Sweetpaw let out a weak moan as another pain shook her stomach like a rock fall. She squeezed her eyes shut, wishing the pain would leave.
Rosepaw, Poppydawn, Thistleclaw, Bluefur, and Goosefeather were huddled around her each doing something different.
Rosepaw was wailing in distress, Poppydawn was licking her flank rapidly, Bluefur was staring at her with large worried eyes, and Thistleclaw was snarling threats at Goosefeather.
"If you don't fix her," Thistleclaw snarled, "I'll tear you into strips and feed you to the foxes!"
Goosefeather sat as still as a stone. Featherwhisker sat tail-lengths away, mixing herbs for her.
Sweetpaw looked up at her brother through her painful state with her dull green eyes.
"Hang in there, Sweetpaw!" Poppydawn pleaded, her voice low and desperate. Her mother's amber eyes gaze was glowing with worry.
"Don't worry, mother," Sweetpaw croaked, "I'm not going to..." Sweetpaw slumped in her moss limply as her friends and family blurred into blackness. She was greeted by a bright light and she squinted. She saw two cats padding toward her, their fur twinkling with stars and eyes glittering.
Sweetpaw's eyes widened, "Am... am I dead?"
The first starry cat spoke up, "No, little one. Sweetbriar and I have come to tell you something."
I knew I recognized her! It's Moonflower! Sweetpaw thought.
Sweetbriar nodded, "StarClan have been arguing over you."
Sweetpaw felt her blood go cold.
Moonflower purred and rested her tail on Sweetpaw's flank reassuringly, "They were deciding whether you should die."
Sweetpaw pulled away and her eyes went wide with horror. She tried choking out a few words, "Will... will I..."
"No," Sweetbriar cut her off swiftly, "StarClan have decided that you have a destiny back in ThunderClan."
Sweetpaw gave a happy bounce and purred, "Thank you!" She sat down, "What is my destiny?"
Moonflower and Sweetbriar exchanged glances, then Moonflower spoke, "You must stop your brother from destroying ThunderClan."
Sweetpaw searched their faces for any hint of a joke. Desperately, she meowed, "Thistleclaw would never do anything like that! Sure he is a bit.... aggressive, but that doesn't change the fact that he is still a loyal warrior."
Moonflower and Sweetbriar looked into a small pool. Sweetpaw looked, too. She could see what was happening back in ThunderClan.
She saw her body, laying still in her nest. Staring down in horror were Rosepaw and Poppydawn, sobbing with greif. Featherwhisker was frantically searching her body for a vital sign.
"Unstable condition!" he called.
Then, she saw Thistleclaw. He had thrown himself over her body and tackled Goosefeather, snarling into the old medicine cat's face. Sweetpaw wanted to reach down and reassure him that everything would be ok.
StarClan started to swirl and fade and as darkness overtook her again she heard Sweetbriar's whisper, "Remember your destiny!"
"Sweetpaw! You're ok!" a voice swam through Sweetpaw's ears as she slowly regained consciousness. She opened her eyes, slowly, as if she feared that if she opened them too fast, they would crack.
Black. That's all she could see. Panic spread through Sweetpaw's numb body, Am I blind?
"I can't see!" she exclaimed. She flailed her paws against an invisible river flood, wishing hopelessly that she could see something, anything.
How can I fulfill my destiny if I'm blind? Sweetpaw asked herself, anger dripping slowly into her mind, How will I ever be a warrior now?
"Sweetpaw," Featherwhisker's gentle voice sounded next to her ear, "Just blink a few times. You'll be ok."
Sweetpaw stopped flailing and blinked a few times, slowly at first, then rapidly. Her vision started to clear, showing her the concerned faces of Rosepaw, Thistleclaw, Featherwhisker, and Poppydawn. Goosefeather was nowhere to be seen.
Sweetpaw feebly stretched her neck up, giving Featherwhisker's cheek a soft lick, "Thanks, Featherwhisker." She looked around a bit more, not noticing Featherwhisker's overwhelming feelings of surprise, "Where's Goosefeather?"
Thistleclaw bristled and Featherwhisker shook his head at him, "He's treating his wounds."
Sweetpaw winced, but she knew she had to pretend that she didn't see Thistleclaw attack the old medicine cat. "Wounds?" she echoed, as confused as she could make herself.