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Regis Auffray

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Like Father, Like Son
By Regis Auffray
Saturday, January 06, 2007

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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Justice is often meted out via the ironies of life.

Like Father,
Like Son

    Edward Bossiner looked east across the city.  It was only four o'clock in the afternoon but already, blue dusk was spreading her skirts over the streets below and the neighboring skyscrapers.  Edward, Eddy to his friends, sipped at a generous tumbler of well-aged, expensive whiskey, a gift from one of his business acquaintances who had owed him a favour and probably still did.  It had been a good day.  In fact, it had been a wonderful day.  He had finally managed to get that old bastard Bart Madison to sign the deal.  It hadn't been easy but in the end the old man had seen reason; Edward knew too much and it wouldn't do to have him shooting his mouth off at certain competitors not to mention at Bart's wife.
    Edward looked at the first snow flakes floating slowly downward past his windows.  He took another hefty sip of whiskey and felt the powerful liquor send pleasant warmth coursing through his veins.  Yes, life was good, unless of course you started to think about his old man.  Why had the old fool chosen a time like this to have a stroke?  Boy, the last couple of days had brought the hell of a need for damage control all right.  All those vultures thinking that because his old man was pretty much out of the picture, they could move in.  Well, Edward "Steady Eddie" Bossiner had showed 'em hadn't he?  And by God, he wasn't finished showing them.  They'd see that Edward senior had been a pussy cat compared to Eddie junior.  Still, it was too bad about the old man.  That reminded him, he'd promised his dear mother and his wife, Martha that he'd drop by the hospital to see the old codger.  Oh well, promises were made to be broken, right?  Anyway, he had better things to do.  As for the old lady, he didn't give a hoot what she might think.  Fortunately, he knew he didn't have to worry about Martha; he had trained her well and she was a good wife.  She understood their relationship.  She gave him his freedom and she didn't ask questions that he wouldn't answer anyway.  She was the perfect wife for a business man of his stature.  She kept herself busy with her church and community clubs and her goofy friends.  Maybe it was just as well they hadn't had any kids.  He wasn't sure Martha would have been any good at raising them and he sure as hell knew he wouldn't have had the time for it.  Kids were nothing but trouble anyway.  I mean, he'd been great for his parents, well for his old man, anyway; ever the obedient, agreeable son. When his father had told him to jump, he'd always responded in just the right way.  Oh, he'd been smart enough to know that someday all that hypocritical ass-kissing on his part would bear fruit.  And of course, he'd been right.  People just had to look at him today to know that he was a success, didn't they?  Now, mind you, his sister, that was quite another story altogether.  Poor Cynthia, she'd never been able to do as she was told.  Even as a child, she always had questions.  Why this?  Why that?  God, but she could be an annoying little bitch!
    Edward drained the last of the whiskey in the tumbler.  The snow was coming down more strongly now.  The light flakes were swirling in the gathering wind.  There would be another blizzard.  Well, he sure didn't care.  He had the SUV and this would give him an excuse to get back home late if need be or maybe not at all.  His thoughts drifted back to his sister.  He hadn't seen sweet Cynthia since the last disastrous encounter at their parents' place on Labor Day.  Why could she never learn to leave well enough alone?  Oh no, not dear Cynthia.  Always nagging about him and the old man's ways of doing business, complaining that they were ripping off the poor, bitching that some of the apartment buildings they held in the east part of town were a disgrace.  Big deal!  The foreign scum and low-lifes should be damned thankful that they even had a roof over their flea-covered heads.  He couldn't believe how different Cynthia was from him.  It was too bad really.  She could have been such an asset if she'd wanted to follow the old man's advice and gain his business savvy just as he had.  Edward didn't much believe that women should be in positions of power but a guy could make an exception for a sister who showed promise. What a partnership they could have had and still have kept it all in the family!  Oh well, her loss.  But man, could she bring on a headache.  In fact, just thinking about her made him feel like another drink.  Well, there was still some time before his appointment, eh?  No reason not to have another one.  One more for the road, as it were. After all, it did look pretty nasty out there.
    Edward went to the bar and threw some ice in the tumbler.  From habit, without having to look down at what he was doing, he reached for the decanter and filled the tumbler.  He walked over to the windows.  It was completely dark now.  The snow gave the lights of the city an eerie glow.  He could barely make out the surrounding towers through the wind-driven swirls of snow.  He could hear the whisper of snowflakes as they whipped the panes of glass.  He felt quite alone really, but at the same time, above it all.  As he took a deep swallow of the amber liquid, he felt a surge of power and control.  Wow, he could almost feel his heart swell.  For some reason, at that same instant, he felt a momentary nagging thought; he had promised Martha that he would see Doctor Murphy about his blood pressure.  Well, that old coot ought to be retired anyhow.  It was time to find some new young doctor, one who knew what to say, when to say it and whom to say it to.  Anyway, who had a half hour to spare for a physical examination at a time like this?  He had things to attend to, important things.  Yeah, he had to admit it, he was good and man, he was proud of himself.  Hell, why shouldn't he be?  Still, another nagging thought butting in: Remember your Sunday school lessons, Eddie boy; pride goeth before a fall and all that.  Yeah, yeah, but this feels good and I deserve it!  He was glad nobody could see him right now; he would have had to pretend that he had been hit hard by his old man's stroke.  What a crock!  No, he wasn't about to let something like that ruin his mood tonight.  Not even thinking about his bimbo of a sister could do that to him.  I mean, can you believe it?  Sissy Cynthia's idea of doing something with her life was to become a teacher.  What utter crap!  A teacher,  when she had the chance to work with her old man and her brother!  He could still clearly recall the conversation at the table on Labor Day.

