Not quite how I envision the Delta Dawn might look, but it is named Delta, and it’s launching at dawn. Courtesy of NASA

“Now this baby…”

He always called her baby. She’d been sitting around the shipyard for who knew how long, having been used and abused by who knew how many owners.

“This baby will do the Kessel run in sixteen parsecs.”

Buyers would inevitably be unimpressed. Sixteen parsecs didn’t earn bragging rights for the Kessel run. It wasn’t bad, but the Delta Dawn had enjoyed her heyday. She should be sitting in a scrapyard, not a showroom.

Sometimes they walked away asking each other “Do you smell flowers? I smell flowers…”

But not always.

It took Rose eight years to find her. Eight years of smiling for a living, flattering men who reeked of alcohol and treated her body like a sheath for their near impotent weapons. Delta Dawn had endured far worse. She had been shot, stuffed with contraband, even briefly abandoned in space before being salvaged. Through it all, she remained loyal to her true love, her Captain, her spouse. Others might possess her, but they would never have her love. It was a miracle she had ended up in the used ship lot, and not processed as scrap metal.

Once she found her, Rose visited Delta Dawn often. They’d shared one man’s affections for almost two decades, until the day he’d abandoned them both. Rose never wanted marriage. She knew that was impossible; the Captain was married to his ship.  Their early years together had been contentious ones. Delta Dawn was jealous of her husband’s mistress; Rose resented the time and affection her lover gave his wife.

They had eventually arrived at a tacit agreement…

Rose owned The Captain’s body.

Delta Dawn owned his soul.

His body had been destroyed in a drunken barroom brawl by a stray shot from a blaster.

Some said it was friendly fire.

Some said it was Rose.

They were probably wrong.

His soul was unaccounted for.

Woman With Umbrella, Claude Monet, 1875

The mysterious dark-haired man was not immune to Rose’s negotiable affections. Age had taken its toll, but she still knew how to please a man. Her skills were more than physical. She strolled through the shipyard on his arm, ignoring the salesman’s chatter. Her scent trailed behind them, lingering over other lost vessels, ships who had sadly survived their own captains’ abandonment. Ships who weren’t so fortunate.

Delta Dawn possessed something none of them had.

She had Rose.

Rose was no longer jealous of her lover’s wife; she had always been a willing and eager participant in their ménage. Rose loved Delta Dawn just as much if not more than their Captain had. It was surely a more selfless love than he had shown either of them. Countless times he’d tossed them both aside, forgotten for days at a time while he was off on some adventure. He never showed the slightest remorse.

“…you won’t regret this at all. No, this baby’s a fine ship. Now if you’ll just sign the papers, she’s all ready to lift off whenever you’re ready.”

The dark-haired man nodded acquiescence. Rose looked bored.

Rose took looking bored to a professional level. She did not sigh heavily, nor roll her eyes, yet the subtle nuances of her readily negotiated body prompted her buyer to say “Why don’t you go on inside while I finish up all this boring paperwork, darling?”

With a radiant smile, she did just that. She entered the Delta Dawn as a lover coming home, leaving nothing behind but the lingering scent of Pimpinellifoliae.

She sat at the console, caressing the controls, looking for a sign that their Captain had not abandoned them after all. All his whispered promises, that nebulous idea that someday…

She found it.

The key, the map to the mansion in the sky, his hoard from years of smuggling, written in a code she, as his constant companion, knew intimately. After all, he had called her his greatest treasure. She belonged there.

He’d promised.

The roar of the engines caught the dark-haired man by surprise. He stood there, suitcase in hand, watching both the woman and ship he’d purchased take off without him.

True lovers reunited at last.

This story came about because Tiffany Reisz tweeted something about how the classic country song Delta Dawn would make an awesome BDSM story. And it would! I so hope she writes it…

Meanwhile, it got me thinking about another twist on the story… what if Delta Dawn was a spaceship?

This story isn’t related to any others I’ve written, though it could fit into some universe.

And I have a writerly question: did I correctly use omniscient POV in this?

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