Here's another attempt for a story on my part. I have the next few chapters plotted out, so I hope people like this one. I have a good plan with it, I'm sure of it.

Disclaimer: I don't own the mentioned characters, songs, products or locations.

Dick's POV:

When I woke up, the only thing I was sure of was that I wasn't in my own bed.

I'm not much an expert on mattresses, but it only took a turn onto my side in an effort to go back to sleep to notice how stiff the one I was on was. It couldn't have been very thick, and if it was, it had springs hopped up on steroids.

The pillow I had my arm curled under was like something you'd find in a dollhouse and I was sure if I moved wrong, I'd have some nasty paper cuts when I got up. A part of me seemed to conclude that there wasn't a pillow and my arm was just bloated to an alarming size, but the fabric was a bit rougher than my arm hair.

If there had been a blanket at any point, I must have kicked it far from my reach. I didn't see myself needing one though, seeing how stuffy the air around me was. Was it summer? I couldn't remember.

My first attempt to open my eyes and investigate was cut short when I was met with a blinding white in front of my face. It left my head in a twister and gave my stomach a sickening lurch that had me noticing the vague taste of plastic on my tongue.

Some cereal would wash that right out. I hoped we had some Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the pantry. I'd settle for Captain Crunch, but nothing beats those crazy squares in all honesty.

I tried to get up again, sitting up before I opened my eyes.

Now I was aware of two things: I wasn't in my own bed, and now I wasn't in my own room.

One look around told me that I wouldn't be getting my cereal.

The bed I was in had a blue sheet over the mattress which wasn't much taller than I was, ended by a thin white rail that must have served for a headboard in earlier years. Now it was just pathetic, and in need of a paint job. The same shade of blue was on the sheets pooled by my feet, confirming my suspicions of having kicked it far away. Nestled within them was a stuffed elephant that I didn't recognize but somehow knew the name to.

"What are you doing down there, Zitka?" I murmured, tensing to find my voice hoarse as I gathered the elephant into my arms.

Zitka's ears were weathered down to the point that I could see the stuffing behind the loose gray fabric, but my eyes were on her outer ear. A name was stitched there delicately. Mine.


I couldn't explain it, but I knew she had to be mine. There had been a Zitka around when I was growing up. It took a second, but I remembered that she had been an elephant as well. She had been an elephant in the circus, but not the international tour because she was finicky during long train rides.

I had been in a circus. Yeah. It was coming back to me. Haley's Circus. I had been an acrobat; a Flying Grayson with my mom and dad. We were the opening act to most shows because the crowd loved a good trapeze act.

Past tense. Why was I using past tense? What happened that changed that?


My parents had fallen. One of the wires holding the bar up had been sabotaged and snapped during one of our shows and they fell to the ground where dad's neck had broken and mom's foot had bent up to touch her shoulder.

I hugged Zitka close for a moment and took a slow breath.

It wasn't an accident. Someone had arranged it. I remembered him now. He had an Italian accent and a cool hat, and he was always chewing on a tooth pick. A mob boss, I think, and he had wanted money from the circus. He threatened to hurt us if we didn't pay, but dad told him to scram because we weren't afraid.

The police believed it had been faulty wiring, no matter what I said. The only other witnesses were dead. Why would they believe a little kid?

How long ago had that been? How old was I?

I was fifteen. They had fallen April 1st, twelve days after my ninth birthday. Who would believe a nine year old?

Enough wallowing. I put Zitka down and looked at the rest of the room around me.

It wasn't that big, to start. Besides my bed, the only other thing in it was a small white sink with a mirror above it. I didn't have to get up to know that I had a tooth brush and toothpaste in the cabinet behind the mirror. Someone wouldn't let me put anything else back there, but I couldn't remember who. My parents were dead. I didn't have any other family to serve as a guardian. Who could have told me that?

There was a small poster of a woman in a purple mask with green hair blown high by a wind of sorts. It was a popular advertisement for Haley's Circus. I had no idea why it was here because I knew it wasn't mine, but then again, this room wasn't mine. White walls weren't my style, or slated doors.

Was I in prison? No, prison wouldn't allow stuffed animals, probably for reputation's sake, and it'd be a lot more open. It didn't look like solitary confinement and I definitely wasn't in prison wear.

I had a loose fitting white shirt and baggy white sweatpants that were two sizes too big, meaning I hadn't dressed myself. That led me to wonder who had.

I got up carefully and walked over to the sink, gripping its sides before looking into the mirror and choking.

My hair was disheveled and shooting up every which way, looking as if I hadn't dyed it in a long time. The brown was bleeding heavily through the black and looked terrible. The white of my eyes were bloodshot, leaving the blue looking almost purple now which seemed to compliment the bags beneath them. My lips were broken and bloody, as if I had just lost a fight. I ran my tongue along them gently and flinched.

What had happened? Where was I? What was the last thing I remembered?

I leaned my head down over the sink and screwed my eyes up tight in an effort to remember, but my head was still spinning.

There was the orphanage. I remembered that. I shared a room with ten other boys who treated me like a freak because I had actually known my family.

I remembered biting my tongue whenever they'd call me ungrateful. I had lost everything. They were alone to begin with. There was no way they could understand.

That was all I remembered though. There wasn't a yesterday available in my memory banks. It was all a haze and I hated it.

It would come to me. It had to.

I nearly gave a shriek as I heard the door unlock before rushing back away from it. I expected a man with a scar over his eye and a thick cigar in his mouth, not a blonde haired nurse with a tray in hand. She called my name in a bit of annoyance and gestured me over, handing me a small cup of pills and a cup of water. Her nametag read 'Dinah'.

I slipped the pills under my tongue and took a drink, handing her back the cups and stepping back so she could close the door. Once it was shut, I spit the pills into my palm and stuffed them into my pillowcase.

It had my mouth tasting even more of plastic. I must have taken the pills before now.

How long had I been here?

Better yet, where was I?