"Why won't you go to the Simpsons' party with Douglas?" his mother had asked Cynthia.

"Why?  I'll tell you why!  Because that arrogant hedonistic bastard thinks he has the world by the balls and he makes me sick, that's why!  He's almost as bad as you, Edward!"
"You'll not use language like that in this house!  Show some respect to your mother!"  had been the old man's classic reply.
"Respect?  What's to respect?  If you think I respect women or anyone for that matter who do as they're told because they're afraid that showing what they're really made of might upset the way things are, you are really mistaken, Dad."  
    And on and on it had gone throughout that long afternoon.  Yeah, Cynthia had been something pissed off that day.  Of course, Steady Eddie knew why, didn't he?  The little chat until two in the morning he'd had with her the night before had left little sister pretty well ready to take his head off.  Oh sure, he had been pretty graphic in his descriptions of the way he treated the women who worked for him.  What's more, she sure hadn't been impressed with his ideas on handling business and life in general; but what the hell, he had been a little drunk, so what did sweet little sis expect?  Of course he'd never admitted that he was unfaithful to Martha.  Stuff like that you kept to yourself as his old man had told him time and time again.  That kind of information you did your best to get about other people and you made damn sure they did not know anything like that about you.  That kind of knowledge came in handy sooner or later.  Didn't he know it after today?  Still, he had told Sis quite a bit and he sometimes regretted it.  Oh what the hell, she'd never dare turn on her own flesh and blood.  I mean, she had to know where her bread and butter came from didn't she?  Come to think of it though, she had told them all to go to hell that weekend and he hadn't seen her since.  That made you kind of wonder how she was getting by didn't it?  She had left saying that she'd never set foot in that house again unless there were some major changes, or they were dead.  Oh, she was pissed off all right.  Ah shit, who needs her?  Still, it was too bad.  I mean, Douglas Taylor wasn't the only one interested in Cynthia.  There were a lot of pretty big prospects that she could have had with a nod of the head.  It could have been really good for the family business.  With all that he and his old man knew about these guys, Lord, it could have been one hell of a power boost.  Ah, never mind, after today, he knew damn well he could take care of business and he didn't give a rat's ass if a few heads had to roll.  In fact, he would enjoy it.  Some of these old geezer friends of the old man's would find out that Steady Eddie was cast from a slightly more efficient mould.
    Edward was beginning to feel a little light-headed.  No point in getting caught driving with an alcohol count over the limit.  Getting pulled over by the local guardians of the peace would just complicate the evening, not that it was something that he couldn't take care of.  It was time to go anyhow.  Time for a little r & r after a hard day's work at the office.  Joe, his trusty underling had set up the appointment with the call girl outfit for seven.  It was a little early but the streets wouldn't be great and he had been guaranteed that he would be this little mama's first ever customer.  What was her name again?  Come on, come on, he'd always prided himself on his ability to remember names.  He had to admit that lately though, he wasn't as good at remembering.  You know what they say about short term memory when you start pushing forty.  No matter, he wasn't stupid and he'd been sure to jot down the address as well as a little hint to remember the babe's name.  Ah there it is, oh yeah, Sin-Dee.  Whoooeee! With a name like that, how could he go wrong and it was her first time in business at that.  Well, he'd show her a thing or two.  He'd give her some opening special.  Time to get rolling!
