Delilah (prompt "value")

74 16 40

Delilah was a woman in her own right – not a mother, or a daughter or a wife. This is how women were written off, she knew, and she despised to be thought of that way. She was, of course, all those things; a mother to two boys growing stronger than oxen, a daughter to a woman dead, and a wife. And here is the story.

Her husband (mark here, not "the man whose wife she was") with hair longer than her own, and the strength of ten, lay by her side just as each night. He snored.

He was deeply asleep. She made sure of that. She tired him out, completely, and gave him mead of the strongest kind. The people of Gaza told him, on their wedding day, "do not marry the Philistine, for she will be your doom. You are not compatible. Your gods too different." they were right in one of three.

For the last week, Delilah had counted the value of things. The value of life was well known, here, but different for whose life it was. For a Nazarite, thirty pieces of silver, but for one who rips lions apart with his bare hand, it was 1,100. A significant sum, not to be trifled with. Delilah was nothing if not practical.

She loved the man at her side, but she did not love her life. All town knew his preference for Philistines, and for prostitutes, and while one he had at home, the other there were plenty of on the streets. She did not deny him those pleasures, those small atrocities. After all, he was the man to whom god often spoke. Not her God, but still, there was significance in that.

She ran her hand through his hair. It was coarse, just like that on his face. It was dark, just like his skin. Her own was red.

Delilah has decided the value of her life, and of the man's she cherished, and he came up short. Quietly, she raised from the bed, walked through the chamber, and each step was lighter and easier. The scissors lay in plain sight, yet he did not see them. It was his chance to ask, but he was too drunk. They wanted to do it themselves, the men with the money, but she knew it was her burden. After all, she was a woman in her own right. Not one who does half a job.

The hair came off easy. Somehow, she expected it to put up a fight. The old scissors cut the strands with no resistance, as if the hair was giving her its blessing. When it was done, she tied it together, braided it tightly, and hid it inside of her pillow.

When she called the Philistine lords, the men with money, they asked for it first. "I burned it," she replied. They expected no lie from her, and let it be, only mildly displeased.

That night, Samson stood between pillars of stone, and brought the sky to the ground – this, he was remembered for. Delilah took the back roads out of the city, and thus she was forgotten. 

The Day Seagulls Fell Silent - A Book of Short StoriesRead this story for FREE!