Prologue


Richard Grayson was nervous. Not because of tonight's performance, at least not completely. It was the weird man that he had heard talking to Jack Haly earlier. The eight year old knew enough english to understand that the stranger was dangerous, he had said something to threaten Haly and the circus, after all. Do, right now, Richard was having a really bad feeling in his stomach as he watched the acts leading up to his own performance at the end of the show. The current act was quite special, and still pretty new to the tour. A good build man with short red hair stood in the center of the ring, showing off all kinds of tricks and games with different forms of technology, integrating the audience in some parts as well. Everyone seemed obviously amazed by the effects of the man's skills, which usually made it hard for Richard not to laugh at their stupidity. The redhead had shown him all his tricks and Richard had been shocked by their actual simplicity. Though tonight, he couldn't bring himself to even smile at any of the acts playing before his eyes. Tonight, he was worried. Worried, and scared. The weird stranger had made it clear that he was upset. Haly had not given him something the man had wanted, who had then promised that he would give him something he did not want in turn. They way he had said it, and the intimidating look in his eyes had sent shivers down Richard's spine, making him want to call the police immediately. But he hadn't. Now, he was seriously considering to miss his act in order to make up that mistake. His mother, who had been standing next to him, must have finally noticed her sons uneasiness, because she moved in front of him and crouched down, so she was on eye level with him. Placing her hands on his shoulders she asked, "Hey, Dickie, are you alright?"

Hesitantly, the raven haired boy nodded his head, and tried to smile, failing miserably. His mother obviously picked up on this, causing her to frown in concern.

"What's wrong, my little Robin?"

Richard bit his lip, glancing at Pop Haly, who was preparing to walk out into ring to announce the last act, their act. Should he tell his mother what he had witnessed? Would she be mad at him for eavesdropping on another conversation? Or for not telling her sooner? His decision was taken from him the moment Haly's voice boomed through the circus tent, introducing him and his family to the audience.

"Ladies and gentlemen! Prepare for our final act, the Flying Graysons!"

Richard gave his mother a reassuring smile, telling her he was just a bit nervous. Mary Grayson nodded, giving her son a quick hug, before they both joined their third family member on their way to the trapeze.

Little did young Richard know that he wouldn't get another chance to talk to his mother after tonight.