The fondest wish of most beings who have a will and a soul is to continue their own existence. To stretch beyond the line of possibility. To be more than they think they can be.
Frivolous imaginative ideals. Like so many other things which they want but cannot have. Instead, they live, they breed, they die. And often they die in ways which are not peaceful and are not expected.
And in every existence of life, there are several base expectations for how death will come.
Food is needed for life. But drought and limited resources prevent food from always being supplied.
When there is a lack of food, two things happen, which lead to more death.
There is sickness, which comes when life is weak. It robs the breath and blinds the senses.
There is battle. In the endless struggle to live and live better than all those around you.
And each aspect is a stream, which feed into and cross over one another until it reaches the end.
This end is always death.
From the beginning of the stream, the oldest point, there is Chaos. It is both the start of a turbulent afternote, and it is foremost one thing. It is a start.
Then come the next, all weaving in and out of each other until no one remembers what the beginning was or what was the end. Famine, War, and Pestilence.
It all ends at the last. The last of everything. Death. Or one could say Death is just the gateway into Chaos and everything repeats. That the stream is less a stream, but a loop of water, turning in on itself so much that everyone forgets the beginning.
But, imagine, for a second, what would happen if you removed the gate?
Which of the middle “siblings” would cease to be needed after Death was gone? It would take a little time for the water to understand what was happening.
Chaos passes into the three middle possibilities into Death into Chaos again and over and over.
Illness would go first. Why pay attention to sickness? It is just something which will pass. Easily forgotten.
Famine would remain for a time yet. There is a struggle to adjust, a struggle to understand food is no longer something needed as a necessity.
No, War would disappear after Hunger. If I fight my neighbor, but my neighbor simply come back again and again, there is no longer war. War is something hot, full of tension, full of breath catching and taken and drama. Without it, without the blood and the necessary ends, fights bring nothing. They are … let go.
I cannot die. But I can be stripped of all I am.
So, I watch ShadowClan let Redwhisker disappear into the ferns, chasing him away in the full knowledge he will be back. Blackstar is worn, the herb stores are gone. Cats breath out, as if some weight has been pulled away.
And I fade just a bit more.
The last dissenter. The last set of outcasts. I am useless in this place.
My essence turns away, as thin as paper and so angry. This is no surrender. This is no winning or losing or great stories or songs. Nothing will rise out of this. If it continues, there will not even be memories.
I don’t make it far. I stumble. I have never stumbled before. I have never been slow enough to stumble. My name can be spoken on the wind. A cry to the stars above to spur movement onward. But there was nothing left of me to move anymore.
I don’t know how long.
Or whether I would beat my brother, Illfur, there or not.