Ah, the arrow of pain.
How cruel and relentless it can be.
But the first arrow is not the one that truly strikes fear into the heart.
It’s the second.
The arrow of emotional reaction. The arrow that can make the difference between life and death.
I bid you open your closed mind, Drewitt, and hear truth.
Picture yourself walking through a forest.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, you feel a sharp pain. You look down to see an arrow lodged in your side.
The pain is excruciating, and your hands are stained with flowing blood.
But it’s not over yet. The archer is not done with you.
Gasping for breath, your mind whirls like you’ve taken one of Drexl’s wares.
Will there be another arrow? Two more? Twenty?
In that moment, between peace and pandemonium, that’s when you learn who you are.
Lurking in the shadows, the arrow of emotional reaction is ready.
Will you dodge it, or will you give in and suffer?
It’s a choice that you must make, that we all must make. It’s the choice between contemplation and suffering.
Will you close your eyes and face the pain head on, letting it wash over you? Or will you try to ignore it, letting yourself be swallowed by the dark tendrils of agony?
You’ve been between arrows for some time now, haven’t you Drewitt?
Your eyes have been focused on Teddy O’Toole, on the notched bow he’s pointed at you. It’s ruined your peace, and caused you to stare into the eyes of your pain head on.
But your eyes are in the wrong place.
Heed my words, Drewitt, the arrow of pain was not fired by the Candy Man.
It was fired last week by the Grimskull, and now you must decide to walk his path or be left behind.
I have notched my bow, and the arrow of emotional reaction beckons you.
Fear, anger, and despair wash over you like a tidal wave, I can see it. Your mind is racing, and you’re unable to think straight.
The weight of it presses down on you, suffocating you. You’re paralyzed with fear, unable to move or think.
This is your destiny, Drewitt.
For the second arrow may strike at Pandemonium, but you’ve already given into it.
You’re suffering, and you can’t see a way to overcome it.
Much like Vision, you were too blind to see the way out.
You did not realize that the pandemonium of your mind is the true battlefield, and the outcome of that battle will determine your fate.
On Mount Olympus, archers wait around every corner, firing arrows one after another.
But the archer is not your enemy.
The forest is not your enemy.
The enemy that must be overcome is your own pain.
And there is only one way to do that.
Only by finding the strength to embrace the pain will you be able to avoid the second arrow.
Embracing the pain forces you to see through the illusion of suffering.
To transcend the forests around you.
To become that which only I am.