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“Within These Walls”
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Prologue-‘The Evil Within’ -Book 2 in series “Poisoned Soul”…coming soon!


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.

Excerpt-Chapter 16- “Within These Walls”


Peyton was reading and was sure she heard the disarming of the alarm. She was confused for a second. Either they came back early from the game or Skyler had a fight with Katie and came home. She called out, “Who’s there?”, which led him right to her voice.
Hunter walked into the room and she immediately recognized her mugger. She tried to scream but choked on the saliva in her throat. As she was coughing hard he straddled her on the bed and stuffed a foul smelling rag in her mouth, now she wasn’t only choking, she was gagging.
Her eyes were wild with terror and she started kicking, hitting and scratching her assailant.
He instantly over powered her and pulled out three lengths of rope. He rolled her over with ease.
First he sat on her thrashing legs and tied her hands behind her back.
He was so incredibly strong!
She was managing some muffled screams and he chuckled.
Her thoughts were incredulous. How could this be happening and why would the mugger want her dead? Because she called and offered him money? Her mind raced with questions as he tied her legs, so tight that the nylon cut into her skin.
She was still flailing as he half dragged; half carried her towards the dresser.
What in the hell was he doing?
He turned her around until her face was in the mirror, his right next to hers.
He was going to make her watch! She almost fainted at the gruesome idea. But watch what? Her whole body was trembling out of control. He fingered the last length of rope with relish. With one super human arm he held her still, as he slowly wrapped the length of rope around her exposed neck. OH MY GOD! He was going to strangle her!
She tried to turn her head and impede his efforts but he held tight and started to put pressure on the noose. With one hand he twisted the strand of synthetic rope until it tightened that much more. Peyton couldn’t breathe…her eyes bulged, she could see it all like a dream. She gave one last ditch effort to save herself, she fought with all the strength she possessed. He had to compensate and his mask slid partially off his face. Peyton saw the one of a kind smile for the last time.
She started turning purplish blue and her tongue hung out. He snapped three pictures with his cell phone. Finally and blessedly she lost consciousness. He kept on the pressure until he was sure she was dead.
She slumped in his arms, he carried her over and tossed her on the bed.
He had one last thing to do. He went downstairs to the china cabinet, got a desert plate and took it back upstairs.
He placed it upside down over her face, so he never had to look at that bitches face again, unless he wanted to…..

Within These Walls- Chapter 10

Skyler and Cameron arrived at the hospital. Traffic was a headache and he didn’t think she knew how to drive. She didn’t get that from mom or dad, they were both excellent drivers. Maybe she took after one of her old grandmas. They asked at the front desk where their mom would be, she was still in emergency. They hadn’t moved her yet. They went to the ER and found her in cubicle one. They had discussed how to act on the way over. Don’t freak out for one,act brave, don’t cry and have high spirits for her sake.
Peyton smiled ear to ear when she saw her kids. Cameron looked sharp in hi new clothes, Skyler looked like she was trying her hardest to be brave. The hugs had to wait, her ribs were too sore but they kissed her on the cheek and laughed.
They were dying to know what happened but didn’t want to push her into something she did not want to talk about. Skyler blurted out, “Oh mom, what happened?” Cameron rolled his eyes at his sister, that hadn’t lasted very long.
“I got mugged and my Gucci bag was stolen. Everything that was precious to me in my purse.”
“Mom….I think I can relate, I would just die if I lost my purse!”
“That’s why you carry a little bit and put it in your pocket!” Cameron was so sincere they giggled at him, “It’s true!”
Peyton told them everything except for calling the perp. She would have to take that to the grave.
“Oh, how completely awful mother!”
Now it was Cameron’s turn to laugh, she never called her mother. They were both worried about her ribs.”They’ll hurt for a while but they should heal within a few weeks.”
“What about work?”
“I haven’t really discussed that with Brian yet.”
“Well we’ll take care of you mom, it can’t be any worse than when Ellie was a puppy.”

Hunter cook was a delusional man. Besides stealing her blind, he was planning on killing her. She’d seen his face disguise or not… He couldn’t leave any loose ends or take any unnecessary risks. The how and the when were yet to be decided.
It arroused him thinking about it; maybe he would rape her too. That would be the icing on the cake. Have my cake and eat it too he thought wryly.
A few more beers and he’d be downright drunk. He did his best thinking when he was drinking. He had to decide how to do it, where to do it and when. Big decisions!
Well he needed to take a leak and grab another brewsky, then he was going to bed. He wondered what- if anything the cops were doing. He was superior to the cops and a lot smarter, they were just a bumbling, donut eating, fucked up joke. He was proud of his clear righteous mind.

