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Case File - Dog Eats Dog_0

Case File - Dog Eats Dog_0

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Published by Valentin Sighinas

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Published by: Valentin Sighinas on Mar 27, 2011
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06/05/2013

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The next morning I drove down to Seaside Park near the diamond six area off of Iranistan Avenue. It was pretty early for any
baseball to be played, but the day was going to be a terrific one.

It would have been a perfect day for a double header. Baseball was invented in this country, and it’s considered America’s

favorite past-time. I think.

Willie the Greek had asked me to meet him here because he had some information he wanted to share with me. I couldn’t
understand why he didn’t tell me over the phone, but nevertheless, I was here bright and early.

Where was he?

I looked over toward a flashing billboard and noticed that the Power-ball Jackpot has reached seventy five million dollars. It
was at that time when a late model four door sedan pulled up slowly and parked behind my truck. Three young Latino males
came out of the car wearing baseball caps, and team logo jerseys. The colors were black and white, but it wasn’t a major league
team. They were carrying baseball bats, but that was it. Neither one of them had baseballs or gloves, so I suspected the worst.

“Looking for a pick-up game?” I nervously asked.

They stopped five feet in front of me and three feet apart from each other.

“I guess a pick-up game is out then?”

One of the three swung his bat in my direction.

“Hey,” I said as I stepped back a bit. “You could have hit me with that thing.”

He smiled.

“I’m serious!”

“We are here to do just that?”

“Did Willie the Greek send you?”

“Nope,” the middle man replied. “He was ordered to ask you to meet us here.”

“Willie, ordered?”

The middle man nodded slowly.

“Froggy wants his money,” he said.

“Froggy can kiss my ass.”

“You have no idea who he is,” said the middle man. “He will get his money.”

“But not from me.”

“We come here to beat it out of you,” he continued. “And I think I’m going to enjoy it. I like watching people squirm.”

“Me too.”

“Don’t get cute!”

“Cute is my middle name.”

The middle thug grunted.

The Park was lined with small freshly planted trees running toward the bathhouses. The grass was cut recently, and the white
lines that marked off the foul-lines were untouched. It was at that moment that I reached for my revolver and pointed it at the bat
swinging thugs. They looked at each other only for a brief moment and then dropped their bats. I suddenly realized that they too
were holding their guns at me.

“Fist fight going to become a shoot-out?” I asked.

“Looks like that,” replied the middle man. “And we out gun you.”

I felt an imaginary noose around my neck as they pointed their guns directly at my head.

“You know,” I started. “I’d prefer an ass-kicking. Do you guys mind picking up the bats again?”

“Too late for that,” smiled the middle man. “You had your chance.”

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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I promised O’Brien that I wouldn’t be involved in anymore shootings with One Eye Froggy’s men anymore. It’s probably a
promise I wouldn’t be able to keep. They have me pinned to the wall.

“It’s never too late,” I said.

“We’ve changed our position now,” said the middle thug. “We came here to just work you over and try to collect the money you
owe our boss, but you took it to another level. You took it to a level you can’t turn back from.”

“There’s always turning back,” I said.

“Not this time.”

I felt the imaginary noose around my neck getting tighter. I had to think of something, and it had better be quick.

“Okay,” I said as I pointed my gun to the thug on my right. “I’m going to tell you this. I will not die alone today. In fact two of us
will be dead, and it looks like it’s going to be me and you.”

The thug on my left stared at me, shock and bewilderment riddled his eyes.

“What’s your name?” I asked. “I do like to know who is going to die with me today.”

“Sammy,” he nervously replied.

“Sammy,” I said. “Two will die today, and the way things look now. I think it’s going to be you and me.”

“I don’t want to die!” He shouted as he turned toward the middle man.

“Just shut up!” demanded the thug in the middle. “He won’t kill you!”

“Yeah, I will.”

“You see?”

I smiled.

“Sammy.” started the middle thug. “He won’t have a chance to get a bullet off. He’s just bluffing. It’s three against one. We
have the upper hand. Don’t be stupid and don’t let him get to your head!”

