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    Parker Owens
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Double Concerto - 18. Ritornello

No Rita warnings needed; 100% chance of Heinrich Senior, however.

“How the hell could you let this happen, boy?”

Heinrich Ernst was having a bad morning.

“Let what happen?” Rick shot back.

“You know damn well what I mean. When we close the books at the end of June, there’s not supposed to be any accounts due. Your girlfriend –”

“Dad, the accountant told me that’s almost impossible. Practically every normal business has something due at the end of the year.”

“Don’t try to sidestep the issue, boy. The point is to start every new fiscal year clean. We’ve always done it that way.”

“You tell me how I could have done it different, Dad.” Rick’s mood wasn’t much better than his father’s. He held a full list of jobs waiting in his hand. “I made a point of stopping at Rita’s office, several times. I phoned and left messages. Nothing. Hell, I even had Irene send a damn past due notice –”

“And that’s another thing.” The old man’s voice rose, filling the company workshop. “Why didn’t you tell me that McKee woman owed us money? You hung me out to dry like a piece of laundry, boy. Irene just about wore me out when I came in this morning.”

“I was so busy getting ready to entertain, it slipped my mind.” Rick saw no use in arguing that Heinrich wasn’t in a mood to hear the news on Friday.

Heinrich had blindly taken Rita’s word over Irene’s the night of the cookout. Monday morning, employee or no, Irene had let Heinrich know exactly how she felt about it, forcing the old man to eat crow and apologize.

“I could have smoothed the whole thing over if you’d just told me in the beginning. Now Irene’s in a swivet, and we have a money problem with your sweetheart.”

“She’s not—”

“Probably going to have to write it off as uncollectable. The accountant will know what to do. Not going to go to court with someone who might be family one day.”

Rick actually rolled his eyes. “I think the chances of that are pretty slim, Dad.”

“And whose fault is that? Just a few simple things to do – easy, little things, like collect your debts, host an easy cookout – and you’d be completely set up. But you? Hell, you’d mess up a screwdriver. Just one more thing for me to fix.”

“It wasn’t there to be broken,” Rick protested.

Heinrich Senior went on, unheeding. “Well, maybe I can talk to her about the bill this afternoon. It’s probably just something you screwed up, anyhow. It’s not like she hasn’t got the money, not to hear her tell it. And by now, her headache ought to have eased up.” A smile started to appear on his worn features. “That gal can put ‘em away. How bad was her hangover Saturday morning?”

The landline phone blared through the shop and office. Rick decided to let Irene answer it.

“How should I know?”

“Well, she wasn’t in any condition to drive home, now was she? At least, that’s how it looked to me and Trudy when we left. We figured Rita would spend the night.” Heinrich raised one eyebrow.

“No, Dad, I told you, I drove her home Friday night.”

“Oh, right, right, that’s what you said.” The old man nodded with a knowing leer. “It slipped my mind.”

Rick blew out an exasperated sigh. “You don’t really think I’d take advantage of someone who’s incapacitated, do you?”

“Seemed like a possibility to me. In fact, I wish the hell you would’ve. She’d have made an honest man out of —”

“Rick!” Irene’s voice carried out of her office space. “You have another call. The Humane Society has a blocked drain.”

“Got it,” Rick yelled back. “I’m leaving now.” He couldn’t grab his tools fast enough on his way out to the truck.

 

That was the last Rick saw of his father for the day.

Between Heinrich’s round of business appointments and his own backlog of work, Rick was able to avoid the old man, which was fine by him. He dropped into bed not long after the sun went down. But when he arrived at the shop on Tuesday morning after meeting Jerry for breakfast at Jahnke’s, he found Heinrich prowling around the place, counting supplies and comparing them against the inventory.

“Morning, Dad.”

He received a grunt in reply.

“Find anything you missed yesterday?”

Another grunt.

Rick shrugged and walked through to the office. It looked neat – Irene kept it that way – but the paint and carpet dated from the Clinton era. Heinrich never saw the need for remodeling. He took his little spiral notebook out of his pocket to compare with Irene’s calendar.

“Not much going on today, is there?” His father had followed him.

“Only a couple of appointments, but one’s a pretty big job,” Rick said.

