Excerpt from Initiated to Kill

Prologue

January, 1888

The solemn lodge hid from unworthy eyes, unnoticeable forgotten place made of

granite. Two Sphinx-like granite lions with women’s heads peered down from the

entrance of the lodge. An ‘ankh’ adorned the lion’s neck entwined with a cobra.

An image of a woman embellished the neck and breast of the other lion, speaking

of fertility and procreation.

Fervent men slowly made their way up the three levels of narrowing steps,

passing under the two Egyptian swords with curved serpentine blades, and

through the two tall bronze doors.

One man glanced up as he ascended the steps, silently mouthing “the temple

of the Supreme Council Freemasons,” made of brass letters and set into stone. He

looked toward the plaque cut into stone, “Freemasonry Builds Its Temples in the

Hearts of Men and Among Nations.”

Stone columns grew tall, high above the entrance and partially concealed an

image of an Egyptian god, backed with radiating sun and flanked by six large

golden snakes. He entered into the lodge entirely made of marble, exotic wood and

statues carved from gold.

The offices, dining room, Council room, temple room and meeting room were

decorated with many symbols, especially the serpent, and portraits of famous and

influential men lined the walls. The lights shone above the men, resembling stars in

the dark blue sky. And the golden serpents silently watched in the blue heavens.

The dark-headed man slowly removed his clothes and put on the long black

robe, placing a hood over his head to partially conceal his face.

In the recesses of the ancient temple, an ornately decorated room is filled with

candles, lighting the way for the men filing in. Dressed in long black robes, hands

pressed solemnly together, slowly the row of men trudge into the Temple room. Each

with their face down and instinctively form a large circle in the room.

The room fell with a deathly silence, then ‘knock, knock, knock.’ The

Worshipful Master spoke, “You will admit him in the name of the Grand Architect

of the Universe, and let him be placed in the West.”

Gradually the door creaked open, and a young man enters with a black robe

and the left knee and breast exposed. The young man’s face covered by the dark

cloth and led around the circle by a rope around his neck. The candidate is lead to

the oath of secrecy where the Worshipful Master stands. A sword is pricked to the

candidate’s left breast.

“As this is a prick to the flesh at this time, so may the remembrance of it be to

your conscience hereafter, should you ever attempt improperly to reveal any of the

secrets with which you are about to be entrusted.”

The group silently watch as the candidate is instructed to kneel with his left

knee bare and bent, his right foot forming a square and the body being erect in that

square. The left hand supports the Volume of the Sacred Law, compass and square

and right hand placed thereon.

“‘Vouch safe Thine Aid, Almighty Father, Grand Architect of the Universe, to

this our present conviction. Grant that this Candidate for Masonry, now kneeling

before thee, may dedicate and devote his life to thy Service, and become a true and

faithful Brother amongst us. To this end endue him with such a competency of thy

Divine Wisdom, that assisted by the secrets of our Royal Masonic Art, he may be

better enabled to display the beauties of true godliness to the Honour and glory of

Thy Most Holy Name.’ “

“‘I do most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear to have my throat cut

across, my tongue torn out by the roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of

the sea at low water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows in twenty-four hours . . .

should I ever knowingly or willingly violate this my solemn oath or obligation as

an Entered Apprentice Mason. So help me God.’ “

The young man is then presented with white gloves and escorted to the pedestal

in the East to become an Entered Apprentice.

Throughout the ceremony the dark-haired man’s heart skipped excitedly.

Another man would join them, and this man would be the one. He had done a lot

to encourage them to allow this man to be initiated.

But he could never have foretold the events to come.

 

A candlelit chamber houses a secret meeting where four men sit around a

table, each wearing the long black robes and only talking above a whisper.

“The time has come to make our stand and proclaim to our Brothers that it’s

time. It’s our time to cause such a panic, that people will not know whom to turn

to. That the reliance on religion and government will pass. It’s our time to take

control, and whoever does not stand behind us will fall.”

“Yes, we must give a sign to our Brothers that can only be recognised by them,

that will shock the world over again.”

 

Chapter 1

 

London, 1996

 

“Mummy, mummy, wake up! Please don’t leave me.” A dark shadow

appeared, as a man advanced towards her.

“Mummy’s not going to wake up, but daddy will look after you.”

“Please don’t hurt me, I’ll be good. I promise.”

An arm went around the child, and darkness fell.

 

* * *

 

Seville, 2010

 

A mixture of sounds and smells fill the streets of Seville. The

reverberation of marching bands, crying and laughing erupt through

every street. The scents of orange blossom of azahar, incense and candle

wax waft softly through the air. I close my eyes, and inhale the aromas

that blow by.