“No Sammy,” I continued. “I will take you with me. I will get a bullet off and there’s nothing you can do about it. Oh yeah, they’ll
kill me, but I won’t die alone. I’m taking you with me. Do you hear me? You and I will die. Understand that.”

Sammy peered at the middle thug. A frown wrinkled his forehead. He wasn’t ready to die and he wanted his partners to
understand that. He wanted all of this to end without bloodshed. It was clearly written across his face.

“Sammy, it’s me and you,” I continued.

“Don’t listen to him!” shouted the middle thug. “He’s trying to get into your head. He’s not going to shoot you.”

“But I am,” I smiled. “Two people will die here today. I’m not going alone.”

“Froggy just wanted us to beat him up,” Sammy shouted. “He didn’t want this!”

“Don’t be stupid,” said the middle thug. “Let’s just take him out.”

“Sure, go ahead. Take me out,” I continued grinning sheepishly. “But Sammy, you’re coming with me. I have no intentions of

going alone. So lets do this.”

Sammy knew that there was truth in what I was saying. He believed that I would shoot him instantly, and he wanted no part of
death. He was afraid, and it showed in his eyes. He wanted all of us to put down our guns and walk away. He wanted no deaths
today. He realized that they had made a mistake in trying to approach me. The thought of him being shot in the head tormented
him. He wanted to end this without him losing his life.

“We have to stop this,” he said.

“Too late!” shouted the thug to my left. “We can’t turn back now.”

“I don’t want to do this!”

“Sammy!”

Sammy pointed his gun toward the man in the middle.

“Let’s put down our guns,” he said. “I don’t want to hurt anyone.”

“Don’t point that gun at me!”

Frank Atanacio

“I don’t want to die.”

Sammy was willing to shoot one of his own in order to save his own life. It was just what I had planned. It was working like a
charm. Two against two, the odds were even.

The thug on my left swung to the left to face Sammy. “What the hell do you think you’re doing? Put that gun down, now!”

“I’m telling you,” he sobbed. “I don’t want to die.”

“We can’t shoot each other!”

“We don’t have to,” he continued. “We just leave him alone and come back another time. We don’t need to do this.”

“Froggy’s not going to like this,” said the thug in the middle. “You know he’ll come down on us.”

“I don’t want to die.”

“Make up your minds fast,” I said. “I have a very itchy finger, and I want to scratch it so bad. So what’s it going to be?”

Vengeful eyes stared back at Sammy, but that didn’t make him put down the gun. He kept it pointed toward the middle thug
and he had no intentions of dropping it.

I looked briefly at the billboard flashing the seventy-five million dollar lottery prize. It was a great deal of money. If I had it I
wouldn’t have to be chasing down cheating spouses, or getting into gun fights. I’d be on the beach in Florida sipping all kinds of
exotic drinks with brown skin females. I’d be playing cards every night, and dancing with women half my age.

Sammy leaned forward as he tried to get a bit closer to the middle thug. That’s when I made my move. An epiphany unfolded.
I turned and shot the man on my left in the head and Sammy shot the middle thug. He didn’t do it on purpose as blood splattered
all over him. My shot made him react, and he did so without realizing it as the middle thug fell quickly to the ground.

I looked back at the billboard and briefly began to dream about what else I would do with that windfall. It would really mean a
new life for me. Go some where warm. Escape this city and its cold, relentless winters. I’ve always longed for the sun and the
glistening sand off any beaches in the Carribean.

“Don’t shoot me!” Sammy shouted as it snapped me out of my day dream. “I don’t want to die!”

“What did I say when all this first began?” I asked.

He looked confused.

“I told you that only two of us was going to die.”

“You’re not going to kill me?”

“Nope.”

“What do I do?”

“Run back to your car and drive away.”

“You’ll shoot me in the back,” he half whispered.

“I am a man of my word.”

He looked confused.

“Go before I do change my mind!”

He ran. I laughed.

Seventy-five million flashing above me as I saw it through my peripheral vision.

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

www.bibliotastic.com

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