“Just says ‘Romano, North Shore Road’ on the desk.”

“It’s a new-build, someone from Madison or someplace. I’m installing fixtures and appliances.”

“Who’s the contractor?”

“Sam Yelich. He’s a solid guy, easy to work with.”

“Why aren’t you out there now?”

“I’m waiting on someone. I had to call in help on a job like this – I can’t move all that stuff on my own.”

“Who’d you call?”

“Jerry said he’d lend me Jared West for the day.”

The old man frowned. “Who’s that? Don’t know him.”

“Young kid, senior in high school. He works for Jerry at the garage. He’s got a good head on his shoulders.” Rick consulted his notepad. “What’s your agenda for the day?”

“Not sure yet. Trudy’s going out to lunch with a bunch of her friends. I was going to call on Rita about her account, but her secretary says she’s out of town today. Quite a classy office she’s got.”

“She has a sense of style, I guess.”

His father continued to stare at the calendar.

Rick turned to go back out to the shop. “I’m gonna check to be sure I’ve got everything I need. It’s too far to be driving back and forth for parts and tools.”

Once there, he opened a drawer and took out some extra fittings. He stood there deep in thought. How many would he need? He knew the type of water heater the contractor had used; it was known for requiring its own specialized collars and connections. Rick made sure to keep a small supply on hand. He thought about bringing an extra fuel tank for the welding unit, but decided against it.

“All ready to go, boy?” His father stood in the doorway.

“I think so.”

“Well, let’s get going, then.”

“Jared’s not here yet.”

“He’s not coming.”

“What?” Rick’s eyebrows went up.

“I called Guttmacher’s and told ‘em to keep their boy. I can go with you; no sense paying through the nose for help you don’t need.” Heinrich Senior smiled triumphantly.

“I appreciate your wanting to help, Dad, but some of this is pretty heavy work.”

“Are you saying I don’t know my business?”

“No, I’m not saying that. It’s just—”

“Good. It’s time we were on the road.”

Rick was grateful for the quiet ride out. His father watched the passing scene, as if inspecting it for changes since the last time he’d traveled along that road. The old man muttered a few cryptic remarks, but mostly he left his son to drive in peace. This gave Rick time to reflect on his misgivings.

The old man was still an expert plumber. He knew his work, and he’d be able to do some of the finishing tasks efficiently. He could be grateful that his father wasted few moments in conversation when he worked. There wouldn’t be any further needling or matchmaking concerning Rita on the job.

Yet the strength of Heinrich’s prime was behind him. Rick wasn’t sure the old man could handle much heavy lifting.

And so it proved.

The old man did okay moving the toilet around in the half bath downstairs, and Rick left him to finish doing the connections.

But after the fourth toilet was moved into place, the old man expressed some annoyance. “Who the hell has four bathrooms in a summer house?”

“Anybody with the money, I guess.”

“Seems like overkill to me.”

“You okay, Dad?” Rick asked.

“I’m fine. Just need to rest a second.”

“We still have the water heater to install in the basement,” Rick said. “I can still call Jerry and have Jared come out.”

“I told you, I’m fine. Quit your worrying, boy.”

Rick shrugged, and walked out to the three bay garage, where the contractor had stored some of the fixtures.

“We can quit for the day, if you want. I’ll drive you back to Shunke’s place.”

“No, thank you. I said I’ll be fine.”

Rick shrugged and started readying the drain connections and double checking the capped water feeds; Heinrich observed for a while before moving forward to peer over his son’s shoulder.

At least the contractor had done the tedious dry fitting and made sure everything was ready.

The old man would have chewed ground glass before admitting it, but he was glad for a break at noon. “What did you bring us for lunch, boy?” he inquired as Rick took the brown bag out of the toolbox.

“I didn’t know you were coming Dad. I just packed a sandwich and some fruit; there’s a bottle of water.”

“Good. We can share, then.”

Rick handed half the bologna sandwich to his parent.

The elder Ernst took a big bite. “Thanks,” he said through his mouthful.

“You’re welcome.”

They ate in silence in the unoccupied house. Rick tried to make each bite in his truncated lunch last. They shared the apple and water bottle without comment.

Finally, Heinrich Senior spoke. “Some big place they’re building. For a summer place, that is.”

