Before I knew what was happening the four of us were sitting in the next-to-last row from the stage, squinting to try and make out what was going on as the circus prepped and people got settled into their chairs.
Sandra, one of the more shifty and revealing fire-eaters, had apparently been spying on us.
I would have to try and get some information out of the all-too-eager Bruno when I got the chance. It could potentially be painful, but this was very, very important.
"Couldn't you have gotten us better seats Stinger?!" Nixie exclaimed, some of her earlier sadness still apparent in how she wiped at her nose with a crumpled tissue and the bleariness in her usually clear eyes.
"These were the only ones left," he replied, cheery as ever, "But you could always share my seat if it helps you see better!"
Nix groaned in irritation and threw the tissue in her hands straight at his head, which he nimbly avoided and Myah caught in an empty plastic cup.
We all watched in amazement as she shook the red cup and turned it upside down, with no kleenex to be seen.
She was good.
"Pipe down you lot," I muttered quickly afterwards, maintaining my unimpressed expression, "This could be a matter of life and death."
The last part I said under my breath, just as the lights dimmed and Col. Merriweather trotted into the middle of the sawdust circle, spotlight shining brightly onto his colourful suit. I still couldn't quite remember how we ended up with two tag-alongs to deal with, but there was nothing to do about it but watch the show.
"Laaaaaaaadiiiiees and gentlemeeeeennn, welcome to tonight's fabulous show!"
The crowd cheered, but not as loud as they did at Wiseacre's, I noted with a bit of pride. The colonel went on and on about his dream and how his circus was the total best, blardy blar blar...and then announced the first act. Trapeze artists. How quaint.
I could already bet Eli and I were much better.
Four performers, two guys and two gals, were quickly doing their hyper-sugar-rush-chipper routine, smiling and waving their arms around a few too many times.
Sure they were in the big top but this was over the top. They hadn't got any class.
One took their swing, and then the next, then the third, and finally the last, rather young-looking girl.
The shortie reached the end of her swing and was just doing a flip when a sickening crack sounded through the air.
I stood, mortified, as I watched her trapeze snap in half and her fragile body fly unnaturally through the air, hitting the back of the tent and dropping to the floor.
Stage crew were instantly swarming to where she'd fallen, the colonel trying to calm the chaos of the crowd by telling them to retake their seats.
The show was definitely over, and it had barely started.
I knew what it felt like to fall from the sky. The scar on my face kept me from ever forgetting.
Hopefully this wouldn't be the poor girl's final flight.