Helena is a kind and very bright girl, protective of her friends and the people she cares about but tends to be a bit reckless towards herself.
Has an attitude of, “I’m just a dumb kid, instead of focusing on my lesser qualities, and the deep seated fear of death from an unfairly short lifespan. I’m going to do the best I can, at least enjoy the short life span.” She likes to make people smile, believes that chaos is just the spice of life and we need to take things as they come.
So pranking, thieving, telling wild stories, playing cards, causing wild stories and telling morbid jokes are all things she loves to do. She tries to have a happy go lucky attitude but still tends to be a bit paranoid, generally anxious. She fiddles a lot, because of this side of her personality. Usually rolling a coin between her knuckles, flipping a coin, or shuffling cards.
She isn't intelligently smart, dropped out of highschool, and unfortunately doesn't think very highly of herself. However she is a fast learner, she can smoothly move through social situations, read people, pickpockets and scam people with grace and ease.
Once a young woman named Bailey Barlow taught herself guitar so she could play for her towns church. The same woman kept Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Jimmie Rodgers CD’s under her bed so her father wouldn’t catch her.
When Bailey was nineteen she left home, after a particularly angry screaming match with her father. She had the clothes on her back, a guitar slung across her back, and a duffle bag hanging by her hip. For the next three years Bailey traveled, spending the time in total bliss melting into the noise of the world, hitchhiking across open country roads going from small town to small town. It was during this time that Bailey met a man with a kind smile, dark hair and tattoos of angel wings on his ankle. He introduced himself as Hermes, and she thought it was a funny name but didn’t mind. The next few months she spent with him, traveling in the back of strangers vans. Days were spent playing music in bars and in restaurants, evenings spent with her head in his lap watching the star-filled skies, comforted by the sound guitar strumming.
Bailey fell in love during her adventures with him, running from place to place, being in between cities, living this joyous adventure.
At least that’s what happened according to her mother's diary, One of the few connections Helena actually has to the woman.
What wasn’t included in the small traveling journal, what Helena never knew, was the fact that Bailey McBride had to return home at the age of twenty three her voice hoarse, feeling scared and alone, with a crying baby in her arms.
Another fact that unfortunately wasn’t included in any journal or Helena’s memories was the fact that Baileys own father, Zacharia Barlow, was furious. A child out of wedlock, his own daughter, some wild irresponsible hippie. The two made a deal, Bailey would stay home for the next five years, take care of the child, and than sign over custody of the young to avoid any further embarrassment for the family.
So the child was named Helena, Helena Jolene Barlow. She grew up in her mothers small hometown of Georgia, the first five years raised both by her mother and grandfather. Her childhood includeds a few foggy memories of a woman with dark curled hair, singing her songs to fall asleep too, cooking dinner together, before the mysterious dark haired woman explained with tears in her eyes that she needed to take a trip before never returning.
At some point in her life Helena hoped that the nice woman would come back for her but thirteen years of silence can change a lot of things.
Eleven years of being stuck with someone who thinks she’s nothing but an ugly paint stain on a family tree. Eleven years of suffering and feeling completely alone in a town full of people who always know what to say, how to act, how to fit in. Eleven years of losing hope because who would want to come back to a screw up like her?
To summarize Helena's childhood wasn’t the best. Her grandfather was a fire and brimstone preacher who never really wanted to keep the child, and only agreed to raise her because it was the morally ‘right’ thing to do.
The worst experience was when she was thirteen and she got in trouble for being late to school. She eventually arrived to class with cuts on her skin and feathers stuck in her hair. Wild stories of manic birds attacking her, her grandfather unfortunately didn’t believe a ‘bastards lies’, loud yelling matches about not being grateful, of being a lying sinner. Comparisons to her being nothing but a lowly snake that tempts others with lies, her grandfather's large hands pressing against the fresh cuts making them sting and scream out in pain.
She would later learn that these manic birds where Stymphalian Birds, then there was that strange dog that came close to biting her, with thick black mane and blood stained muzzle. Than there was this one horse, that animal was just an asshole. There where a few other close calls but nothing was as bad as the anger and resentment her grandfather held for he that one dayr.
He had plan to kick her out at the age of eighteen but Helena chose to leave early, running away sixteen. Helena started traveling, sneaking onto trains and the back of trucks, meeting strangers and learning a few tips and talents. and it turned out to be significantly better than living at home. Almost like she was made for it.. She picked up how to live on the street relatively easily, teaching herself how to pick pockets, how to scam, how to steal in order to pay for food, clothes, and the occasional hotel room, anything to keep this life on the run she cultivated for herself.
Things went well, minus a few strange encounters and some wild stories. Including falling asleep in a graveyard, running from strangers with skin that looks like scales, the manic birds, learning how to spin cards on her fingers, cup tricks and unclipping watches. Well everything went well until one winter, the winter she was stuck in New York. Winters where always hard, winter meant less people on the streets, winter meant less ways to get money, less warm places to sleep. It meant Helena freezing down to her core and eventually passing out on a park bench frost clinging her eyelashes, skin turning blue before passing out.
Helena’s dreams where always strange, although this wasn't a dream and more of a strange terrifying vision during a hypothermic triggered coma. She remembers most of it, a man with salt and pepper hair and angel wings tattooed on his ankles. She vaguely remembers hiking across a path, rivers with white sand and dots of poppies growing on one side, a field with silver trees and thousands of faces on the other side. She remembers soft spoken explanation, being told stories about her mother and apologies for not showing up sooner. Pride for how far she’s travelled, how she’s survived, what she’s learned, what she’s taken. She remembers a coin being pressed into her palm before sinking into water.
She probably wouldn’t have believed it happened if it wasn't for waking up on the couch of a nice boy with goat hooves and the taste of honey on her tongue. The nice boy introduced himself as M.C, explained that he got a funny message that directed him to her out cold body. He jokingly complained about how exhausted he was from carrying her back to land of the living. And although he was a strange excitable boy, Helena found it nice to have a friend and a warm place to sleep. It was nice to find kindness, and since then Helena stopped running, choosing to live year round at the camp, still getting into shit and occasionally scamming people with a smile.
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