    Outside, the wind-driven snow was like a sobering slap in the face of Edward Bossiner.  No matter, he felt great and he did need to sober up just a little.  He got into the four by four Jeep Cherokee purchased the month before in preparation for the rigors of winter.  The whiskey's afterglow filled him with pleasant thoughts, optimism and self-satisfaction.  Yes sir, Eddie my man, you sure know just how to plan well ahead to avoid surprises and unpleasantness don't you?  He'd sure hate to be driving the Ferrari in this soup.
    It took Edward about thirty minutes to get to the penthouse apartment where Joe had set up the appointment.  As he had expected, it was quite the setup; most acceptable indeed!  Joe knew his tastes and he knew better than to let old Eddy down didn't he? 
    Edward let himself in with the key provided by Joe.  He walked directly to the bedroom.  He could see the light under the door of the adjacent bathroom. 
    "I'm here, sweetheart!  Don't bother with the sexy outfit, I don't go for that," he called out.
    "I'll be right out," came the answer.  Weird, that voice sounded vaguely familiar.  Ah, he'd seen so many people in the last two days, it's no wonder voices started to sound the same.  He walked over to the window, pushed apart the curtains and looked out at the city.  The snow was still coming down.  Well, depending on how the next half hour went, he might just have to spend the night.  He could think of worse things.  After all, Martha would be worried if he were to drive in this storm.
    The door of the bathroom opened.  Edward turned around.  Oh God!  No! It couldn't be.  It just could not be!
    "Cynthia...agh...ah...aagghh!?!"  Edward gasped as he clutched at his chest and fell face first onto the bed. 

    Later, the paramedics assured Cynthia that she had done everything possible.  She was not to blame herself.  Cynthia, however, thought that she would keep to herself how much she had really done.  That information was strictly confidential, for herself and for God only.
    When Edward Bossiner senior heard of his son's death, it was too much for the old man.  He went into shock and did not survive the night.
    The funeral was well attended.  Expensive limousines lined the driveways of the graveyard.  Friends and business associates came to pay their obligatory respect.  More than a few were hiding smug feelings of satisfaction behind their mask of sad facial expressions.
    The pastor intoned, "Like father, like son.  They worked together in life and now in death, they remain side by side."
    And indeed, father and son were buried one next to the other in the failing light of a cold and grey December afternoon.  More than a few who were gathered there thought that this ending for the two Bossiners was most appropriate and just, but not all thought so for the same reasons.
    Later, at the home of the newly-widowed Marlene Bossiner, Cynthia comforted her mother.  "It'll be all right, mom.  You'll see.  You can be yourself now.  You won't have to pretend anymore."
    "But baby, I've never done anything for myself, not even before I married your father.  Someone has always looked after me."  She continued with a glazed, far-off look in her eyes, "I have to admit though, I've always been secretly proud of the way you stood up for yourself even as a little girl.  You didn't let any of us change you."
    "That's all in the past now.  We can make things right, mom.  We can change a lot of the wrong.  We can do it together you and I," and Cynthia gave her mother that infectious smile so characteristic of her personality as far back as Marlene could remember.
    Marlene Bossiner took her daughter's hand, squeezed it gently, and with tears in her eyes, smiled back.