“I guess so.”

“It this getting to be the standard around here?”

Rick shrugged. “It’s a little large, but everyone’s building bigger these days.”

“What about these houses Rita wants to build? They all places like this?”

Rick tried to hide his irritation. For once, he and his father had started an almost-normal conversation. Now it was going to swing back to Rita this and your girlfriend that. “I really don’t know, Dad. She hasn’t given me any details.”

“You can’t wait on her to tell you things, boy. You have to learn to work around her, give her a reason to share these things with you.”

“I don’t really care –”

“I remember how it used to be with your mother.” Heinrich reminisced. “She could keep a secret, that one.”

Rick turned and waited. His father rarely spoke of his mother; it had been years since the old man mentioned her. Yet even so, memories of that lovely woman came back to him in a flood. Sweet smiles when he came home after school, her laughter at the dinner table when Heinrich told a story, and the scent of her favorite perfume, worn only once or twice a year, all came rushing back to his consciousness. Rick scarcely breathed, not wanting to end the vision.

“She’d have some swell idea or another about a summer vacation or something. She’d hint and hint without coming right out and saying anything.” The elder Ernst went on.

Rick watched his father as his words trailed off, his eyes fixed on some indefinite point.

A few seconds later, the older man blinked and continued. “I’d have to spend a couple of weeks nodding and pretending I understood, and she’d let some more details out.”

Rick felt a tear in his eye; his throat choked up a little. For once, his Dad had lifted the veil that covered his childhood, and the woman who had made him smile.

“Of course, once I knew what she was up to, I could figure a way to put a stop to it.” Heinrich chuckled.

Anger flared in Rick’s brain. He bristled. “You mean Mom wanted to take a break and you said ‘No?’”

“Well, not in so many words, but there was no way were we going to take off work in the busy time of the year just to lie around on some beach.” The old man’s sense of justification was as flat and definite in that moment as it must have been three decades earlier.

“She never got that vacation, did she?”

“What the hell did we need it for?” The old man replied, peeved. “Eagle Lake is summer vacation paradise, and we lived here. Besides, we needed the money – had to save it for a rainy day.”

Rick stood, the spell entirely broken. He didn’t want to hear any more. “There’s work to do.” He strode away.

 

The next day, Wednesday, saw a certain amount of peace descend on the shop. Heinrich Senior hadn’t come in.

“Okay, so I’ve got a new connection on Southview Drive to take care of this afternoon, and some summer furnace service to do at Ulrichs’. Anything else?” Rick asked Irene, pencil stub and notebook in hand.

“Not yet, but the day is young,” she quipped. “I’ll call if something new comes in.”

“Fine. Should be pretty routine. Maybe I’ll get out early and go fishing.”

“Where’s your father today?”

“Beats me. Probably visiting friends or something." Secretly, Rick hoped the old man was sore and aching from all the heavy lifting and shifting done the day before. Heinrich deserved it. Instead, he continued: "I’m going to have to apologize to Jared West and Jerry about yesterday.”

“I don’t suppose Heinrich cancelling the West boy’s day out will have bothered either of them too much.” Irene smirked.

“I don’t guess so.”

“Oh, one more thing you can do,” Irene added, swiveling in her chair and reaching for the safe. “You can make this deposit at the bank. At least some of our customers pay on time.”

“Please, don’t bring that up again. Let’s not allow Rita to ruin a perfectly good day.”

“She hasn’t been around much this week, has she? At least, there haven’t been any messages.” Irene handed over a thick blue rectangular bank bag.

“Haven’t seen her at all.”

“Did she ever thank you for Friday supper?”

“Not yet. She will, though.” Not sure I’d give thanks for getting cornered by Harold when he gets started on old timber trains. Or for someone who let me get plastered in a gathering of strangers.

“Just hope her thanks doesn’t extend to more work from her rentals.”

Rick winced. “All right, then, I’m going.”

 

Later on, when Rick parked near the North Capital Bank, he toyed with the idea of going into McKee Group Realty and politely asking to settle the bill yet again, but decided against it. If he hurried, he might still catch Jerry at lunch over at Jahnke’s.

He turned his shoulders in the direction of the brick and stone Greek-revival building, where he had greater certainty about getting his business taken care of.

