From the back hills of Kentucky to the notorious cannabis capital of Humboldt County CA to the Manhattan towers of corporate power, The Scent of Delilah is the first book in the saga of the Kirke Family. This Scottish clan of “healers” is blessed and cursed with a legacy of recipes of psychoactive roots and berries, preternatural intelligence, and very red hair. They seem to have retained some of the senses most of us lost along the evolutionary way. The Kirkes also exude a scent that compels others to do their bidding while it fires their lust.
Now about that scion of the Kirke family:
Delilah Kirke is not your average witch. She has an MBA from Wharton and has charmed everyone in her meteoric rise at Odysseus Corporation.
Not bad for a girl raised on a “clothing optional” commune in Humboldt County, California.
Like her mother Lilith, the leader of the commune and the Moon Goddess worshipers, she is a redhead.
Ten years ago, something horrific happened to her. But she got even. More than even.
Five years ago, she met a redheaded stranger who changed her life.
After that, a cocaine-fueled, power-hungry, hyper-sexual, bad little witch was loosed upon the world.
When red-haired billionaire and CEO Ulysses Odets is rescued from his disastrous sea voyage and returns to Odysseus Corp., he encounters his wunderkind employee Delilah. They see red—not anger, but an attraction beyond their inevitable lust.
Ferociously candid, notoriously blasphemous, and unapologetically outrageous, with characters who infuriate and compel, Scent is (very) loosely modeled after that first erotic thriller Homer's Odyssey.
SCENT is bi-intriguing, with more than a little humor, much scheming, treachery, sex, and violence, and maybe a little more graphic than you’re used to. Trust it to be a tale where the spiritual and the erotic entwine. Count on it being an exciting adventure from beginning to end.
The Scent of Delilah
(10 min read)
INTRODUCING MS. D. KIRKE
Delilah Kirke was not your average witch. She had an MBA and worked in several different corporate environments. She charmed everyone in each of them. Lateral moves rapidly turned into vertical moves in the short time since she graduated from Wharton.
Not bad for a girl raised on a “clothing optional” commune in Humboldt County, California.
Delilah dressed in the corporate fashion and spent lavishly on her apparel. On evenings and occasions, she wore haute couture.
Delilah was a redhead. The kind of classic shade that was notoriously exciting to the eye. Many remarked in amazement that in some lighting it became flame-red.
When she was a child, her hair fell in ringlets. Now she kept it short to be taken seriously in the businessman’s world. Her skin had no freckles and went beyond fair toward pearlescent. Her eyes were a somber blue which gave her a formidable poker face, perfect for business. Her figure was slim. Her bustline was small, and there was not much of a ratio between her hips and waist. She was 5’1" but she compensated with 4-inch Jimmy Choo heels which shaped her calves so that they captured men’s attention as they watched her walk away.
Delilah’s lips were full and voluptuous. When she gave a presentation, the way the executives had their eyes glued to her mouth betrayed lecherous fantasies brewing. With those features, you’d expect great beauty or at least prettiness. She possessed neither. They were mesmerized by the way she moved, the ways she gestured, by her dulcet voice that beguiled ears like the sweetness of a cello.
But it was the way she smelled that made those below her and those above her smile when she passed.
The corporate world uses the term “meteoric” for such a swift ascent through the ranks. She was Odysseus Corporation’s new wunderkind. They knew they were lucky to have her, and wanted to keep her, so her compensation was in the high six figures. There were other non-cash bonuses and perks. Executives of her station did not have to ride the IRT or the MTA.
After she had been to her gym and eaten a protein-filled breakfast from her blender, she met the Odysseus corporate car outside her high-rise at 5:45 am six days a week, regardless of the weather. She never caught a cold, never been sick. She often wondered about her immune system.
Delilah dated often and nearly always those in vertical positions above her, usually in positions to which she aspired. However, when horizontal, she was superior in all ways. Occasionally, she would allow herself to be romanced by a colleague of the same station, but only if he—or she--was a competitor with similar ambition. She liked the opportunity to disarm them.
