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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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Sections

  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • Chapter 10
  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 12
  • Chapter 13
  • Chapter 14
  • Chapter 15
  • Chapter 16
  • Chapter 17
  • Chapter 18
  • Chapter 19
  • Chapter 20
  • Chapter 21
  • Chapter 22
  • Chapter 23
  • Chapter 24
  • Chapter 25
  • Chapter 26
  • Chapter 27
  • Chapter 28
  • Chapter 29
  • Chapter 30
  • Chapter 31
  • Chapter 32
  • Chapter 33
  • Chapter 34
  • Chapter 35
  • Chapter 36
  • Chapter 37
  • Chapter 38
  • Chapter 39
  • Chapter 40
  • Chapter 41
  • Chapter 42
  • Chapter 43
  • Chapter 44
  • Chapter 45
  • Chapter 46

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Frank Atanacio

Contents
Chapter 1 ................................................................................................................................... 1 Chapter 2 ................................................................................................................................... 3 Chapter 3 ................................................................................................................................... 5 Chapter 4 ................................................................................................................................... 9 Chapter 5 ................................................................................................................................. 12 Chapter 6 ................................................................................................................................. 14 Chapter 7 ................................................................................................................................. 16 Chapter 8 ................................................................................................................................. 19 Chapter 9 ................................................................................................................................. 22 Chapter 10 ............................................................................................................................... 26 Chapter 11 ............................................................................................................................... 28 Chapter 12 ............................................................................................................................... 32 Chapter 13 ............................................................................................................................... 35 Chapter 14 ............................................................................................................................... 38 Chapter 15 ............................................................................................................................... 41 Chapter 16 ............................................................................................................................... 42 Chapter 17 ............................................................................................................................... 45 Chapter 18 ............................................................................................................................... 48 Chapter 19 ............................................................................................................................... 50 Chapter 20 ............................................................................................................................... 53 Chapter 21 ............................................................................................................................... 55 Chapter 22 ............................................................................................................................... 58 Chapter 23 ............................................................................................................................... 60 Chapter 24 ............................................................................................................................... 62 Chapter 25 ............................................................................................................................... 64 Chapter 26 ............................................................................................................................... 67 Chapter 27 ............................................................................................................................... 69 Chapter 28 ............................................................................................................................... 72 Chapter 29 ............................................................................................................................... 74 Chapter 30 ............................................................................................................................... 77 Chapter 31 ............................................................................................................................... 79 Chapter 32 ............................................................................................................................... 82 Chapter 33 ............................................................................................................................... 86 Chapter 34 ............................................................................................................................... 88 Chapter 35 ............................................................................................................................... 91 Chapter 36 ............................................................................................................................... 93 Chapter 37 ............................................................................................................................... 96 Chapter 38 ............................................................................................................................... 98 Chapter 39 ............................................................................................................................... 99 Chapter 40 ............................................................................................................................. 101 Chapter 41 ............................................................................................................................. 104 Chapter 42 ............................................................................................................................. 107 Chapter 43 ............................................................................................................................. 110 Chapter 44 ............................................................................................................................. 112 Chapter 45 ............................................................................................................................. 114 Chapter 46 ............................................................................................................................. 117

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

Chapter 1
She was wearing a light blue night cap, pulled back covering her weave that covered her forehead. Her night gown had a flowery pattern, and she was wearing no bra. Her face was dark and filled with black botches. She had thin skin, and lots of wrinkles. It appeared that she has had a rough life. Nevertheless she was Deacon Mike Brandon’s love. She was married to him for almost forty years. She was a devoted wife, and a dedicated Christian. She was tossing and turning in her queen size bed wondering why her husband wasn’t home yet. She glanced at the alarm clock, but really couldn’t tell the time. Her vision wasn’t as good as it use to be. Besides, she wasn’t wearing her glasses. She wasn’t the worrying type, but the deacon really gave her no reason to be the worrying type. It was late, she knew it, and he never stayed out before. It wasn’t his character, and it certainly wasn’t his nature. He liked being home with her. She knew it. “Baby, where in the world are you?” She whispered. Brenda Brandon sat up and moved closer to the foot of the bed. She kissed her wedding ring and held it against her lips for a few moments. The ring was almost embedded into her dark skin. It looked as if it was cutting off her circulation. She put that ring on 39 years ago, and she never took it off since. She loved her husband, and keeping that ring on through everything they went through was her testimony to that. “Why don’t you call me,” she whispered as she rubbed her eyes. “Tell me you’re okay, baby.” She never had to worry about him before. However, that night, she felt worried. She felt uneasy. She felt something she had never felt before. She felt something was wrong. “Oh my god,” she said as she adjusted her night gown.. Brenda was quiet for a moment as she reached for the lamp. Her huge breasts knocked over a water glass that was sitting on the night stand next to the telephone, and a box of tissues. “Oh dear,” she said as she stood the glass up immediately. “How clumsy can I be?” She had forgotten that she rested the glass there and she knocked it over reaching for the telephone. She grabbed some tissues and tried her best to wipe up the spill. “This spill is going to have to wait until tomorrow morning,” she said as she picked up the phone. She took a deep breath. “Baby, where you at?” she said softly as she dialed her husband’s cell number. It rang three times and then came the voice mail message. You’ve reached the deacon, I’m praying for you, so while I do that, leave me a message. “Baby, it’s Brenda, where you at honey? It’s late and I’m worried sick.” She hung up, and dialed the number again. You’ve reached the deacon, I’m praying for you, so while I do that, leave me a message. She was quiet again for a moment, as if she wasn’t quite sure what to say next. Her big brown eyes looked sadden as she hung up the phone. Her dark circles were almost black as she rubbed them with the back of her hands. She knew it was the worrying that was taken its toll on her. Brenda Brandon picked up the phone again and dialed my number. Nick Barnum here, at your service. “Nicky, pick up the phone!” she half shouted. Hello? “Nicky?” Who the hell is this at 3 in the morning? Shit better be good! “You just watch your mouth when you’re talking to me,” she said. B B? “Yeah, it’s me Nicky.” Is everything okay?

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“I’m afraid something has happened to him. he hasn’t been the same ever since his niece was murdered. Nicky. “If it’s all the same. Brenda Brandon closed her eyes and hung up the phone all in one motion. “I’ll just wait by the phone. I’ll get up and I’ll look for him. “You’ll do that for me. “But he still never did anything like this before. I’m really worried. Nicky.” Anytime B B.” she said. She smiled.” Of course.” she started.” That’s not like him. I’ll call you when I have something.” she said.Frank Atanacio “Mike isn’t home yet. “Well.” It’s almost 3AM? “That’s why I called you. “Thank you Nicky.” Did you call his cell? “Twice. baby?” Of course. Why don’t you just get some rest. .” B B.

just yet. I punched a guy out. What the hell happened?” I don’t’ know. She’s worried. “How did he die?” I asked. and he fell over some tables.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 2 I sat at the foot of my bed with the phone still in my hand. “She called here tonight.” www. and I don’t like going back on my word. I killed a man tonight. I didn’t know why I did that. “You killed a man!” It happened so fast! “It still happened. Can you do that? “Now?” It has to be now. you gotta help me! “What’s up?” You gotta help me. I won over three hundred dollars.” “So you pick on me?” You’re suppose to be at my service. but I promised B B that I would look for her husband.” I said. “You need to go back out and do what you have to do for B B. and I just wanted to sleep. and someone ran outside and told me that the guy I hit was dead.” My phone rang and it startled me for a moment. “What do you mean. “But you’re gonna have to call your wife. I knew it was the booze telling me not to go out and look for the deacon. she’s worried sick. I had to regain my composure and settle myself. just yet. “Holy fuck!” That’s what I said. I was barefoot. A promise is a promise.” I suggested. “Hello?” Nick! “Mike?” Nick. “Why?” Because I told you. Bouncers threw me out of the joint. I killed a man tonight. and Alfredo Fuentes. and I got no one to run too either.” I said to myself. “You what?” I dropped the bottle.com 3 . “With just one punch?” That’s why I can’t turn myself in. I had just finished a night of playing cards with Victor Cruz. Perhaps it was just to embrace me for something unexpected. I just wanted another shot.” I can’t do that.bibliotastic. big guy. “You’re going to have to turn yourself in. My head wanted to explode. but I just did.” I said. “Why don’t I call Vic and Alfredo to meet us there. wearing my boxers and a T-shirt. My footing slipped a bit from under me. “Settle yourself. it happen too fast. I got nowhere else to go. and drank a whole bottle of Southern Comfort. I saw the empty bottle of Southern Comfort on my night stand and I picked it up and looked in. and now you’re going to put her through the ringer. and I caught the end of the bed to regain my balance.” I said. “And you’re wife is looking for you. It was a good night for me. I had forgotten I still had it in my hand. No cops for now! “Okay deacon. Perhaps. you don’t know?” I asked. I had taken off my clothes just a few minutes ago. I need you to meet me at Frankie’s diner off of Barnum Avenue.

but I can’t be too sure if he was killed by the deacon. “Damn. I will hang up on you.” I started. I’m sure they’ll be willing to help you out. “You called me. I don’t feel right tonight. It was certainly a no brainer. but none of them came out of my mouth. right? “Are you close to the diner?” I asked.” I said. “Damn. She was his anchor. even though I had a rough night. I knew that and. now you call her!” Don’t get so nasty. “Hey Mike. “Call her from this damn pay phone!” I shouted. Not calling her was simply not the way he handled things.” I said. “Are you going to call B B when we hang up?” Nick. That’s why I wanna meet you at Frankie’s diner. “Just don’t jerk my chain. Drinking so much was my idea.” I said. I could have told him that I was busy with a girl or just made something up. “You better call your wife.” .” I said. So you’re coming. The pleasure I received from the bottle was about to cash in its chips. and you better have a good reason why you’re not calling the police. He would never speak to anyone on his duck’s list until he cleared it with B B. No matter what happened. But stranger things have happened. but a friend in need comes first. that man can’t call me when I’m sober. his safe haven. He was a good Christian. “Ok. I was certain that the police would realize it as well. “Just trying to lighten things up. You know me man. A thousand lies raced through my mind. I’m sure there was a dead man. He wanted me to meet him at Frankie’s diner. “I do.” I said.” He did not respond. so I really shouldn’t be complaining about the condition.” You know I ain’t no murderer! “I know Mike. I’m the one who killed a man. or Alfredo involved.” Right now I need you. don’t be getting on my nerves. and I wanted to get some sleep. “Get focused. “I’m coming now. “I’m just wondering why you don’t want to get Vic. I am Bridgeport’s finest private investigator. Very. He had a strange way of putting all his little ducks in a row.” Thanks Nick. and that’s what I had planned to do. you there?” He had already hung up the phone. It just seemed so uncharacteristic of him. I don’t want to get involved with a murderer. Calling me first was so not like the deacon. Nick. You’ve known them for several years.” I dreaded every step I had to make that night. and killing someone would not be on his list at all. “I’m not so sure you believe that.Frank Atanacio I lost my cell phone. He didn’t even sound to convincing when he said he killed a man. “Stay up Nick. and one of Bridgeport’s finest man need my help.” I tried to calm myself.

“That’s why I’d come over here for breakfast. “They think I’m a bum. There was a older man seated three seats down. “Got the time?” asked another seated three seats down.” he grimaced. and a small overweight truck driver seated in a booth behind me. I didn’t see the deacon. However.” he said. or anything like that. “No.” I nodded. I smiled.” “Maybe that’s why you’re not getting any. I thought he was going to ask for change. where does the time go?” I nodded again. The deacon walked into the diner wearing a baseball cap with the brim very low as if he was trying to conceal his identity. “Mike. He also had on a heavy jacket.” he continued. “Damn.” “Peaceful.” he said.” He smiled and walked back into the kitchen.bibliotastic.” I replied. “Back in the 70's. “I use to come to this diner years ago.” I answered. “Not really. “Can you believe that?” “Did you ask for a free refill?” “No. but he didn’t.” “They treat you poorly now?” I asked. so I didn’t understand why he was overly dressed.” “I’m sure it was.” “I heard you the first time. “I’m Terry.” “Hey Nick. There was a man coming toward me wearing rain boots. and he was using socks for gloves.” He looked away annoyed.” “No free refills.” I called.” he continued as he tried to strike up a conversation. “Nick.com 5 .” I nodded. but I don’t get no free refills. of course they’ll sell me coffee. His boot thudded softly on the diner floor and he stood about a foot in front of me. He smiled and I noticed he was missing all his front teeth.” he smiled again flashing only gums. “Not at all.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 3 I sat and drank coffee and ate pie waiting for Mike Brandon to show up at the diner. “There’s nothing like the service they had. Oh. “4-am . The overly dressed man turned and walked away when he saw the on duty manager walk out of the back room. “In the morning?” I nodded. “Was he bothering you?” the manager asked. It was warm outside.” “The area was much nicer then.” “Nice. “What’s your name?” asked the toothless man. didn’t think I had to. “They just think I’m a bum. www.

” I nodded. and his tee-shirt torn and covered with dried blood. “I guess when they threw me out.” “I did. “But how did you kill him?” “He came at me again and I kicked him over some tables. “I was placing bets and winning all night. In fact.” he said as he sat on the stool next to me.” he said. “Hey Nick.” .” he started again. and that was so obvious that it made a chill ride up my spine. and sorrow. He was always good for setting a good example. “Someone came out and told me that the bookie broke his neck and died. His sweats were wrinkled.” “So you killed him?” “No. His dark eyes were darker. and the bookie didn’t have enough to pay me. I never expected the deacon to be in this much trouble. I hit the big one.” “Never heard of him.” “That’s the blood on your shirt?” He nodded.Frank Atanacio The deacon had a barrel chest. “Thanks. and I couldn’t picture him at a dog-fighting match. He was dark skinned and had a clean shaven face. He took a swing at me and missed. He played the part of a guilty man on the run. “I’m trying..” The waitress had poured us another cup of coffee. The deacon was not much of a gambler. The waitress came over wearing a black hair net and a stained uniform.” “One-Eye Froggy?” “Club owner. and his face seemed gloom. “They told me I broke his neck.” “Dog-fighting?” “Let me finish. He wasn’t dressed as your typical deacon. and clear with me on this one.” he continued.” “So it was an accident?” “No.” “I was at this dog-fighting event. She poured him a cup and left him four creamers.” I said. “You’re going to have to be straight. He looked like he was running a marathon. “So this Froggy is a bad man? “Big time. “At that time One-Eye Froggy’s bouncers threw me out of the club. he was the best in that department. “Coffee?” “Black.” “So tell me what’s going on. “I grabbed him and pushed him a little. The look on his face was that of confusion.” he said as he sipped his coffee. I punched back and busted his nose. Nothing matched.. Nick.” “So you don’t really know?” He shook his head from side to side indicating no.” he replied.” replied the deacon.” “Business man?” “Wants to be. and big arms. We drank it together without really saying another word.

” I said. “Let me look into this and we’ll get to the bottom of this.” “I learned to duck years ago. He nodded slowly as if he wasn’t really sure if I had asked him a genuine question. Whose going take care of my baby.” he said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog I smiled.com 7 . I’ll see what really happened after you clocked the bookie.” www.” He nodded again.” “He can come at you hard Nicky.bibliotastic. I won’t tell you everything is going to be alright. “Just tell the captain everything you told me.” He looked confused. “So this Froggy is now in town. “I’m not hungry.” “I hit the guy.. “That’s why I called you first. Nick. one way or another.” “You think he’ll keep me out of jail?” “Talk to him. “I’m not going to lie to you. “Murder? I don’t know what to say.” I started.” “Did you call your wife?” He nodded. “Tell him that I’m looking into things.” “Why don’t you talk to Captain Frank Roque. It rattled as if he was stuck in a freezer for about an hour. “But it feels more like an accident. “Let’s just call it an accident. You gotta trust me. I’ll pay this One-Eye Froggy a visit. “Go to her.” I said. but.” I said. “I broke his nose.” he replied.” “Can’t go to jail.” “You’re getting caught up in the wrong places.” I said. I need to walk down some alley ways and come up with something tangible.” I suggested.” “Nobody expects it.” “I do.” I said.” I said. “Do you want something to eat?” I asked. and tell him what happened. That’s just the way it is. and you’ll turn yourself in as soon as I find something concrete. “I smell something rotten.” “How much trouble am I in?” he asked quietly.” he said.” “I am. “I didn’t expect to be in the wrong places with the wrong people.” he said. How much more concrete evidence do you need?” “For now.” “Tougher than me?” The deacon nodded.” He grimaced. and I can’t live without her. “Tell her what happened too. “He’s really tough. “Just worried.” “I understand. “If it really was a murder?” “I don’t know.” “So am I. “I just can’t.” his voice was scarcely a croak.” “He’s a mean son of a bitch. “And with the wrong people. right?” “He is. “Trying to make extra money for the church?” I asked. She can’t live without me.

” “She can be the comfort you seek.Frank Atanacio The deacon had his eyes solely on me.” I said. Mike. “You always do. He looked at me as if I had all the answers.” “Yeah. “She always was.” “Thanks Nick. He drank some more coffee. you know. He just wanted answers. I better. He had so many questions.” “I disappointed her.” I smiled.” I said again. One-Eye Froggy? . “Really.” “Go to your wife. The rattling of plates didn’t cause him to look away.” he repeated softly.” He smiled.” “Thank me when I’m done. “Go home to your wife.” “She’s a big girl. and I watched.” “She always was. “I’m going to do my best. and didn’t know how to ask.

O’Brien had a lot of peanuts on his plate. “So you’re asking me to ask Captain Roque to not pick up the deacon until you’ve completed your investigation?” asked O’Brien.” I smiled. “The deacon killed a man.” I said smiling with my drink. And those secrets are going to reveal itself to me.” “But that’s my point. I smiled. “No. I had to think it was because of the deacon.” O’Brien huffed ever so slightly. It was early afternoon.” “Papers got the news. I served so many of them this past month. “I just need a little time.” “They did say it was at the Frogger Club. Pete” I said as I picked up a few of his opened peanuts and tossed them into my mouth. I ordered a Mango Splash with a hint of rum. “I need you to keep the police away from the deacon until I check into this. I knew this wasn’t going to sit to well with the men on Congress Street. I’m not asking for much. There use to be a large plate glass window at the entrance. and O’Brien ordered a beer. They left out a lot of details. His appearance meant a great deal to him because he wanted the public to experience his professionalism. really. but he wasn’t eating any of them. The Police headquarters located on Congress Street was buzzing.” said O’Brien.” “I need to speak to those so-called eye-witnesses. “I don’t think he did. It was a large building with two floors.” “They never mentioned the dog-fighting. He was God’s soldier.com 9 . He was a visionary. O’Brien was a big man with a strong upper body. but it has been removed and replaced with strong glass doors.” he replied. “It’s my first time trying it. “And you have to remember that they left out so much detail.” he said softly.” “That club is known for Salsa Dancing. and so much more. “Is that what I am to understand?” I nodded. but murder was murder nevertheless. that police command center lost its panoramic view of the City of Bridgeport’s Westside. “I think I’m going to order one too when I get off. “They were fed the wrong information. Detective Peter O’Brien and I met for lunch on the patio at Danny O’s in Shelton.” “And we do owe you.” The waiter smiled as he left to help other customers. By removing the large plate glass window. “It doesn’t get any better than this. He was a man everyone trusted.” “I don’t get it. He would occasionally break open a few. but fail to pop them into his mouth.bibliotastic. They couldn’t believe that Mike Brandon was capable of murder.” I added.” he said.” I said. and the late night gambling. and they wanted to launch their own investigation.” I said. “But it has secrets. and eye-witnesses. He was fair skinned and always clean shaven. They were all surprised about the reports. “I don’t think Roque will be down for that. He was purposely bald and kept his head shiny.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 4 The next morning. He was a pillar of the community. and now he was a hunted man.”I said. and they respected him.” said the waiter.” I said. “Looks even better on the menu cover. the news ran with the story that the deacon had killed a man. not too hot. “Yes!” www. that Mango Splash looks good. that drinks fits you like a glove. “Damn. “Yeah. They liked the deacon. with a nice early morning breeze.” “So the papers got it wrong?” “No.

Frank Atanacio

“Don’t push it,” said O’Brien. “It’s still not my call.” “But you’re the man.” O’Brien huffed again. There was a thin young lady sitting two tables down from us. She was looking at us the whole time, and it was probably the first time I noticed her. She had white skin, and matted brown hair that seemed to be pressed to the top of her head. Her face was lusterless, and her eyebrows bushy. She was a very unattractive woman, but she seemed to be noticing us. I opened my jacket to check to see if my gun was loaded. It was comforting to know that it was. Not because of the unattractive woman. It just made me feel free. “You see that woman looking at you,” said O’Brien. “Why me?” O’Brien smiled. The woman stood up and walked toward us with a hopeful expression. I looked down at her and didn’t realize I was staring at her extremely tight jeans that accentuated her crotch area. She had a sexual gait, but there was nothing sexual about her appearance. “Excuse me sir,” she said smiling. I smiled back. “I couldn’t help to notice you ordered that Mango Splash,” she said as she pointed to my drink. “Yes I did.” “I was thinking about ordering it,” she said still smiling. “But I wanted to ask you about the taste. Is it worth ordering, and does it have enough booze in it?” “Not worth the money,” I honestly replied. “And a little too fruity.” “Really?” “Sadly yes,” I said. “Pictured it looked good, but tasting it, I don’t know.” “Not enough booze for the price?” “Not enough anything for the price.” “Just order a beer,” O’Brien added. “You can’t go wrong ordering a beer.” “I think I’ll have my usual,” she said with a continuing smile. “Beer is not for me.” “Have a nice day,” I said returning the smile. “Thank you,” she said. “You saved my seven dollars.” “That’s the only reason why I’m drinking it,” I said. “I don’t want to lose my money.” She smiled, turned, and walked away. “What?” O’Brien said curiously as I titled my head. “She has a nice ass,” I replied. O’Brien smiled. “So you’re going to speak to the captain?” “He’s not going to agree,” O’Brien replied. “But I’ll talk to him.” “I’m sure you can convince him,” I said. “You talked me into buying this drink.” “You did that all on your own buddy.” I smiled. “I’ll give him good conversation,” said O’Brien as he cracked opened some more peanuts and failed to pop them into his mouth. “I will.” “That’s all I want you to do.”

