Alexander had an unusual phobia - one that had haunted him for most of his adult life and made him the laughing stock of many of his so-called friends. Even Alexander himself knew that his phobia was verging on the insane yet he could not stop the fear that passed over him every time he caught the scent of a rose.
The smell triggered a fit of terror in him that would see him lose all control, after many years of putting up with this Alexander's girlfriend convinced him to seek the appropriate medical aid.
Although reluctant, Alexander agreed to try a somewhat controversial hypnotism session in order to try and figure out the cause of his phobia. What happened was a startling revelation.
It began when Alexander was eight years old and walking home from school. Being alone, he was ill-prepared for a sudden ambush by a gang of local bullies who proceeded to scare him off the path and into a nearby wood. Although the gang soon gave up on their chase, Alexander was sufficiently frightened that he did not stop running until he had disappeared quite far into the wood, reaching a clearing.
Upon stopping to catch his breath, Alexander became instantly aware of a strong scent in the air - the scent of roses. Looking around, Alexander was surprised to find a notable lack of said roses, though his mind was more occupied on whether or not his tormentors were still in pursuit or not.
Looking between the rows of trees, Alexander slowly began to calm down as he realized he had indeed escaped. The afternoon sun shining down into the clearing, he continued to breathe in that strong scent of roses.
Making his way back to the path, Alexander did not think much more on the clearing as he made his way home - arriving back safely and choosing not to tell his parents of what happened; he knew it would only make things worse.
That night Alexander went to bed looking forward to the approaching weekend, though he still had a slight, lingering fear of a potential second encounter with the gang of bullies. It was during his somewhat troubled sleep that Alexander became aware of a familiar scent.
Opening his eyes to the relative darkness of his room, Alexander could smell roses and quickly turned on the light near his bed. Yet after he did this he let out a cry of terror as he saw something that made him wish he had simply went back to sleep.
Standing by the foot of his bed was an eight-year old girl with a red dress and long black hair; she wore no shoes and had extremely pale skin. Her eyes were little more than empty sockets and most disturbing of all were the thorny branches spread over her body, covered in red roses.
Alexander didn't stop screaming until his parents entered the room and the mysterious girl vanished quite suddenly, leaving Alexander unharmed but profoundly frightened - the scent of roses still lingering in the air.
Following this strange revelation Alexander was given treatment for his phobia. Using hypnotic techniques, Alexander found himself confronted with a red rose and was no longer afraid of the scent. He was informed that he would still have to come back for regular check ups however. Alexander was thankful that he now had control over his fear and returned home, for the most part, a changed man.
Indeed that night Alexander went to bed and closed his eyes, preparing himself for a peaceful sleep, when quite suddenly he began to smell a familiar scent. The scent of roses. Alexander's eyes opened wide and, at once, his fear returned as he reached over to the light near his bed with trembling hands.