What was it about Ms. D. Kirke that made her so special? Ask the men who dated her. Most likely, they would be reluctant to disclose what had occurred.
Ms. Kirke stole penises.
And she turned men into pigs.
Little Delilah had fair skin that did not get on well with the sun. She also did not get on well with the naked, California sun-kissed, blonde children she was raised with. She preferred the company of the adults who worked in the gardens with sunscreen slathered all over their bodies. Even SPF 50 applied hourly could hardly rescue Dilly from blisters and burns.
Dilly was what the commune had diminished her name to. This took a toll on her spirit. It started with her father calling her this at one of their weekly Saturday get-togethers.
It was an unseasonably hot Northern California night for the Summer Solstice, or Midsummer’s Eve.
The closest thing to air conditioning that the yurt dwellers had were cans of icy beer applied to the armpits or between the thighs, then poured down the throat. A vinyl disk played “Sugar Magnolia” on the battered stereo. It sat under an old poster of a red and blue skull split with a white lightning bolt. The women were dancing that wavy way people did after they drank a brew of Lilith’s, Delilah’s mother. She used almonds, fennel seeds, watermelon kernels, rose petals, cardamom, saffron, milk, sugar, and, finally, coriander. A special coriander. Coriander was always used in love potions. She ground edible grasses and sugar, to make a green paste. To finish, she added her own lightly baked hybrid cannabis.
Six-year-old Delilah sneaked sips from the hand-thrown ceramic mugs that held the delectable concoction. After her third serious sip, little Delilah took a Rubik’s cube from the coffee table next to the bong. She twisted it a few times to take its measure, then, in a flurry of turns and clicks, got all the colors to align.
Her father’s buddy was bug-eyed. “Fuck, man! Am I high, or did your little girl just blow our minds?”
“Both, dude. That’s my girl. She is a dilly!”
When they use that phrase, “…and the name stuck,” they don’t take into account how that stickiness can hold a person back. It did not matter that it meant, “an excellent example of a particular type of person or thing.” Delilah wanted her name back.
Her mother, however, never used Dilly, but always her full name. Never “sweetheart,” or “darling,” or any of those names by which mothers everywhere address their daughters. Some mothers in the commune thought Lilith was cold because she addressed her daughter so formally. The name Delilah was biblical and foreboding, not at all like Sunshine or Sequoia. Every time her mother called her name, Delilah treasured the sound and came. She was her mother’s daughter more than daddy’s little girl. She loved him, but it was only her mother’s lap she curled up in to take a nap.
Her mother, Lilith, having a name somehow like hers, made them on the same side against the world.
However, tonight did not end when her mother put her to bed. It was a significant night in the life of an impressionable and sensitive girl.
Delilah lay awake listening to the voices. She liked to hear each person or couple depart and say their goodnights. Her bedroom window looked out on the little house where the meetings took place. When it got quiet, she would look out the window till the lights went off and she heard her mother and dad downstairs.
Tonight was different. She’d sipped the cup before on these Saturdays, and it had made her feel light and happy. It had made the colors around her shimmer and made the world look like something out of a storybook. But tonight she was hyper-aware of the world and every sound.
Tonight she heard none of the goodbyes. Instead, a hush came over the group, and she heard many footsteps crunching through the twigs and stones.
It was the night of the yearly orgy, a rite as old as time for those from the northern climes. Lilith led them into the woods to celebrate.
Delilah crawled out of her bedroom window and lowered herself to the ground. She walked softly and kept out of sight, and followed the hushed voices. The volume increased when they got deeper into the woods.
She hid behind a tree and watched them build a bonfire. Lilith gave a signal, and they all disrobed. It was a clothing-optional commune, so this was not the traumatic moment that it would have been for any other eight-year-old.