The cool scent of air-conditioned bank greeted him when he pushed open the heavy glass and metal doors. He strode across the polished marble floor to the glass-topped table in the center of the lobby. Hastily, Rick pulled out the deposit slip from the bag and made a cursory check of the figures.

His usual teller, Shelley Metzger, beckoned.

“Hiya, Rick. Midweek deposit today?” She greeted him while he swiped his card through the reader.

“Yup.” He handed over the checks, cash and deposit ticket.

“I see your dad’s in town.”

“Oh?”

“He was in on Monday afternoon; made his usual withdrawl, chatted with Don.”

“Yeah, I forgot he was going to do that.”

Rick hadn’t actually known, but it’s what his father always did. Every summer, Heinrich Senior transferred a sum out of the company account and into his own. Rick would find out how much was left to the company with the August statement, unless he asked sooner.

Not that the old man would drain the company dry. Heinrich was always prudent, but profits from the business paid for part of Heinrich Senior’s retirement, along with his savings and Trudy’s money, which she brought with her from her first marriage.

He watched the teller make a swift recalculation of his deposit figures. Her fingers made short work of sending checks through the processor.

“Here you go,” she said, handing him the receipt. “Anything else?”

“No, I don’t think so, thanks. See you on Friday.”

Rick turned to go. All his plans for hurrying to lunch came to a swift halt.

At the lobby table stood Gus, looking alone and a little lost.

He approached, but his tongue seemed glued to the roof of his mouth.

“Hi, Rick.” The corners of the pianist’s mouth turned upwards, and the quiet gloom of the bank brightened.

“What … what are you doing here?”

“Magda and Zoltan are back there.” Gus gestured with his head in the direction of the bank manager’s office. “It’s the closing on the lodge, and I wanted to come and do a little banking on my own.”

“Wait. You mean they’re buying Cedarcrest?” Rick’s voice couldn’t hide his delight.

“That’s right.” Gus smiled. “You look pleased.”

“Well, um, yes. I am. I mean, it’s, er, good to know the people buying the place.” Rick warmed despite the excellent bank air conditioning. Maybe Gus won’t be leaving quite so soon.

“Zoltan and Magda like it. I’m not so sure about Marta and Joey.”

Rick peered beyond Gus’ shoulder. Marta and Joey were seated on a brass cushioned bench next to the main entrance, absorbed in the tiny rectangular screens of their respective phones.

“Oh. Sorry about that.”

“You’re in a hurry. I can see that; but I was kind of hoping to talk with you while I was in town. I’m glad I caught you, because I wasn’t sure where to go.”

Rick’s grin spread across his face. He couldn’t help himself. “Well you got lucky, I guess.”

“I guess I did.” The pianist scratched behind his ear in a nervous kind of gesture.

“Are you okay since the fireworks? I was, um, worried about you.”

“What? Oh, yes. Thanks, I recovered all right. I just hoped you might be willing to do me a favor.”

Rick didn’t even think about the list of jobs burning a hole in his pocket. “Sure thing. What do you need?”

For the very first time since he’d laid eyes on the pianist, Gus looked uncertain of himself. He bit his lower lip for moment. “Magda and Zoltan are leaving Friday afternoon for Chicago. Some kind of personal business they can’t miss, I don’t know. They’re leaving me in charge of those two again.” He gestured in the direction of the bench.

Rick blinked. His brow furrowed. “And so …?”

“And I really don’t want to live in a war zone for a whole weekend. Once they get bored with their phones, the hostilities begin.”

“Don’t you like peacekeeping duty?” Rick laughed.

“No thanks. I’m unarmed. Anyway, I saw an advertisement for some kind of music festival on Saturday. If I can find a car and a driver, I wondered if you would be up for the trip?”

“Sure, I would.”

“Really?

“Of course.”

“Don’t you need to check your calendar or something?” Gus asked.

“Nope.” It wouldn’t have mattered to Rick if he had a dozen jobs on Saturday. “And you don’t need to bother finding someone to drive. I’ll do it. That is, if you don’t mind my old truck.”

Gus looked relieved. His brilliant smile shone out. “We’ll manage it. There’s room for four, right?”

