Excerpt from “Conspiracy for Murder”


Gladd found the trapdoor that led into the tunnel and held it open for his comrades. When everyone had gone down, he followed and closed the hatch.

“I don’t know how long they’ll be able to hold off Levitsky’s men, but the tower guards should be distracted enough for us to get to the ziggurat.” Ray Henson took the lead, followed by Dali and his sister. Richard and Gladd covered the rear. When they got to the rungs that led up to the tower, they climbed as quickly and as quietly as they could. Gladd had been right that the tower’s guards would be distracted. Gladd then took the lead since he remembered the area and led the others to the outside wall that formed the cellar area of the ziggurat. He crept up to the room where a single guard was stationed, peeked around the corner and when he saw that the guard was entranced by the battle at the gate, he shot the guard. There was no echo from the shot because Gladd’s gun had a silencer on it. He continued down the hallway to the room where he, Dali, and Dale Evering had been held captive. There was no one in the room, so the group moved quickly and were soon going up the ramp to the interior of the ziggurat. Checking around a corner again, Gladd squinted his eyes since the torches had not been lit. Through the darkness, Gladd did not see anything suspicious, so he gestured the others forward. Gladd got out a small flashlight and when he saw where a nearby torch was, he walked over to it and lit it with a match. Now that everyone could see, the Henson brothers went to cover the entrance, Donna Henson covered the ramp that they had just come up on and Gladd and Dali went up to the altar to set things up for the banishment ceremony.

Dali took out a leather pouch and sprinkled salt around the altar and then the entrance and the ramp. Once that was done, he took out a robe that he had purchased at a psychic book store in LA and put it on. The last thing that he took out of the large back pack was a sheet of papyrus that he had also purchased at the book store but on which he had personally written the words of the banishment spell. Gladd assisted by taking out a thawed chicken carcass from his back pack and laying it on the altar. He laid some sticks of sage around the carcass and lit them. The sage was one of the things that was guaranteed to draw the demon to the altar. When everything was in place, Dali walked up to the altar and started to intone the words of the prayer:

“Come, o mighty Namtar and eat,

Come, o mighty messenger of the gods,

Come, o divine one and accept this offering from your priest,

I offer this blood as the price for your mighty deeds.”

Dali then took out a small vial of chicken blood and poured it on the carcass of the chicken. He then repeated the prayer two more times and at the end of the third time, a mist started to take shape over the altar. In less than a minute, the mist formed into the shape of a horned and snarling beast of hellish shape. It eyes were a glowing yellow and, at first, it did not touch the offering but looked over at Dali’s hooded face. Dali feared that this might be the moment where the ritual went wrong, for if the demon realized that the “priest” was not the human that had originally summoned him, their plan would crumble into dust, literally. The smell of the blood must have overcome the demon’s caution and he bent his head down towards the offering. When he saw that, Gladd quickly stepped forward and tossed rock salt on the altar. Dali quickly took a step back and loudly chanted the words of the banishment rite:

“Begone, servant of the gods,

Begone, o Namtar, your services are no longer required,

Begone, demon of death,

May you be banished from this plane forever!”

The demon had just started to absorb the blood, but, because of the purity of the rock salt, the blood depleted his energy instead of reinforcing it. The beast let out a roar and in a black tongue of fire, disappeared. Once the ceremony had been completed, everyone in the sanctuary went and hugged each other. As they were getting ready to leave so that they could go help the agents (if it wasn’t too late), they heard the sound of applause coming from the ramp and the heavy stomping of many boots. Their joy turned to fear when they realized that they had been set up. Levitsky walked forward and said to Gladd:

“I suggest that you all put your weapons on the ground.”

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