To get a better view, Delilah climbed the tree. Quite a feat for an eight-year-old, but Delilah was not your typical child.
They laid many blankets on the ground. She heard a panpipe. Tambourines appeared, and the women danced for the men. The men knelt and leaned forward, entranced by their dancing. Then they changed places and the women laughed and would touch the men between their legs when they danced close.
All the adults began to kiss and touch, some couples who were not the husbands or wives or partners of the other, sometimes in threes and fours. They were touching each other in places that she touched herself when she couldn’t sleep. A woman got on her knees and put the man’s “thing” in her mouth. Soon, they were all lying on the blankets with limbs wrapped around one another, making noises that she heard sometimes from her mother’s bedroom, but to hear them all make the noise, particularly the women, was shocking.
Then she saw her mother riding atop her dad.
What shocked her as much as the act was how stunningly beautiful her mother was with her hair redder than ever reflected in the light of the bonfire. Lilith raised her arms, and with both hands, she piled her hair on top of her head. A moment later, she let it drop, threw her head back, and made a noise that sounded for all the world like the howl of a wolf. Several couples stopped to watch and applauded afterward.
The next moment made Delilah catch her breath and hold it. Lilith dismounted her dad and climbed on top of the next man. Women around her gathered and touched her all over. This continued until she had been with all twelve men. Lilith rode each one until he jerked and bucked and shouted her name, then she moved on to the next.
Lilith stood, and women gathered with towels and water to wash her between her thighs. She looked up at the tree; she felt something watching, but Delilah had shimmied down the tree and ran back to her house. and climbed up through the bedroom window. She lay in bed shaking with the vision, the vision enhanced by the sips from the cup she’d had earlier. It made her sweat, it made her afraid, and it made her want to rub herself down there more than ever.
The orgiasts rested until dawn when Lilith awakened them. They chanted prayers and paeans to the Sun, naming him the life-giving Consort and Brother of the Goddess who appears as the Moon.
The bonfire had burned down to ash, just as the longing and curiosity for their neighbor’s partner had been satisfied.
When Delilah heard her mother and father downstairs, she awoke from what she thought was a dream. Between her bed and the bathroom, the memory of what she had seen faded away like dreams.
“WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, JOHNNY WEISMULLER?”
“Dilly is a monkey! Dilly is a monkey!”
The children would point up at the big live oak Delilah was climbing like she was in one of the Tarzan movies she watched on the sole TV set in the commune. “Dilly” would walk out onto the limbs like a tightrope walker. She was fearless and would scale the limbs until she was almost out of sight. She would descend in a sort of free fall, catching branches like Tarzan. The entire commune gathered around the tree to urge her to come down. Some crying and begging, some chanting and praying for the protection of the small figure three stories or more above the ground.
Delilah was one of those children who had a high tolerance for fear and needed danger to get her blood up.
Like her mother, Dilly was never sick, never vaccinated, and never a broken bone.
She was enthralled with watching the former Olympian-turned-actor living in a tree with a chimp, fighting off wild animals armed with a knife and his bare hands, or bathing in the lake with Jane. They were nearly naked when they bathed or swam in the river. Naked like she was. She didn’t yet know the real meaning behind the words erotic, romantic, or primitive. She lived in safe, rural California where you could scare away a coyote with a shout and a flashlight. There was little worry about having to kill a monster crocodile with a knife. Plus, the security detail of men on dirt bikes with automatic rifles to guard the crop was reassuring.
Her daddy tried to talk to her about how he worried, and how he would be crushed if anything happened to her. Lilith never said a word. When her husband asked her to speak to her daughter, Lilith just gently shook her head and with a shrug said, “It’s better to die doing what you love than to live in fear.” His jaw dropped. He found his wife both fascinating and disturbing.
The way she thought and spoke often mystified him. She was impossible to persuade, quietly convinced that she knew the way. It made him respect her. She never argued, just smiled. Her husband always kidded her that there was more cat in her than Scot.
