Richard is first introduced at age four, when he is referred to Vince Milliner for a speech evaluation. He has already been through several different foster homes, including one where his adult foster brother killed the family dog while drunk. Richard has trouble controlling his violent urges when his Satiety is low, and has already injured another preschooler with an Atavism. Vince is unsuccessful in getting Richard referred to additional therapy, however.
Later, Richard is shown living with his biological mother Alyssa again, although his teachers remark that she is rarely seen at school. He has also caused several "accidents" around the school in order to feed his Hunger. He befriends Eve Forgus, a fellow Beast, and defends her from Mr. Coffey, an adult Beast who attempts to steal Eve's hoodie. With Guidance from the Dark Mother, Richard manages to injure Mr. Coffey, and with the help of an Anathema placed by Vince Milliner, Richard frightens Mr. Coffee away. Having successfully fed, Richard cheerfully greets Mr. Milliner and then rushes to clean up the blood before his mom gets home.