Little Mason Hudson lived in a two story,run down, wooden house on the corner of 44th and Stuart in Denver Colorado. He was five years old, had a drunk for a father, a mentally unbalanced mother and a brother of one and a half years old.
He hadn’t started kindergarten yet because his birthday fell on October 11, after the school year started.
His mother began the day bathing him, scrubbing him raw and giving him an enema. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” she repeated as a mantra.
After the thorough washing, still in his towel, he was to lie down on his bed and spread his skinny legs. Eleanor Hudson inserted the plastic squeeze bottle and told him to hold his water. She set the three minute egg timer, he was expected to wait for the bathroom until the sand ran out. He was in pain, sweating and cringing. At last Eleanor instructed him to use the facilities. Mason was to walk, not run to the toilet. The poor overwrought young boy relieved himself; Eleanor wiped his butt and told him to dress.
This and changing his bed sheets was the morning routine. His mother called him Macey and he despised it.
“Let’s get this bed made before your father awakens,” she whispered. Mason wet the bed almost every night and it was a great basis for ridicule from his inebriated dad. Leonard drank from the minute he got up until the time he passed out. He was a miserable person, husband and father.
Leonard beat Eleanor on any given day. He instigated trouble every chance he got. He hated her cooking; her ability to keep a clean house; her appearance and the way she smelled. Thus she showered three times a day, bathed Mason and Morgan in the morning and before bed. A good woman revered her husband and bent over backwards trying to please him. When he was wasted enough he would pick a fight and the beating would start. Eleanor locked Mason in the closet, she also used this as punishment when the boy misbehaved.
His parents were past the point of no return. Leonard no longer apologized, brought flowers or gifts, or even acknowledged his loathsome behavior. .ason didn’t have friends because of the state his father was in, he couldn’t visit neighborhood kids because Eleanor spouted the evils of the other children’s mothers. “You marry a woman that worships you,” she would often repeat, “A woman who doesn’t think marriage is out of the home, Macey. She should be a God fearing woman that treats you with the respect that you deserve.” She would go on and on about how a real woman should hold all the responsibility of making er husband happy. Mason half listened, his five-year-old brain could only absorb so much.
The one thing that interested the small boy was anything electronic. Even at his young age , he could disassemble things and put them back together. His dad mostly let him be, as if he wasn’t there. He was terrified of his fathers temper but it always seemed aimed at his mom.
Later around supper time Mason was in his room taking apart a clock radio. His mother had purchased some tiny tools for him, one of the very few gifts he had ever received.
He heard his father come in and start yelling at her. She rushed him into the closet and locked the door. The fight continued, escalated and then he no longer heard his mother’s cries. He did hear his dad slam the basement door. He wondered if his mom was all right, he was petrified something bad had happened.
Mason stayed in the closet for hours wondering when his mother would let him out. Late afternoon turned into night and he was still a prisoner. He was so hungry and had to pee but there were no sounds coming from the house. He must have fallen asleep because when he woke he could see a sliver of sunshine from under the door.
He heard the key in the lock, when the door opened he gasped at what he saw. Eleanor was beaten so severely that Mason didn’t recognize her. He started to cry hard and his mom just went and lay in a heap on the sofa. He wasn’t sure what to do. He brought her a glass of water and covered her with the colorful afghan. Mason went upstairs to see if his dad was still passed out and he wasn’t there. He knew the last thing he heard was the basement door…maybe he was down there.
Mason slowly pulled open the squeaky door and started down the uneven rotted planks they used for stairs. He felt around for the light switch that turned on the single dim bulb. When he found it, he suddenly felt a lump in his tummy and knew something was terribly wrong. Mason closed his little eyes and flipped the switch. What he saw was horrifying!! His father was dangling from the rafters by a nylon rope. His legs were not touching the ground. Mason knew he was dead.