Rick frowned. “In a pinch, maybe. We’ll be crowded.”

“I don’t mind. It won’t be for too long.”

“I forgot to ask – where is this music festival?”

“I don’t know. Um, I mean I know the place. The sign I saw said ‘Daffodil,’ but I’ve never been there. I found it on my phone, though.”

Rick searched his memory. “Daffodil? You sure that’s the name?”

Gus fished his phone out of his pocket. He brought it to life, and tapped the screen, stepping closer. “See? Here it is.” A slim brown finger pointed to the tiny lettering on the minute map.

Rick could feel heat from Gus’ skin. He caught the trace of his soap. “Oh. I see.” He squinted and leaned nearer the screen. “That’s in La Grande County. I know where that is. About an hour from here.” He straightened.

“Oh. Maybe that’s too far.”

“No, that’s fine. Really. Do you think those two can call a truce long enough to survive that long?” Rick smirked.

“I hope so.” Gus didn’t look completely convinced.

Rick needed no convincing at all, however. He felt a kind of elation bubbling up.

However, they didn’t have more time to discuss Marta and Joey’s ongoing sibling feud, or to discuss details. A group of people emerged from the Manager’s office: Rita McKee led the way. Her high-strung laugh echoed across the lobby and throughout the old building. A pair of suited persons followed. Rick recognized one of them as John Richter, a local lawyer. Magda and Zoltan Takács came after, trailed by Don Ingersoll, the Bank Manager. Last in the group appeared a paunchy, jowly individual dressed in blue blazer, striped shirt, and loud green trousers.

Rick thought there was something familiar about the man, who turned in profile to say something to the Bank Manager.

He looked again, cocking his head to one side in concentration. Recognition and shock dawned.

Rick stared; his throat constricted.

If any doubt lingered about who the apparition might be, it vanished a moment later when the man’s eyes glanced over and fixed on Rick for a moment.

The man’s silhouette belonged to weeks of internet messaging from X-Pants.com. There stood ‘SexyHunk’ in the flesh. But even more than that, Rick saw beneath a decades-old beer gut, he looked behind the lined, puffy, sallow face, below the sad, dull, mousy colored comb-over. He recognized the ice-blue eyes, though they were dulled with time.

Rick turned away, keeping his head down. To Gus, he mumbled: “I’m sorry. Gotta run. See you later.”

He hurried out of the bank, not waiting for a reply. ‘SexyHunk’ was Willy Kohler.

@AC Benus and @Carlos Hazday were invaluable in making this story better. If you have comments, reflections or speculations, I would enjoy seeing them very much. Thank you for reading! May you have a safe and happy 2021.

Copyright © 2020 Parker Owens; All Rights Reserved.
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So Willy Kohler is SexyHunk :puke:  What a misnomer!  I know someone just like Heinrich Sr.  :angry:  His wife takes her own vacations without him though.  I'm wondering how much Sr takes from the accounts for his retirement and if anything will be left for Rick's retirement.  I was glad to see Sr get his ass kicked by trying to work too hard.  There's a simple solution to the Rita account problem... don't do any more work for her until the bill is settled.  There's a lot going on with money and none of it seems to be benefitting Rick, who does the most work.  It's good that the Takacs bought Cedarcrest.  I'm looking forward to the music festival!  

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Well... I wasn't expecting that. Wow. He rattled Rick enough he ran away from Gus. It's funny... Willy is someone to be hated for what he did, but I felt some sadness when you described him, especially the sad eyes. There is a price to pay for hiding. :(  Really excellent chapter, Parker! Looking forward to the next, and I hope Gus wasn't offended by Rick's abrupt departure. Cheers! Oh, and Heinrich is an ass! 

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4 hours ago, Ivor Slipper said:

Hmmm..... so why is Rita involved with Zoltan & Magda closing on the lodge? It appears her web has many strands.

Rita brokered the rental for Cedarcrest with Zoltan and Magda, with an option to buy. It appears they were taken enough with the old lodge that they wanted to buy; as broker for the buyers, she would want to be at the closing. You're quite right, though - Rita seems to have many strands in her web. Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a lovely New Year.

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4 hours ago, pvtguy said:

Maybe Heinrich senior is having medical problems from the exertion....too much to hope for?  Perhaps on the other hand, he will be the one to expose Rita.  I am looking forward to the next posting!

