It left me in the dark with my thoughts—which is where I needed to be.
“Come on, Harry,” I muttered to myself. “Get used to the idea.”
And I thought about the thing I’d Seen.
It hurt. But when I came back to myself, I did it again. And again. And again.
Yes, I’d Seen something horrible. Yes, it was a hideous terror. But I’d Seen other things, too.
I called up those memories, too, all of them just as sharp and fresh as the horror pressing upon me. I’d Seen good people screaming in madness under the influence of black magic. I’d Seen the true selves of men and women, good and bad, Seen people kill—and die. I’d Seen the Queens of Faerie as they prepared for battle, drawing all their awful power around them.
And I’d be damned if I was going to roll over for one more horrible thing doing nothing but jumping from one rooftop to another.
“Come on, punk,” I snarled at the memory. “Next to those others, you’re a bad yearbook picture.”
And I hit myself with it, again and again, filling my mind with every horrible and beautiful thing I had ever Seen—and as I did, I focused on what I had bloody well done about it. I remembered the things I’d battled and destroyed. I remembered the strongholds of nightmares and terrors that I had invaded, the dark gates I’d kicked down. I remembered the faces of prisoners I’d freed, and the funerals of those I’d been too late to save. I remembered the sounds of voices and laughter, the joy of loved ones reunited, the tears of the lost and bereaved.
There are bad things in the world. There’s no getting away from that. But that doesn’t mean nothing can be done about them. You can’t abandon life just because it’s scary, and just because sometimes you get hurt.
The memory of the thing hurt like hell—but pain wasn’t anything special or new. I’d lived with it before, and would do it again. It wasn’t the first thing I’d Seen, and it wouldn’t be the last.
I was not going to roll over and die.
Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files “Turn Coat”