Five Suns: House Gravsend Spa
It made all of my back pain go away and it will do the same for you
I’m not a spa fellow. Scrubs and serums and tonics? Nah. Complete scams! I’ll stick to splashing my face and dirty corners with a handful of spit and hay.
I’m a proud earth-tiller. I specialize in gourds. But when I refused to sell my prized seahorse gourd at half-price to Dillard Gravsend, one of House Gravsend’s esteemed patriarchs, his lackey punched me so hard I saw stars. I laid in the mud with a sharp jabby pain in my back, hating myself for speaking up against a powerful industrialist whose fortunes were made from arms manufacturing and luxury cruises.
I must’ve complained a hair too loudly, because Dillard had a change of heart. He pointed to my back and said he “knows a guy” who could “finish the job.” He’s going to help get my back fixed? Thank heavens! I couldn’t miss another day on the field. I told him how grateful I was, since everyone knows members of House Gravsend kidnap people for the slightest of goofs.
As I heaved myself into his Salavaster-skin-lined carriage, it dawned on me he was taking this old farmhand to his first spa treatment. Where else do Amalcross’s finest go to fix bodily pains? I’ve avoided spas my entire life but now I figured there was no better time to experience something new.
His carriage stopped outside a cold, squat, stone fortress. It was kind of scary. Not to mention the constant screaming. I knew spa treatments could be painful. But scream-worthy? Were those screams of pleasure? Am I a screamer? Mid-inward-reflection, Dillard kicked me out and yelled “have fun” as his carriage drove off. Nothing I could do but hobble inside.
A hooded man stopped me, and I told him about my back. He didn’t move or respond. No big deal; I’ve dealt with slow individuals before. I was about to cut my losses and just go home, but his hand suddenly gripped my neck, picked me off the ground, and took me into another room. Ouch!
But as my spine stretched, it felt much better: less stabby pain!
This room had a large metal chamber. Beneath it, a pile of ashes. The chamber opened, revealing spikes poking inward. Another hooded spa attendant brushed a mix of ashes and bones from inside onto a dust pan. Someone must’ve illicitly used this chamber to cook a boar, but neglected it, so it cooked too long. As a home cook, I’m intimately familiar with such an easy mistake.
Hands shoved me into the chamber, which closed, spikes pressing against me. A little too hard, like they were trying to bore a hole through me. Had my chest not been caved in due to my childhood malnutrition, I would’ve been in a world of pain. But the pressure from the spikes distracted me from my back. For a brief moment, I considered exploring their full array of treatment options.
My feet felt hot. They totally forgot that I was in here and not a boar! I empathize — sometimes you have off days. I had to let them know I was inside, so I screamed in words and sentences, since I’m certain those noises could not be created by a boar mouth.
Sweat flowed off my body. Breathing got harder. My legs were numb. I didn’t know the spa could be so physically demanding. And I’ve worked the fields everyday for forty years! I was deeply humbled.
Finally, the chamber opened. I fell to my knees, panting. My skin felt new against the cold air. I was reborn! In the dim light, I saw Dillard, smiling. What a beautiful soul. He extended his hand, pulled me to my feet, then asked me if I wanted to just give him my prized seahorse gourd.
I said yes! Take the gourd. Because I knew I got the better bargain. Introducing me to the world of spa treatments is worth more than dozens of prized seahorse gourds.
I’ve made a follow up appointment — 5/5 suns, can’t wait to go again!
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