Your Head in Our Hands

(900 words) “Remove any doubts from your mind, Mrs. Hawking. Our facilities here at Newton Cryonics are state-of-the-art. True, there may have been one or two, er, hiccups at the beginning, elsewhere, but you can have total faith in us, our cryogenic process has proved its reliability.” “Alfred’s finding it hard to breath now. He’s not got long ….” “Ah, good, now Miss Kelly outside will go through the protocol and form-filling with you. There’s just one thing. Did he want the full body or just the head?” “Oh, what would you recommend?” “Well, for most it comes down to price. Keeping the whole body at minus two hundred degrees is considerably more expensive over the long-term than just the head.” Mrs. Alexa Hawking looked out of the window at the huge concrete hemisphere ensconced among neat lawns and flowerbeds that stretched out ahead. She fingered her white hair nervously. “Oh, just his head …. How long …?” Dr. Zanoun gave a wry smile. “I can’t give you any definite figures, Mrs. Hawking. It could be a hundred years, it could be five hundred ….” He made a gesture as if juggling invisible balls. “But rest assured, your husband’s head will be safe in our hands.”