More than once, he’d heard her words, “That’s my way. It might not be yours, but that’s what I think, and I know what’s good for me....and what’s good for my daughter.”
The women would dance under the full moon every month, even in the chilly, wet winter. It rains a lot in that renowned county.
Teenage Delilah had grown peevish and rebellious, and her relationship with her mother had taken that typical turn from duckling love to ferocious malice. She snarled the word “Fine!” whenever her mother asked her to do something or told her she couldn’t.
Menarche can make a girl crazy. Lilith knew this well. In her role as the commune’s pharmacologist, she helped many girls with cramps and mood swings. When it was her own exceptional, red-headed daughter, she had to repress a phrase she had heard more than once back in the Kentucky hill country: “Beat her like a red-headed step-child.”
The third time Delilah asked her mother for the homemade Kotex, Lilith decided it was time.
“Tonight is the full moon, and y’re comin’ with us to dance. Y’re a woman now, and there’s some things you should know.” It was not an invitation so much as a directive.
“Are you crazy? It’s 58 degrees and raining. I’m not going out in that!”
Lilith did not respond. When it came time to go and dance and pray, she told her daughter, “All right, it’s time.” Delilah replied, “No, fuck you, I’m not going.”
Delilah had never spoken to her mother like that before, and a cold rush went through both of them. Though Lilith was seen as stern compared to the other mothers, she had never laid hands on Delilah. She went over to her daughter, bent down, and kissed her on the forehead. When she stood up, in her right hand she had Delilah by her thick, red hair. She did not speak but walked out with Delilah in tow. She did not even pause for her to put on a sweater or a slicker but hauled her out into the wet night. Delilah protested vehemently with a burst of profanities. Lilith stopped and looked at her in a way that made all resistance cease.
The ceremony began with passing a ceramic goblet that held a different potion tonight, an acrid mushroom brew. Delilah took a sip and spit it out. The chanting stopped and a dozen women stared aghast at the sacrilege.
“Drink.” That one word from her mother resonated and echoed like it was amplified. Later, Delilah wondered how anyone could speak that loud and not shout.
One by one, the women went into the bushes to vomit up the residue, while the others continued the worshipful singing. When Delilah returned from her turn, the women saw the wonder in her eyes and smiled at one another knowingly, each remembering her first time.
Her mother took her into the middle of the circle and announced her installation into their ranks. The women droned her name, which was easy to make melodious. Lilith kissed her daughter on both cheeks. Delilah looked at her mother again with that love that comes from that first imprint and years of nurture.
Then her mother slapped her hard, hard enough to knock her down, and hollered, “Wake up, bitch! You’re one of us now!”
The coven cheered and gathered around Delilah. They boosted her onto their shoulders and, still chanting her name, carried her deeper into the woods.
No one in the commune ever called her Dilly again.
(45 Minutes Reading Time)
Graphic Language, Violence,
and Erotic Content.
THE RISE AND THE FALL AND THE RISE
OF A REDHEADED WITCH
Volume 1 "The Scent of Delilah"
Volume 2 "The Tears and the Fury"
Volume 3 "The Trials of Lilith"
Editor David Lerner of
Austin Macauley Publishers, London, writes:
"'The [novel] was found to be winding, visceral, extraordinary. The author knows whereof they write, and they have written a raw, erotic, commercial fiction novel.
"It succeeds on every front without arrogance and with verve. The intensity of its erotica is easily won and puts the reader in the driving seat, but outside that there is a romping adventure from beginning to end.
"Characters, situations, and locations all show the practiced hand of an experienced wordsmith. Terrific.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
FRESCO from Villa dei Vettii, Pompeii
(entitled "Worth its weight in gold")
by John Collier, 1889
by John William Waterhouse, 1892
Triple Goddess with Pentacle,
Symbol of Dianic Wicca, c. 1970s