Rick's thought that the old man is feeling sore and aching after his exertions is probably right. But it would take more than a heavy day of work to send Heinrich to the hospital, cantankerous cuss that he is. Thank you for reading! May your New Year be happy and joyous.

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3 hours ago, Tonyr said:

Oh my Lordy Lordy...😱

Indeed, indeed. Rick was not prepared to face his demon in the bank. Thanks for continuing to read the story. Happy New Year to you!

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3 hours ago, Mawgrim said:

If there had been any doubts about Heinrich Sr being a mean old git, they are now confirmed by his refusal to let his poor wife have a vacation. 
Rita seems to be getting involved with everything. I wonder if she is making a fast buck where she can and will then be moving on?

You'd given hints that SexyHunk might be bad news, but the end of the chapter just confirmed it. And now we have to wait a week to see what happens next!

Your characterization of Heinrich Senior in three words is perfect. Rita's presence at the closing is natural; she brokered the sale as both buyer's and seller's agent. Her commission will be substantial. Rick was not ready to face his demon, and certainly not at the bank. Thank you for your response! Hope your New Year is happy!

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2 hours ago, Dr. John NYC said:

Yeah! For once, I guessed right: Willy Kohler is SexyHunk. Even better is that he has become a parody of the memory Rick has of him, though I expect his personality not to have changed -- except maybe for the worse. I hope that Rick can let this demon go, now.

I also hope that Rick checks his bank statement sooner rather than later. I worry that the "deal" Sr. was discussing with Rita involves significant $$ moving from their company to her purse. After hearing how Sr. blocked Rick's mom from ever having a vacation, I'd hope Rita drained Sr. dry, except that it really is the money that Rick has earned at this point.

Now, on to the music festival, but I suspect Rick will have to butt heads with Sr. again for it to happen. After all, it will be a day Rick is not refilling the coffers...

Happy New Year, @Parker Owens, and once again, thank you for such a wonderful story!

...& Happy New Year to all the other readers, too!!! May 2021 bring you closer to your dreams!

Time has certainly transformed Willy Kohler. The years appear to have been kinder to Rick. Even so, Rick wasn't in any frame of mind to face Willy at the bank, or anyplace else that day. Heinrich Senior's withdrawl/transfer is a regular practice, and the old man has always been prudent, even as he pinches his pennies. As for the music festival, Rick seemed intent on going, no matter what - that is until SexyHunk made an appearance.

Thanks very much for your thoughts, and hope your New Year is wonderful.

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38 minutes ago, Valkyrie said:

So Willy Kohler is SexyHunk :puke:  What a misnomer!  I know someone just like Heinrich Sr.  :angry:  His wife takes her own vacations without him though.  I'm wondering how much Sr takes from the accounts for his retirement and if anything will be left for Rick's retirement.  I was glad to see Sr get his ass kicked by trying to work too hard.  There's a simple solution to the Rita account problem... don't do any more work for her until the bill is settled.  There's a lot going on with money and none of it seems to be benefitting Rick, who does the most work.  It's good that the Takacs bought Cedarcrest.  I'm looking forward to the music festival!  

I'm very glad you found so much to think about in this chapter. Senior certainly seems to have been a difficult husband and father to live with. Trudy and he seem to get along, but perhaps that's because she has her own money. It's hard to feel sorry for Heinrich, but I can at least understand forgetting one's age and working too hard. Not working for Rita may not be a viable alternative, as long as Heinrich continues to insist that she's going to be his new daughter-in-law. You're right that there seems to be a lot of financial activity that concerns Rick, but from which he gets no benefit. That hardly bodes well for his continued well-being, even if he manages to see the Rita threat off. Thank you so much for reading, and for your thoughts!  Happy New Year!

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Rick’s way of talking around an uncomfortable topic or finding ways to avoid conflict are not going to keep working. Seems like the past and his possible future are plopping right smack dab into his present. This really was a WOW of a chapter! 