© Copyright 2007 Regis Auffray

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Reviewed by Lena Kovadlo 2/12/2013
I really enjoyed reading the story. Certainly a heartfelt, moving piece. Thank you so much for writing it and sharing it with us here at AD.
Reviewed by Morgan McFinn 12/1/2011


Really enjoyed this story. Can't think of much to add to the other comments. By god, your stuff attracts a large audience and deservedly so. Must confess that I did suspect Cynthia's line of work. Great minds often think alike, right?

Reviewed by J Howard 11/18/2011
i love a twisted path...all the way to the end. life is never as it seems, but often the you pose here. oh goodness, what a story.
Reviewed by Karla Yazzolino 6/27/2011
I loved it! Good irony! Hey, I like your new photo! Be well, Karla
Reviewed by Inspire Hope 6/30/2010
Oh Regis what a story! Heartfelt! You know what Regis I must visit more often to read your stories! What a blessing and inspiration you are to me and so many others! Be encouraged!

Much Love,
Reviewed by JMS Bell 4/17/2010
Reviewed by Richard Arrington 9/6/2009
Great job, I love a happy ending.
Reviewed by Patrick Granfors 8/31/2009
Very well done. I suspected that Edward was going to keel but the circumstances were a complete surprise. And of course the infamous "or they're dead" quote was a great clue. I of course didn't catch it, but then the story would have been spoiled. Patrick
Reviewed by Nicole Weaver 7/21/2009
well penned, Wow what an ending!
Reviewed by Mark Teague 4/9/2009
I sure wish it WERE true, that the kind and capable always triumph over the heartless bastards. This story at least gives us a goal to shoot for, nez pas?
Reviewed by John Coppolella 3/6/2009
A rollicking ride of a story. I bet those Bossiner men never thought that day would end like that! Interesting was the graveyard scene, sadness, smugness, joy, and lots of crying and gnashing of teeth. Well done, Monsieur Auffray!
Reviewed by Mariann Klimczuk 2/22/2009
You're a great writer. This story has a interesting twist. I especially enjoyed the Mother and daughter finding their way back to each other.

Good Job,
Reviewed by Melissa Mendelson 1/24/2009
I love discovering great stories such as this especially with such a twist at the end. There were few if any hints dropped, and the characters stood out, each one well-defined. And I especially love the line, "like father, like son." :)
Reviewed by Hatshepsut Maatkare 11/17/2008
Wow....what a wonderful story about a truly horrible man! You really brought his character to life -- I was finding myself disliking him quite intensely! ha ha. Great work! :) Monica
Reviewed by Kathleen McDonald 9/29/2008
I really enjoyed this story. To me it represented an arrogant and unpleasent, overbearing man that thought he was everything and everyone else didnt matter. I like the way you ended the story as well. A nice ending with the thoughts of a new beginning.
Reviewed by Gina Hayes 9/26/2008
Your stories are a thrill ride Regis, very provacative.
God Bless, Gina
Reviewed by 000 000 9/23/2008
A captivating story the end. CarolHawks
Reviewed by Jill curry 7/8/2008
beautiful twist to this, poignantly sad, i really enjoyed this one
Reviewed by Mary Lacey, Desertrat 6/18/2008
What a sad story! Maybe if Edward had taken better care of himself (sans the booze), he would have made it. Fantastic write, Regis! I don't read many stories, yours was worth it.

