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SPA CARE by Xenia Taiga

The spa was located in the hills, behind the town’s famous billboards.

“The farthest spot on known earth,” her husband said, looking over the brochures. “No fast foods for miles.”

Her husband helped her pack, while she stood to the side eating Dorito’s. The afternoon sun shone on her as she got in the car and slammed the door. Her husband waved. When she pulled out of the driveway, he called out to her. “Relax enough, so you can ovulate and then we can get back to business.”

The spa was located in the hills, behind the town’s famous billboards.

“The farthest spot on known earth,” her husband said, looking over the brochures. “No fast foods for miles.”

Her husband helped her pack, while she stood to the side eating Dorito’s. The afternoon sun shone on her as she got in the car and slammed the door. Her husband waved. When she pulled out of the driveway, he called out to her. “Relax enough, so you can ovulate and then we can get back to business.”

The drive took an hour. The spa was a large white building with the mountain behind, hugging it. On the right side was a pool. On the left side was a room with bay windows overlooking the coast. In the middle, as she pushed through the revolving doors was the entrance and a table set up of fresh organic food and juices.

The women in white coats smiled and their voices sang like angels on acid, welcoming her to an experience that’ll transform her.

“Listen to your body,” they said as they showed her to her room. Her room held large windows that faced the mountain. The pine trees pressed against the glass, bits of sunshine filtered in.

She asked for coffee.

They looked at each other. “Why do you need coffee?”

“Because I’m tired.”

They smiled. “If you’re tired, then go to bed or rest in the sauna or go for a swim in the pool, perhaps.”

As she swam in the hot pool, swimming one lap after another, she could hear the wolves howling.  She slept that night, hearing them whimpering and scratching her window.

Early morning, they gathered in the great room, prepping themselves for yoga. While they stretched and cried out to Mother Nature, she asked if anyone else was concerned about the wolves. Did the wolves ever pose a problem?

“Don’t listen to the wolves,” they told her. “Listen to your body.”

“But doesn’t anybody else hear the wolves?” She looked around at the other women in the room. Their eyes closed, deep in thought, deep in breathing; inhaling and exhaling.

The lady stood up and walked to her, placing her hands on her shoulders. “What is it your body’s saying? Listen deeply. What is it your body’s telling you?”

“I don’t know.”

“Then on to the dogwood pose, shall we? On the count of three…”

On the third day, she asked for coffee. “Why do you need coffee?”

“I’m tired. I got a headache. It’s a caffeine withdrawal headache. I know it.”

“Don’t listen to your brain. That’s your brain talking. Listen to your body. What is your body telling you?”

“It’s telling me it wants coffee.”

They smiled. “No, it isn’t.”

At the five o’clock spiritual exercise, she stayed in her room.  They came into her room, concerned. “I just don’t feel like it,” she said as she filed her nails and cut them into tiny perfect curves.

They gently took the items out of her hands. “Take a rest. Remember why you came here. You came to rest. You’re doing too much. What is your body telling you?”

She asked for a shaver. Her hair was growing back from the last wax and the shaver she brought had already turned rusty. They took the rusty shaver from her, threw it into the bin. “You don’t need to worry about things like that. That is not important. What is important is your body. What is your body saying?”

She sat on her bed’s clean white sheets, watching her nails grow long, curling inward. She watched the short bristled hairs on her legs grow. She gathered the tangled hairs on her head and twisted them up into a messy bun.

That night, it thundered. The wolves howled. The power and lights flicked off. They gave them candles and told them to rest, to call out to Mother Nature and to listen to the body. “What is it that your body is trying to say to you?” they asked, looking into her eyes.

She moved the dresser in front of the door and threw the heavy white candles thick as bricks through the windows. The glass shattered. The rain came in, filling the room. The pine trees tumbled forward, touching her feet.

The mice came, crawling up her body.  Sparrows flew in. Together they poked and pecked into her tall matted hair that sat atop her head like a wobbly castle.  She laid on the bed and opened her legs. The rabbits wet and white came into her vagina, burrowing and digging to keep warm. The wolves pranced in on tiptoes. They stepped over her body; stepped over the mice, rabbits, sparrows, and came to her neck.  They snarled, exposing large teeth. They leaned forward, biting deep into her neck.

The women were outside, pounding on the door: “Listen to your body. What is it telling you? What is your body trying to say to you?”

She closed her eyes and listened.

 

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About Xenia Taiga

Xenia Taiga
Xenia Taiga lives in southern China. You can find her work in Asiancha, Eastlit and Gone Lawn Journal. She's currently writing a novel about China.