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

“But you gotta tell the deacon to keep in touch with us,” He added.” I don’t want him running a little too far. You know, it’s for his own safety.” “He’s afraid.” “He’s needs to stay where we can get to him.” “Okay,” I said. “I’ll talk to him. I’ll get him to stay put. Just you make sure you speak to the captain. Get him to back down until I finish.” “I hope he can do this for you,” said O’Brien as he finished his beer. “You’re his friend,” I said. “Try a little convincing.” “He’s the captain.” “I need some time, Pete.” “I’ll see what I can do.” “That’s all I ask.” He smiled.

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Frank Atanacio

Chapter 5
There were five witnesses on the list that O’Brien gave me and each one of the witnesses didn’t seem to credible. I decided to call on each one of them. The first one on my list was Margie Sanchez. She lived on Gregory Street off of Park Avenue and near the University of Bridgeport. She lived on the bottom floor of a six family wooden frame house that was in dire need of repair. I rang the door bell several times before a young woman opened it up. “I’m looking for Margie Sanchez,” I said as the young woman just stared at me. She was wearing tight Seven jeans and a white tank top with a black bra. She was a little darker than an olive skin. She had full lips, and dark eyes. Her face was slightly angelic, and her attitude was worn on her sleeve. It appeared as if she had a chip on her shoulder. “Whatcha you want her for?” “Just going to ask her a few questions,” I replied. “Police been here.” “I’m sure they were,” I said. “But I’m not the police.” “Then who the fuck are you?” “A private investigator,” I replied. “What the fuck is that?” “I don’t know,” I replied. “It’s just a summer job I took because I knew I could handle it.” “I’m Margie,” she said. “The witness,” I said softly. “What?” “I need to ask you about the murder, and about the deacon that was accused.” “Fuck man,” she said as she stepped out of the house. “Whatcha you wanna know?” There is not really a way to force that young woman to stop swearing so much. It’s such a shame, because her mouth takes away from her beauty. “How did you see this whole thing play out?” “What the fuck do you mean?” “What happened?” “This fat bishop...” “Deacon,” I corrected. “Whatever,” she was annoyed. “He came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. He threw the first punch and missed. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the bis... deacon and that set him off.” “Mike threw the first punch?” “Yep,” she replied. “The bis... deacon came at him with all he got. He punched Carlos in the mouth, and then kept punching him until he broke Carlos’ nose. Carlos didn’t fight back, he just fell over some tables.” “The deacon did all this?” “Hell yeah man,” she continued. “The bouncers threw out the deacon...” “Aww, you got it right.” She rolled her eyes. “And then the bartender checked Carlos and said he was dead.” “Neck broken?” She nodded. “Did you know why they were fighting?” “I don’t know, don’t care.”

” “What can I get for twenty bucks?” “A kick in the nuts. “Cash up front. “I do my business there. “Yeah.” “Police know?” “Told them.” She entered her apartment and slammed the door.” “Club owner know?” “He didn’t throw me out yet.” “Ouch. mother fucker!” “Only God judges. “How much you charge?” She stopped. “Is that all the questions?” she asked.” she said.” “You give him some money for soliciting there?” “I got three kids to feed. “Don’t judge me.” She turned around slowly.” she replied.” I said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Why were you at the club?” “I’m a fucking whore. “Difficult question?” “Too much for you to afford. “I think I got what I need. I gotta do what I gotta do!” I nodded.” she said. but didn’t turn to face me.com 13 . “That would be?” “Five hundred dollars for three hours.” I replied.bibliotastic. www.

Lopez wanted to ask something. Carlos didn’t fight back.” she said. at your service. Guzman’s cashier was standing behind the counter. and he’s a deacon. “he said “He came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. “Well anyways. He was clearly not thinking right. He was bald on top. I didn’t think he’d have time for me. I need cash paying customers! If anyone asks for credit. The light highlights gave her face such a wonderful glow..” Mr.. Mr. he just fell over some tables. He punched Carlos in the mouth. I don’t pay you to stand around and flirt with all the guys that come in here!” “I’m sorry. I nodded.” she replied almost quietly. Guzman was probably in his late sixties. “He’s a deacon. “I’m Nick Barnum. but he didn’t see her. “Get back to work. “Whatever he was. His glasses were thick and he walked with a limp. “You the police?” he asked. When it came to lists I’d often follow the same pattern. a private investigator. the deacon came at him with all he had. but had lots of gray hair on the sides. She was trying to get his attention. “Hi. “No credit!” he shouted with a vein sticking out of his neck. not a bishop. “What do you want to know?” “I wanna know what happened.” “I know him. “I said to her.” “Deacon.” She smiled. Mrs. but when I asked for him he immediately stopped what he was doing and came over. He also had a thick gray moustache.Frank Atanacio Chapter 6 The next witness on my list was Roberto Guzman.” “I see. “No.” Where did I hear this before? I said to myself jokingly. “What do you want?” Mr. Her hair was dark brown with light highlights. He scratched the top of his head as if he was thinking about what to say. I stood there with my arms crossed waiting for him to reply.” I said. but a black guy.” I replied.” “What does she want?” “Credit.” he continued. “Like you. but I had to speak with him because he was next on my list. He owned Guzman’s Bodega over on the Eastside of town.” I corrected.” I corrected him again. The place was busy.” “That Bishop is a big guy. He threw the first punch and missed. “The bishop. The small store had lots of stock and lots of customers. and thick gray eye brows.” I corrected.” . “Carlos Rivera’s death?” he asked. tell them I said no!” “Relax Mr. “She’s only the messenger. It was located on a small dead end street off of East Main Street. Guzman. “I want to ask you some questions about the deacon at Froggy’s nightclub. “I can’t give anyone credit this week. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the bishop and that set him off. Guzman turned around with angry eyes and shouted. “I don’t understand why you guys can’t get that right. “But I wasn’t flirting.” I replied. She wore small black-rimmed glasses low on her nose so that she could check the prices better on the product she rung up. I don’t think Carlos wanted to fight this man.” I said. and then kept punching him until he broke Carlos’ nose. He actually did a bang up business.

“I do know a little about running a business.” he half shouted.” “Nobody’s asking you. “Are you done asking me questions about the bishop. “All I’m saying is that you should relax.” I paused.” “You don’t under. “Mr.” He rushed away.” I said as I tossed a few of my business cards on the floor.. Forget it.com 15 .” he said. Guzman. “I’m really busy today and I got to get back to work.. and Carlos Rivera?” “Dea. “I’ll leave you some of my cards. very well too.” I called. “If you need my help. “What don’t I understand?” “Nothing. My name is Nick PT Barnum. You’re not a business man. “Business?” He said nothing. that I don’t understand?” He did not reply.” He was still silent. “And if you ask me. He stopped but didn’t turn around. He turned around and walked toward the cashier. www. and I’ll be at your service if you need me.” I added.” He still didn’t reply. “It’s my business. “Yeah I think I got what I need from you.. “Just ask.” I continued. and I need to stay ahead of the game.” he stopped abruptly. I’m sure that’s something you wouldn’t understand.Case File: Dog Eats Dog He grunted.” I said. Lots of bills to pay. “She’s doing her job. That’s all.bibliotastic.” he shot back.” “Good. “What is it exactly.” I smiled.

He wanted to meet at Seaside Park so he could get his jogging in. maybe counseling would help her through this. and she’s not eating too well either.” O’Brien replied. if he’s guilty.” . That woman is staying up late. “So what did you find out?” he asked.” I replied.” “Good to hear. I hope I’m right. “There was only Salsa and Merenge.” “I understand. But we can arrest people if we have witnesses.” he said.” “But he doesn’t. I think the captain is going out on a limb for the deacon.” I smiled as I kept up my pace with him. I thought. I started jogging with him as he poured bottled water over his bald head to keep him cool. You know that.” he said. “Can’t arrest people on hunches.” he said.” he continued.” he replied. The guilty always do. “He’ll slip up.” I continued as I too had to catch my breath. He wasn’t the type to just sit around and waste time. “Those witnesses. that captain.” “Bad witnesses. “He doesn’t stay because he’s afraid that the captain is going to change his mind and arrest him for the murder of Carlos Rivera. “If we don’t see one.” he continued. “They were coached.” I said.” “Has the deacon been home?” “She told me that he comes and goes.” “No gambling. “I really don’t want anything to happen to her. he would.” “I’ve known her for a long time. it really doesn’t exist. but we haven’t seen anything yet.” “So do you think there is a dog-fighting ring going on?” “I can’t say no. “He should be home with B B.” “So this guy is clever.” “That’s why Captain Roque is not taking in the deacon yet.” I smiled.” I said. “I got the same bull-shit story line you guys did.” “You checked everything?” “Top to bottom.” “That’s a terrible way of looking at things. But he understands the situation and he’s giving you the chance to square him. “There was nothing but Salsa and Merenge.” I said. “You know I never need to do that.” O’Brien shot back. If he could fit in an activity.” he paused as he caught his second wind.Frank Atanacio Chapter 7 I met Detective Peter O’Brien at the end of my work day. “It’s got to be the only way. “She’s really not taking this too well.” “You’re all heart.” “Good guy. “Did they say anything about gambling?” “You didn’t ask?” “I thought I’d ask you. “I guess you don’t run much. “I had to take Mike’s wife to do some counseling. “What do you mean?” “We pulled a surprise shake down at the club that Froggy owns.” “But that dog fighting club doesn’t exist.” he paused.

” “I know. Like the girl you use to date.” “Go ahead. “I think over the years. “She was a true Christian woman. and your feet sweat. “What are you going to do next.” I replied.” I said. “What?” “You really loved her.” He laughed again.” “So he was always the one for her?” “The one?” “Yeah. maybe.” “He’s going to be a tough one. There was never a question about that. “She’s taking just a little too much. “I’m going to pay Larry Bonilla a visit. “And.” I paused briefly as I caught my breath.” I nodded and didn’t say anything. “So?” “Mike is the one for her.” he explained. the guy that makes your heart stop.” I said as I stopped next to him.” “She was always a strong woman. “Damn.” “She puts up with it. www.” “But Brenda was always on the up and up.” I said. “Yeah I did.” “Do you think she’s weak because of it?” “No. I was pretty sure that Detective Peter O’Brien really didn’t mean to say it that way. I remember you telling me that you think you found the one.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Me too.” “I think over the years.” “God saved him.bibliotastic. say it.” O’Brien warned.” “So it wasn’t just sexual?” “At first.” he continued.com 17 .” he said as he stopped and bent over with his hands on his knees. and you laugh?” “You’re a funny guy.” How good?” “I don’t want to talk about it.” “Okay. “You know.” I smiled.” “I know that too. her strength was weakened by Mike Brandon. “And there was no mistake about it. the one that you really can’t live without. “I’m telling you the truth.” he continued. She had all the reasons to dump me. “I put her and her son in harm’s way. I don’t. You know Mike wasn’t always on the up and up.” I replied. He was probably motivated by the events that played up to that statement....” “My list goes on.” “She was good in bed.” O’Brien paused as he drank some warm bottle water.” O’Brien laughed. I miss that.” “And Zoraida was the one for you?” “I thought. “Because she loves him and she has always loved him. you son of a bitch!” “I’m not going to lie.

.” “Leave her out of this. He winced. “So bring tough on.” I said as I began sprinting back to my truck.” He nodded.” “Don’t worry. “Good-luck!” he shouted. “Thanks for the run. I waved my hand above my head without turning around. I didn’t want him to see that I was almost out of breath.” he said as he stood up. not your secretary. “I’m done.” I lied.” He smiled.Frank Atanacio “Look at me.” I said. “Really!” “I’m Pete. I can take care of my myself.” “Tired of running?” I asked. Janet. and it’s solid muscle. Pete. “I could have gone all day. “I’m 6'2 I weigh 245 pounds. you’ll get it with him. not fat.

” she replied. “I am a private eye. which normally means gang violence.” “Well. and there were several things that I would have purchased. and will probably tell me the truth. “Thank you.” she said as she walked passed me. “Nick PT Barnum. She was talking on her cell phone and turned around when she saw me. I kept looking at all the dollar items.bibliotastic.” I paused. The store had junk tossed into baskets that lined the walls. “In there?” She nodded. with long dark hair and wearing looping gold earrings was a very attractive Asian young woman. Maybe he had a change of heart. “That’s not very nice to say.” she said as she attitude her way toward the backroom. “Hello. He sells dollar items in a 99 cent store. “I’m looking for Larry Bonilla. “Hey Ming Lee!” I called.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 8 Larry Bonilla did business out of a store front located downtown Bridgeport. He wasn’t so eager to speak with me like the other two. at your service.” “What do you want?” she shot back.” “Wait here. “Dollar shit?” I smiled. The third witness kept me waiting longer than I expected. but who was I to judge? The door was covered with Spanish cock fight promotions. The second sign was the attractive Asian woman.” “Whose asking for him?” she asked ignoring my statement. www. She stuck her head out of the backroom and shouted.” she replied. “What do you want?” “Am I bothering you?” “I was busy. “I was just going to by a tooth brush. “It’s Linh Le! Asshole. and passed winners. “What does that mean?” “My boss will see you. At the check-out. It was so patterned. “And don’t steal nothing. “You know.com 19 .” I said. “And I know you’re not him. She ignored me. It was June in Bridgeport.” I called. and the price was terrific. Get it known!” “Get it known?” I whispered. Didn’t understand why he didn’t call it a dollar store or something of that nature. The first hint of attitude gone bad was Margie Sanchez. and beautiful women developing bad attitudes.” She turned around and slapped her cell phone shut. I went in. They were solid. “Too busy for customers?” “People that buy this dollar shit ain’t customers.” She did not reply. I could steal.” I smiled.” “You must be a fucking genius to figure that out.” I answered. Maybe his story might be different.

” “Are you sure?” . and I really don’t want to get involved. “Came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. I have questions.” I said.” I said. He threw the first punch and missed.” “Okay. “Did you say deacon?” I nodded.” He hesitated for a long time. “Nobody that hangs out there at the club is an innocent man.” I said “I figure that. “Just want to hear your side of the story.” I said.” He grimaced.” he replied. “So that man wasn’t a bishop?” “Nope. Mr.” “Is there dog fighting?” “No. Bonilla?” “No.” I added.” “I can help you.” He smiled. tell me the truth. “The bouncers threw him out and later the bartender said that Carlos was dead. “I don’t think so. Bonilla.” “Then don’t. but he rubbed the bottom of his chin as if he were massaging a beard. “Well?” “The deacon. “That’s all I got.” “Everyone thought that. “Listen man.” “You’re helping to send an innocent man to jail. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the deacon and that set him off. He nodded. There was a sadness to the man’s eyes. “Mr. I have a family.Frank Atanacio I walked into the back stock area and Mr. “It’s about the deacon and Carlos Rivera. Bonilla was a tall thin man. and snapped his neck. “Truth?” “I told you the truth. “Mr. Bonilla was leaning against some boxes smoking a cigarette. it was as if he knew telling me the truth was out of the question.” He tossed the cigarette to the floor and stepped on it.” he said slowly as if he was trying to think of the correct words. with an honest face. but I have to ask anyways.” “So the deacon went to town on him?” I asked sarcastically. “Broke his nose. He had no facial hair.” he replied. “I thought he was a bishop.” he said as he took out another cigarette and lit it up.” “You saw the deacon snap his neck?” He hesitated. something a little different. I may already know what you might say.

” His head fell to his chest. I know a few of those guys and they will stick their necks out for the right reasons. “Remember one thing.” I said as I walked over to him and placed some business cards into his shirt pocket.” He smiled. and for a good cause.Case File: Dog Eats Dog He breathed in. I’ll always be at your service. “Think about it. “I know something is bothering you. www. and I can get Bridgeport Police to help.” I said.com 21 .bibliotastic.” “You know I really can help you. “Yeah.

“He’s not my buddy.” I replied. “Just an expendable associate.” I said.” “Damn.” I said with a hint of smugness. punk!” “Not before I drop him.Frank Atanacio Chapter 9 The next day I had my first encounter with Froggy’s boys.” “Froggy is not going to like this. Just the shells were still in place. A heavy set Hispanic suit opened up the passenger side and stood behind the opened door visually combing the area. it hurts!” he screamed.” I said.” I said as I cocked the gun. “It’s not my style. “So you don’t care about your buddy?” I asked. dog eats dog world. it’s all the same to me.” said the fat guy.” I said. He had his left hand on his hip and pushed his right hand into the breast pocket of the suit.” the driver quickly replied. “Drop the gun!” He shouted.” I smiled. “Girl eats girl. “Can’t do that. It was just a few seconds more that went by when a light blue late model car with four doors pulled up behind my green Ford Explorer.” he continued. “It should. “I shot you. Jackie Reeves. .” “I’ll drop you. Perhaps they wanted to follow me to the fourth person on my list. I drove down Lee Avenue and parked at a corner gas station that closed several years back. I hid behind a dumpster that was covered in graffiti as I waited for my tail to pull in. “Who cares. “Let him go!” he demanded. The bartender at Froggy’s club. “Hello. “Oops. and I do follow my list religiously. They come a dime a dozen.” I continued stalling.” I smiled. The driver did not hesitate as he quickly opened his door and pointed his gun at me from over the top of the car. He was a well dressed Hispanic male in his mid thirties. “Is that you don’t mind if I put a bullet into your fat associate?” “Be my guest. “It hurts. “I can’t.” “Warms my heart to see such a loving family. I had to make my move so I quickly jumped behind him and put my gun to his head. The tailing has become more obvious.” I said. I fired a shot through the inside of their car hitting the driver in the left thigh. so I decided to find out why the tail. “Like I said the first time. “What the?” I smiled. “I’m warning you. He was the fourth person I had penciled in. “Last warning. It started as an all day tail. He had a thin moustache and he wore stylish sunglasses. The building was boarded up and the pumps were stripped clean. “What you’re telling me. just semantics. He dropped to the ground in pain as he held his bloody leg. fat boy. “He’s a fat piece of shit anyways.” he issued.” The driver looked agitated. He smiled.” said the driver. They followed me everywhere I went. His suit fit him like a glove.” I replied.

” I started as I kicked his gun away. that thinking about it first was my only option.” I walked around the car toward the driver. so I thought really hard about my next statement. I smiled. I really wanted to know why they were following me. Get it?” The driver thought about it. I’m sick and tired of it. It’s that simple.bibliotastic. “I need help!” “Mental or physical?” “Damn you!” “Well. “So. He’ll tell your boss that you told me. I shot him in the other leg.” I said as I stepped on his designer sun glasses. “I know for a fact that you’re fat buddy there will tell me what I need to know.” “You know blood can easily drain out of two bullet holes very quickly” I said as I tried frightening him.” He looked confused. bleeding to death isn’t going to be pretty. “I can see that from here. I’m going to let you bleed to death. and then tell your boss that you had to kill him because you overheard him telling me. I waited for a few seconds to see if the fat guy would come to.” “Once?” He nodded. He just had a lot of fat in him. “You’re going to go into a deep sleep. my friend. He was still on the ground holding his thigh wincing in pain.” I said.com 23 . When the end comes closer.” I smiled devilishly. but I was wrong. And trust me.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “I don’t really care what Froggy likes or dislikes.” “Really. “Damn you’re weak. It was a beautiful sight. you’re going to know it. I had to think about it.” I started. why were you following me?” “Fuck you!” “I’ve been hearing too much swearing these passed few days. I thought he had a little more fight in him. I can’t.” “I can’t.” “Of course you can. “Damn!” “Better?” “You’re crazy!” “And you’re going to bleed to death. and he gets off Scott free.” I said. “You’ll die.” “Froggy will hear about this!” “I’m sure he will.” “Two bullet holes?” He looked confused. but he didn’t. you tell me. why were you following me?” “I can’t say anything. “Now fat boy.” I said. “If you don’t tell me why you were following me. “Frankly. “You know. Kill him. www. because It was something I wouldn’t have done. I never realized how weak the big guy was. “Or. and then die. “I’m bleeding badly!” he shouted.” he sobbed. It was something so out of the ordinary. “You only shot me once.” “So you’d rather bleed to death?” “Froggy will kill me anyways.” I hit the fat guy in the back of his head with the butt of my gun and he dropped to the ground like a stone.

” “My gun. 911 emergency.” I nodded.” “Damn.” “O’Brien.” “When and where is the next fight?” “Chico on Wordin Avenue. We followed that fat cop. “You’re going to call for help..” he begged. “I wasn’t there. “Mike Brandon didn’t kill that man?” “That I can’t tell you.” he continued.” I said. “There must be some truth to what these witnesses are saying. He wanted to. I smiled some more. “So there is dog fighting?” “All the time. “But Froggy wants them to use his words. we had to kill the witness.” Your name? I hung up. “It wasn’t anything against you. I took out my cell phone and dialed 911. “We just had to make sure you got what he wanted you to get.” he replied.” “So the witnesses were coached?” He nodded.” he said.” “I see. . the deed. I’m calling from a closed down gas station on the corner of State Street and Lee Avenue. There’s been a shooting and two people have been shot.. “Well. It wasn’t just you we followed. but the other can be saved if you come right away.” He nodded as I retrieved his gun. I need you to send an ambulance right away. thank you my friend.” said the driver. “I see. right?” “I always keep my promises. The driver smiled.” “But why the cover up?” “I don’t know. “You’ve been a wealth of information.” I said. “Is there dog fighting at his club?” “That moves around. “Well?” “One Eye Froggy wanted us to follow you because he needed to know that you got the information he wanted you to get.” I pursed my lips a bit.” “When?” “Sunday after mid-night.” I replied. If anyone told you something different. that late?” He nodded. it was written across his face.” he replied. I think one is dead. “But the deacon did get into a fight with that bookie.Frank Atanacio The driver thought about it some more. “Hi.