It was time for the kids to go, visiting hours were over, besides Peyton was wiped out.
Mac came back and told the kids goodbye. She would stay for a while longer until their mom fell asleep, then she would meet them at home. They said their good nights Skyler and Cameron left.
“Hopefully you can find the gas pedal on the way home!”he cracked himself up.
The cops had stopped by earlier and ‘Brian the bulldog’ wouldn’t let them near her.
“She was asleep , in a delicate condition,didn’t need harangued that night, come back tomorrow.”

Officers Gage and Welton were assigned to the case. Just a mugging, no big deal…they wanted a real case. They had questioned regulars on the mall, a transient guy and others but they finally got lucky when they talked to the corner musician. The guy they were after hung out, listened to him play, left him a dollar then disappeared around the corner. He did have a description for them. The guy was 5’10” to 5’11”, weighed maybe 180, he was Caucasian, black beard with mustache-that sort of looked fake, brown eyes, a grey hoody, jeans, wife beater and white Adidas tennis shoes. He also had an inch scar under his right eye that looked like it had been bad.
“Not much to go on,” mentioned Gage, “muggings are a dime a dozen, they’re just making it a big thing because she was a rich prominent doctor.”
Gage was only 25, tall and thin, broad shouldered, blonde haired, blue eyed, friendly face, with unfortunate acne scars from youth.
Welton was his pole opposite. 56, chunky build, brown thinning hair(a soft spot with him), dark brown eyes, narrow shouldered, bad postured, pot bellied, reddish faced with squinted eyes and thinned lipped.
They’d been partners for three years and complimented eachother. They worked long hard hours and never had anything too exciting to report to their wives.
This case was a dead end. There were too many that fit that description(except for the scar), no vehicle, no prints or video. Not saying they were giving up but not saying they were trying very hard either.
When they met the doctor the next day her beauty took them aback. Her description of her assailant was, almost identical but still a dead end. They relayed to her what they thought and read disappointment all over that gorgeous face.

Hunter woke hungover. He immediately popped open a beer, poured some vodka in his coffee and lit up a joint. The perfect way to get his day kick started. Throughout his sleepless night he had decided on strangulation. It showed power, resolve, it was slow and pleasingly barbaric. He was glad he made up his mind on that aspect. He had the how…now just the where and when.
It was exhilarating planning a murder, you just couldn’t get caught. He had plenty of faith in his aptitude. He needed to go stare in the mirror for awhile…get in touch with himself and admire the great attributes he had been blessed with. It was so nice to be him and not crowded by others. He changed his socks for the fourth time that day, his mothers words squeezing his cerabellum. ‘Cleanliness was next Godliness’, among other bizarre beliefs. Hunter carried her with him no matter how he tried to rid his mind and soul of her. She would be exceedingly proud of him. This he was sure of…..
Peyton had a nightmare. She was floating and something evil was chasing her. She couldn’t remember much more than that but it was somehow foreboding. She shook off the dream and sat up too fast. She had forgotten about her ribs but boy did that remind her.
She wondered how the kids were.
Mason wouldn’t have been able to get ahold of her last night- no phone. Maybe she would have Mac call him. He needed to be aware of what was going on even though he wasn’t there to help. She hoped they weren’t working him too hard. Peyton missed him and his level head. She needed to find out about being released to work. It would probably be at least a week.
You know…the more she thought about what those two idiot cops told her, the angrier and more agitated she got. She was going to have to do something about it. Call their superiors. They were cops too and would most likely feel the same way.
Mac called, she had gotten ahold of Mason at work. She filled him in on everything, he threatened to take a flight out that night but Kevin sternly asked him not to leave. He promised to call her that night, in the hospital or at home. His concern for her was sad because he could not do anything. She couldn’t wait to hear his voice!
Peyton decided that if the authorities were going to drop the ball, she would take matters into her own hands.
That son of a bitch just couldn’t get away with it, she could just imagine what he was doing with her personal information. If he had any computer savvy.
She had never put too much stock in private investigators but maybe she would try one. What was that unlikable persons name? She couldn’t remember. He was such a pain but might do a good job for her. Benjamin! That was it. Ummm what was his last name? Walker….he’d be needing one soon , that’s what made her think of it. She laughed at her own sick joke.
Benjamin Walker. Should she look it up or wait to get it from her files. Surely the sooner the better before the trail got cold, if there was a trail. Poor Mackenzie she’d asked her to do so much already. Maybe she would get his number. She would have to call him first thing in the morning. Between the pain medication, healing, stress and actual pain she decided to take a nap.