A crowd of onlookers watch the statues of saints on floats meander

their way along the streets. And as the image of Christ begins winding

through the busy streets, the people claw to get near it. They touch, kiss

and confess to the image as it moves to the church.

12 Sharlene Almond

I relish the sights as the

 

Madruga or processions bring to life the week

before the crucifixion. Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday each represents a

day before the Christ was crucified, and

 

pasos or floats carry the images

of the Virgin Mary.

My thoughts wonder to the first time I experienced this unique event.

“Make sure you save your strength for Friday and Sunday, my dear,”

my aunt advised. “On Friday morning we can travel back through time to

the morning that our Lord had to carry the cross through the shouting

crowds up to Golgotha Hill.

“And in the afternoon you will witness many statues passing through

the streets with Christ on the cross, representing the Crucifixion.

Our blessed Holy Mother Mary will also be carried through the streets,

as she represents the sorrow she felt when her son was crucified.”

That day was filled with mourning. People cried and pleaded for

forgiveness, as statues of Christ and Mary were carried on the floats. I

could remember my aunt explaining to me about the sudden explosion

of instruments and songs that erupted all over the city on Friday night.

“It represents how God tore the land in two. How the temple curtains

were torn from top to bottom. The tombs broke open, and the bodies of

many holy people were raised to life.”

My heart beat as I remembered that dramatic night. How tears had

filled my eyes because of the suffering of Christ. I had told my aunt that

I didn’t want to return, it was so sad.

“Oh, my child. This is not the end. On the Easter Sunday it represents

Christ rising from the dead. It’s the best part of Holy Week.”

I had reluctantly attended. The day was full of light, colour and

energy. People celebrated in the streets, crying and laughing at the same

time. Vibrations erupted all over the city as the church and cathedral

bells rang out, celebrating the resurrection of Christ.

I felt a hand gently nudge me out of my reverie.

“Come on,” Celestina encouraged, “otherwise we will never be able

to get home again.”

I glanced back at the floats one last time, finally turning to withdraw

from the celebrations.

We navigated through the busy crowds into the narrow, winding

cobbled streets of Santa Cruz. The whitewashed houses lengthened up

on each side of us. The ancient houses provoked a unique appearance

with the way they sloped towards each other.

Entering through the iron-gated doors into the courtyard filled with

century-old gardens and aromatic orange trees, many could still hear

Semana Santa travelling down the streets.

Initiate d to Kill 13

I welcomed the familiar feel of our Spanish-style apartment, the walls

graced with white paint and paintings that were collected by both of

us. Splashes of maroon brightened up the traditional earthy tones that

decorated our living room.

I strolled through the dining room that led out onto the patio and

gazed out over the Alcazar gardens. The variety of trees, flowers, ponds,

fountains and terraces provided a view unique to Seville.

Closing my eyes, I leaned against the iron railing and inhaled the

delicate aromatic scents of rose, orange and frangipani that garnish

each patio along the street.

I draw in the culminating aromas, but the sounds that made the

people laugh with pleasure, I couldn’t experience. The marching bands,

the trod of the horses did not reach my ears.

I subconsciously reached behind my head and fingered the scar

crisscrossing along my hairline. The scar that would daily remind me of

what I lost, of what I could never get back.

Staring out at the deserted streets, I reluctantly entered in the humid

confines of the apartment. Celestina hummed along to some music,

swaying her hips as she placed grainy bread on top of a stacked sandwich.

Her model-like height of 5’8 accentuated her thin frame, while her long

black hair cascaded down her shoulders and nearly reached her lower

back. The intensity of her emerald green eyes, matched with her sexual

prowess drew men to her like flies.

Her confidence was something I could never achieve. A weakness I

could never let go.

Celestina handed me a plate and proceeded out on to the patio. We

sat in silence, staring out at the Plaza’s gardens.

First making eye contact with me, she wiped her hands on her short

skirt.

“So, do you want to hear about my latest conquest?” Her eyes held a

mischievous twinkle.

Shaking my head in amusement, I couldn’t help but smile. I didn’t

need to go out and have fun, she did enough for both of us.

“Perhaps you should write a book. You have enough tales to fill a

large novel.”

I turned to her, waiting for her provoked reaction.

Smiling, she tilted her head back.

“Someone has to.”

Shaking my head once again, I stood up, making it clear I wasn’t in

the mood for one of her tales.

14 Sharlene Almond

“While you daydream, I’ll go for a walk to clear my head. Those

smells were enough to intoxicate anyone.”

She didn’t reply as I made my way out.

I stood for a moment in the courtyard, everything around me silent.

I again fingered the scar on the back of my head. The injury that caused

permanent damage, an injury that left me unable to hear

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