Case File: Dog Eats Dog I smiled. www. I jumped into my truck and turned right onto State Street and left onto Yale Street and then I heard two shots ring out.bibliotastic. I didn’t turn around nor did I look through my rear view mirror. Their family problems are their own business.com 25 .

” “Insurance policies?” He grinned sheepishly again. Seuss character. “It’s early. but that night there weren’t too many patrons. “The crowd don’t kick in until 11pm. In fact you couldn’t really get a good checker game going with the patrons there. but it was pulled upward and held together with a rubber band.” “What kind?” “Becks. “Can I ask you some questions?” “I don’t think so. “Yes?” “Beer. I heard it was a jumping place. He looked like a Dr. I gave the bartender a ten and he walked toward the register and rung me up. or perhaps the murder of Carlos Rivera had something to do with it. “I already spoke to the real police. It was at that time. The bartender was no more than 23 years old as he stood behind the bar wiping glasses.” I said as I backed off just a little.Frank Atanacio Chapter 10 Later that evening I walked into Froggy’s bar on Fairfield Avenue. He leaned directly in front of me as if he was going to kiss me or smell me.” he said as he walked back toward me. “Why not?” “Because of my insurance policies. I realized that there was a security button beneath the counter.” “Five dollars.” I called and he turned around.” I threatened. “So. “I’m looking for Jackie Reeves. Perhaps it was early.” he said as he placed the open beer in front of me.” “Why?” “Questions about the murder that happened here. .” he said. He walked away.” “You heard right.” he said as he grinned sheepishly. I didn’t know and Frankly. “Not so close. “I hear he was one of the witnesses.” I smiled. He had an Afro. They were big and stacked with muscles. I turned around and saw two mountain men standing on each side of me. “I started.” he said. He had the olive skin with the black facial features. He came back with five singles and slapped it directly in front of me. I didn’t care. Jackie Reeves. “Old folks like you don’t need to come. “You’re Jackie?” He nodded. “Hey bar keep.” I nodded. My job was to question witness number four.” I replied. and he was simply reaching for it. He was a thin Latino and African American mixed. “Your policies?” I asked as I pointed to one of them. “Now you need to speak to me. I sat directly in front of him. “I don’t think so.” he replied. “Slow tonight?” I asked.

” I said.” “Then you’re screwing with the right guy.” “But he comes with more insurance policies than me. The man with the broken nose ran out of the bar. and the fight is over. I hadn’t planned on fighting that evening. I may simple just beat what I want out of you. The big guy stood up with his face covered in blood and looked at me with vengeful eyes. “I’m a lover!” “So what do I do about my need to control my juices?” “I’ll tell you what happened that night. He didn’t answer. “Are you that afraid of Froggy?” I asked. And I grabbed the man on my left and slammed his face against the bar not once. Or perhaps to scare the bartender.” “Well. I have this need to break some bones. It was the quickest fight I have ever been in. “It’s a simple question. You see. and there is no one left to fight with. “Would you speak to me if I had your policies cancelled?” “What?” “If I cancel your policy. In fact.” I nodded and walked out. I elbowed the man on my right in the nose breaking it instantly.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Jackie nodded.” I said. and he had to deal with me. except you. so I banged it against the bar again. and make this a real fist fight. I was proud of myself. I had to hit him again because I knew it was only a matter of time before he regained his full composure and was able to offer me a real fight. but he was nowhere to be found.” I turned around to walk out.” I said.” I said slowly.” “I figure that. “I don’t think it’ll be that easy to cancel his. I just cancelled his insurance policies. not once. I had no juices in me.” “The truth?” “No. I didn’t come here to fight. but I understood the reason for his incoherence. “I can’t tell you the truth. The pain really didn’t register with him. “Will he fight me?” “No. and witness. given the position and circumstances you put me in. I heard Jackie Reeves mutter something from behind the bar. but you got my juices flowing. It was unintelligible.” “The coached story?” He nodded.” he replied. “Unfortunately. He fell back and was out cold. I just said that to say it.” he said honestly.” said the bartender. I was expecting him to attack me. but twice. “Would you speak to me?” He looked confused. I was proud as hell. “I’m not looking for easy. Well. “You will be too. www.” “Remember who cancelled yours.bibliotastic.” “I’m not a fighter!” he shouted. but twice. but a man had to do what a man had to do. I grimaced. “You have been a gracious bartender. “You know he’s going to get you for this.com 27 . I nodded.

” She looked down at the table cloth. and her face a gentle light complexion. and opened the bottle of champagne. but that didn’t stop me from trying to enjoy her company. “Thanks for lunch. Carolyn knew the owner. and I fully understand why. “Love your confidence. I felt sort of out of her league. “Go right ahead. She had thin perfect lips.Frank Atanacio Chapter 11 Carolyn Lopez was the final name on my list. Plus. She was the only one to supply a phone number to the police and I had called her and she agreed to meet me at a local restaurant located near my office in downtown Bridgeport.” I said. “I feel bad that I have to put you through this. I tried to look my best for her. “I’m not sure where to start. Her black hair was so thick and curly. “I know what you’re going to say. “Thank God. and a body that made every man look. right?” “And the deacon. She smiled and I nodded. “You were coached. She was dressed very tastefully.” she said. I smiled.” I said.” I said. because she was extremely hot. Her eyes were rich brown. “So.” she said slowly as if she was trying to remember the correct words to say.” she replied. “Came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. and he certainly wasn’t kidding.” She smiled.” I took a breath. “The deacon. “Thanks for meeting me. “I’m not a good liar.” she said. “Why do men always say that when they’re talking to a pretty woman?” “So you think you’re pretty?” “Damn right.” I said as the waiter placed our food in front of us. “So this is about Carlos Rivera. and the food was fantastic. It was easy on my eyes.” She frowned still looking terrific. He threw the first punch and missed. right?” “Yes.” she said as she sipped her water.” I said. I nodded. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the deacon and that set him off. It was a big. I ordered antipasto for two and a bottle of their best champagne. Carolyn and I had dinner in Ralph and Richie’s next to the Barnum museum. I smiled. . “This is professional.” “It’s your job.” I nodded in agreement. “Is that what the others were saying?” she asked. She was wearing tight slacks and a pretty pink blouse. so we got a nice table. spacious place with excellent service.” “Everyone does. O’Brien had warned me earlier. She laughed.” I laughed.

” “So now you do favors for him?” “I’m his waitress. a little too late.” What a beautiful picture. yeah. and I don’t get paid. “How?” “Gambling debts. And that’s when I doubt your good looks could bail you out.com 29 .Case File: Dog Eats Dog She smiled with a hint of flirtation.” “I wasn’t.” “Yeah. “So there is more to this story?” “There is. and I couldn’t shake it loose.” “Perjury?” “Big time.” “Then I need to get to the bottom of this. and the bookie even bought the deacon a drink.” I said.” “Froggy says this may not go to court. He would have my ass in a sling. “You’ll be in hot water.” she paused briefly.” “How so?” “They were talking all nice and nice. really?” “He did argue with the bookie. “I can’t really tell you if they were friends.” www.” “You don’t strike me as a gambler.” She smiled.” “Why?” “We have problems.” I slowly bit my lower lip.” “I didn’t want to do it.” “If it does. It’s so childish.” “There’s help for that.” “Froggy says the deacon was too pushy. plus this. “It was weird though. “You know. and we might say the wrong things. “The police already know that you guys were coached. her ass in a sling.?” I said. “I really shouldn’t be telling you any of this.” she said. I know because I delivered it to him. but my ex-husband turned me on.bibliotastic. everyone going to tell that you’ve been coached.” she replied.” “But if you go to court. “I’m here for you Carolyn. “But I had to.” “So they were friends?” “I guess they had dealings before.” she said.” she replied.” “Problems?” “I owe Froggy a lot of money. That argument looked staged. “Why couldn’t Froggy just give you guys a different set of things to say. Or at least from Carlos Rivera’s side.” “Staged?” She nodded. “Did the deacon start the fight.

“Do you have a girlfriend?” she asked. “I guess he and Tito were hired to follow you. “Of course silly. “Ah. “I’m sure Froggy knows about it too.” I smiled. you know him?” “He tried picking me up. “Good girl?” “Hot.” She smiled. like you. “Are you going to be at the dog fight this Sunday?” I asked.” “Why the hesitation?” she asked.” she warned. “I heard about the fight at the bar too. what a beautiful picture. “Me too.” I smiled.” I smiled. I heard.” she said. right?” She nodded. her ass in a sling. “He’s really nasty.” I said. “Honestly?” . “If I know he definitely knows. “He’s the one whose going to put your ass in a sling. “Oh.” “Puerto Rican?” I nodded.” “Why?” “My line of work.” she said. “Why do you keep smiling at me. She glared at me. “I know.” “Private investigations?” I nodded.Frank Atanacio She ate some food and I watched her chew.” she said. “What?” “How did you know about the dog fight this Sunday?” “I got it from someone in the driver’s seat. but she broke up with me.” “What’s her name?” “Zoraida Saez.” “Paulie. no.” she replied. “I had a girl. Again. but you put a stop to that.” she said.

Case File: Dog Eats Dog She nodded.” “Many ways. www. “Now why are you always smiling?” I asked. baby.bibliotastic. “Honestly?” I nodded. “Too bad we’re not meeting under different circumstances.” she said.” “Oh?” I nodded. We ate and drank champagne. many ways. And the afternoon went well.” “And I’m going to give you mine. I laughed.” She smiled.” She laughed.” “You can still get to know me. “Was wondering how you’d handle my ass in a sling. “I think you’d be a delight to get to know. “You have my number.” She laughed. “I’m trying to picture your ass in a sling.com 31 . I laughed.

” “I know you think I can take care of myself. shoot.” I nodded.Frank Atanacio Chapter 12 I had to meet with Mike Brandon. and he was good at it. He had a black eye on top of a black eye. “You fight back?” “Two of them grabbed me and the third punched the shit out of me. “What happened Mike?” “Some punks came in here and tried to rob the church. I looked around and I noticed everything was in order. and he was very difficult to find.” He smiled.” he replied. and I know those people need me. I can’t go home to my wife. He lifted his head up and I noticed it was covered with bruises. I walked in from the backside and he was sitting at his desk with his head down. and I know she’s worried sick. And the police are ready to jump on me as soon as you finish your investigation. and nothing was thrown to the floor.” .” I didn’t believe the deacon because he wasn’t the type to just let anyone grab him. “You okay Mike?” I asked.” I said. He had lost his cell phone so I had to track him down the hard way. “Did you ever change your clothes?” He nodded. “They came in here?” “Yeah. and dried blood on his shirt. He was a fighter. I can’t run my church.” “Why were you really arguing with Carlos Rivera?” “Money. but these past few days were really hard on me. “I won a lot of money and he refused to pay me.” “Then can I ask you a few questions?” “Do you have to?” I nodded. “You don’t believe me?” “No. but mine. I found him hiding in the basement of his church. it’s me. “I’ll give you that.” he said.” “But you didn’t give him enough time to get it?” I asked. come on. “I got no more fight left in me.” he said pointing to his face. He said he didn’t have it. Why should I fight back?” “Because you’re Deacon Mike Brandon. “Mike.” “Beat you up and took the money?” “Beat me up like this. “Okay. “So what really happened?” “I told you the truth.” he started.” “He covered everyone’s bet. “Sometimes bookies can’t cover the bets that same night. A kick ass kind of guy. “A new fight?” He nodded again.

“Really?” “Just hang in a little longer and let me get to the bottom of this. That just triggered something in me so I called his mama a name. it’s all semantics. and he didn’t carry that much on him.” I said. “I’m sorry Nick.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Were you friends?” “I don’t know him too well.” “I know. girl eats girl. It wasn’t a fair fight.” I said knowing that if he lied to stay out of jail would only come back to bite him in the ass. “I just don’t want to go to jail. and I swung at him and punched the shit out of him. “Come on Mike. www. “Not until I get all my little ducks in a row. I can take!” I smiled. I could cleaned up the floor with his scrawny ass. “But it was to get me to make bets with him.com 33 . He swung at me and missed. “I went over to Carlos Rivera and asked him for my money. “Just want to make sure you’re on the up and up with me.” I said. Nick. I told him I needed the money and he told me tough shit. I’m sorry for what I did. He said he wasn’t going to pay.” he said. You see everyone has a motive! It’s a dog eats dog world!” “Yeah.” He smiled. “Didn’t he buy you a drink?” “That cat never bought anyone a drink!” he shouted.” “You’re going to kick my ass?” “I’ll do more than that. dog eats dog.” “Yeah. “I hit the dog fights big.” he started. and I didn’t mean to punch that guy in the nose.bibliotastic.” I said.” “A waitress said she delivered a drink to you that was purchased by Carlos. give me something to hang my hat on. but I didn’t. “And you know that because?” “He’s a cheap ass!” “But you don’t know him that well.” “You.” “I’m just so sorry all of this started.” “I know him from the gambling only.” he said as he looked directly at me.” he confessed.” “You may not have even killed him.” I nodded.” I said using the driver’s line. “I understand the ramifications of death.” “The loss of your niece kind of put you out there. “Don’t play with me. “Are you reporting this to the police?” he asked. that Latina waitress did bring me a drink purchased by that cheap ass.” “So you do have a little fight left in you.” “Okay.” “Everyone lies!” “Even you?” He glared at me. you almost lost Zoraida.

” “Robbed?” I nodded. The reason I knew that he was lying to me was when he told the truth. I knew that there was more to his story.” “I like dancing.” I said. . “You told me that once.Frank Atanacio He nodded.” “But dealing with Froggy is an over boil.” I said sincerely. Mike.” I said. He smiled. I left. “Call the police and let them know you were robbed.” The deacon nodded. but I didn’t push it.” “Be careful Nick.” he continued. “I just want to find out if killing Carlos Rivera and the dog fights go hand and hand. and now look at me.” I said.” I grimaced. “You’re going to be dancing cheek to cheek with the devil.” “I’m going to start keeping a close leash on One Eye Froggy. He was hiding something.” “This guy is tough. “Keep in touch with your wife.” “Everything comes down to a boil for a reason.” I suggested. Mike Brandon was filled with adrenaline. “He’s not a punk gang member.” he added. I’m sure he felt the walls closing in.” the deacon warned. Not just yet. “Why don’t you go wash up. and that would soon come out like dirty little secrets. “Yeah. Nick. yeah robbed. you could hear the conviction. Maybe you were just a scape goat. “I thought I liked dancing too. There was no conviction. “I know. “Just want to see if his bark is worth than his bite. I need to find out if there’s a correlation. Wishing I had stayed home.

or you can simply ask for a drink.” “Is that a choice?” She nodded.bibliotastic.” “All bad I hope.” She laughed. I had all the plans to get the stains out of her dirty laundry. “Come in.” She smiled. “What. She quickly made a dash for the kitchen and came back with two cold bottled beers. “Then I choose to rip your clothes off and take advantage of you right here. “You’re going to be the lucky one.” “Most of it. I started those rumors. “Something funny?” “Yeah you. She was wearing a New York Mets baseball cap. What really turned me on was the fact that she seemed a bit frisky over the phone. “Well.” I said.” “Beer would be fine.” She was so organized.” she grinned. “My kind of girl. I knocked on the light oak wood door and Carolyn opened it up immediately. She was a pretty girl caught up in bad things.” She turned and smiled. Nick PT Barnum. I realized she could have had her choice of any guy she wanted. How so?” “Let’s just say I can play hockey without a stick. Everything has a place. and we’ll take it slow. “A beer drinker. “I started as I looked around at her neat apartment. she was hot.com 35 . “I wanted to make sure it found its way to your front steps. but why couldn’t she get her finances straightened out? “How do we start?” I nervously asked. and a number 15 Mets black jersey with tight white shorts. It was out of the blue and certainly unexpectedly. Every stain can come out of dirty laundry. “So. I was planning to give her a thorough background check. Damn. and there’s a place for everything.” she said. Perhaps she was waiting by the window.” www.” I joked. “Are you Nick PT Barnum?” she asked jokingly.” “I heard so much about you. “You can rip my clothes off and take advantage of me right here. It was as if she was expecting me right at that moment. but decided against it.” “You thought I’d be a fancy girl?” I laughed. “You keep teasing me and I bet you won’t get lucky.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 13 I was pleased that Carolyn Lopez called me over to her apartment for a drink. Or at least pile them high on the bedroom floor.” “I make certain of that. “I am. I can’t be fancy?” I laughed again and she pushed me.” I said. but she chose me. I’ve elected to simply allow the chips to fall where they may.” I smiled. “Nice place you have here.” “Good. sit down.

” “Is there a need to laugh?” “None.” I said. “Right here?” “Problem with that?” she asked. “I thought I saw you in the newspapers once or twice before. “Or you’d rather not talk about it?” “I just want to spend some good times with a regular guy.” I said.” I replied.” “When was the last time you had hair on your face?” she asked. She sort of reminded me of Zoraida.” I smiled.” “Just make me your bitch.” “That’s business?” “For me it is. “Now get undressed. everything goes flying. “And who wants to keep on your good side so I’d be in your pants by the night’s end. not Zoraida.” she said.” “Really?” “I would know that.” she replied. “I’m asking as a friend who wants to help. “You’re laughing at me?” I asked. “Did you have a moustache once?” “No. When you’re with Nick. “No.” She smiled. “It’s the best I got. but I had to block that out of my mind.” “Is that dirty talk?” “You want more?” “At least better than that.” “I’ll be the judge of that.” she said.” she replied. . “No business.” she said. and take me.” “I am.” I answered. “It was a terrific date.” I started.Frank Atanacio “I get that a lot. “I understand.” She laughed. “How did you start gambling?” She looked puzzled. “I just didn’t want to break any of your furniture as I make wild and passionate love to you. “With you. I wanted to sleep with Carolyn that night.” “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.” “Oh you are a pig!” “Carolyn.” “I bet you do. “About two weeks ago.” she said softly as she began to undress.” “I’m not that easy. even morals.

Nevertheless.bibliotastic. because I couldn’t believe I was really here with her. Hell. Nick PT Barnum needed no comparison. It wasn’t that I wasn’t good looking. and I’m not a stock-broker type. so take notes!” She smiled. and certainly no Viagra.com 37 . I bet I’d pale in comparison to the men she’d usually date. I’m a great looking guy. It’s just that she was so attractive. www.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “I’m sure you will. I really had to pinch myself.

but I’m a simple guy.” I started.” “Someone is telling you lies. Keep it simple. She nodded as I walked closer to her. “Captain Camacho wanted me to give you my complete cooperation. “I hear that you cause a lot of these dead bodies.” “Could it have been from a counter of table?” “Do you mean if he could have snapped his neck by falling backwards on a counter or table?” I nodded. Even he admitted to that. She wore designer glasses.” “He neck was napped?” She stared disdainfully at me.” . It appeared that her job kept her from keeping up with her appearance. “Can we talk away from the dead?” I asked. “But he didn’t have a broken nose.” I replied. “Mr. “Jenny doesn’t lie. his neck was snapped. “Information gave me directions to this haunting room. and I’ll be out of your hair very quickly. “We’ve determined the cause of death to be a broken neck. and her blonde hair had sprinkles of gray. I nodded. There were programs that only their computers supported. Barnum. She was here to answer some questions.” “I was trying to be fashionable late.” I said. and there was access to the internet with medical ties. with a fit body structure.” In her office was one of the few personal computers allowed by hospital administrators. “Listen. and checking personal information or email wasn’t permitted either. Nevertheless.” She smiled.” “Of course not. Dr. right?” “True.” “Sure he did. and my job was to find out how they got dead.” she said as she continued examining the body.Frank Atanacio Chapter 14 The next morning I had to visit Dr. she wasn’t here to attract me.” I started. “I know you want to use medical terminology on me.” The doctor smiled. “The deacon punched him in the nose. Her job was to examine the dead. Marcia Freeman at the Bridgeport Hospital Morgue. and the fact that she hasn’t any make-up on didn’t help either.” “So a punch in the nose could have caused him to fall backwards.” “A broken nose couldn’t have killed him.” she replied as we walked to a small corner office.” “Yes.” “She nodded. “And that could have killed him. “Sure. She seemed well rested. “Yes.” she agreed. “Got her trained. Personal computers were not allowed. “Right on time.” I whispered.” she said not looking up. “She’s a good captain. I was not to surprised that she was touching a dead body on a table in front of her. Freeman was a tall slender woman.” I said mostly to myself.” I said. The hospital wanted to make sure their patients were never ignored. “So you wanted some information on Carlos Rivera?” she asked. “So it could be ruled out as an accident. She grabbed an old doughnut from the coffee counter and bit into it slowly.” She smiled. but her slight bags under her eyes told a different story. Her nose was long. but cute. “But there simply was no traffic to get stuck in.

