close by, or buildings that were far enough away from the country roads that he traveled. No one was around to hear the screams of pain or pleas of mercy his quarry made, just as his own cries went unanswered for so long.
Guy knew that someday, his luck would run out and he would be caught. When his last victim managed to escape before Guy dealt the fatal blow, he knew the young boy would be his downfall. Guy sat calmly in the old farmhouse he had rented, with three small corpses keeping him company, and waited for the police to come. Throughout his trial, his eyes stayed focused on the jury and away from the shattered eyes of his family. He had no answers for them, or for the families of his victims. And when the judge read the verdict, he simply shrugged. The journey into Hell that Guy began in his mother's womb ended thirty-seven years later in a five-by-eight foot cell.
Guy turned away from the picture of his father and faced the wall. As he thought of the boys he'd tortured and murdered, his eyes glittered sadistically as he whispered in the silence.
"You'll never find them all."

Four states away, Vikki Mayer sat alone in her apartment and watched the news broadcast with horrified fascination.

"And on the national news, convicted serial killer Guy Mayer was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole in California's Federal Court today. Mayer was convicted of torturing and murdering seventeen eight year old boys in a trial that held the entire country in its spell. The judge which presided over Mayer's trial and subsequent sentencing, the Honorable James Keeling, only had one comment as Mayer left for San Quentin today."
The camera panned to a grey haired man standing on the courthouse steps. His face was solemn as he addressed the reporters standing before him.
"In the twenty-five years that I have sat on the bench, I have never seen a crime as heinous as those committed by Guy Mayer. Only the impassioned pleas of his father and step-mother, and the history of abuse that Guy received at the hands of his own mother prevented me from sentencing him to death. I hope the families of his victims can find some small comfort in the knowledge that this monster will never prowl the streets of this city again. May God have mercy on his soul."

As a steady parade of photographs of curly, dark-haired boys crawled across the screen; Vikki Mayer clutched a small Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap in her hands and cried.