Mavis Octavia Baines
“You pile of stones, you waste, you desolation, I'll stuff you with misery till it comes out of your eyes. I'll change your heart into green grass, and all you love into a sheep. I'll turn you into a bad poet with dreams.”
–Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.
Here's the Backstory Nonsense:
Mavis' mom left Tamarack Falls before she was born and never talked about her hometown or Mavis' grandmother much. She used to ask a lot of questions about her dad, but he fell out of a window and snapped his neck when her mother was three months pregnant with her. Apparently, she "got his eyes" but Mavis doesn't have any pictures to go by. Her mom and dad never got married, as such her last name of "Baines" is her mother's maiden. When she got older, Mavis stopped asking about her dad because she could see how much his death still weighed on her mother and she became more curious about her living relations. Her mother's secrecy about her mom, Mavis' grandmother, put a strain on their relationship. In the end, Mavis came to accept that there's just some reason mom doesn't talk about grandma much.
Growing up, Mavis' mother and she moved around a lot, never settling in one place for more than a year or so and usually in rural towns or big cities along the east coast. Mavis' education is a little spotty as a result of this despite her mother's better efforts, but Mavis has met (what she considers to be) all walks of life and feels that this gives her perspective that you can't get inside of an educational institution.
Mavis fell from the roof of one of those institutions in 2003, was hospitalized, underwent some surgeries, and made an unexpected recovery. It was in the news and everything, but the press withheld her name at her mother's wishes, which is a shame as it was her one shot at fame. Mavis and her mom came into some money after that in the form of a settlement and all of Mavis' medical bills were covered. They moved not long after Mavis was fit for travel, abandoned all of their old things, and bought new stuff in the next town.
In 2004, Mavis regained some of her dexterity and started writing in journals. Doodles drawn in margins turned to sketches and, soon, paper and pencil weren't enough to channel Mavis' creative outputs. She moved on to other mediums, eventually discovering a passion for street-art in her teenage years. This led to a somewhat rebellious phase, but Mavis never acted out with malice.
In 2007, Mavis' grandmother passed away from "plain, old age" and her mom was real sad for awhile. They went to her funeral held just outside of Tamarack Falls and mom never went to go get her old things or any of grandma's stuff out of the house she grew up in. Mavis learned here that her middle name, Octavia, is her grandmother's namesake.
In 2015, at 19 years, Mavis moved out on her own but she and her mom remained close. Old habits die hard, however, and she continued to move from city to city just as often as she had while growing up. During this time, Mavis' art style evolved more into what it is today and what she calls Junk Art. She picked up a handful of basic technical skills which she uses to sculpt, weld, bolt, glue, carve, mold, strap or jigsaw together discarded, unwanted things into, well, "art".
In 2017, Mavis' mom died in an accident that ran her car off of a bridge. Mavis left a mural there and the city had it painted over the next year. There was no funeral for her mom, Mavis hated the thought of putting her in the ground alone. Over the next couple of years, Mavis found both solace and torment in her art. Solace, because it was an outlet for the grief she felt after her mother's unexpected death. Torment, because her creations were heavily criticized and Mavis' so-called career as a "Junk Artist" is largely unappreciated. As such, it's not very lucrative either.
Why Bother, Right?
- New In Town - Mavis happens to be new in town and, yes, she is related to Octavia Baines, kooky old lady born here and died here in Tamarack Falls. She also inherited gram-gram's creepy house, her mother's childhood home, but this is her first time ever in Tamarack Falls. Without a social circle of her own, Mavis is likely to welcome new contacts, friendships, and acquaintances.
- Junk Artist - She has a passion for turning bits of scrap and trash into "art" and it's entirely possible that people might see her trying to obtain random, interesting materials (scaffolding, car parts, golf clubs, toilet seats, ect.) for her projects. In her teenage years, she fancied herself quite the accomplished street-artist with a can of spray-paint in her hand and a building wall, train boxcar, or occasional vehicle parked in front of a fire hydrant.
- (No Longer) A Hot Mess - While Mavis might seem like she has everything under control, she doesn't realize how in over her head she has gotten. Thanks to November she now has a steady income and job down at the Ninth Spectrum as a... Bloody Unicorn? Uh, okay. Come see her sometime! While she doesn't generally interact with customers, Mavis can still be found performing odd maintenance jobs around the paintball range and also helps maintain the "artillery" on site.
- Doesn't Believe in that Stuff - Mavis doesn't believe in any of that supernatural mumbo-jumbo or aliens and bigfoot, for that matter. It's far more possible that people subscribe to various mass delusions about the afterlife and paranormal. Her mom, a native of Tamarack Falls, supposedly didn't believe in any of that nonsense either, but gram-gram was reportedly an eclectic, kooky recluse who did. As for Mavis, she's a repressed clairvoyant and more attentive than her easy-going nature lets on. However, she's very much inclined to ignore or misconstrue what she perceives so as to make it fit into the logical, reason-bound reality that she likes to live in.
Journal Excerpts About You Guys:
- Amity Millikan - Girlfriend. Living together. Serious.
- November - My boss. New in town? You should meet 'er.
- Audra D'Villy - "Call my lawyer."
- Carter Logan - Devil in disguise?
- Widget - Is the reason there are no leftovers in the fridge.
- Casper - The other reason there are no leftovers.
- Thea - Gruff, but she don't mean nothing by it.