PT Barnum is the greatest showman.” she started. “So he did bust Carlos in the nose?” “Clocked him good.” “My ex-husband worked for him. and me Nick Barnum. “I was on duty when Carlos Rivera came in.” I said.” “How do you know this?” She looked levelly at me.” “You know Carlos?” “No.” I nodded. He’d rather have others do the work for him. She grinned. but they’re not using it?” She nodded. “Yes?” “This Froggy guy. damn you’re slow.” I asked.” she answered. “You decided to tell the captain of police your history?” www. “They’re going to have another examiner supply them with the same information.” “I’m sorry.” she started as I turned back to face her. and then they’ll take it from there. Lots of it. “He did break his nose and he wasn’t holding the Bloody Mary. I had to have something great because I’m certainly no showman. “Didn’t the police tell you this?” “They kept it from me.” she said.” she answered. “I see his work come through this hospital often.com 39 .” “Me too.” “But when you found it had something to do with Froggy. he would have changed that. and the only thing found in his stomach were the ingredients to a Bloody Mary.” “So he could have been framed?” She nodded. “And the deacon drinking a Bloody Mary?” “I’m kidding.” “So you have evidence that could help free an innocent man. and homosexuals. “I’m not really the greatest.bibliotastic. He hates black people. “Why?” “My connections. “But why?” I asked myself as I turned away from the doctor. and missed the drink shot up and splattered all over him.” she smiled. “If I did. He has this controversial way of handling these groups of people. I hear you’re a show off.” “Do you know his business?” I asked.” “Was Carlos drunk?” “His alcohol levels were very high. women. “Not really sure.” “Again.” I Paused as she bit into the doughnut again. and when the deacon swung.” “Yeah. It’s that play on words. How did you ever become Bridgeport’s greatest private eye? Carlos was holding the drink. “People like that man avoid scenarios that will have him come into contact with these groups of people.” I nodded. “You know.” I started.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “He was holding a Bloody Mary in his hand. “The police knows it. “How do you know this.” “Well.” I paused.

” she paused. “I think Detective O’Brien wanted me to make sure you get everything they got. and no.” she replied. I walked out of her workplace and looked at the autopsy report. call me. her eyes shifting away from me.” she said. right?” “Even still. “Call the police. “I’ve known him for a number of years through his wife.” I nodded. She smiled. “I could never have a bad night. and because of the ties you have?” She pondered those questions for a moment and then answered. That’s all.” “You’ve been a great help.Frank Atanacio She shrugged.” “I also know the deacon. “Too bad your audience consists of dead people.” “B B?” She nodded. “I have a great deal of work to do. and I stick with it. is she on duty?” “He. “So the other doctor who handed everything over to te police. “I’m here and I believe the police wanted you to speak to me. “I would never jeopardize my job for anyone! I report the truth. glancing at the empty coffee pot.” I nodded again.” She said softly.” “I wish it were under different circumstances. “If you need anything else. She slipped it into her pocket and smiled at me.” She smiled. I was the ideal person to speak to.” “Because of what you found. I handed the doctor my business card and she accepted it.” “Damn you’re a funny girl. “So the reports have no prejudices.” she half shouted.” she said as she handed me the paper.” “Good.” I said.” she said she took out a pair of surgical gloves from a box on the counter. but I studied it like a medical student would. “Me too.” I Nodded. “For now.” “Sometimes it’s better that way. “Is that all the questions you have?” she asked. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I called her immediately and explained.” “After the reports?” “When I completed the reports is when all this came to light. No matter what!” “Just checking. “Captain Jenny Camacho and I go a long way back. . “If you think of anything else I need to know.” I said.” “Here’s a print out of the autopsy report.” “So you think.” she said warmly. “I was the first to handle his corpse. She nodded.

While the ripples were still spreading. I liked it. I couldn’t remember a case ever being so delicate. Again they talked amongst themselves. I’d had a few sweethearts since Zoraida. They were always talking about the way I live. It lets me be me. and getting the upper hand is what I always strived for. there has to be no room for being challenged. She told me to try an office job.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 15 Everything didn’t seem to be going the way I expected it. but they never approached me. www. but a rule nevertheless. I took off my gun and laid down on the sofa that I had stored there for dumping purposes. and I had mine. when O’Brien spoke to me. Everything has to be hit head on. and how I was never home. he seemed challenged. Because if you do. it’ll end up staying over like an unwanted family member who has nothing better to do than to sponge off of you. but that was far too delicate for me. She was afraid of what my job was going to do to her family. Funny how relationship works. and the way she drove her sports car. I couldn’t get some much needed rest. I remembered her kisses. I lay there thinking and my thoughts kept coming around to Zoraida Saez. I fell asleep. She was only trying to protect her son. She wanted me to quit what I was doing once. In my line a work. Again with the delicate. It’s difficult rule to follow. B B had her one. Everything we did together developed into a pattern that inked itself permanently in my consciousness. They complained amongst themselves. I kept thinking about that word. and knew that I wasn’t trained to do anything else. I guess they thought I was much too delicate to hear the truth. and it’s all I knew.com 41 . I remembered everything we did together. She once said she didn’t want to let fear in the door. even a little fear. Zoraida was a whole package deal. but she was the one I didn’t want to let go. and I fully understood. he lacked conviction. and the thoughts of that beautiful girl intensified. but I never got around to doing it. Delicate? My house came with a farm porch that stretched from one side of the house to the other. When the deacon spoke to me. O’Brien had hit it on the head when he called her the one.bibliotastic. I thought about it. Pushing her skirt way up high so that I could be teased unmercifully. I knew my neighbors complained about it. her laughs. When you allow something to challenge you. Delicate again? Tired and bothered as I was. Without being delicate. it may cause you to lose your life.

and had lots of dreams. “He got caught up in places he shouldn’t be in.” “I am. She was a thin. So I decided to hire her as my secretary. She wasn’t very efficient. I’m going to pay her a visit. “You know I’m right.” I said. She was oddly my right hand man. She had left over seven messages on Mike Brandon cell phone. That was a big plus in this business. and knew how to handle people. and I would always look out for her. but she wasn’t at all wild. and she stormed in like a woman on a mission. It was upsetting and she wanted to know what I was doing about it. “You haven’t glowed like that since Zoraida. what the hell is going on?” she asked as she stood directly in front of me with her hands on her hips.” she continued. My door opened. “Why are you glowing?” “Glowing?” “Yeah. and drag us down with you.” I replied without holding back any punches.” “What are you talking about?” “You got a girl!” “Don’t be crazy. She set the bar high for herself.” I smiled.” “Janet.” she said. pretty Latin woman with dark short hair. but he has failed to return her calls. ask yourself.” she said. as if she owned the joint. It was a fashion statement for her. I nodded.” Janet said. “Can’t have my favorite deacon locked up.” “Maybe I’m pregnant. “Hey. She had a nose piercing and a tongue ring. that wasn’t going to be much of a problem. She had olive skin and big brown eyes that often displayed a puppy expression. frantic. It has put him in a bad spot. I bet. She was always looking out for me.” “Don’t be an ass. She was intelligent. She started when she was in high school just doing some light filing. “Janet. “Okay Nick. She couldn’t continue to enjoy herself until she knew what was going on. Knowing her.” Janet was visiting her favorite vacation spot when she first heard the news. It was frightening and unsettling. and he hung around people he shouldn’t be seen with. you pimp!” .Frank Atanacio Chapter 16 Janet returned from vacation. She didn’t realize that the deacon lost his cell. “What’s up with Mike Brandon?” “Looks like the deacon is in serious trouble. you are. “Damn you men know how to screw life up.” “You got a new girl. “Yeah. but she served her purpose. She was steady. and she heard the news all the way down in Florida. Maybe try and give her some comfort.” “Yeah.” “Don’t play with me Nick. I got use to her and she got use to me. but had planned to reach her goals. I’m all over this.” she said giving me a curious look.” “Poor mama. Things would certainly not be the same.” I said. She was finishing up college.” “I’m not glowing. She had a sour look on her face and her expression was clear. “I hope you’re doing something about it. “When did you ever know me to play around about a serious situation?” Janet worked for me for about five years. and I wouldn’t know what to do without her if she decided to leave.” “What is B B doing about this?” “She’s worried. Her favorite deacon was accused of murder. glowing.

” “Better looking than Zoraida?” “I don’t compare girls. Let her stand on her own two feet and be her own person. and you just admitted it.” she started.” she put her fingers on her chin. I smiled. “Let’s just leave it at that. But hey.” “Come on.” she chuckled.” “You see Nick. “Why?” “Got to watch my old man’s back.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “You can’t tell that by just looking into my face. “What?” “I’ll find out who she is.” I said.” “It really isn’t nothing.” “Good. “Come on pimp daddy.” I said. is just a booty call?” “Booty call?” “Yeah.” “Do what?” “You shouldn’t compare girls like that.” I smiled.” www. Reminding you of Zoraida is only telling me that you wish she was Zoraida.” “It’s nothing.” She gave me the middle finger.” “It’s been two years!” “Aha!” “What?” “You said It’s been two years.” “You had sex with her?” “You said it. “So you’re telling me that this nothing. and it went a little too far.” I said. “What’s her name?” “I’m telling you Janet. “I’m a pimp daddy.” she said. “But she reminds me a little of her though. “That means you are seeing someone knew. “But damn Nick.” I smiled.” “Nothing? Strange name.” I said. spill the beans.” I laughed. “I just can’t picture you a booty call type of person. Zoraida’s body isn’t even cold yet.” she said. really.” She smiled. Nicky boy. “Carolyn Lopez? Hmm. Don’t live with Zoraida through her. “We just met.com 43 . people change.” “No. “That hurts. “You are college educated.” I said. “Don’t do that.” “Carolyn Lopez. it’s nothing.” I tried to explain.bibliotastic.” “Damn. “I don’t think I know her.” Janet laughed.

“Damn. She continued laughing as she walked out of my office and slammed the door behind her.” I said.” I whispered. “Just leave things alone.” .” She smiled. “I think she will too.Frank Atanacio I gave her my middle finger.

He had a thick beard and a full moustache. There was a small arena at the center of the room and two pit-bulls tied on each side of the arena. She blew a kiss at me. but you know the deal. but I played it off and looked surprised to see her. I smiled. www. okay. It was held at the Chico Social Club in a blue collar community. “You want a drink?” “Scotch and water. They were closed of course. “Nick!” Carolyn called. He simply just let me in. “Oh. The building was situated just beyond the Fairfield town line and just short of the on-ramp to I95 South bound heading toward New York City. I sipped. He also had exposed hair on his chest pushing up toward his neck. I knew that the sign was meant for the would be gamblers. A community that had neighborhood watches. A wooden trailer was parked in the back. He had lots of curly hair on his shoulder and upper arm.” I repeated. I noticed that the gamblers were drawn to that particular spot because of her. She handed me a draft. I had to be there. I found myself drifting in and out of reality.” she replied. They had anger in their eyes. In fact. The one on the right side of the arena had a missing ear.bibliotastic. My eyes went into puppy mode. Behind her sat the bouncer.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 17 Sunday came rather quickly as I hustled over to Chico for the dog fighting contest. Everything you wanted in a girl with the exception of the gambling debt. She was the complete package. He did not ask me for identification. It was partially covered. “Probably making love to you. to her natural beauty. There was a strip of stores on that side of the road next to Chico. “I don’t pay for beers. and Mike Brandon was my friend. They were like a well oiled machine. Both the dogs looked like they just came out of a war zone. I followed the directions to the back of the shop and into a dark stairwell. but the flower shop at the end had a light on. He wore farmer overalls and a wife beater tee-shirt. I slept with that! It wasn’t that hard to admit. I knocked on the dirty gray metal door and a thin tall dark skinned Latino male opened it up. about a hundred yards from the stair-well. She was a very attractive woman and the men knew it. Oh baby! “What are you doing later tonight?” I asked. and I had to keep digging. exposing some dog crates. He gave me an up and down look and allowed me passage. “Here!” I knew where she was. “Yeah. Nevertheless. In this case dogs used for fighting. The pit-bull on the left side had dried blood on his face that completely covered scars. but I too was drawn to her charm. She was handing the orders to the bartender and he was quickly handing her the drinks. “Working tonight?” I asked as I kissed her cheek.” “A beer?” “Scotch and water. or he didn’t expect a password. I saw Carolyn Lopez standing at the corner of the bar taking drink orders. The trailer was obviously used to transport animals.. The smell of urine was strong as it hit me like a ton of bricks. Damn. and fighting clenched teeth.” I nodded. I walked toward the light and noticed a sign beneath it pointing to the rear of the building. but failed to see this happening in their own back yard.” she said. A beer would be great!” She smiled.com 45 . It was my job. He was a bear of a man.

He had a patch over one eye and his facial feature and popped out eye had reptilian features. “How much what?” “Are you betting. “How much? You asshole. I’m leaving her alone. “The lady has work to do. There was a man standing next to the bouncer who really looked like a frog. I noticed the excitement in the patrons’ eyes.” “Last name too. why do you bitches have to make this shit so difficult?” he said as he wrote my name in the book and walked away. “Hey!” The bouncer shouted.” “Damn.” I said. you asshole!” “Barnum.” “Come back again. Froggy looked curiously at me as I tried not to stare. He was studying the aftermath briefly and muttered. They stopped directly in front of me. They needed medical attention. Perhaps he was attracted to my tall good-looking features.” said the bouncer. but it probably did attract his attention. and then a calm.” I said. and horrible spectacle.” she smiled.Frank Atanacio I smiled.” “I’m sorry. I couldn’t believe people actually betted on these types of things. and this was probably their last night alive. “How much?” a man in a light gray suit and a pimp hat asked me. . I quickly turned to face the dogs as they went at it in the ring.” “Your name?” “Nick. but gratification nevertheless. and my heart ached.” I said. but I had to be here. I couldn’t believe how ugly he looked.” “I know right where that is. and how much I placed as a bet. “Hey!” The bouncer called. “The missing ear dog.” The bouncer growled. I understood that I was violating his turf. yet I wanted to feed him a fly. The bouncer walked up to me with Froggy in tow. “Leave the lady alone. Perhaps he was wondering why I was here. I know. right?” “Only if you wanna meet me between the sheets. It was a dreadful. The excitement was just about to begin as the lights dimmed and everyone quickly ran toward the arena. I looked toward the arena and the dog with the missing ear was covered in blood and lifeless. I get it. I knew that look. “Yes?” “Pay-out time. There was a small heavy set man standing in front of the dogs holding cash in both hands. He was staring sullenly at me.” “Ten. “I know. and the bouncer smiled. Thank God I only put down ten bucks. The dogs in the arena were ripping at each other and all of a sudden there was a shriek. That ten dollars wasn’t going to make him any money. “Holy-shit!” Foggy turned toward the ring and then his eyes smiled in triumph. He was so excited with the outcome of the dog fight. It was false gratification. I was doing it for a friend. I saw it a million times. She’s got work to do. He knew that the house had made a lot of money. It was a total disgrace. It was show time. “After work. but did not get off his chair. He turned and whispered something to the bouncer and returned his glare toward me again. Glancing around the club. and what dog?” I looked at the dogs in the arena and really didn’t want to bet on either one of them.

“Barnum?” Froggy looked confused. “You’re that guy asking questions?” “That’ll be me. “You placed ten!” “Holy-shit. Normally it would have taken several hits to knock me out. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I had to think about the bet I had just lost.” he said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Oh.” Froggy smiled.” I gulped.” said the bouncer. and my body ached.” “Everyone who came tonight knew about the minium. “I su. and the losers. of course. But let me tell you this. “It’s hard to collect money from a dead man.. but I just realized that someone had hit me in the back of the head with a blunt instrument. “What the fuck is this?” “I lost. “Besides. I didn’t know there was a minimum. “I don’t carry that much money on me.bibliotastic. I saw Carolyn Lopez worrying and finally. A flash shot right before my eyes. but whatever they used was heavy and precise. The winners won twenty times the amount they placed. “Well?” he growled. I’m gonna have to kill you so the others can see that we don’t play around.” “Ten thousand dollars you asshole!” “Ten thousand what?” “Dollars!” “I didn’t bet that much!” “The minium bet on this fight was a thousand dollars!” shouted the bouncer. If not.” “You took out some of my men. I’m giving you to the end of this week to pay. well the losers just pay. I saw men shoes in front of me before everything went dark.com 47 . but I had to think. The bouncer moved closer to me and his big belly was unpleasantly touching my arm.” “Can I plead my case?” “I can’t kill you.” I said as I handed him ten dollars. www. I wanted to push him away. “Have our money!” he demanded as he pointed his finger into my chest. I saw the room spinning.” There was a quick thump and I fell to my knees..” I said.

so that became a task in itself. The dog was almost purring. and I knew the bags weren’t garbage. “I don’t think we should fall asleep. “You with me buddy?” .” I said. but I managed to crawl toward the first one.” The dog whimpered again. what hit me?” I said softly. The dog licked my arm.Frank Atanacio Chapter 18 When I came to I realized I was sitting in a dark alley way covered in garbage and smelling my own blood. “Of course we can become friends.” I said. I mustered enough strength to zip open the bag and out fell the other pit-bull. and the dog looked into mine. “Damn. “You rest. and my face was covered in cuts. The winner of that contest. It looked like they took turns punching me around while I was unconscious because my entire body ached.” I said. “I know how you feel dog. lying on his side with his paw frozen with rigomortise was the dog that made me lose ten thousand dollars. that one-eyed punk the money if he would have guaranteed me the life of that poor dog. He crawled closer to me and fell into my lap. I would have given Froggy. It appeared that he had his throat cut. “It really is a dog eats dog world.” I said as the dog crawled closer to me. He went into a whimpering frenzy. He was stabbed twice in the throat. In the bag was the dog with the missing ear. because I really couldn’t feel my legs. “We better talk about something to keep us awake. “I wonder what these monkey’s left behind?” I said as I pulled the first one toward me. I noticed the dog had a very difficult time trying to keep its head up. I didn’t realize it at first.” I said. I just knew that the duffle bags had something in them. “You’re thinking that this is a Yankee town. Perhaps it was because my nose was full of dried blood. “What the hell did these animals do to this poor dog?” On the ground next to my feet. The dog too was looking for comfort. Maybe you should have gambled too.” The dog’s purr was quieter. my friend. but somehow survived it. right?” The dog was quiet. “But if you owed them money. “Should I?” I pulled the other bag toward me and it moved. He put his bloody head on my lap and closed his eyes. “I like the Mets. His bloodied head motionless on the ground. However. Or perhaps it was just the beating I got that made everything difficult.” I said. “You like baseball?” The dog didn’t answer. and this was his reward. but I knew they were bleeding. but I knew it moved on its own because I wasn’t touching the bag at the time. He tried to clench his teeth and growl. It took some doing. In response to some sort of private investigator’s instincts. “I know what you’re thinking. Something that wasn’t going into the garbage can. There were two canvas duffle bags laying about three feet away from me. and the other duffle bag next to it. They were next to each other side by side. “Don’t tell me it’s the other dog?” I whispered. We may never get up. and then stopped almost as I put my hand on his head. they wouldn’t have tried to kill you. I couldn’t feel my lips. the smell from the bag was so strong I almost threw up. I opened the bag up and at first I couldn’t recognize the stench. I looked for the zipper and it was dark outside. but couldn’t. I looked into his bloody eyes.” The dog continued purring.

It was just too much for me to take as I drifted back into the unconsciousness. www.” I whispered. “Damn. I smelled the rotting dog next to me. “Buddy?” I pulled the dog’s head toward me and realized he had died.Case File: Dog Eats Dog There was no sound coming from the dog at all.bibliotastic. and I kept petting the dog on my lap. I hope I don’t die alone.” But at least he didn’t die alone? That wasn’t even comforting! I kept patting the dog and my eyelids were getting to heavy. “But at least he didn’t die alone.com 49 .

” said O’Brien. “Can you help me out?” “I should let you rot there!” “It stinks so bad in here. “Come in.Frank Atanacio Chapter 19 I heard a great deal of commotion. “You know me!” “I thought I did.” I said.” “A whore Nick?” O’Brien looked disappointed. I couldn’t believe it. Pete. “No dogs. “Someone threw me away. “It was really touch and go for a moment.” “Those women standing next to my police officers tell something different. but I’m still good. you didn’t want to pay.” I continued. “Nick?” “God?” “No you idiot.” said O’Brien as he stuck his hand in for grabbing.” “What the hell are you doing in the garbage?” “Someone threw me away. “Hello. I was just about to make some coffee.” “I really want to tell you that you’re a sight for battered eyes.” “What?” “They’re given us a written statement.” I called. and when I opened my eyes up it was still dark. “Grab my hand. “Froggy must have cleaned up his act.” I said as he helped me out of the dumpster.” “Those old hens were put up to it!” . you too.” “You shouldn’t be drinking. I didn’t have the energy to stand. until I realized that it wasn’t darkness from the lack of sun. There was still a lot of commotion. and making a spectacle of yourself.” “Pete. carrying on with a prostitute. but I was far too deep. “I’m in here. It was darkness from within a garbage dumpster. “Help!” I called.” “The dog fight in Chico?” He shook his head from side to side.” I replied.” I tried to reach for the lid. It took several minutes before someone realized that I was in the trash.” I smiled faintly. we checked. “Yeah. The plastic lid shot open. “I wasn’t. “It’s me.” “What about the dead dogs in the alley?” I shouted as I pointed to the alley. and someone peered in at me.” He said as he helped me stand to my feet.” “What?” “They told them that you were here all night singing. “Their pimp.” I said. Someone had picked me up and tossed me into a garbage dumpster like Tuesday’s trash.” “Explain the beating.

and he knows some important people.” It just accord to me as O’Brien was helping me to his police cruiser.” he said pointing toward some police officers and several woman standing next to them. “It came up empty.” “No. You know that.” He nodded.” “You were out here doing whatever. I’m not going to arrest you. you know it’s a game he’s playing. check out the club!” “Let’s just go so I can let these people go back to their homes. “I’m telling you. it’s not what it looks like.” “Pete.” he said.” He grimaced. Or at least I couldn’t pay. Froggy was a much more human presence than the mayor.” “You didn’t have to. “Pete. I came here for the dog-fight!” I pleaded. thanks for getting me out of that can. you stink. and then there is just you. “Let’s just leave this alone for now. we have to do something about Froggy.” www.” “Again Nick.com 51 . He was a genuine threat to the citizens of this city. Just like he’s doing to Mike Brandon. “It’s you.” “You just had one too many.” “Can’t say what isn’t true. but I should for being a stupid ass. This would never fly if I really had to arrest you. and they took it out on me and the dogs.” “That hurts. “I lost a lot of money and I didn’t pay.” “What do you want me to say?” “That you’re getting leads. but he can account for every penny. They said you were out here with a woman and she demanded payment for the sex you’ve had. He does have a great deal of money. I was just wondering if O’Brien knew it.” “Can I bribe you?” “Don’t get cute or I’ll throw your ass back into the dumpster. those woman over there.” “That makes him honest?” “I didn’t say that. How can I believe you over them? There are several of them. “We have increased our investigation.” “That didn’t answer my question.” he said.” “I should have left your stank ass there.” he said. “Are given us statements. I’m telling you.bibliotastic.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Let me take you home.” he started as he turned to face me. They killed two pit bulls last night and must have taken them away.” “Pete. “You’re really stinking up my cruiser. they were put up to it.” “Listen.” “Then lie. “Don’t worry.” “Must be the lack of evidence.” “Does that remotely sound like something I would do?” I asked.” “So you’re not making any progress?” “We’re doing th best that we could. He’s the highest tax payer this city has.” “Pete.” “Well.” “But you love me. Nick.” I said as he helped me into the car. and that the deacon will be okay. “You got caught up with booze and a prostitute. “Let’s go.” “Let’s just get you home.” he said as he entered the car. I can’t take your side on this. We’ll work on something to help the deacon out.

