A/N: Another LJ challenge story. Our theme was "Circus." We had a word limit and that theme, and that was all. This was my bunny creation!


Billy sat in his chair, watching with excited anticipation as the ringmaster stepped out, his long coat trailing behind him. At his knowing smile and the flick of his wrists, the circus performers exploded into action. Let the show begin.

The tightrope walker danced on high, running along his precarious line with no fear of the death that awaited him should he fall. He leapt over obstacles, dodged dangerous projectiles, and at times just balanced on his haunches over thin air, perched like a hawk on a twig waiting for his prey.

The clowns were funny, one big and one small; the big one in his comical red drawers and the little one in that silly hat. Slapstick seemed to be their specialty as they exchanged jokes back and forth; but boy could they tumble as good as any acrobat. The other clowns were no match for their antics.

The juggler kept up his routine in the side ring, his hands nearly a blur as he tossed his sharp blades through the air. A heart-stopping trick – one slip with his hand and deadly steel would bite into flesh. He knew the hazards, respected his tools, and let them fly with flawless accuracy. The targets fell one by one.

The bear came out next, bellowing out a mighty roar. Big and strong, he lumbered about with a grace unbefitting of his stature and there was a gentleness to his eyes that said this bear was tame. At the cues from the keepers, he reared up and gave one of them a big bear hug until the man slipped into a comfortable sleep.

The magician appeared in a cloud of smoke and with a shimmering smile. A wave of his hand brought forth his magic wand, and with two firecracker bangs pointed at his lovely assistants, they mysteriously disappeared. His fingers fluttered summoning his card, his Ace, which he left in the dirt as he vanished once again.

The ringmaster stepped back out and waved his baton in the air, signaling the end of the show. The performers gathered 'round and took bow after bow, and Billy clapped wildly.

"Billy!" Mary shouted as she pulled him back from the window. "What are you doing? You could've gotten hurt!"

"Watching the circus, mom," he answered innocently.

She looked out to the street in puzzlement. All she could see were the town's peacekeepers checking over the bodies of the recently deceased outlaws; Chris absently tucking his gun back into its holster, Vin sliding down off the roof of the general store, Buck chuckling as he pulled up his suspenders, JD reaching down to grab for his hat as he shot a glare at the ladies' man, Nathan pulling his knives from the ones he had struck down, Josiah hauling up the man he had crushed to unconsciousness, and Ezra complaining as he tried in vain to brush the dust off his coat. She looked back at her son and couldn't hide her smile. To see such magic in a world of violence… Only a child.