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58 minutes ago, Headstall said:

Well... I wasn't expecting that. Wow. He rattled Rick enough he ran away from Gus. It's funny... Willy is someone to be hated for what he did, but I felt some sadness when you described him, especially the sad eyes. There is a price to pay for hiding. :(  Really excellent chapter, Parker! Looking forward to the next, and I hope Gus wasn't offended by Rick's abrupt departure. Cheers! Oh, and Heinrich is an ass! 

Rick wasn't ready to encounter Willy, even though he appears sorely abused by the passage of time. Gus must wonder what chased Rick out of the bank. He seems like a nice guy, and may be forgiving of Rick's quick exit. Heinrich is indeed an old, cantankerous ass. He seems to have shed redeeming qualities as he has aged,which is not a pretty sight.  Thank you for your reflections and for reading.  Have a wonderful New Year!

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2 minutes ago, 84Mags said:

Rick’s way of talking around an uncomfortable topic or finding ways to avoid conflict are not going to keep working. Seems like the past and his possible future are plopping right smack dab into his present. This really was a WOW of a chapter! 

Rick's avoidance mechanisms don't seem to be working as well as they used to, do they?  I like the way you put it: Seems like the past and his possible future are plopping right smack dab into his present. That pretty much sums it up. I'm very glad you continue to read the story, and thank you for your thoughts. Happy New Year!

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38 minutes ago, Parker Owens said:

Rick's avoidance mechanisms don't seem to be working as well as they used to, do they?  I like the way you put it: Seems like the past and his possible future are plopping right smack dab into his present. That pretty much sums it up. I'm very glad you continue to read the story, and thank you for your thoughts. Happy New Year!

Kind of like the whole orchestra is coming in 😉!  Happy of New Year! Truly enjoying this story and also your exceptional poetry. 

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Heinrich was everything I expected too bad.No vacation for his wife is pretty selfish. There were no details of this festival Gus being a Pianist and the kids taking lessons you would think this is a classical music festival your not going to throw us a curve and have this be a headbangers festival are you?

I don't know the law and I don't think this is going to happen but theoretically could Rick bring Willy up on charges?When Heinrich finds out about Rick and then if he finds out about what Willy did I can see him blaming Willy for Rick being gay and then he might want have Willy be charged.

Happy New Year everyone. 

 

 

 

 

 

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As I've repeatedly told Parker, Senior would benefit from a whooping. Seeing what he puts his son through makes my blood boil. Parenticide would be totally justified in my book. Let's hope he suffers 

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2 hours ago, 84Mags said:

Kind of like the whole orchestra is coming in 😉!  Happy of New Year! Truly enjoying this story and also your exceptional poetry. 

You’re very kind. I’m glad you pointed out that in baroque concerti grossi, a ritornello is where the whole orchestra takes over from the soloist. That was the inspiration for the chapter title. 

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1 hour ago, weinerdog said:

Heinrich was everything I expected too bad.No vacation for his wife is pretty selfish. There were no details of this festival Gus being a Pianist and the kids taking lessons you would think this is a classical music festival your not going to throw us a curve and have this be a headbangers festival are you?

I don't know the law and I don't think this is going to happen but theoretically could Rick bring Willy up on charges?When Heinrich finds out about Rick and then if he finds out about what Willy did I can see him blaming Willy for Rick being gay and then he might want have Willy be charged.

Happy New Year everyone. 

 

 

 

 

 

So many victims forego the chance to face their tormentors, even with support and the law on their sides. I’d expect the statute of time limits on Willy’s assault has expired. In the scenario you envision, I almost wonder if Heinrich wouldn’t blame Rick, rather than Willy. It’s the sort of thing he’d do. It’s an interesting thought. Thanks very much for reading, and I hope your New Year is wonderful. 

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20 minutes ago, Carlos Hazday said:

As I've repeatedly told Parker, Senior would benefit from a whooping. Seeing what he puts his son through makes my blood boil. Parenticide would be totally justified in my book. Let's hope he suffers 

Heinrich Senior has not aged attractively, any more than Willy has. Rick isn’t likely to commit murder, though he wasn’t averse to raising the parental blood pressure earlier. If it ever happens, I hope you will be the one appointed to try the case. I wish you the very best of New Years. 
 

 

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A little late to the party but...wow...a great chapter!!!

Here's wishing you and all the readers a safe and Happy New Year...Stay Healthy!!!

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