Character's Full Name: Erik Gallaher
Created By: JP
AKAs: Erik Baulder Eindride
Character Type: Pre-Immortal
Apparent Age: 36
Actual Age: 36
Additional Languages: Very little basic Norwegian
Personality: Painfully introverted, Erik barely speaks and only speaks when addressed directly or is with close friends. He is mistrusting of people until they prove dependable. He is very skittish and wary due to his past and lack of solid sleep.
Born in Norway, Erik Baulder Eindride never knew his father. His entire world as a child was his mother and their house. Erik knew nothing else and so, he did not question why he wasn’t in school nor did he even know what school was. Life outside did not exist.
Mental illness had claimed his mother long before his father left her and, when he finally did when she was seven months pregnant, she snapped. Postpartum had only made her worse. She locked her only child away thinking it was the only method of keeping him to herself. She did not wish for him to leave as his father had. He was kept in a small room in the basement of their large four story home which was pad locked from the outside most of the time and only let out to eat or bath.
As Erik grew older, she controlled him with violence and isolation. But even a child who doesn’t realize an outside world exists has a natural fear of violence and so, around the age of nine, he started to look for ways to escape her. His first chance came when he was ten. She had let him upstairs for a bath and while her back was turned, he ran. Naked and scared, he did not look back and yet, he could hear her behind him – calling out threats.
Suddenly the woods gave way to black, solid ground (what he would later come to understand was a road). He ran out in front of a car which swerved to miss him. The car went down an embankment and burst into flames. The woman and man inside perished almost immediately, but thrown from the car was a small, blonde boy. Horrified by what he’d caused, Erik went to help the boy but saw his mother emerge from the woods. Terrified, he ran again. This time, he looked back in time to see his mother pick up the little boy and turn around to head back to her house. It was as if she’d found a new son, one that was too small and too injured to leave her.
Erik climbed through the woods and lived off of berries for days before he was finally found by a group of hikers. Because he could not read and had never been taught to speak, they assumed he was feral and took him to local authorities. Erik was moved into foster care. No one seemed to question where he came from – at least if they did, he could not understand it. Because he didn’t understand or speak any language, he never heard what became of the child from the road.
He still spoke very little when he was adopted by an American couple from Colorado Molly and Carl Gallaher. He did not understand what was going on when he was put on a plane with a letter and the clothes on his back. He was picked up at the airport by the couple who took him to their home. An entire year went by before he realized they weren’t going to give him back to the foster care system. By that time, they had taught him enough English that he finally could communicate. He was sixteen before he could write. Even when these skills had finally been allowed to develop, he was withdrawn and barely spoke.
He remembered hearing Molly crying one night because the school told her Erik was too ‘underdeveloped’ to plan to attend college and that he’d ‘should be able to live a productive life anyway’. He decided at that time to push himself harder. He manage to pull his grades up enough to be accepted to college but dorm life was hard. He couldn’t handle being back in a small room and there were so many people. He was picked on for being quiet and strange. He moved back home after two months and started to attend a community college. He had to work far harder than those who natively spoke English but he finally got a general education associates. From there, he tried to find a job, but again was met with hardship. Interviews never went well, especially if they were in small closed in offices.
He ended up working as a file clerk at his adoptive father’s law office. He knew he was a disappointment to them… but he also knew he’d done the best he could. He never moved out, never dated and never socialized save for brief exchanges at work and dinner conversations with his parents.
The flu came as a great shock to him. He watched his parents die and was left without any idea on what to do or where to go. During his first venture out to find food, he ran into a tall, awkward man who spoke enough for the both of them. Atticus Shepard was a doctor and while Erik did not trust him at all at first, the man just wouldn’t leave him alone. Atticus made it clear he wanted nothing to do with the nightmares and dreams, but that they would be safer traveling in numbers. He suggested finding a large hotel and making it a home. The idea appealed to Erik who loathed closed in spaces. On the road, they met two others, Becca and Cass, who liked Atticus’ suggestion. The four took up residence at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.
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