“For now.” “For now. .” I grimaced.Frank Atanacio He smiled. Nick. “And the deacon continues to squirm.” he said.

” “Don’t put anything over on that woman. I think.” “We’re going to continue checking on that.” O’Brien started. If anything. “So you do believe there is dog fighting?” “I believe you. His never being married had something to do with being a police officer.” he said as he tossed me a dry towel. He had been doing it for over 30 years.” “Froggy?” He nodded.” I said.” he said. “What?” “Gets the money from his church. “There were several scheduled.” He nodded.” said O’Brien. but he didn’t have to.” “Deacon Brandon wouldn’t stoop that low.” “He has a great deal of followers.” “I guess. I smiled.” O’Brien gave me a side-ways glance.com 53 . He helped me into my house and made sure I was cleaned up.” I replied. He would always look for ways to raise money.” “Maybe she didn’t know. He would never actually say it. www.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 20 Detective Peter O’Brien lived his whole life as a bachelor.” I restated. “How many dog fights?” he asked. “Can I offer you a drink?” “Enough with the booze.” I said.” he said.” “If all this comes out. “I just got to bet on the main event. I think the deacon thought he was helping the church.” he said. “I can’t see Mike betting on those fights and she not knowing where the money is going.” “That place wasn’t just no dog-fighting backyard type. and high ceilings that totally whispered privilege. “And the deacon had his hands dirty. I should have realized that when the bets were a thousand dollar minium. “I’d like to loosen him a bit with my fist for having those dogs killed.” I said. “Maybe she didn’t want to know. he was a good friend and he really cared about me and the deacon. “Not with B B standing over him.” “A thousand?” “Something I couldn’t afford.” “Okay. “Can’t make you promises though. “I’ve known her for a long time. He is a well tight man. She’s no dummy. “I’m glad.” He nodded. “What? I couldn’t. I don’t know how he could have waged a thousand dollars a fight. However. and the hours were just too long.” he said. “The place had walnut paneling.” “She would have stopped it.” “From his parishioners.” “I don’t know.bibliotastic. “Mostly poor.

He still finds money to send needy kids to baseball games..” “And put him back on the straight and narrow. He always comes through when basketball camps come around. I’m sure he’s gambling for his flock. Mike doesn’t want anyone going without.” he said. “It makes sense in a way. “These days?” “Right. Maybe he had to do what he had to do. “Which is what?” I asked.” “So we got to help him out of this mess. . Gamble in the name of God. Certainly not for personal gain.” “Of course.” O’Brien smiled.Frank Atanacio “And Mike still manages to send needed kids to summer camps.” I said.

Miller.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 21 I was in my office with my feet up on my desk taking in a few moments of much needed rest. “We all are. that he is. but I didn’t want Janet to look bad. but not a lot. “This is my boss.” Janet said.” “Yeah.” “Sit down.” “Salt of the earth.” “So you have no financial problems with him?” I continued. My face was still aching. “Rusty Miller. “Mr.” I started explaining.” I said as I pointed to one of my client’s chairs.” he said. “Are you married?” He nodded. “No big debts.com 55 . but my body seemed to have accepted the beating I sustained when Janet came in with an overweight black man wearing baggy shorts.” I said. “I do owe him a little money.” “So he made payment arrangements with you?” Mr. He wore oval shaped glasses with black rims. “Wife know you have no job?” “She knows what I do.” “Are you behind?” “No. “he said.” he said. I wasn’t really in the mood or the mind set to take on any new clients. Nick PT Barnum. “Do you owe Froggy money?” “Yes. His hair was dark color with beads of gray. You don’t have that fear?” “I don’t have any enemies.” Janet started. “I’ll let you guys talk.” www. “And you’re debt free?” He nodded again. Miller nodded. “They have this fear brought on by Froggy. “He is a good man.” said Janet almost too professionally.bibliotastic. His eyes were tiny.” he said. “I’m paying on time.” “Professionally?” He nodded. “What do you do for a living?” “I gamble. He looked at me quizzically. “I’m sorry for what has happened to the deacon. and a Malcolm-X tee-shirt. but we’re good.” “How do you do?” I said as I stood up quickly and shook his hand. He smiled. but his nose big. “Was gambling with the deacon that night. Miller.” “Mr. not behind on any gambling debts?” “I told you. “What do you mean?” “People find it too difficult to talk about what happened to Mike Brandon. are you okay to talk?” I asked.

“And if you don’t tell me. trying to steady himself. “Hell. He didn’t say it. Mike. “To help. debt will be the last thing you’re going to worry about. The deacon doesn’t really hang around with such bad elements. I do it all!” “Dog fighting?” “Cock fighting too.” “That’s just a fact.” I smirked.” “I don’t think so. It’s beneath him. “There is no need to grill me like that. but it was clearly written across his face. He really didn’t expect me to believe he came here to help the deacon. He wanted to pick my brain for Froggy.” he half stood and then sat back down.” “You like taking decent men to these places too?” “I don’t understand. . Nothing at all. we make enough money to take a vacation every year around Christmas time.” he said. “Why are you really here?” I asked. he is. scratch offs. the so called deacon is not as honest as you think. “If the odds are in your favor.” “He wanted to know how you found out about the dog-fighting contest. What do you mean?” “I’m just wondering what attracted the deacon to something like this. I could hear him taking a deep breath. “Whether you believe me or not.” “Just trying to find out where you found Mike Brandon. He doesn’t want anything from you.Frank Atanacio I smiled. “Whether it be the lottery. “I told you. ponies.” “But you don’t fear him?” “Why should I?” “Because you’re here.” he snorted.” he said bravely.” He was quiet. I’m a professional gambler. That’s how I make my money. “I didn’t find him.” “Yeah.” “He found me. I came here to talk about the deacon. “It’s a mystery to me. That’s how I roll. dogs. “But I didn’t come here to talk about my profession.” he said.” he replied. right?” “I came to help you.” I smiled again. He wanted some information from me.” “How much are you really in debt?” “What the hell?” Rusty Miller was struggling with his confidence.” “I’m a God loving man. is all.” I reworded.” “Which buddy?” I asked again. but you’re beneath him too. “Tell me?” “I came here to help my buddy out. “What does Froggy want with me?” “Nothing.” I added. The man shook his head slowly from side to side. trust me. jai-alai.” he said. And forgive me for saying this. “Which buddy?” “Mike.

“You will never see me again. “But otherwise. “But she told him you already knew.” He nodded. She was in good spirits.” I nodded.” he said as he forced himself off my client’s chair using my desk as a brace. Do I make myself clear?” “Definitely understand you. laughing. I’m going to put a bullet into your fat ass... “Last night. He walked out. You make sure he gets this information.bibliotastic.” He nodded.” I nodded. “When was the last time you saw her?” I asked.” “Good.” I said. “I spoke with her last night.com 57 . “I want you to go back to Froggy and tell him that his goons he had tailing me told me where the dog fight was being held. “One other thing?” “Yeah?” “Don’t you ever come by my office pretending you’re the deacon’s friend to pry information out of me.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “He told me he’d knock my debt down if I got the information for him.” “What?” “All that until she saw you get your ass kicked.” I said.” “How was she?” I nervously asked. www. she was okay. “He suspected Carolyn Lopez.” he continued. she was fine. “I already knew.” I smiled. If I ever see you again. It had nothing to do with Carolyn Lopez.” “She’s telling the truth.

” “Trust me. I told him where I got my information from. I didn’t have to be a mind-reader to know what she was thinking. “You should go home and rest. “The deacon is out there alone.” she said. “It’s not like that.” “I’m just stating a fact.” “I’m too tired to argue.” she spread her hands in a helpless gesture. you’re taking the rest of the day off. She knew we weren’t a couple. “A man without a mission. .” I smiled.” She smiled. and I think that will satisfy Froggy.” I glanced at my secretary. “Could my intelligence be rubbing off on you?” Janet tried to recall the lessons I’ve given her.” I said. It was like trying to remember good dreams. Maybe he preached paths like this.” “You think something’s going to happen to your new friend?” “Carolyn?” “Yeah. “Getting smarter?” She nodded.” “Mike had always dealt with difficult hands. Furniture stores opened and closed. Nick?” Janet asked. “I spoke to B B and she tells me that he is worried.” “I guess you’re right. “You really look like shit. So many different stores opened and closed on this street over the past few years. “Yeah.” “The deacon without a church. “You look like it more than you could ever feel like it. but she was sweet.Frank Atanacio Chapter 22 I stood up from my desk and turned to face the window that over looked downtown Main Street. and she made me laugh. “I’ve given that fat-ass what he wanted to know. I guess.” “Why you thanking me?” “For being here.” “I don’t think so.” “I feel like it. others were just bad experiences.” I followed Janet’s lean figure toward the door. My office has been here through all that. Janet. Some were here for the long haul.” I replied.” I whispered. and it’s going to remain here until my last breath.” she suggested.” She smiled at that. and now it’s gone giving way to another pharmacy. tips touching my chin and thought about Carolyn Lopez briefly.” I said. “And he always came out of it on top.” said Janet. “You okay.” “With pay?” “Of course.” I crossed my fingers. but now he’s experiencing it firsthand. Some of my teachings were clear. I knew she wasn’t Zoraida. “It’s the path he didn’t want to go down. Rite Aid Pharmacy was on the corner for almost twenty years. “Thanks. “But if I’m going home. The last thing she felt when she closed the door behind her was my worried expression over Carolyn Lopez. You’re intelligence is a farce.” “Then maybe he’ll come out of this on top. “Let’s go. and countless other stores.

bibliotastic. and this wasn’t making me happy at all.Case File: Dog Eats Dog but the thought of her in danger troubled her a great deal. It was clearly written across her face. www. She wanted me to be happy.com 59 .

” I said.” Guilt seeped through my numbed body. Or was it me? Was she excited to see me at the club? . Nick. “How’s your day going?” I asked right off the bat. “You need to identify the body for us. He was arrested several times before in different cities for laundering money through his church. and I noticed that my front door was opened. Nick. “So why do you need to pick me up?” “You were the last person we know who saw her alive. “Those animals!” “We need you just to take a small look. His engine was still running. “Then I’ll bring you back.” “I came to pick you up. “She won’t be a witness for us anymore. I didn’t remember leaving it that way. and I had filled him in on what that man tried to do.” said O’Brien. and I was relieved to see him standing behind me. “Her face sort of stripped away. but nevertheless I was glad it was him.” his eyes softened. “It’s what you gotta do.” he paused as if to catch his breath. “Carolyn Lopez?” He nodded again.” “Murdered?” He nodded.” “Can’t you just tell them I looked at it already?” I asked. O’Brien did a little research on him and told me that he was also a deacon.” “Why. “I don’t like bringing bad news.” “Damn. I was almost in a clear state of shock. She looked like she was fitting right into that small group. but everything that happened to me over the past week could have left me a bit absent-minded. “We need you to identify the body for us. We had a conversation about Mr. He looked at me and knew exactly what I meant. O’Brien and I faced each other on my drive way. “I know.” he explained. I looked toward the street and saw Detective Peter O’Brien’s unmarked police cruiser parked at the curb. but this one I had to bring to you.Frank Atanacio Chapter 23 I pulled into my driveway. That witness you’ve been seeing on the side. right?” He nodded slowly again. “She was murdered.” “What?” He nodded.” “But you know it’s Carolyn.” he said. “Been bad. It was unbelievable that this could have happened to her.” “That guy Rusty saw her last. Pete?” “They beat her up so badly.” I bowed my tired head. It had to be the only explanation. I didn’t have the energy for another round of fighting. “We trust you. Looks like she was punch inside out.” “She changed her story?” I asked. I wanted it to be the only explanation. The one I told you to leave alone. Rusty Miller earlier. because I was too tired to think of anything else. “Are you sure?” “Of course. I didn’t hear him walking toward me.” O’Brien said. I’d certainly lose.

and they were always off duty. Leaning against the bar. “Just let me get a quick drink. It was only that time you’d see a police car. you just met her. she was so different in so many ways. I know she was cute.” O’Brien grimaced. I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I had so many things on my mind that I was already fearing it. He was a caring person. It wasn’t planned. I really couldn’t recall the last time I had seen a police car cruise through.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Nick?” “Was it Froggy?” “Can’t say. and actually making love to her. I shut my eyes for a moment and sipped. I walked into my front door feeling terrible about what happened to Carolyn Lopez. Tonight was going to be a difficult night to deal with.” He continued. “I know it’s killing you. and a good man. so I can’t say if it’s Froggy. and my mind began relaxing the best way it knew how. break-ins and robberies were so rare. I took a deep breath as Carolyn Lopez’s face washed across my mind. I gean to dread meeting her.bibliotastic.” I said.” “I’ll wait in the car. But remember. I waited for the absolute quiet to begin easy my snarled nerves and hopes it washes away my worries. “You can leave your truck here. “Janet told me that this girl reminded you of Zoraida. or at least take control of it for a moment. Taking a bigger sip. Her smiled would certainly invade my sleep. and her death would certainly invade my dreams.” O’Brien started explaining about the opened door. I felt a little easier. and slowly back up into my driveway. but Pete. Nick. I sipped again as I permitted the scotch to ease my mind. And everyone knows how much you were into that girl. Officers Victor Cruz and Alfredo Fuentes would stop by for a card game or a sporting event.” O’Brien broke my train of thought. but scotch whiskey usually helps. The scotch was doing its job. Her eyes would light up in my presence. I didn’t know what I would do when I saw the mutilated body of Carolyn Lopez. “Maybe I could have had a chance in getting to know her better. and the extra rooms were tedicously large. She adored me. Lord knows I need one. The houses were built larger these days. There will be no problem with that. I finished my drink. but now she’s been murdered.” I nodded. I watched O’Brien make his way to the car. The neighbors were so quiet. I took another deep breath and another sip of scotch. “I’ll bring you back home.” I smiled.” I said.” I nodded. but it happened. The last time I saw her was when I was on the social club floor.” “That’s true. www. “Damn. She was murdered. Every now and again.com 61 . That wasn’t a smart thing to do.” My house was in a new sub-division in the North End of the city. “Why was she killed?” I asked myself as I took a longer sip. “What can make men so cruel?” The stillness in my heart was almost contained.” “You mean you won’t say?” “I’ll say if I knew. “You did leave the front door unlocked. dreading the times Carolyn and I had. perhaps for no reason. “I saw a light on in your house so I thought you were home. I walked toward my bar and poured a tall glass of Johnnie Walker Black. Pete. “I’ll be with you.” I whispered. I began to dread going to bed. O’Brien blew the horn. I was ready to see Carolyn Lopez for the last time. and I knew it.

Damn there were pieces everywhere.” “Are you sure?” “Yep. I turned my head directly toward a morgue office as I watched a security officer sitting at his post with his feet up watching monitors on the wall.” I said. Took several family members to identify her. and this is this.” he said as he stepped to one side so I could get a good look at the body. Damn thing was a freaking mess. That woman that I made love to. It was that stale air that came from death that invaded my nostrils. “No. And part of that stench came from Carolyn Lopez. “Hey watch it!” Shouted O’Brien as he stood next to a metal table in the center of the room.” I said. It was odd to see her on the stretcher lifeless. “They kept pounding away at her until she stopped breathing.” “Allege.” said O’Brien. She’s dead. “It’s okay Nick. “Listen you punk son of a bitch!” “What?” the man shouted as he pulled away from O’Brien’s reaching hand. I waited by the entrance until a small thin man wearing a white jump-suit rattled in a Gurney.” O’Brien tried to comfort. and we will find out who did this.” “That’s that.” said the attendant. “She was beaten to death. Hell. “I’ll prove that they do exist. that’s her. “Now I’m going to fester and then make them wish they had killed me.” I said. “She’s already dead!” O’Brien waved me over as the man moved the body bag from the Gurney to the center table. “Cowards. He wasn’t very careful in doing it. and we’ll be on our way.” “She worked for Froggy for no money.” O’Brien corrected. “What?” said the man in the white jump-suit. it was that stale stench of death.” O’Brien nodded. and he took it out in trade. That woman who really liked me. and I really liked her. “She owed him a gambling debt.” “They can try.” “Zip her up. only death. some even left this place not sure if it was their family member. “They made their first mistake. “Killing Carolyn?” “Not killing me when they had their chance. She was a waitress at those dog-fighting contests.” I said.” “That’s Carolyn Lopez.” O’Brien nodded. she was drinking and fell right onto the tracks. “If you saw the body I brought in yesterday you wouldn’t be so touchy!” “Just handle this one with care!” “Yesterday’s body was another young woman.” O’Brien ordered. “The girl was hit by a train. “It’s okay to look. “You got that right.Frank Atanacio Chapter 24 The morgue had a distinctive odor. . No meaning. “Ye sir. I turned away and closed my eyes. and that made O’Brien angry.” I nodded. I needed to look away because the body in front of me was indeed Carolyn Lopez.” O’Brien said in an almost whisper. The stretcher bumped into the door way onto a white tile floor almost spilling the black body bag. no direction.” he started as he unzipped the body bag. Just identify her.” “They still can.

He did. I nodded. I was scanning the walls. It couldn’t have been for contamination. It was a room for the dead who were violently murdered.com 63 . “Ready to go?” O’Brien asked.bibliotastic. and slowly closed my eyes. “Don’t you think?” “Don’t get nasty. “Let’s go. O’Brien was holding the door with his foot until the attendant was able to push the Gurney forward and out the room.” he said.” I said. I was also really not interested. and I was happy. www.” “I’m not a cop. and I wondered why. Nick. I glanced at the stretcher for the last time. “Is that all?” asked the attendant. “I was just trying to help you cops. He nodded. They kept the room spotless.” said O’Brien. the top of the counters. “Looks that way. I really didn’t want to see her again so I started looking around the room. I just wondered why anyone would go through a lot of trouble to keep a room like this clean. the sink. He kept pushing her torso forward and her hand kept slipping out. but I wasn’t a doctor. I didn’t see dirt or smudges of any kind. I just wanted my mind to drift until the attendant was able to secure the body into the bag.Case File: Dog Eats Dog The attendant was having a difficult time zipping up Carolyn’s body.” I nodded.

“I was caught off guard. like O’Brien with front missing teeth.” she winced a bit. “Straight!” I smiled.” I half whispered. I couldn’t stop looking until I.Frank Atanacio Chapter 25 I walked into my downtown office and I couldn’t believe my eyes. “Came here collecting.” she replied through clenched teeth. “One was a big guy. and her face covered with welts. “Or did you try to stop them?” She glared at me for a moment.” “A bill collector?” “Yeah. They’ll wait until all the blood seeps out of my body. “Came in looking for money you owe them.” she said as she sat down at her desk. sat down. They wanted to. “Those bastards worked me over and then they hung me out of your window and threatened to drop me. “I know. They ransacked the entire place and left everything like a disaster area. and long dirty hair tied back into a pony-tail. “They’re on my shit list!” “Those bastards followed me into your office. sat down. right?” “You’re brave Janet. “What the hell happened?” “Damn bill collector. I steered toward Janet’s desk and noticed blood stains on a place mat. Everything was turned over as if someone was frantically looking for something. Her clothes were torn a bit. I nodded. “They’re going to kick my ass again. but I was to warn you.” “Did you get a good look at them?” “Yeah.” “Hey.” Janet stood up and walked toward the filing cabinet. and huffed. “I managed to get a few licks in before they got to me. you need a doctor?” “I need some Southern Comfort. I noticed her rolling her head. Damn they punched me around like I was a man. Damn. “Nick!” Relief! I looked back to my private office and Janet was standing by the door. “Greedy punks even took my lunch!” Janet walked back to her desk.” she said as she limped toward me. Nick. and drop me from the window. She took out the petty cash lock box and showed me that it was empty. tried to take it out of my skin.” “They beat you up?” I asked. My eyes fell into a curious rhythm as I scanned the area.” “I’m sorry Janet...” . Man stunk like dog shit.” she continued.” she said. crossed her long legs.” “What?” She nodded. “What?” I asked. That’s the only reason they kept me alive. “Janet. so I stood behind her and gave her a shoulder rub.” she said with her eyes closing just a bit. and barked out demands. and bruises.” “Sick. “Those punks told me that the next time they come here. “It comes with the job.” she replied. She was extremely tensed.

