Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Helena Silence, Professional Psychic

Helena Silence is a professional psychic and best friend of Cosmo Grove, the tabloid reporter from my murder mystery project. Beautiful and kind, Helena uses her gifts to help others, and has on occasion lent Cosmo a hand in his investigations, though the extra set of arms and legs and corporeal eyes are generally more useful than her third eye ...

Helena and Cosmo met in high school when they took Journalism together and worked on the school newspaper. They dated the rest of their high school years but separated because they were attending different colleges. Shortly after graduating college, they both returned to Altamont, and while the romance was gone, they found in each other a dear friend and confidante. They generally get together a couple times a week to have dinner, and she is a frequent guest at Cosmo's for Shabbat dinner. Every month, they attend the Altamont Symphony together.

Helena runs her own psychic service in Altamont in the Boho part of town, but will make house calls to shut in customers, especially the elderly for whom she has a special fondness, often bringing them home-made food. She manifests her abilities through the use of tarot and crystals, offering advice on matters hidden to her clients and foresight into the events to come. Savvy in social media, Helena maintains a website for her business with blog, and uses micro-blogging to frequently publish her daily psychic impressions.

The house where she holds her sessions is also her home, richly scented with the drying herbs that are hung about the kitchen. There there is always something baking in the oven, and she serves tea at every session (always glancing at the tea leaves, though she's never got much out of tasseomancy). Her home is cozy, though messy without being dirty. She keeps the place dusted and polished, there's just stuff everywhere: foci and candles, gifts from clients, found objects with positive auras, and knick-knacks that make her happy. She doesn't have much of a yard, but she does keep plants in containers in any spot she can that gets sunlight. She grows many of her own medicinal and culinary herbs in addition to a number of "cultivated" wildflowers. Somewhere, prowling in all this is Athena, her cat.

Helena is a devout Roman Catholic, attending St Cyprian's Basilica, downtown. She does not see any conflict between her faith and her supernatural outlook. She believes her gifts are from God and thus to be used to help others when conventional means can't help. As such, she often counsels her clients to turn to prayer with their problems, in addition to more corporeal solutions, but tries to do so without proselytizing. Helena is always trying to convince Cosmo that he should open himself up to the possibility that God might have made the universe more interesting than what can be known just by science, frequently quoting Hamlet: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Grove, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Cosmo, ever the skeptic, thinks his friend doesn't always have all her oars in the water. But he loves her dearly, so if the police get to the point on a case Cosmo's covering when they're desperate enough to hire a psychic, Cosmo will recommend Helena, honestly able to point to her helpfulness in previous cases (it also doesn't hurt that bringing a psychic into things makes a better story for the Global Eye). Extremely violent crime-scenes upset her, but she can generally stomach it long enough to get an impression. Cosmo attributes her "abilities" to her high intelligence, keen perception, and excellent talent for "cold" readings as she is wonderfully warm and empathic with witnesses and family members. But even Cosmo will admit that her insights often appear uncanny, leading to unexpectedly accurate results.

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