Much love,
Reviewed by Roxana Reyes Davis 4/18/2008
I really enjoyed reading your story...I like that ending! Well written, will check for any published books written by you!
Reviewed by Theresa Koch 2/5/2008
Excellent imagery brought me into the story~`*
Reviewed by Jerry Engler 1/25/2008
Very strong character development in a short space, Regis, and a good, satisfying twist to the story at the end. You had me feeling like Eddie ended very well according to his own values. Good one...Jerry
Reviewed by Sandra Corona 1/19/2008
WOW! You have the makings of a novel here, dear. Well-written, captivating and with a surprise 'twist' of events.

Unfortunately, much as most of wouldn't like to admit it, we DO tend to mimic our parents and/or heritage in many ways.



Reviewed by Sandra Mushi 12/28/2007
I have always liked your stories, Regis. Well penned and captivating.

God bless,

Reviewed by d. k 12/14/2007
What a wonderful story! I loved the twist with Cynthia showing up. You have a real nack for writing as though you were there. This came across loud and clear. I enjoyed the plot and what it lead up to in the end. Great work!

Reviewed by Mary Coe 11/30/2007
Interesting reading. A wonderful story by a very talented author..
Reviewed by Cody SEA 11/30/2007
incredible writing and plot alike! quite eventful for a short story, I much enjoyed this one. ty for reviewing my work btw, I am quite flattered; greatest respects from me to a wonderful author.
Reviewed by marcy meyer 11/16/2007
Great one-I'll be back!
Reviewed by Sheila Roy 11/6/2007
Excellent twist to this story. Even though Eddie sounded out the name, I wasn't expecting it! Great depth to the character despite the short-story constraints. Bravo~

Reviewed by Crystal-Rain Love 9/25/2007
Ha ha! What a way to go! Great story as always.
Reviewed by Birgit and Roger Pratcher 9/11/2007
Great story, Regis! Life's ironie told in a wonderful way.
Reviewed by David Perry 9/1/2007
It's so true, justice IS often meeted out through life's ironies. A very good cautionary tale.
Reviewed by John Leko 8/11/2007
Thanks Regis, interesting...kept me onboard...Like father and son. ,...they remain side by side. Nice work.
Reviewed by Maura Clegg 4/24/2007
wgat a great story - thanks for writing and sharing
Reviewed by Gwendolyn Thomas Gath 4/9/2007
Excellently written and powerfully delivered "Like Father, Like Son"

Thank you Regis for sharing this read with us,

Reviewed by Jessica Lark 3/30/2007
A wonderful write!
This is the first piece of your work I've read.
I'll be reading more now.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Price 3/16/2007
Written as smooth as the whiskey that burns a bit on the way down. Like father, Like son Their undoing by their own kin. The honest emotions burned a bit through the whole piece. Thoroughly enjoyed. Liz
Reviewed by Pamela garner 3/10/2007
A great and captive write,
Reviewed by P-M Terry Lamar 3/10/2007
You've got me hooked!!
This is very, very good. I've got to check out all your other stories now!
Reviewed by D Johnson 3/10/2007
Great story. Reg, you are a talented writer.

Reviewed by Helen Downey 3/9/2007
I didn't realize you were such an excellent story teller. Nice job.

Reviewed by atara dixon 3/2/2007
i must say this is a very captivating story i must say bravo your a true writer i love your work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

your faithful reader atara love and peace to u
Reviewed by Frances Lynn 3/1/2007
Regis got my attention in the first paragraph. He is a good story teller - his writing built up momentum, until I was eagerly anticipating Act III. I couldn't wait for Edward to come to a sticky end. Regis expertly portrayed this character as a highly unpleasant man - I couldn't wait for the denouement and I wasn't disappointed. A tantalising twist, and a neat ending.
Reviewed by Sandie Angel 2/23/2007
A captivating story indeed!!!!! This is so well-told and it has my attention from beginning to end!!!!! Well-done, Regis!!!!!

Sandie May Angel :o)
Reviewed by Selena Dobbin-Gillis 2/16/2007
Hi Regis, this truly is a very interesting story. You surely have put great detail into this piece. Keep it up.