They told me that it’s not a warning for me. and looked at me.” she said. and you’ve been threatened.com 65 .” I started. it’s a promise.” “You go boy!” “They’re pushing me too hard. not maybe.” “Carolyn?” “Yeah. “They also had the nerve to call our petty cash.” “Kiss my ass.” “Just don’t want you to end up like Carolyn Lopez.” “Then. “Well.” she said. but they twisted the lingo.” “Dollars?” I nodded. I was caught so off guard. www. “I’m sorry.” she sobbed. looked around the office. pimp.” “How much do you owe those suckers?” “Ten thousand.” I said. and bam! I owe them ten thousand dollars.” “Yeah.” She jammed her fist against her lips.bibliotastic. Remember they took our petty cash.” “Not on your life!” she shouted. “I feel better now pimp. Janet.” she insisted. “First Carolyn. now you. I like the adventure. about a hundred and seventy eight.” “Now you playing with the big boys.” I said almost quietly.” I said. I was scared as shit.” I smiled. I sat down beside her and patted her gingerly on her shoulder. looks like they’re going to get a pity ass-kicking. for sure. and began to cry.” “How much did we have in petty cash?” “After I did my nails. “Thought I had a ten dollar bet. maybe you should just stay home. “You really only owe them Nine thousand eight hundred and twenty two dollars. “But to be honest with you.” “I’m serious. Janet looked at me. “I gotta straighten their ass out.” She smiled. “I didn’t mean for you to get involved in this.” I said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Yeah. she’s a corpse now.” I said.” she said.” “I don’t know what to say. “I thought they were paying clients and I completely turned my back on them. a pity cash.” “You should stay home until all of this is over.” “Nick. stopped crying. “Let it out. Maybe if I knew what they wanted I would have thrown one of them out the window.” she started. covered her mouth with her palm. “But they still pocketed it. I guess I really must have pissed them off because the skinny guy wanted the fat guy to drop me. “How in the hell can you owe someone that much money?” “They tricked me into owing them that much. He even begged. “It’s not my life that I’m worried about. “Don’t want to come to work one morning and find me useless secretary splattered all over Main Street.” “Hey pimp.

” “It’s dropped that I’m worried about. I knew it.” “I’m glad you are okay.Frank Atanacio “They got me once.” “They really worked me over like I was a man.” “Besides. She was much to valuable to me and my office. I looked at her and she smiled. I had to react with force.” she said. and I won’t be pushed around. It was hard to imagine this office without Janet.” I said. the punches hurt. “They won’t get me again.” she replied.” “Funny pimp got jokes.” She smiled. . “It just filled me up and had nowhere to go but through tears.” “I bet. and he struck a bigger nerve with Janet. “Those tears?” I nodded. and she knew it.” “That’s true.” “I understand. I realized that someday she would move on and begin her own life. “I’m too pretty to be scattered all over Main Street. and that was my next move. Those bitches!” “But you took it like a man. “First time I ever saw you cry.” she said. “Damn straight. “Me too. She was the main switch that kept everything running. He struck a nerve with Carolyn. I’m staying. “I had to release my anger. One Eyed Froggy was playing too close to my candle flame. pimp.” I said. but I really didn’t want to be the cause of her leaving.” she said as she rubbed her knuckles.” I said honestly.

The bouncer was a big burly man with no facial hair. and rationality had no place in it.bibliotastic. I was almost shocked when I realized he smelled just like shit.” “You don’t belong here?” “I guess I don’t. I smiled at that. “And death. I knew it had to be about me because the bouncer quickly glanced my way.” “It is in my book. I had to send him a message. “Hey.com 67 . “You want something from me?” I asked. “Get rid of this joke. “You don’t get it!” “Of course I don’t.” shouted the bouncer. I do what I do. The disc jockey was sitting high above the dance floor looking down at the dancers who were moving in sequence.” “Hey.” shouted the bartender.” “Well.” I said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 26 I found myself hurrying to the club that night in spite of the warning. I needed to express myself differently. “Looking for trouble?” “Not really. I wanted to explore my rational way of thinking. or at least to be recognized. It felt nice to be popular. you have to do your job.” “You!” shouted the bouncer.” I replied. “I’m telling you.” “Just come in to buy a beer. It was almost an art form as they danced to the Latin rhythms. The ape stood directly in front of me.” I tried snarling back. “Janet was tight.” “And we do what we do.” I smiled. “What for?” “The eye for an eye. He had long hair tied into a pony tail and he had missing front teeth. “You’re not going to beat us done easily this time. but it wasn’t the right time. www.” “Open it up. “She said you smelled like shit when you were dangling her from my office window.” “Then you should be reading the Bible.” “We refuse to serve you!” “You smell like shit. The bartender. “I’m a paying customer. The odor was that clear.” “It’s all part of living Jackie.” he said as he turned to the bouncer again. The message had to be loud and clear.” he snarled. I knew that Froggy wasn’t going to like it.” I said.” “Bar’s closed for you.” “The skinny bitch?” “My secretary. “You’re not allowed in here!” He shouted. I came to make a statement. I don’t think that’s the right way to treat a lady.” I said. “You don’t belong here. my co-worker.” “We are ready for you. “But I’m here anyways. but I had to make a statement. and maybe I will get it. Jackie Reeves recognized me right away as he turned to the seated bouncer and whispered something into his ear. “You said it’s closed. But I want you to open the bar up. The club was crowded and there was Salsa music beaming out of the speakers on the walls and ceiling.” I whispered.” I said. His face was flushed and his eyes angry.” I said. my friend.

Frank Atanacio

The bouncer cracked his knuckles and moved closer to me. “Maybe I should have dropped her ass out of the window,” he said. “Jackie over there was begging me to do so. He wanted to see her splat.” “Why, Janet kicked his ass?” “She made it tough for him,” he replied. “And I’m going to make it tough for you.” I looked toward the bartender and he smirked. “Don’t you turn away from me!” shouted the bouncer. “It isn’t him you should be worried about, it’s me. I’m the one whose gonna break every bone in your body. Yet keep you alive so you can pay off your debt. It’s going to be painful for you, but a whole lot of fun for me.” “I’m not worried about him,” I said. “I’m not even worried about you. I just want to see his expression when I kill you.” The bouncer laughed. “You find something funny?” “Your empty threats!” I hit the bouncer in the neck with my fist and he quickly fell to his knees. There was a tile missing on the floor and the bouncer’s blood filled the void. The floor was measured nicely with blood. It covered all the nooks and crannies. “Froggy’s not going to like that!” Shouted the bartender. “You are already on his to do list!” “I want you to tell him what I did,” I said. “You’re going to pay!” I took my gun out and shot the bartender in the chest. “You know what, Jackie? I think I’ll tell him myself.” The bouncer reached for me as he bloody hand touched my shirt. “I can’t breathe,” he gargled. I put my hand on his head and pushed it down facing the floor. I put my gun to the back of his head and shot him twice. I knew after the first bullet entered, it had killed him instantly. The second bullet was simply an insult. The crowd of Latin dancers quickly rushed toward the exits like cockroaches do when someone turns on the lights. They scurried and scuffled as the music continued to play. Dog Eats Dog, I thought.

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

Chapter 27
O’Brien wanted to meet me at the Flyer Diner on the corner State Street and Fairfield Avenue. There had to be some explaining to do, and he wanted to hear it from the horse’s mouth. The Flyer Diner was great during the afternoons, when there weren’t so many people there and it was quiet. They had Becks in bottles, and the hottest wings in the city. I ordered some and it arrived just in time. My beer was still cold and my craving for the wings have just expanded. Explaining what happened just got easier. I took a bite of one of the wings and looked around the diner. It had paneled walls in a light oak. A throw back to the late 1970s. There were some old pictures of the City of Bridgeport’s old Landmarks. There was the Barnum Museum, Casco Factory, Harvey Hubbell, and several old department stores that use to grace the downtown portion of the city. Stores like Gimbles, Reads, Sears, and Woolworth. The diner was also still using the 1970 style register. Behind the counter mirror, with wines stored in front of it, back lit, gave it a classy look for a truck stop. The diner was around for more than forty years, and it survived the city’s many changes. O’Brien ordered a coffee and a piece of Boston Creme pie. “Pete, these wings are off the hook,” I smiled using one of the lines Janet would use. “My pie is fine,” he said as he took a sip of coffee. “Your loss.” “So, what happened at Froggy’s place?” “Bartender attacked me,” I replied biting into another wing. “He came at me with a knife, so I had to put him down.” “Are you telling me a lie?” “Now why would I do that?” “How about Douglas Fowler?” “Who?” “The bouncer.” “He got cute,” I said. “You know how much I hate cute.” “I’m being serious Nick.” “I’m being serious.” “Damn it Nick!” he slammed his fist on the counter top. “There are witnesses saying that you just came in and shot up the place! They saying you walked in looking for a fight.” “Froggy put them up to it,” I said. “Nick, it’s getting hot,” O’Brien warned. “Things are hitting the fan left and right. Captain Roque is getting on everybody’s back, and I don’t like to deal with him when he’s pissed.” “You know all this is a set up,” I said. “Just like with Mike Brandon.” “Don’t bring him up,” he said. “Why?” “We got to bring him in for murder,” he replied. “I’m still trying to prove he didn’t do it,” I said. “Another person.” “What?” “A witness.” “A witness?” “He tried to get one of the witnesses to change their story,” he explained. “He offered him a great deal of money, and when he refused, he killed him.”

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Frank Atanacio

“How do you know.” “The prostitute witness.” “Margie Sanchez?” He nodded. “She works for Froggy.” “She gave us a written statement,” O’Brien said. “We match the finger prints on the money envelope that came straight from his church. He’s guilty.” “You believe that 500 hundred dollar whore?” “500 dollars?” “Yeah, I asked how much.” “Of course we don’t,” he replied. “But I think the captain is bringing him in for protection. He didn’t say it, but I know that’s what he’s doing. I know the captain. He’s not going to let the deacon fry.” “So how did this all happen?” I asked. “Mike went to Margie Sanchez first,” he started explaining. “She declined to change her story, so he went to Mr. Roberto Guzman. He gave him a hard time and they fought. He then beat him to death.” “Mr. Guzman?” O’Brien nodded. “He’s an old man.” “Now he’s a dead old man,” O’Brien said. “We gotta stop this mess,” I said. “The Frog is getting a little too violent.” “And the witnesses are slowly falling off.” O’Brien added. “First Carolyn Lopez, then you took care of Jackie Reeves, and now Roberto Guzman.” “Two left,” I whispered. “Yep.” The waitress came over and poured O’Brien another cup of coffee, and she slapped down another beer for me. I smiled, she smiled, and O’Brien stared. “So what do we do now?” I asked. “Stop killing Froggy’s men,” he said. “Let us do our job.” “They’re looking for it,” I replied. “The captain think it’s for revenge.” “Revenge?” He nodded. “For Carolyn?” “For Janet.” “What?” “Janet called Fuentes, and Cruz down to your office and gave them a full statement. She told them how they came looking for you and how they threatened to throw her out of your window. She told me that made you a little upset,” O’Brien started. “Don’t think that the captain is stupid, Nick. He knows how you think, and he knows you’ll protect your people with your own life. I’m just asking you to let us do our job. Stop killing his men.” “I’m working to clear the deacon, is all.” “Do that,” he said. “Don’t pull the trigger on your gun anymore.” I nodded.

” I smiled.bibliotastic.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Now finish up your wings before I take them.com 71 . www.

” I nodded as my eyes fell on her worried face.” she said softly.” Janet walked in with a cup of coffee for B B.Frank Atanacio Chapter 28 B B approached me as I sat at my desk. but I know I’ve rattled some cages. B B forced a smile.” “I know it’s not going to be easy for you. You know he’s a good man. “Mike has been taking money out of the collections to pay for his gambling debt.” “But he’s not guilty. I smiled. “No problem.” “You will help him.” “What do I do baby?” “You wait. baby. right?” “I want to help where I can. “He says it’s for horse racing. I opened my top drawer with my other hand and handed her a box of tissues. I think she needs some time with me alone. She looked frail and I could see it in her eyes that she felt like her knees were going to collapse. How lifeless and thin her skin felt as tears started to blossom as they streamed slowly down her face. B B?” I asked. “It’s going to take some time. “I know.” . “What?” I asked. “Hey Janet. “Can you excuse me and B B for a moment.” “I know that too.” She said. She sat down and looked around my office.” I tried to comfort her.” I said. “She’s a good girl. like I was going to hear some unwanted news. You wait until we find out why One Eye Froggy has it out for your husband. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly as if she was trying to catch her breath.” B B said.” B B nodded slowly. but I know he’s been going to those dog fighting events.” “Collection money?” “Oh yeah.” Janet replied as she winked at the deacon’s wife and walked out of my office. “You wait until all this is cleared up.” I said. She steadied herself as she reached to brace herself with one of my client’s chairs. “But things will come out in the wash for the better. “Thank you. “They arrested Mike this morning.” I said. I felt my stomach curdle. The deacon will bounce back and continue his good work. I liked that about her. “Are you okay. “Yeah baby. She looked like she hasn’t slept for days.” “You can’t mean that. Janet had done a wonderful job cleaning up the mess. “When she’s a sleep. She put everything back in it’s place and didn’t change a thing. “I know.” She looked at me intently.” I took hold of B Bes hand.” she sobbed. I ain’t stupid.” “He’ll always be the love of my life. She placed it down in front of her and stood next to me with her arms folded. he’s going right to hell.

“I don’t know if God will forgive you for that.” The response put B B at ease.bibliotastic. “Try and get some rest.” “Thanks Nicky.” she said.” She walked out.com 73 . There was no pretense about my promises. “I’ll do my best for Mike.” “They’ve been punished. and with Mike.” she sniffled.” “I’m sorry baby. “I understand.” “Your lips to God’s ear. “O’Brien told me that you were very fond of one of the witnesses. I came here probably to get some reassurance.” she said.” I said.” I added. It was a sadness that of nowhere to turn.” “I got his back.” “Should have just turned the other cheek. “Don’t bother that poor child. “I will B B.” I said. “Be very careful Nick.” “I’m sorry I took up your time.” she said.” she said as she stood slowly from the chair. “Yeah.” “I believe you.” I said. www. I had always tried to fulfill my promises. “And you know I will.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Some witnesses have died. “He has too many good points. I didn’t mean to make a spectacle out of myself by crying.” I agreed.” “I mean it B B.” I said.” “Don’t worry about it. a sadness that went beyond the loss of her husband’s good name.” “There are so many things I know God wouldn’t forgive me for. It really outweighs the bad. “Is that true?” “Carolyn Lopez. “That’s a shame. there had to be an extra push.” she said. There was a sadness to B B’s eyes.” she said. I know.” She forced another smile. He got a little carried away.” she said.” I nodded. “I believe in an eye for an eye.” “Of course.” “Janet will see you out. “But I’m sure this is the exception to the rule. “I don’t want to worry about your health.” “Me too. “And I think God will forgive Mike.” She smiled. “I know my way out.” I said. “I had to punish one of them myself. Regardless of the circumstances it puts me in. It was like watching a trapped animal in a cage.” “Revenge?” she asked. “I just wanted to know that you’re still helping out my Mike.

Three young Latino males came out of the car wearing baseball caps. Willie the Greek had asked me to meet him here because he had some information he wanted to share with me.” replied the middle man. and it’s considered America’s favorite past-time. and team logo jerseys. but the day was going to be a terrific one.” “Willie.” . “Froggy can kiss my ass. “Froggy wants his money. They looked at each other only for a brief moment and then dropped their bats. “And we out gun you. I think. Where was he? I looked over toward a flashing billboard and noticed that the Power-ball Jackpot has reached seventy five million dollars. “Hey. “Looking for a pick-up game?” I nervously asked. “I’d prefer an ass-kicking. “I’m serious!” “We are here to do just that?” “Did Willie the Greek send you?” “Nope. Baseball was invented in this country. but that was it. “You had your chance.” “We come here to beat it out of you.” “You have no idea who he is.” The middle thug grunted. so I suspected the worst. I suddenly realized that they too were holding their guns at me.” said the middle man.” He smiled. It was pretty early for any baseball to be played.” the middle man replied. The Park was lined with small freshly planted trees running toward the bathhouses.” I felt an imaginary noose around my neck as they pointed their guns directly at my head. I like watching people squirm. The colors were black and white.” I said as I stepped back a bit.” “But not from me. “Looks like that.Frank Atanacio Chapter 29 The next morning I drove down to Seaside Park near the diamond six area off of Iranistan Avenue. “Fist fight going to become a shoot-out?” I asked. Do you guys mind picking up the bats again?” “Too late for that.” he continued.” “Don’t get cute!” “Cute is my middle name. “He will get his money. It was at that moment that I reached for my revolver and pointed it at the bat swinging thugs. It would have been a perfect day for a double header. “And I think I’m going to enjoy it. They stopped five feet in front of me and three feet apart from each other.” he said. “You could have hit me with that thing. “I guess a pick-up game is out then?” One of the three swung his bat in my direction. but nevertheless. It was at that time when a late model four door sedan pulled up slowly and parked behind my truck. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t tell me over the phone. but it wasn’t a major league team. The grass was cut recently. I was here bright and early. They were carrying baseball bats. “He was ordered to ask you to meet us here. Neither one of them had baseballs or gloves.” I started.” “Me too. and the white lines that marked off the foul-lines were untouched.” smiled the middle man. ordered?” The middle man nodded slowly. “You know.

” “You see?” I smiled.com 75 .” I felt the imaginary noose around my neck getting tighter. they’ll kill me.” I said. Oh yeah.” said the middle thug. “Okay. “Sammy. “Sammy.” I said. They have me pinned to the wall.” “Froggy just wanted us to beat him up. “He won’t have a chance to get a bullet off. “Two will die today. In fact two of us will be dead. We have the upper hand. “He didn’t want this!” “Don’t be stupid. “Sammy. He realized that they had made a mistake in trying to approach me. “We can’t turn back now. I will. and he wanted no part of death. “Don’t listen to him!” shouted the middle thug. “I’m going to tell you this. He wanted all of this to end without bloodshed. “Too late!” shouted the thug to my left.” I continued. and it looks like it’s going to be me and you. “We’ve changed our position now. It was clearly written across his face. He’s just bluffing.” he said.” “But I am. and the way things look now.” he said. Don’t be stupid and don’t let him get to your head!” “No Sammy. “We came here to just work you over and try to collect the money you owe our boss. A frown wrinkled his forehead. and it had better be quick. I will not die alone today. So lets do this. I have no intentions of going alone. Take me out. He believed that I would shoot him instantly. “But Sammy. I had to think of something.” “I don’t want to die!” He shouted as he turned toward the middle man. I’m taking you with me. “What’s your name?” I asked. I think it’s going to be you and me.” started the middle thug.” “Don’t point that gun at me!” www.” I said as I pointed my gun to the thug on my right.” Sammy knew that there was truth in what I was saying. He wanted all of us to put down our guns and walk away.” I said. “He won’t kill you!” “Yeah. shock and bewilderment riddled his eyes. but you took it to another level. but I won’t die alone.” Sammy peered at the middle thug. You took it to a level you can’t turn back from. “We have to stop this.” he nervously replied. “It’s never too late.” I continued grinning sheepishly. go ahead.” Sammy shouted.bibliotastic. The thought of him being shot in the head tormented him. “Two people will die here today. “Let’s put down our guns. “I don’t want to hurt anyone.” said the middle thug. I will get a bullet off and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s probably a promise I wouldn’t be able to keep. “Not this time.” “Sammy. you’re coming with me. it’s me and you. Understand that. He wasn’t ready to die and he wanted his partners to understand that.Case File: Dog Eats Dog I promised O’Brien that I wouldn’t be involved in anymore shootings with One Eye Froggy’s men anymore. I’m not going alone.” “I don’t want to do this!” “Sammy!” Sammy pointed his gun toward the man in the middle. He wanted no deaths today. “Just shut up!” demanded the thug in the middle. “Let’s just take him out. It’s three against one.” The thug on my left stared at me. “I do like to know who is going to die with me today.” “Sure. He was afraid.” I smiled.” “There’s always turning back. Do you hear me? You and I will die.” I continued. and it showed in his eyes. “He’s trying to get into your head. “I will take you with me. He wanted to end this without him losing his life. He’s not going to shoot you.

