Delilah’s Burden

A work of fiction where a position of power is employed for pleasure, causing an unwitting hireling’s innocence to be forever lost…

by: Roger D. Hicks

Willie Wilson awoke early on the morning she was scheduled to meet with the newly hired, young, and incompetent minister Marion Shirley to inform him of his initial employment as a man of the cloth. She was to advise him of his duties, both primary and secondary, at the Widespot Church. As chairwoman of the church board, Willie ruled with an iron fist. Her other board members, all women per her desire, understood fully that their primary responsibility was always to support Willie in all her actions, plans, and desires. The men of Widespot understood this also and their de facto leader, Willie’s husband Bobby, understood it just as well, although Bobby consistently attempted to deny that fact and resisted it at times when he felt safe to do so.  

Willie shoved a small bowl of cold corn flakes across the kitchen table when Bobby came down stairs and said with her usual and chilly smile, “Bobby, you know I have to drive to the seminary today to meet with that passionate young preacher we have just hired. I have work to do. If you get hungry today at the store, just eat a can of potted meat and crackers. I don’t know how long this meeting will take or when I’ll be home. I might pick up a thing or two in the city also.” Willie refrained from telling Bobby what either of the things she intended to pick up might be. Bobby quickly finished his cereal, walked out the door to the little store across the highway, and immediately opened a can of Spam. He sliced the meat and placed the slices on top of the wood stove which was still hot from a late night stoking before Bobby had gone to bed.

Back across the road, after Bobby’s store lights could be seen through the kitchen window, Willie smiled and whispered under her breath, “I think I’ll just stir up a small batch of biscuits for myself.” She gathered the flour, baking powder, salt, milk, and an overly large egg and grabbed her smaller, personal mixing bowl with the intricate passion flower pattern which insinuated itself around the sides.The slightly pudgy fingers of Willie’s dominant hand lingered over the pattern as she reached slowly for each ingredient with the other. When everything was in the bowl, those same fingers dove slowly into the dough making process. As the ingredients blended, she worked them into each other gently, then more firmly, then with a few light caresses which seemed intended for other chores before she finally placed the biscuits in a small pan, cuddled up against each other. She stuck the pan in the oven and ran to the bathroom for a shower. After her ablutions, Willie removed the warm, comforting biscuits from the oven, covered them with a dish towel in a passion flower print similar to the bowl, and ran back upstairs to dress. She put on a bright pink silk dress which seemed a bit too tight, short, slick, and sensual for a woman who was about to act as chairwoman of the church board and hire a preacher. She attached her favorite passion flower broach accented with fake jewels just over her heart with a smile.  

When the oven timer dinged, she removed the skillet, plucked out two biscuits and slathered them with butter, ate one in the kitchen, wrapped the second in waxed paper, and threw the rest in the trash after tying them up in a plastic grocery bag to prevent Bobby from discovering that he had been stiffed at breakfast. Then she tripped purposefully out the back entrance of the house, opened her Cadillac door, and enjoyed the sensations of sliding across the edge of the seat in the silk before settling into the driving position and pulling out of the driveway. The hour long trip to the city seemed far too time consuming to Willie. As she entered the city limits, she turned on a signal light and pulled under the entrance way of a small, independent, somewhat seedy motel. She paid the clerk with cash and filled out the registration with the name Delilah S. Burden, smiled at the clerk and took the key. She thought quietly to herself, Isn’t it interesting how that name just popped into my head? She drove to the door of the room, disembarked, and walked in without a thing in her hand other than the aforementioned key. Local calls were still free so she dialed the seminary number, asked to be connected to Reverend Marion Shirley, and was gently advised by the receptionist, “We have no Reverend Shirley here. But we do have a first semester student named Marion Shirley. Could you be seeking him?”  

Willie only hesitated for a second in her surprise before responding, “Oh, yes, how silly of me. I did mean Marion Shirley. He seems to be such an accomplished young man. I guess I just anticipated his future.”  

When the bewildered young man was brought to the phone, Willie advised him that she was in town to have him sign an employment contract and advise him of his “many responsibilities” before asking him if he could join her for a long lunch. She heard him make the arrangement to miss his afternoon classes with the dean’s receptionist before he responded, “Yes, yes, of course.  Where would you like me to meet you, Mrs. Wilson?”  

