Michael J. Bugeja
“my nostrils flared and felt still as if my body had turned to stone.”
I would be careful with this line. You’re telling us two different things. If your nostrils flared, then your body isn’t still. It reminds me of the example writers mistakenly use, “All was silent except for the sound of sirens.” It isn’t very silent then.
Think about the last time you were startled. Did the blood drain from your face? Couldn’t speak? Fell backward? Did you say, “Uh! and then OMG?”