Laura wore a long sleeved shirt of her father’s over her bikini to stave off the chill of t he night air. Her short hair tickled her ears as a soft breeze teased strands away from her face.

The heat of the day had permeated the sand encrusted concrete surrounding the oval pool and was now transmitted through the soles of her feet. Forty steps until the edge turned and gave way to cool, soft grass.

As she followed the concrete walk she watched fireflies dancing in the garden, their golden glow revealing the deep purple of the open moon flowers. As Laura approached the steps that descended into t he pool, wafting scents from the moon flowers warred with the acrid stench of the chlorinated water. The sound of the bubbling water shooting from the pool’s jets reminded Laura of the therapist’s words.

“If you would just spend some time in a whirlpool your muscles might relax enough to allow some healing to take place.”

Slowly Laura descended into the warm water. At first the beat of the warm water against her aching muscles was almost painful. Slowly, minute by minute the muscles began to relax. Laura lifted her knees slightly to allow her body to sink deeper into the pool until the water reached her chin. She then straightened her knees so that her legs were parallel to the surface of the water. Laura then leaned back into the warm embrace of the water and allowed her body to begin floating.

A sigh of relief escaped her full lips as she gave herself over to the relaxing sensation of being cradled by the water. Laura closed her eyes and allowed her arms to spread out away from the sides of her body. She gazed at the stars in the velvet sky and allowed her mind to go blank. Slowly her eyes closed and she dozed lightly, completely relaxed for the first time in months.