The head by Anna Nazarova-Evans

What am I afraid of? Of turning out like Frankenstein’s monster, your monster. I know what you are thinking. Currently my head and body are the same size, but only the head has fully developed. It can’t get any worse.

‘I need more time,’ I swivel my wheelchair around to face you.

‘We haven’t got any more time, Anton. The body is ready.’

‘Can I see it?’

‘No.’

‘So I don’t have a choice?’

‘You don’t get to pick one, no. We’ve only got one. But I can confirm that it’s male.’

‘Was he in an accident?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘What if he was a criminal?’

‘That’s irrelevant.’

An unknown to me before feeling splashes over the edge.

‘What will happen if it doesn’t work?’ I ask.

‘You’ll die.’

I want to cry at the thought that this might be the last time I see my home. I think back to the start, to the first time you approached me. My life was simple. Difficult but simple. Not knowing about a way out means not wanting it. Your eyes glide over my profile through the spectacles like a quality scanner. You never look below the neck, as if the rest of me doesn’t exist.

‘Is this all I am to you, a head?’

You shake your head as if to say “how many more times”. You move to the print on the wall and stand with your back to me, facing the picture. It depicts a boat slicing through the waves, zipping the sky and water together. This floor to ceiling poster is as close as I’ve ever been to seeing the sea.

I admire your physique: a forty year old head attached to a forty year old body of perfect proportions. You seem so far away from me, as if you’ve stepped into the picture. I know what you’re going to say next.

‘You won’t get another chance, Anton.’

As you turn around I give you the answer.

Anna Nazarova-Evans is a Bristol based writer. She has been published by The Short Story UK, The Word Factory, National Flash Fiction Day Anthology 2015, Firefly and Bibliophilia magazines. She is due to appear in Spelk fiction in April 2016. Follow her on Twitter @AnitchkaNE and read more here.

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