Marion was mildly surprised when he heard Willie say, “Oh, please always call me Willie. I’ll just be plain Willie to you. And you don’t have to waste your gasoline on me. I’ll pick you up at the entrance to the seminary offices in fifteen minutes.” When she drove up the circular drive to the administration building, Willie did so in a manner intended to bring the driver’s door to a stop in front of the steps. Marion appeared surprised and began to cross in front of the hood ornament before Willie beeped the horn and motioned for him to come to the driver’s door which she had opened. “Please slide in and drive, Marion, I just will not drive with a man in the car. It isn’t ladylike, you know.”  Once again, she relished the sensations of her silk clad thighs sliding halfway to the other side of the seat.  

Marion climbed in and appeared somewhat flustered as he realized that Willie was closer to him than the passenger door. She smiled warmly, reached for his right hand and said, “Let’s go, Marion, we have much to accomplish this afternoon.” The increasingly more befuddled young man slid the shifter into drive and aggressively applied his foot to the accelerator. The Cadillac lurched into motion far too rapidly and Marion responded by slamming the brake equally forcefully. Both passengers found themselves restrained by the seatbelts and Willie recovered much more quickly than Marion. Reaching across the minimal distance between them, Willie placed her hand on his upper thigh, and softly said, “Oh, Marion, we are not in that big a hurry. After all, we have all evening dear. Just drive at a normal pace and I’m certain we can get everything done.” As Marion attempted to normalize his pulse and respiration, Willie’s hand remained exactly where she had deliberately placed it.  

The nervous young man managed to drive the car off the seminary property and several blocks in the direction of Willie’s favorite restaurant, located only a few blocks from the motel on the same major street. Marion parked the car and stepped out with Willie sliding across the seat to the driver’s door, pushing it shut, and grasping his elbow firmly as she stepped into his surprised body. “Let’s have lunch and talk about your responsibilities, Marion. I am so excited! I hope you are too!”

Marion was uncertain how to respond but managed to mutter, “Yes, yes, I believe I am.” He did not disclose that his excitement bordered on fear and uncertainty about both the job and the events of the last fifteen minutes. When the couple entered the restaurant, Willie immediately asked the hostess, “Please seat us at a somewhat private small table, young lady. We have much to accomplish today.”  

The hostess led them to the rear of the restaurant as far as possible from any doors to a small table in a tiny alcove, placed menus on the table, and inquired about their drink orders. Willie smiled at both Marion and the hostess and said, “I’ll have an orgasm. I just love the coffee flavor. I suggest you have one also Marion. I suspect you have never had one.” Both the hostess and Marion appeared nonplussed but Willie pressed on, “If the bartender doesn’t know how to make them, tell him it’s equal amounts of coffee, amaretto, and Irish cream liqueur. I just love the coffee flavor and not even an amateur can mess it up. You’re going to love it, Marion!”

Willie continued to lead Marion through the menu and found him yielding to her suggestions as she ordered steaks, salads, and baked potatoes. When the drinks arrived, Willie immediately plunged into hers and coaxed Marion until he had tasted, tolerated, and finished his. She ordered a second for each of them and quickly informed the now less nervous young man of his church duties. “You will be required to bring the message at church twice a week, on Sunday morning at 11am and at 7pm on Wednesday nights for prayer meeting. Some of us will feed you each time you are there. You will find that I am the best cook in the congregation and you will adore my biscuits. If anyone in the neighborhood is ill or in the hospital you will be asked to visit them before you return to the city. In the event of funerals, you will be asked to minister and the family will pay you something extra. You will receive the standard salary of $100 a service.” Willie continued with a mildly flirtatious smile, “I will see that you receive a small love offering at least once a week if circumstances permit. I will provide you with any special instructions about my…our needs…and I am sure you will serve nicely.”  

After the meal, Willie was eager to leave and Marion appeared a bit unsteady on his feet. Willie grasped him by the elbow after paying the bill and leaving a stingy tip. She steered and steadied her compliant protégé to the car and realized on the way that it might be best for her to drive. She slid Marion across the seat, strapped him in his seat belt and allowed a hand to linger on his thigh before starting the car and driving to the motel. She parked directly in front of her room, pulled the key from her purse and said simply, “Let’s go, Marion, I have a surprise for you.” He appeared befuddled but did not resist as she led him to the room and wrapped her silk clad arms around him. Before the day was over, Marion Shirley understood his duties very well. 


Roger D. Hicks is an Appalachian writer, blogger, and auctioneer living in West Liberty, KY.  His work has appeared in “Bryant Literary Review”, “Orpheus” at Lindsey Wilson College, “Now And Then”, “True Christmas Stories From The Heart Of Appalachia”,  “Wingspan”, “Freshwater”, “Mildred Haun Review Journal”, “River Babble” and numerous other venues. He is currently working on a final edit of a short story collection and a biography of an Appalachian coal camp town.

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