Wednesday, January 23

The Spa Scare

Apart from it being utterly time pass, there are few incentives to my job.  But from time to time,  there is the occasional perk.  Namely a restaurant review here and a movie review there.  And still yet, a spa review in between.  Like this Monday when I was called over for the same at a fancy-pants hotel. So here I am, sitting in the locker area waiting for the sauna to ready. 

 At the sound of the beeper,  I take off my thick snowy robe and step into the darkness.  I'm blinded by the steam and the wet heat.  A minute inside and I'm bored. So I begin to imagine I'm a Fernando Botero nude and start to pose this way and that, singing and swaying. Five minutes later, the beeper goes off again and the steam slowly starts to thin. I turn around and my heart stops. 

A figure begins to emerge. There's someone else in the room.  Even before I can process this, I'm running outside, my scream still stuck in my throat. I slip and fall.  My worst fear has come true. "This is what happens when you read so much about serial killers. They'll know. And they'll follow you. And they'll hack you into pieces when you are in the shower. And then leave the CSI team a clue written in your blood on that mirror there," is my last thought.  Still, I scramble out on all fours into the locker area before he can grab me by my feet and drag me back inside. 

I clutch a towel and run to the door.  It's locked.  The swipe card is back in my locker.   I look back. There's still no sound from the sauna. I walk back, each step leaving me more and more numb with fear.  I reach into the locker when I hear the door open and the soft thud of footsteps. I sink into the floor.  But I'm strangely relieved. This is the end and my legs are waxed. 

I feel a hand on my shoulder but I still don't move.  Now, it's saying something. But I don't understand.  It leaves me and walks into the sauna.  "Getting his tools," informs the voice in my head.  But something is wrong.  Too much time has passed. 

I slowly look up. The glass door to the sauna is ajar. The figure is exactly as I saw him last, still as a statue and creepily motionless.  A woman, who I slowly recognise as my therapist, latches on to him while reaching for the water bottle I've left behind. She lets out a little 'hiss' as her hand touches the hot stone.  

Feeling returns to my body and she passes me the water.  "It's normal to be dizzy after the steam. But you look very pale, please relax," she says.  

"What's that," I ask, pointing.  

"It's a sculpture of the Fengshui master, Guo Po. To promote, how do you say, positive vibes and inner peace, you see?" 

"I see."

"Are you ready for your massage now ma'am or do you want some more time in the steam?"

"Back in the steam? No. No. No no no." 


"No, thank you. I think I'll take that massage now."