Reviewed by Jean Pike 2/8/2007
I was right there in this story every minute. Great use of characterization and beautifully vivid descriptions. You have a keen eye for detail and a great understanding of human nature. Well done!
Reviewed by jeanne watson 1/15/2007

Loved how Eddy's character developed. Hated the the guy more and more with each new paragraph. lol...

Lots of interesting and vivid detail!!

Unfortunately, I am sure if we looked about us more closely we all might recognize an Edward .. or Edwina .... in our circle of friends or acquaintances on some level.

Great story-telling Reg ... with a sad and disturbing outcome.

Reviewed by Debby Rosenberg 1/13/2007
excellent story telling, great details...and enjoyed the ending
Reviewed by Aberjhani 1/9/2007
A powerful story to say the least. Shows how we blind ourselves to the beauty and love in our lives while fatally indulging ignorance and bigotry. Greatly enjoyed the read.

Reviewed by MaryGrace Patterson 1/8/2007
A good story . It held my attention. The twist of fate was an excellent idea ! .....M
Reviewed by Leland Waldrip 1/7/2007
I enjoyed this well-written piece, Reg. I didn't know you could do dialog and twist with such verve.
Best regards,
Reviewed by Jerelyn Craden 1/7/2007
Strong, vivid, well-crafted, compelling read, Regis. It flowed beautifully and I enjoyed it immensely. Xlent work. Jerelyn
Reviewed by Sherry Heim 1/7/2007
Nicely written, Regis. Captivating story, sadly, it is a reality for many. Both of those men deserved their fate, too bad they had hurt so many before justice finally struck.
Take care,
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 1/7/2007

Extremely well written; you are a master at the written word! Very well done; bravo!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D
Reviewed by Malcolm Watts 1/7/2007
Great story Regis, and very well written. Good dialogue, tight and crisp writing. Malcolm
Reviewed by Rose Rideout 1/7/2007
Excellent Regis, what more can I say, They got what they deserved and life will be a better place. Thank you I really got into this.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 1/7/2007
Wow this was excellent Regis...those old two fart got what they deserved....shows you nOT to always be like your can be very!!

Love TinkaSweets
Reviewed by J. Pajot 1/7/2007
Good story, Regis. Good descriptive write, and a nice twist at the end. Liked this.
Reviewed by Randall Barfield 1/7/2007
splendid job/ really a good read. i like rat's ass better than fiddler's fart, nevertheless...hope you can do different things with it...cheers
Reviewed by Jackie (Micke) Jinks 1/7/2007
Your words peeked at the beginning and never receded. With your descriptive images, I was expecting a 'bang-up' ending, but never invisioned the twist you gave us! Marvelous write, friend Reg!

'Tween your and Victor's contributions, I DO hope this year revises the "Short Stories" back to A.D. as those marvelous stories of yesteryears....

Reviewed by Carole Mathys 1/7/2007
Excellent writing, Regis...

Reviewed by Susan Sonnen 1/7/2007
fantastic, Regis...I would have never guessed!!! What an ending!

Reviewed by Karen Cino 1/7/2007
Excellent Reg. You dropped the hints, gave us suspense and you delivered perfectly. You had my attention from the opening line. Brilliantly done. A wonderful read to wake up to.

Reviewed by m j hollingshead 1/7/2007
well done
Reviewed by Victor Buhagiar 1/6/2007
The clues were there, so I admit I expected some deaths. Cynthia's appearance was a great big surprise. That was expertly done. The story flowed very well and I could not stop reading till the end. Great work. Victor
Reviewed by RM Green 1/6/2007
Very briliiantly written, My Friend! Intriguing, haunting characters and tittilating plot... I love it!
Excellent write.. thanks for sharing!

RM Green
Reviewed by Delia Latham 1/6/2007
Expertly written, Reg - and an excellent read, to boot!
Reviewed by Rosemarie Skaine 1/6/2007
A well crafted, intriguing meeting at a trysting place. You set your scenes well and have excellent foreshadowing. Excellent write. R

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