Helga Magnusson

Helga Magnusson sat in the back seat of the cream-colored sedan with Celene Forrester while their mutual friend, Dr. Peirce Johnson chauffeured them about town.

The car belonged to Celene, or to her father to be precise, the notorious Colonel Forrester who was the most powerful man in Saint Anthony. The three of them had spent the afternoon together, primping and preparing for a night on the town, smoking opium and ingesting various other substances apart from the alcohol that Celene appeared to drink like water.

Helga covertly hid the scant amount of substances that she actually imbibed, while giving Celene and Dr. Johnson the impression that she was keeping up with them.

Helga had an agenda.

She was in Saint Anthony pretending to be her twin sister. It was a game she had played with Ingrid many times before, and they were good at it; she was getting away with it. Helga was certain that neither the foppish Pierce Johnson, who seemed to be preoccupied with something else entirely, nor the reckless drunken debutant suspected a thing.

She and Celene had dressed themselves like ladies of the night, wearing nothing but scanty lingerie, while donning clear plastic raincoats to keep them dry through the storm. They left Pierce’s house just as it was beginning to rain, together they visited a couple of speakeasies where wealthy people met anonymously to explore their hedonism.

She and Celene danced like lovers as Dr. Johnson watched and fretted, but Helga was only killing time until she would be able to rendezvous with her husband, the crime boss Karl Thorrson.

Karl had no idea that she was here in Saint Anthony. Karl had no idea that she had tricked her sister into leaving town for the day. Karl had no idea that Helga was posturing as her Ingrid, and he had no idea that she intended to kill him.

Helga left her companions to make a phone call, by which she confirmed that Karl would be on his way to Ingird’s Studio, and that he should be there soon. With little time to spare she corralled her companions, suggesting that they go to the warehouse for more fun. She was not surprised that the two of them were eager to go with her.

On the ride from the Bohemian Café at Jewett’s Park to the studio off Lake Street Helga became fixed on her desire for vengeance, as such the illusion she had been casting for her friends began to crack.

When they pulled up to the loading dock and she saw that Karl had already arrived, her heart began to pound with a heady mixture of bloodlust and fear.

His end was near!

She had come to hate the monster she was married to, the man who had turned into a grostesque thing, and she was intent on seeing him dead.

Stan Morgan (Park Patrol)

Sergeant Morgan took the call coming over the radio requesting a response to a disturbance at the Round Up on East Lake Street. He and his partner were just a few blocks away doing patrols around Powderhorn Park; the storm had made for a slow night and he was tired of driving around the perimeter in circles.

The call came from Lieutenant Standish, Stan had grown up with him and knew him well, a guy who was born bad and without a friend in the world. It didn’t bother the sergeant so long as Standish kept his dirty business to himself and didn’t ask Stan to do any cover-up work for him, not that he would refuse a direct order, but there was nothing he hated more than cleaning up after a brute like him.

They were on the lookout for Karl Thorrson and he wasn’t hard to spot, they saw him running down Lake Street, as large and fast as a locomotive. They were half a block away when they saw the gargantuan turn into an alley.

Sergeant Morgan directed his partner to go around and enter the alley from the other end of the block. They came to the north end in time to see a cream-colored coupe pull into the alley in front of them, he couldn’t see inside the vehicle, through the heavy rain, but he joked with his partner about the man they were following as he pointed at the car: “The fat man was probably running to be on time for his date.”

His partner laughed, it was hollow.

They waited until they saw the cherries and the search light belonging to their back-up turn into the alley opposite them, then they rolled in themselves, stopping in front of a loading dock where the coupe was parked.

He called their location in then got out of the car into the heavy rain; he went over to the coupe and tapped at the window until the gentleman in the front seat rolled it down a crack.

He was lanky, with thin hair and a beak for a nose. Sergeant Morgan asked for his identification and while he waited he took a look at the blonde in the back wearing next to nothing and pouting at him like he was some kind of sucker

He recognized her; he was looking at Celene Forrester and he knew that she was trouble.

Before the driver was able to furnish his credentials Morgan heard a cacophony of mad laughter, followed by a woman’s scream coming from inside the building. Lightning struck, he felt waves of thunderous force crawl up his legs and into his spine, the lights went black, and without thinking about what he was doing he was heading for the warehouse with one of the rangers from the other squad was hot on his heels.

Day One – Celene Marie Forrester

Celene set down the long-stemmed silver pipe, balancing it in the glass bowl on top of the end table in Peirce’s den.

A thin stream of sweet smoke curled and wavered into the light, which poured through the prisms of the leaded glass windows.

The opium made her see everything in shades of purple.

She admired herself in the mirror, and her naked body barely concealed by the thin silk of her bra and panties, garter belt and stockings, which were intended to draw attention to her figure rather than conceal it.

She wore the same lingerie as the woman lounging on chaise beside her, drinking for a tumbler of absinthe.

The green genie will be dancing soon, she thought.

In the next room Dr. Peirce Johnson was busying about the parlor, adjusting lights and preparing a roll of film for one of his cameras.

He was a professor of antiquities, not a pornographer, but the pictures he would be taking of them would be bold enough to make a sailor blush.

Celene giggled.

She sipped from her own glass of absinthe.

“Ingrid,” she said to the woman, “Will you call your girl to come over and do our make-up, and dress our hair. I want everything to be perfect for these photographs tonight.”

The woman, who was not Ingrid, but was in fact her Ingrid’s twin sister Helga, stammered an excuse regarding why she could not, and that told Celene two things.

The first thing was that Ingrid’s assistant, Miss Angela Guthrie, would not be coming over to play with them, and that made Celene angry.

The second thing it told her was that the woman calling herself Ingrid, was not who she said she was, the confirmation of which delighted her.

Something unexpected would happen tonight.

Celene had heard about Helga Magnusson, but she had never met her.

Ingrid never spoke of her, but Pierce had. More importantly her brother in law had.

Bjorn Elmquist, who was married to Celene’s older sister, Amelie, had once been in love with

Helga, who was herself married, though estranged from the most notorious gangster in Saint Anthony.

Celene was very pleased to have learned this, and it was going to make the rest of the evening very exciting for her. She loved a surprise.

Helga was up to something, she wasn’t here to fool us that she was Ingrid. There could be no good reason for that, and from what she had been told helga was not the type of woman who would be interested in playing the games that she played with Ingrid and the tall, ostrich-like Peirce Johnson.

Celene was high on her opium concoction and well on her way to drunkenness, she was having a difficult time discerning the motives, but Charlotte was glowing with the light of woman intent on something…and it looked very much like revenge.