This collar is starting to feel like a noose. I feel it tightening around my neck, the blood rushing out of my head and heading towards my feet. Making me dizzy. My friend gives me an encouraging grimace and then the music starts.
No, not the music! Because with the music comes the crying and then there’s no going back…
A man in black comes and clamps a firm hand on my shoulder. Almost knocking me down. I laugh nervously and try (unsuccessfully) to loosen my collar for the 500th time. There is the overwhelming aroma of sweat mixed with rose petals and something else, something vaguely metallic. I am almost starting to recognize it, but then the music reaches its crescendo and everyone is standing up expectantly, waiting.
Something white is heading towards me. All I can see is white. A filmy, gauzy white that reminds me of bandages and pain.The metallic smell has now become a taste making my tongue heavy and too big for my mouth.
As I fall to the floor in a dead faint, I finally identify its source: fear.