” “You’re not going to kill me?” “Nope. the odds were even. I’d be on the beach in Florida sipping all kinds of exotic drinks with brown skin females. He didn’t do it on purpose as blood splattered all over him. “I have a very itchy finger.” “What do I do?” “Run back to your car and drive away. That’s when I made my move. “I told you that only two of us was going to die. and he did so without realizing it as the middle thug fell quickly to the ground. Sammy leaned forward as he tried to get a bit closer to the middle thug. “What the hell do you think you’re doing? Put that gun down. Go some where warm. and dancing with women half my age. So what’s it going to be?” Vengeful eyes stared back at Sammy. “We just leave him alone and come back another time. It was working like a charm.” I said.” he half whispered. We don’t need to do this.” Sammy was willing to shoot one of his own in order to save his own life. I turned and shot the man on my left in the head and Sammy shot the middle thug. I laughed. “You know he’ll come down on us. relentless winters. He looked confused.Frank Atanacio “I don’t want to die. but that didn’t make him put down the gun.” He looked confused. I’ve always longed for the sun and the glistening sand off any beaches in the Carribean. . “I don’t want to die!” “What did I say when all this first began?” I asked.” said the thug in the middle. If I had it I wouldn’t have to be chasing down cheating spouses.” he sobbed. now!” “I’m telling you. Escape this city and its cold.” “I don’t want to die.” “Make up your minds fast. Two against two. It was just what I had planned. The thug on my left swung to the left to face Sammy. He kept it pointed toward the middle thug and he had no intentions of dropping it. “I don’t want to die. “Don’t shoot me!” Sammy shouted as it snapped me out of my day dream.” “Froggy’s not going to like this. It would really mean a new life for me.” “We can’t shoot each other!” “We don’t have to. or getting into gun fights. An epiphany unfolded.” he continued. and I want to scratch it so bad. It was a great deal of money. Seventy-five million flashing above me as I saw it through my peripheral vision. “Go before I do change my mind!” He ran.” “You’ll shoot me in the back. “I am a man of my word. I’d be playing cards every night. My shot made him react. I looked back at the billboard and briefly began to dream about what else I would do with that windfall. I looked briefly at the billboard flashing the seventy-five million dollar lottery prize.

confused.” he added. He thinks they’re spying on him.” I said.” he continued. “I’m not going to hurt you.” he said.” “I said I wasn’t going to hurt you. “Too many people owe him money. Of course I saw him at the club.bibliotastic. “I’m sorry. and I think he was waiting for me to make the first move. “You better go before your boss sees you talking tome. I had to let him know that I really didn’t owe him a dime. “But your boss better.” “Okay.” “You shouldn’t be afraid of me. “You might end up dead. I know you ain’t watching him. “Can’t park here unless you’re going into the club. The music of Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe was being pumped out of the club and the crowd were dancing as they walked into the club. He keeps sending thugs my way.” I said. and keeping Mike Brandon on the tip of an iceberg. I had to confront him.” he half shouted.” He looked at me with suspicious eyes.” “Of you.” “My boss isn’t a murderer. or come into the club and wait for your date there. but it looks like it.” Someone said as they knocked on my window.” I lied.” I said. He was getting on my nerves and we really never met face to face. and I keep knocking them off. He didn’t know what to do. He also had to pay for shaking up Janet. I could smell liquor on his breath as he stood up-right very quickly.” he admitted.” “You can’t come into the club. he really isn’t.” I smiled. They were gearing up for some late night Salsa dancing. and he threatened people who owed.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 30 I parked outside a small club near Ogden Street off of Noble Avenue on the Eastside. When he recognized me his eyebrows crashed down. “No. He wanted to collect money from me that I really never owed. Killing Carolyn Lopez hurt. but he wouldn’t back down. An enthusiastic crowd had packed the entrance before the bouncers permitted them to enter.” “Your boss is insecure.” He nodded quickly. He just likes everything to stay neat and clean. “I’m afraid of you. “Then why are you so afraid. I looked and noticed that it was one of the bouncers from the club. “You know damn well that your boss had her killed. “Do me a favor and move on. “What?” He didn’t say anything. but his goons clocked me before I really made myself known. It was a complete misunderstanding. “Hey buddy. I was told that Froggy owned that club too. That man has done so much to piss me off. you’re going to have to take your date elsewhere. and he doesn’t like to be watched. like Carolyn Lopez. “The boss doesn’t like anyone sitting in their cars. “I’m waiting for a date.com 77 .” I replied. He had to pay for that. he always managed to make money from it. “You owe froggy money?” “It seems everyone does.” “I don’t want any trouble from you. “Still can’t sit in the car.” “I understand.” www. No matter what Froggy’s been doing.” I warned. It’s a pattern that would soon get me killed if I don’t stay on my toes. He looked at me.” he said looking worried. and it did hit a soft spot. He collected bad debts.

“What?” “Nothing.” He nodded and ran back across the street.” I continued.” “You killed Carolyn. “But he owes me too.” “Be careful buddy.” I warned. “Your boss is no angel. just go. “I owe him. .Frank Atanacio He didn’t answer.” I whispered. “Idiot.” he blurted out.

“I’m Stacey. Mr. “Cowards hit me from behind. It was a form-fitting tube dress. Her eyes were slightly slanted. “Mr.” she corrected. “I’m here to see One Eye Froggy. “Nick Barnum?” he asked.” “Drugs. “Can I help you?” I walked up to her with a puppy expression. “I deal in everything. The office was clean and had a graceful selection of colors on the walls. A tall thin man came out of a corner office wearing a black eye patch over his left eye. There was a miniature waterfall fountain in the center of the spacious waiting area. Near the fountain at the center of the office stood two security guards and a thin woman dressed in a long silver dress. she escorted me to a chair. I was hoping this time someone wouldn’t hit me from behind. “I’m Nick. It had fake lilies floating in the well. I simply had to try to convince him that the money I owed him was all a misunderstanding. “How can I help you. but I do understand you hire nothing but cowards.” “It has a real name?” Repressing a smile at my question.” www. He was sharply dressed in a light tan suit.” “We could have killed you that night. “But you didn’t.” “You come to make a payment?” I smiled.” “At your service. prostitutes?” “This is a legitimate business. and had a walking cane with a gold tip.” he said. floral scent that invaded my nostrils.” she smiled. “Welcome. but he waved them away with his free hand. It was like two kittens and a sack trying to get out. and I had ignored that rule long enough. I had to meet with Froggy face to face again.” I replied.” “Like your dog-fighting business?” “I have no such business. He walked over to me and the two guards followed suit.bibliotastic. “I see that the swollen bump on your neck went down. but they all end up dead.” “Mr. and the guards walked away. on the Bridgeport side. and fake frogs sitting on the edges. That was something that O’Brien wanted me to avoid.” She stuck her hand out for shaking and her perfume was so nice.” She smiled. Nick?” “Just Nick. but it made her look so hot.” I said. but she wasn’t of an Asian decent.” I replied. I walked into an ground floor office near the Trumbull Mall.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 31 Confronting your enemy had to be a top priority. It was a welcomed invasion. “Well?” “What do you do here?” I asked.” she said in a soft sweet voice. It was in the center of a brand new plaza on the left-side of Main Street. I sniffed the air appreciatively.” I nodded. It looked like one of those offices you see on HGTV. I just wanted to clear the entire matter up once and for all.com 79 . “I’ll tell him that you’re here. and a welcomed sight. The woman’s hair fell unconstrained around her oval face. Newsom does have a real name. There was a spicy. “Willie the Greek arranged this meeting for us. Newsom. She walked slowly away and I couldn’t keep my eyes off the beauty of her backside. “Big mistake. He keeps sending thugs to kick me around.

You shouldn’t make wages that you can’t pay.” he shouted back as he walked into his office and slammed the door.” I said.” “That’s what I like to hear. She wrapped her hands around my upper arm and again her perfume almost had me in a trance. So lets do each other a favor and call this whole thing off.” “How so?” “When I made that bet.” “You don’t get to tell me what I should or should not do. Newsom is a dangerous man. then that means I don’t owe you any money.” “My money will be paid to me by this Friday.” “I’m tired of killing your men!” I shouted.” he said firmly.” I started.” he said as he slowly turned around.” “Oh good. did you come here to pay off your debt?” “Yeah. The two security guards walked toward me and stopped in front of me. I’m going to kill them and then come after you and shove that cane up your ass!” He smiled.” “Minimum bet is a thousand dollars.” he growled.” “Whether I could or can’t.” “Just to let you know.” I smiled.” “One Eye Froggy.” “I’m not planning to give you any excuses.” “Then I’ll be there.” They nodded. Nick PT Barnum will be murdered on Saturday. “Because I’m no deadbeat.” she said.” . “Mr. “I just participate. 1AM. “My husband wouldn’t want me to fraternize with deadbeats. about that. “If you want to try and win your money back.” “I came to tell you that we have a misunderstanding.” he said with a thin smile.” I said.” “I don’t need excuses.” “You don’t really know who I am. “I said I don’t own it. “I know. “But if you keep sending men my way. “So. There will be a dog-fight at the old glue factory behind Wentfield Park on Railroad Avenue. I’m sure you’re tired of sending men.” I said.” “Are you going to be there?” “Yes. “I should leave. “I am in charge of this situation. Barnum.” I said.” “And I didn’t make wages I couldn’t pay. The tall thin woman in the silver dress walked over to me. Mr. and you will pay me my money. “If not.” she warned. I’m tired of killing your men who come after me looking for money. like you did. “I’m glad you think I’m funny. “It was all a misunderstanding.” “When?’ “Tomorrow night. I had no intentions to bet way over my head. I thought your bookie understood that all I wanted to bet was ten dollars. “Lightens my payroll. “I’m sure a great detective like you could have deduced that.Frank Atanacio “So.

“That’s a fucking fact. www.” I smiled and walked out.” “That’s not your opinion. “My opinion also thinks you have a nice ass.bibliotastic.com 81 .Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Your opinion.” she said as she stood at the front door with her hands on her hips.” she said as she escorted me to the front door.

” “He’s right.. He was hard at the core. “She was cute.” I smiled. Independent. “You’re not a murderer.” “I know. either. You know Willie. He had a little something extra that he didn’t want me to know. “It’s a damn dog eats dog world.” “I heard. and unreceptive.” I raised my hand.” He finally looked up. “I don’t think that’s funny. “Well. you better know. I knew Mike Brandon’s case was a tough one to crack. The serious voice in my head wanted to shout and take apart the deacon for withholding information.” “Me neither. “Or Frog eats Frog. I shot more men in the passed few days then I have ever done in my whole life. “Mike?” He nodded. “Hell.. this whole situation made him soft.” he whispered. I nodded.Frank Atanacio Chapter 32 I found myself hurrying to the holding cell in spite of the fact that Mike Brandon wasn’t going anywhere. they didn’t go right for me either.” “How can you do that to me?” “What?” I looked confused. and the police got him a safe jail cell at the North Avenue Correctional Center.” he mumbled. I hear he’s got Willie the Greek running errands for him. “It’s me. He knew I was coming. He had on prison rags.” “I’m not a criminal.” I nodded. but for some strange reason. He had turned himself in. “I don’t know. He’s a tough son of a bitch. It took him down some serious dead end streets. He was a respected deacon that slipped through an evil crack. He was sitting at a long conference table shackled like an animal. “Mad at me?” “Look where I am!” he half shouted. “I understand things didn’t go right for you while you were gambling on the dogs. “Captain Roque says this is best for my safety. I need to hear it right from your mouth.” I said. only because he made it a mystery.” he said somberly.” . It wanted me to pound the whole truth out of him. I sat down across from him and folded my hands on top of the table.” “So what we going to do?” “I want you to stop telling me lies. “I also heard you were tapping one of the witnesses. I owe Froggy some big time money. and I don’t think he’s afraid of anyone. that just didn’t look right on him. and I liked her.” “What the. but his greeting was cold. and his rational mind wasn’t biting. He did not look up at me. Hell.” I said. He’s always been Mr.” I said trying to comfort him.

Case File: Dog Eats Dog “They killed her. “But when you’re cleared of all this shit. The deacon looked at me again. Then I returned my attention back to Mike Brandon. “Why is that?” “You taking advantage of her too. you have a reputation to mend. “I walked in betting above my head. I didn’t know the minium bet was a grand.bibliotastic.” “Hey!” I started.” I nodded. “I know you don’t. I know you didn’t mean that. I wasn’t going to pay.” He shrugged his shoulders as his shackles made a clinging noise.com 83 . “The truth. For a second my gaze connected with a female correction officer making her rounds. me too. All this was not going to stop until I paid them. There was a rough edged wind blowing raindrops around. she owed Froggy money too?” “She did. Every www. They were hurting.” I replied. and mugging my friends.” he said. I was horny.” I replied. she’s a woman and I’m a man. I knew it was late and I hoped Brenda wasn’t waiting up for me. “I’m sorry about Carolyn. and I couldn’t pay.” “So what really happened that night?” He looked at me with sunken eyes. She peeked into the conference room and smiled at me.” “Brenda told you?” I nodded.” “What.” “And what’s the girl’s name again that you were tapping?” “Carolyn.” “No.” I said. “So what are you up to next?” he asked. “I liked her.” he said. but they started beating up on my congregation. “She got what she deserved.” “Damn Froggy got everybody by the balls. “It was that night that really stirred me up. “Yeah.” “I’m going to another dog-fight. so she had to work it off. “It’s been difficult. They caught me off guard.” he replied. I didn’t get the chance to smile back. I nodded.” “Why did you pick her?” He asked. “Death isn’t what people deserves. “Getting Froggy for everything. “She was hot. “I’m serious Mike.” “Me too. I fought through it and made it to the dog-fight. “And she couldn’t do anything about it. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.” “I don’t like it in here.” I said.” “She’s no Zoraida.” I said.” Mike added. She hated when I came home late. “I’m going to rattled cages even harder now that I know you’re in here safe. His eyes were rimmed with red.” I nodded.” he said.” “That’s messed up.” I replied.

Nick. and ripped it apart. Carlos told me that the other dog was disqualified and no one was getting any winnings. Well. Well. I never seen a dog just die without whimpering.” I said. I even saw Carolyn Lopez there wearing a tight skirt. laughing and having a good time. I met some people there. that hit me like a ton of bricks. Don’t get me wrong. There were so many people there. and that he wasn’t going to pay you?” “No. kicking her around the room. “This time I believe you because I can see the conviction in your eyes. “I am certain of it. “Why you smiling?” “Because this makes more sense to me then that made up crap you told me when all this started. I saw Froggy in that mirror putting his fingers to his neck. “Ten thousand dollars.” “Wow. but then I realized that she was doing it all for my own good. but he had signaled to Carlos not to pay me the winnings. As many times as I’ve been there I really haven’t seen a familiar face. I had won and I wanted to collect my money.” “So you hit him?” “I deck that son of a bitch!” “Did he get up?” He paused. but some bar backs held him back. That was odd. alone.” “And are you sure you saw him standing back up?” “Now that I think of it. It was odd that I remembered that. hunger in my eyes. and then making a cutting motion. I stood in the raised entryway of the club looking down at the dogs fighting.” I smiled. anyways. “What about the robbery at your church?” I asked. He would have needed it to wipe away the image of that dead dog. and that image would have tangled with his heart until it hurt. “There was no robbery.” “I was scared.Frank Atanacio time I did. and greed in my heart. “There is something delicate about how you’re telling me what happened. “Well?” “He got up. If I had gotten her involved before all of this started. The other Mike Brandon wasn’t there. The dog just died! The sad part about that. I wouldn’t be here in jail. It was me.” “I was so excited and nervous. but I wouldn’t have recognized them out of the club. strangling her. running orders to the bar. she would read me the riot act. I remember that night clearly as the mirror behind the ranks of bottles of booze stood at such attention.” “I got your back.” “So you didn’t call his mama names. She was the rock in my heart that kept me stable.” He nodded. I couldn’t let that settle. Well. Nick. and I couldn’t walk away.” he paused briefly.” he replied. I didn’t realized it then. “He didn’t say he didn’t carry that much money on him.” He smiled. Or at least my mind wouldn’t allow me to recognize them. and she wouldn’t be home.” . smiling. I didn’t care about the dog’s condition. I pushed across to the bar and tried to settle my face in front of Carlos Rivera. the dogs were going at it and my dog took a bite out of the other dog’s throat. and he didn’t throw the first swing?” He shook his head back and forth indicating no.” “How much was your take?” I asked. “And you knew that. Sometimes I felt like making love to her. The other Mike Brandon would have needed some strong drinks in order to turn his back on the darkness. or making death noises.

“You got something planned. She’ll be fine.” “He’s a cut throat. www.” “She’ll be fine.” “Too much confidence in that skinny girl. I nodded. The deacon nodded again.” warned the deacon.” He nodded.” He nodded. “He’s got you turned every which way.bibliotastic.” I said.com 85 .” “He’s making me a cut throat too.” I replied.” “Just stay clear of him.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “I guess he wanted you to give him some money with your prints on the envelopes so that he could set you up. trust me. “I got until Friday to pay him back.” “She can take care of herself. right?” “Not yet. but I bet something will fall in my lap. I hope. “Just watch Janet.

body guards. There was no pain. “Get off my stool?” I laughed. “You think it’s funny?” he said flatly. I pushed him and he immediately fell to the floor. “Listen. I sat at the bar and it was the first time I ever got one of the cushioned stools. I watched his progress with a mixture of confusion for taking my shove like a man. I do.” I sighed. Just because you’re bigger than me. “Bottle only. “That’s my seat. Two bar maids helped him up to his feet and he shot me a side ways glance. will you?” “No. “What?” “You’re sitting in my seat. you win. attempted to throw a punch. his knees occasionally buckling. It wasn’t much of a scuffle. “Hey. You want the stool.” I said The crowd surrounded the man on the floor. expecting a bar room brawl.” I stood closer to him.” .” “Tough guy?” “Very tough. scores of patrons all wanting to be witnesses to a bar room scuffle. for trying to take my shove like a man. and pity.” I replied.” He snarled. You can have it.” I called out to a bartender. I wanted simple to keep him in the mix. but the bartender didn’t grab it right away. are you?” “I still think I can take you. and bar backs. The bartender caught my attention and pointed to the beer he placed in front of me. It almost made me regret my chivalry.” I said. and I wanted to let him know that there was another dog-fighting contest brewing. They saw a man down and came rushing over. “But I was here first. “I don’t want to fight. as if he didn’t understand my reply. The man had soft hands. He clung on to one of the women and forced his way toward me.Frank Atanacio Chapter 33 I had called Detective Peter O’Brien to meet me at Corners Bar and Grill on Boston Avenue. He hit like a child. “Listen. and failed. I wanted to tell him what Brandon told me.” he shuddered. so I basked in the pleasures.” “Go lie down. “I think you’re funny. “Here we go again. “You were looking for a fight. He came toward me moving slowly. you’re not going to start with me again. I had gallantly offered to help the man up.” He stared at me for a second. but the people reacted differently. “I didn’t even hit you. “Becks.” The man took a swing at me and I expected pain.” He nodded. I’m not going to lie down. and I’m not giving it up to anyone.” “I’m sorry.” he said. but he pushed my hand away.” I started. It was a rare treat for me. He just looked at us. “Really?” “I’m going to take you down!” “Oh boy.” “No! I’m in a fighting mood. “I don’t want to fight. I put down twenty dollars.” someone said from behind me. you think you’re tougher?” “Yeah. So please take your sorry ass out of my face. and I’m here to give you one.

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

The bar maid that helped him sighed, wondering if it was crueler to allow him to fight me. Or should she have left him on the floor. She nodded, looked down as the man throw up on her new sneakers. “Fuck!” she shouted. The body guards had seen enough. They walked over to the man and tossed him out of the bar. That’s when Peter O’Brien walked in. Always never around when you need one.

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Frank Atanacio

Chapter 34
I managed to slip into the club without any of the bouncers seeing me. I must have cut my arm on some wire mesh they used to block the back entrance. My arm was bleeding, but I didn’t remember cutting it. Nevertheless I was in the club. It was well after 1: AM, but I promised Stacey I’d show up. I didn’t tell O’Brien about the dog-fighting contest, but I got my camera phone in my back pocket. I had plans to record what I can. It was my plan to take down the big frog. “Mr. Nick?” I turned and saw Stacey standing in front of me with a drink in her left hand. She wore a long shiny red dress that was clinging to her body, just right. “Stacey.” She smiled. “Are you setting me up?” She smiled again. “It doesn’t matter,” I said. “I would have come anyways.” “I’m setting someone up,” she smirked, “But it’s not you.” “Oh?” “My husband,” she added. “Oh, how so, and why?” “Let’s step into that back room,” she said as she grabbed my arm. “I’ll explain why.” “Where is your husband?” “He’s coming for the main event.” I nodded as I allowed her to escort me into a back room. I turned toward the fighting area and I saw two dogs getting ready to put on a display. The pit-bulls were damaged. One had an empty eye socket, chipped tooth, and the other had a torn ear that was sewn back together by a non-professional. The management were grooming the dogs for fighting as they were taunting the poor animals. I heard the bell ring and then Stacey closed the door behind me. “You’re going to miss the dog fight,” I said. “That’s not the main event,” she replied. “Those dogs look beat.” “They all are.” “Damn shame.” She nodded. “So,” I started. “How are you going to get back at your husband?” “He had Carolyn Lopez killed,” she said. I nodded. “She was my best friend.” “Mine too for a short while.” “Froggy treated her like a welcome mat,” she said softly. “Never gave a chance to pay him. He treated her ex-husband like shit too. I think that’s why he really never gave Carolyn what she deserved.” I nodded. “She liked you,” she said almost in an eerie calm. “She really liked you.”

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

The announcer’s voice from the next room filled the office. “Listen up, everybody. This is your chance to hit it big with the main event coming up early this morning. Minimum bet has been dropped to five hundred dollars, so everyone could get in on the action. Make sure you make your wagers early!” “Well,” she started as she sat down in a small sofa. “The main event will make him lots of money. I want to make sure he loses.” “How?” “He’s going to take heavy bets on the dogs, and when he looks at the odds he’s going to drug one of them so he’d be guaranteed to win. That’s where you come in.” I titled my head sideways. “I get all the betting slips and I calculate his winnings,” she continued. “I hand them over to Malone and he does his thing. Little will he know I’ll hand him your betting slip after he counts out the advantage. He will then wink at the dog handlers, and they’ll do their thing. You’re going to win, because I’ll make sure of it.” “What should I bet?” “Fifty thousand,” she smiled. “Dollars?” “Of course, ten times the amount.” “Wow, I’d have to sell my ass for cash if I should lose.” “Trust me,” she grinned sheepishly. “No one would buy that ass for cash. Not even in prison.” “And you know that how?” “Carolyn said you had a flat ass.” “Even the dead lie.” “Just bet that amount.” “And my dog will win?” “You’ll get ten times the amount.” “Ten times, boy that sounds pretty.” “That’s why people bet on the dogs,” she replied. “Damn, if I didn’t love animals so much, I’d be here every night. Now I understand what was going through the deacon’s mind. Or Carolyn’s mind. It seems like easy money, and ten times the amount is great.” She nodded. “But folks can get hooked.” “They all do.” I smiled. “That’s probably the reason the guards let you in,” she said. “I snuck in.” “We saw you on camera,” she smiled. “You voyeur you.” She smiled again. “All that for nothing,” I said. “I even cut my arm trying to come in undetected.” “Your fault,” she said. “Should have come in with everyone else. Trust me, you wouldn’t have been stopped.” “Says you.” “Of course,” she replied. “I’m Froggy’s wife.” “Bad taste you have,” I added.

