Most folks say death on the premises is bad for business. For us, it’s life.
Forget the whole idea of passing quietly. We specialize in the spectacular, the stunning, the superb. Want to leave this mortal coil in a diamond coffin shot into the sun? We can fulfill your wish. Host a party for your friends—or enemies—so they can witness your final moments? No problem. With sixteen floors of customizable spaces, three thousand guest rooms, fifty medical professionals and twenty staff lawyers, we can handle anything you require.
Shall we take the tour now? Before you is our memorial wall. Photographs of all who have passed on via our services this century. We cater for everyone here. Celebrities, salarymen, blue collar, royalty. My favorite? Oh, here. Princess Halima of Venus. She had a custom robe woven by the monks of Ghestry out of starlight and sapphires. Frozen in nitro. She’s still in the vaults. Long-term display.
Between you and me, the viewing fees are still paying for her dress.
Here’s the directory; there’s a copy in your suite. Feel free to watch any open ceremonies taking place, they’re listed if you scroll just so. I’ve found that some guests modify their choices after attending a few. Up to two major and three minor changes are included in your costs, and of course the Service Stewards are available for discussion at any time. Simply send a com to the main desk and we’ll hook you up.
Ah, yes. The inevitable question. Yes, we are legal under galactic law. Even had a police chief come through, once. Wanted to go out taking down a criminal. Matched them with a retired jewel thief who wanted the thrill of that last job. They were a pair, those two. Requested beds next to each other in the hospice and the yarns they could spin, oh wow. Which of course remain confidential.
And here we are. Room fifteen ninety. How do you want your holo set? The gloomy grey skies of Skellig, or the twin scarlet sunsets of Samsara? I see you have requested a—
—Whoah! Put that away, sir! Please, I’m only doing my—
Thump. Thump thump.
Well, there you go folks. The final heartbeats. The rhythm of life. Didn’t know it would come so soon.
Thump. Thump thump.
But they look after you… here. Always knew they… would. Taken out before my time, no chance… to get old and slow. To fall… down the black hole of poor sales… and sub… optimal visitor reviews.
It’s… the way to…
This story previously appeared in AntipodeanSF Issue 272, 2021.
Edited by Marie Ginga
Emma Louise Gill (she/her) is a neurodiverse British-Australian writer and coffee addict. Her words appear in DrabbleDark II, Etherea Magazine, and Where the Weird Things Are, among others. Find out more at Emma Louise Gill and on Twitter.