Fear has a wonderful way of concentrating the mind. To enumerate one example perfectly at random, right now I am concentrating very hard on not looking down.
Despite my efforts, I am keenly aware of a notable lack of success in this regard.
Far (oh so far) below, I see trees and hills and even the mountains roll back into the distance. We have long ago left behind the snail army, even with their motorized war scooters.
I had no idea the world was this vast. No, let me not disseminate to myself, at least. I had no wish to know. I had my patch in the forest by the lake, and I was happy with that. Well, I was content. Well, not unhappy.
Truth to tell, I thought little of it, purposefully. I yet remember my brief flirtation with controlling my surroundings, when I dreamed of having the power of a god. To what end? I do not myself know. Perhaps it is just as well it slipped so quickly from my paws.
But I treasured my non-unhappiness, and if by a thought I could spin it topsy-turvy, why then I would think no such thoughts.
Forest, lake, hill. It was…sufficient. Stable. Reliable. More stable than my treacherous thoughts, which whispered unremittingly of change, both chosen and inflicted. I dulled them with concentrated effort, lest a stray flight of fancy undo it all. Perhaps I am deluding myself with nightmares of power, but I dared not risk it.
Yes, fear can help concentration. It has helped me concentrate on maintaining normality, to the utter extent of my powers. Until the cat returned and knocked over not only the apple cart, but the entire orchard. For all my care, here I am, high in the sky with an adreneline-crazed carcharhiniform, soaring I know not whither.
So why – now of all times – do I feel hope?