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“Do you think you can handle me?” “With flying colors.” “Just pick a dog. and give you the difference. repeat it all over again. I have a dummy bet on the dog you don’t chose. he’ll believe you.Frank Atanacio “I had no choice. you understand?” “I’m just picturing you naked.” “Then let my actions speak for me. I just wanna make sure the gambling information I give you goes our way. “He wouldn’t know the amount because I’m not going to include it until everything’s counted.” “Crowded room.” “Are you sure you can handle it?” “With flying colors. I smiled. “He won’t like it. Then you take that money and pay off Carolyn’s share.” “I like your style.” I replied.” “So you’re giving me a hot tip?” She nodded. and obeyed. right?” “It’s not the dog that will win.” “How do I know you’re not doing this so I could owe him more money?” “You can tell him what I had planned.” “Just do your part.” “Take off your clothes.” she explained. “Good.” She smiled with the urge to laugh at my stupidity. “Big house. So you see. “What makes my dog the winner?” “The amount of money you’re betting on. He will then place a bet on the other dog for half as much. okay. “It’s the prize.“I said.” she said. .” I said.” she replied.” she replied. getting me all hot and bothered.” she ordered.” “What about you?” “I get to watch him squirm. someone will hear the dog you choose and they will bring it to the dummy bettor.” she continued. and I don’t want to talk about it. “Trust me Stacey.” “Okay. but he’ll have to pay.” I continued. “Long story. “My dog will win.” she said as she began removing her clothes.” “Now. and the deacon. “He can’t afford not to pay you. “I hope you can handle this because all I hear from you is a lot of talk.” “You know he is not an honest man.” “He’ll figure a way. the fix is in. She smiled as she stood there completely nude. “When you tell him of the drugged dog. You figure he’ll deduct what you owe him.” she answered. I can handle it.

I pushed the door out her hand and walked out first.” She smiled and walked away.com 91 . but it didn’t matter. “Well?” “Dingy. “I’ll take the one with the scar on the right side of his face. “Mr.” “Just give me your freaking name!” I smiled. “But first I’m going to try to win some of it back. but I felt that I had to. “Two heads are better than one.” “Yeah. www. Stacey said that the dog I picked was going to win. but she didn’t. Nick Barnum. “No.” “Your name?” “Nick Barnum.” someone called from behind me.” I said. “Which dog?” I looked over to the two dogs in the fighting area.” We got dressed and headed for the door. “This is the main event.” She giggled. She followed me right out the office.” “Dingy?” “I guess. “I thought someone else was going to over hear my choice. “What?” “The other big show. at your service.” I replied..” One of the bouncers laughed. fifty. never mind. I expected a lot of eyes on us.” “Oh. Stacey walked over to me and stood there with her arms crossed. How much dangerous could it get? “Ready?” she asked. “Bets. “Did you come to pay me my money?” “I did. “Don’t get cute.bibliotastic. I turned to face Froggy and two bouncers. It was just too easy.. Frog with one eye. but they were all too busy gambling and getting drunk.” she said. it’s time for the big show. and Froggy looked embarrassed.” “I thought you were getting the big show.” “Not if you’re just getting my. “Damn. “Another round?” She laughed. I thought she was going to stay behind. “Fifty?” I nodded. you are?” I nodded. She was calm and relaxed and I was tapping a married woman.” “Just making sure.” I said. “Mr.” I whispered. she didn’t even wish me luck.” he said. I didn’t know which one to pick.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 35 I knew there was no reason to hurry as we had sex for about an hour.” said a man as he stood in front of me.

” “Good luck on your wager. “And I’m going to get a few bouncers and body guards of my own. can we shut him up for you?” asked a bouncer.” I started. “If I win.” He looked confused. “I can give you a taste of things to come. “Let him brag all he wants.” he said. “I’ll give you one now. how much did you wager?” “I don’t gamble.” “Well.” “Yeah whatever.” “Let’s see about that.” “You are aggressive.” “For your sake.” I said. “And Mr. “I just know I can back my shit up.” I replied.” I replied.Frank Atanacio “What dog did you bet on?” “The black and white younger looking dog. “I hope you lose. it’ll be my pleasure to serve you. and you don’t pay me. I’m going to kick your ass everyday until I get paid. Barnum.” “If you’d like.” “I try to be. The proof would be in that ring.” I said.” he said.” He smiled. “Ass kicks.” he replied as he turned and walked away. I’m going to turn the tables on you. “You better pay me. Just to keep your body guards busy while I beat the shit out of you.” “And when I win.” he grinned.” “Is that so?” “Yes. It’s not going to be about the money anymore.” I said.” “Boss. “You’re a funny guy. “How about you. “No. “He looks like he can take a licking and keep on ticking.” he said.” replied Froggy. You know. “Funny now. to help you get use to them. . “Gamblers are losers.” “So is your momma!” So is your momma? I simply had nothing else to say to him.” “No?” “It’s going to be about how many ass-kicks you can take before you die.” “Until you get killed.” I lied.

The fight was over and my dog won hands down. “Anyways.” “I don’t give a shit about the dog.” “Why aren’t you happy?” www.” “Congratulations. “You will win. “Even you.” I couldn’t help but to notice all the blood.” I whispered. I had a difficult time wondering why humans were so savage like. I got a look at Stacey as she turned away from the fight. I turned to look and noticed Rusty Miller breathing heavy behind me.” I whispered.” I pointed as Dingy put the final blows on his opponent. We enjoy watching other species ripped a part and we bet money on it. the dog dies. “Hey man. “Anyways. To see violence the way it should be displayed. pure and undiluted.” “Not god’s ear. “I got five hundred bucks riding on this Dingy dog. a lost gambler. They were sad because they lost a great deal of money. I’ll be out of the red. He nodded. “Winning?” Someone asked from behind me. no better life.” said Rusty Miller.” he added.” “Your words to god’s ear.” he continued. They weren’t sad because a dog died.” he smiled as the dogs continued fighting to the end. Where does anyone get off by making such a statement? “Cops should arrest everyone here.” “It’s a life!” I half shouted. “I really don’t want to see this. and felt very sick to my stomach. “Doesn’t matter whose ear.” he started. “I see you got money on this fight.” The fight began and I struggled with wave after wave of cruelty to animals being displayed right in front of me. He was actually enjoying the fight. There was no good life. “Look. and he had a hard expression on his face. “Yeah. It was misery for the dogs. “This is action.” he continued.” he said as he sat down in an empty plastic seat beside me. and then their lives would be done.” “You’ll win my friend. “It’s just an animal. “Damn look at all that blood.” “Big money. “You win. It was just a sickening sight.” I whispered. not people.com 93 .” I grimaced.” I said softly. Rusty Miller said animals should rip each other apart.” he said. There was no chance of either one of them to live. By animals. Their was a hint of jubilee in his eyes.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 36 The pit-bulls dreaded every step into the center of the ring.” I nodded slowly in agreement. “My god I can’t believe I finally won. I turned to face the crowd and there were so many sad faces. did you win?” He asked.” I said. “I just placed a bet on this main event.bibliotastic. “If my dog wins. She was sitting next to her husband. “Yes!” Rust Miller shouted. It feels so good. “I wonder what’s going through his sick little mind. I looked into the glowering face of Rusty Miller. “Never mind.” I smiled. It was going to come down to this fight. and no neutral life. not people. “Damn. “This is why I come here.” I whispered as I took a seat on a white plastic picnic chair.

“How dare you dictate!” he shouted.” he said. “I think I found it.” “Nope. I also want you to deduct what the deacon owes. “Let that be a lesson.” “Don’t threaten me!” He shouted.” Froggy came racing over with his body guards in tow. “I get it.” I said. “What’s this?” “I come to collect. I grabbed the bouncer in front of me and shot him twice in the foot. Froggy grinned mirthlessly. “I don’t want to tell you again.” He was agitated.” replied the bookie.Frank Atanacio “A dog just got killed.” I said.” “Someday you will. “I want my money. In fact.” He was angry. and smelly breath. “I’m going to kill you and your two bouncers.” Froggy said.” I said. “What seems to be the problem?” “I can’t pay this man.” I warned. “I”ll tear up the note you have with me and we’ll call it even. “There’s some kind of mistake. “I’ll give you one week to come up with the rest of my money. “I don’t think this bet was legally taken. I saw it deep in his eyes.” “Fuck them. “As long as I get mine. “It was taken properly. He had tired eyes. and I expect to get paid. plus the interest you require. he just moved to one side as the wounded man fell passed him. “Hey. I didn’t have to stand to close to smell it. “This can’t be tight.” said Froggy.” I said. “That’s my warning. The bookie was a small roundish man with red cheeks and balding jet black hair. “I mean this bet wasn’t factored in.” “Did everybody hear the threat?” he shouted. “Yeah. you ass!” “I mean. tell them to come down now and arrest me for threatening your life.” I said.” he said as he stood up. He reeked.” he said as he looked toward Froggy.” I said. Froggy looked at my slip and realized it was genuine. and What Carolyn Lopez owed.” I smirked as he was almost in my face.” I said. “Let him go for now. I promise you that.” “I don’t understand. I pushed him toward the other one as he fell to the floor. You think I’m the type to allow anyone to insult him like this? You’re barking up the wrong tree.” “You don’t get it.” he started feeling the pressure as a bigger crowd surrounded us. I walked up to the bookie and handed him my slip.” I replied. “What do you want me to do?” one bouncer asked as he stepped in front of me.” “You know what I’ll do. “If I don’t get my money.” I said as I holstered my gun.” I said. “Deduct what I owe you.” he said as he pushed his way toward me. “Call the police. The crowd was stirring around the bookie as they were paying their losses. “It’s right.” “None of these bets are legal. Nick!” .” he said. “Or at least I better get it in one week. “And I want my winnings. you must think I’m a push-over. His partner failed to catch him.” “Man you’re looking for ugly.

www.” Froggy said to the other bouncer as he ignored the other one on the floor. “I said one week!” He stormed out pushing everything and everyone out of his way. He stopped. “You’ve never been caught up in such turmoil. but didn’t make a sound. “Too many people. “Let’s go. Little bitch. She was clinging to the bar as she forced her way toward the exit. “One week!” I shouted. The blow knocked her on her ass.” She smiled almost sheepishly. and again It looked like an insult.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Let’s go home. It was probably a direct insult toward her husband. knees occasionally buckling in several places. Froggy turned to her and punched her in the face as hard as he could.” he growled. for taking a punch like man.” she said as she touched his upper arm. stay out of it.” Stacey said as she made her way through the crowd.com 95 .bibliotastic. She wiped the blood away with her hand. I wanted to jump on him. She didn’t even blink as she grinned.” I said as I just watched on helplessly. but did not turn around. but that would have made him suspicious. I watched her progress with a mixture of admiration for standing up to her husband. and pity.” “I said. “Never touch me again. “Stay out of this. She stood up and moved slowly toward the door. and blood shot out of her nose.” “Please. “One week.” she said.

” “I hope you guys have someone watching him. and they were best friends. “What?” “You’ll make him pay you. Hell.” .” I said. We can take it from here.” he replied. “He has already hurt the deacon.” “Good guys. “Nick?” “He rattled my cage for his payment.” “We can’t prove that.” “What?” “He was quickly released on bail.” “We did.” he replied slowly. but it served good coffee and cake. “I hope you guys go to his office and pick his stank ass up.” “He’s not going to pay. “You know that’s illegal?” I nodded. He had received my photo text messages I sent to his computer and had now believed that there was dog-fighting was a reality. Do I make myself clear?” I just stared at him.” “Come on Pete. “I can.” I said. “Who do you have watching him?” I asked.” “Captain Roque says he’s going to overlook this. “But we want you to keep out of this now. I gave him one week to pay.” I smiled.” I started. He has murdered Carolyn Lopez.” “Good.” “He might hurt the people around you.” “Why would she go back on her husband?” “Because that marriage is a farce.Frank Atanacio Chapter 37 I wasn’t surprised that O’Brien knew about what I did last night at the club.” “What?” “His wife Stacey told me that he took care of Carolyn Lopez.” I said. It was a small coffee shop.” “How?” “His wife. “That man can be very dangerous. We sat at the counter talking about what transpired last night.” “I’m out.” O’Brien nodded. but I promised him I’ll give him a taste of his own medicine. because you were just trying to help out the deacon.. “So you placed a big bet.” said O’Brien. “And that’s what I don’t want to happen. “But he owes me a great deal of money. I won’t take the money. We met at a coffee shop on Pennsylvania Avenue. “Yeah. he even has Willie the Greek on his payroll. “But you did it anyways?” I nodded again.” he frowned. “Do you really think he’s going to pay me?” O’Brien smiled.” said O’Brien. and I strongly advice you not to take the payment if he offers it to you. “The captain sent Victor Cruz and Wilfredo Fuentes to keep a tale on him.” I said. broke into my office and stole my petty-cash. “Why don’t you just let me rattle his cage for a little bit.

” he warned.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “And she will testify?” “I don’t know.” “I said okay!” O’Brien was eating a doughnut and I looked at him with curious eyes. I knew he wanted to protect me.bibliotastic. and I knew that he knew I wasn’t really going to stay away from Froggy. www. “I’m serious Nick.” he said. “We’ll take care of him. you need to talk to her.” “Just stay away from Froggy. He just had to say it. We got that all out of the way as I sipped my coffee.” “If she doesn’t. and I just had to agree. “I plan to.com 97 .” I nodded.

but you have to let us handle this. I’m sure she wants to know that you’re okay. “Everything is going to go down well.” “I can’t believe Janet would just lay down without a fight. It’s what Janet would have wanted me to do.” I said. That Froggy wanted to send me a message.” “I know. “We’re going to try and get everything in. I can’t believe they would do something like this. now let him start touching ours. I had to move around so I could distract myself before I lost my composure. look around you. “Consider your investigation closed. .” How is she doing?” “She’ll live. “We’ll handle it Nick.” he replied.” “I hope so.” I sat tensely.” “You’re going after him for this too. but I had to pay Froggy a visit. right?” I asked. and he was most certainly going to receive it just as loud and clear. okay Nick?” “Deacon?” “We’re going to release him when this is all finalized. and as she cowered in stunned pain.” I said knowing damn well that she was probably caught off guard. I told you at that coffee shop to stay away from Froggy. looking hard at O’Brien.Frank Atanacio Chapter 38 I couldn’t bear to sit at my desk.” “Have I ever lied to you?” I looked around my office again and shook my head from side to side indicating no.” “He’s gotten my attention. By the time Janet punched in 911.” “I hope so.” “How about B B?” “I have Eggy watching her. This time I mean it.” he replied. “So let him start pushing us.” he said.” “Because we arrested him. “But they took her down a notch. “Too many people are getting hurt because you’re sticking your nose in way too deep. I knew he meant well.” I nodded. My mouth was so dry that I had to take several sips of coffee before I was able to ask. “Even the murder of Carolyn Lopez. “Good. and I received it loud and clear.” he said. “I heard. she was calling my name. You can trust me on that.”He said.” “Leave this one too us. He had heard about what happened to Janet and he too was enraged.” “Okay. “Now clean up this mess and go visit your secretary in the hospital. I heard. “This one will not slip through our fingers.” he said. They beat her up and almost left her for dead. She was struck several times and it was the first blow that fractured her ribs.” “He’s pushing me. It was my turn to send him a message. the thugs had gotten to her. O’Brien came to my office and looked around.” I nodded. “Did you hear what I said?” he asked.” “He keeps touching my spots. Do you understand me?” “Pete.

He didn’t have a worried look on his face. “Is there a problem with her organs?” I asked. “It’s nothing you did. We just want to make sure everything goes smoothly. I too felt relief entering my body. She’s going to be just fine. That just wasn’t right.bibliotastic. The doctor came out and walked over to Janet’s mother.” she sobbed. “Nick.” I nodded. “You are?” “Ahhh.” Janet’s mother blurted. She had on her night gown and a blue knitted sweater covering her up.” I nodded. I looked over toward Janet’s mother and saw the look of pain washing over her face.” “Her husband.” I said. and she had it pinned up. “But make sure all billing goes to Nick PT Barnum.” I nodded. the tears running down her cheeks.” she screamed. so I knew the news was going to be positive. she tries to squeeze me.” “Mama–“ ” Nick.” she continued sobbing.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 39 I found Janet’s mother in the waiting room outside the intensive care unit.” I replied softly.com 99 .” “She’s my baby. as though she was afraid of opening her mouth because the screams would just come pouring out. and I was thinking about my checking account. “Janet suffered some broken bones and same and muscle bruising. www. right?” she said abruptly. I just want you to pray for my baby. “I heard. “I don’t want to know. Her painted lips were clamped together tightly.” “Even near death. “You do work with dangerous people. It was obvious that she just ran out of her house as fast as she could. “What?” “She said it while they wheeled her in here. He looked at me with a sideways glance.” he said. She was worried sick.” he said as he tried looking into her eyes. her boss. “Why did they do this to her?” she asked while trying to catch her breath. “Hi. She was weeping quietly. “But other than that.” “Thank God. “Nothing to worry yourself. “Did you want to fill out paperwork for your eh wife?” “I let my dear old mother in-law do it. are you the mom?” She nodded.” “That’s noted on her files.” she laid a gentle hand on her lips. Her hair was in a net. “Mine too.” I whispered.. “We’re going to keep her here a little longer than expected just watch some vital organs. Janet’s mother seemed suddenly flustered.” he said. “She’s a good girl. I didn’t want to answer that question.

” I said.” she said. just do what you got to do. She smiled. whatever it takes to get her back on her feet is okay with me.Frank Atanacio “Mama. “I don’t care how much it cost. I smiled.” She smiled.” I said. . “I’ll check on her when they move her to recovery.” “Okay Nick. She looked better. “Tell her I was here.

he’s with me. “You won’t be able to. and noticed that it was empty.” he shouted.” she said. “What the hell happened to you?” “He had to put me in my place.” “What?” She nodded slowly. “That’s an order. Her face was covered in bruises.” “Oh.” she replied. The water fountains were off. He’s going to hire the best lawyers to defend them even if it takes a lifetime. “Isn’t that.” “I’m okay.” she replied. “I come here to pay Froggy back for what he did to my secretary.” He nodded and walked over to his security desk. He will keep them out of jail. “I have orders.” she added. “Where is that little weasel?” “He’s out hiring the best lawyers the state has to offer. It was probably closed to the public. and she was wearing a tee-shirt and black jeans. Nick.com 101 .” “But Mam. The security guard on duty emerged from the back door wiping his hangs on a paper towel. “He’s trying to get off?” She didn’t answer. I had noticed the sign in front stating that the office is closed.?” “I said. and the lights were dim.” she paused briefly. I’m so surprised that he hasn’t had you killed yet.” “Mam. but that didn’t stop me. “Nick?” I turned and I saw Stacey standing behind me. I gotta try. “That bastard worked me over last night when he got home.” I nodded. “He’s with me Arnold.” he replied. I went by the security desk. “Stacey?” “He has three men on his payroll that’s going to take the fall for everything that happened.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 40 The evening was getting tougher to accept when I drove to Froggy’s office on Main Street. I went inside. and I’m just saving your life.” she replied as she walked over to me and kissed my cheek. and he will not harm you.” I said.” “I’m suppose to harm him. “Froggy can have me killed in a minute. and pay them well. www.” “No you don’t. “We’re closed..” she said as she tried smiling. but I saw a tall thin man walking out. “And you know this?” I asked as a rhetorical question. “Trust me Arnold. he’s tried. “Stacey?” “Look.. “Why don’t you go to the police?” She didn’t answer.” he continued. I heard a toilet flush.bibliotastic.” “And he’ll keep on trying. “Everything went as planned.” she said.

and Carolyn Lopez?” She didn’t answer. “When his men turned themselves in.” I replied.” she held both my upper arms and looked directly into my face.” She slapped me again.” she replied.” “I don’t know the time or what day.” “I’m just going over there to ask for my money.” I said mostly to myself. it’ll all be over. He’s going to kill you.” I said. He just watched on as if he was awaiting instructions. “I’m just saying that you’re pushing this just a little too far.” “I know the place.” She grimaced.” “You asked whose going to stop you!” “I didn’t mean you. “Then this war isn’t over!” “Nick you can’t mean that. stop hitting me.” “Poor sap is going to end up dead.” she said.” she said. “I just want you to be safe. “I meant Froggy.” I said. “Hit me!” “I’m not going to hit you. not me.” “What about the deacon. right?” “No. “He blamed his bookie.” .” she said. but did not say a word. “They’re going to meet at a restaurant on the Post Road.Frank Atanacio “Where is he searching for these god sent attorneys?” “Fairfield. “I’ll find out the time and date. “If it means keeping you off his back. “I won’t let you do it. he’ll pay you.” she said through clenched teeth.” “Not because of my bet.” “Whose going to stop me?” She slapped my face and stood directly in front of me waiting for me to slap back. Consider yourself a winner. Carolyn. “He didn’t pay me yet and I want to keep him honest. “You can’t keep making trouble. You beat him in his own game.” “For him. and Janet?” “War causalities. “Nick. even if they’re dead. Nick.” “Nick. “That hurts!” I shouted.” she said while holding me back. “Stacey?” “No. “He is keeping me out of the loop now. “Stacey.” she said.” “He’ll pay you.” “Just let it go. Diamonds.” “Did he clear the deacon.” she said as she grabbed my hand.” She nodded slowly. “That’s all.” she replied. “Hit me.” she replied. The security guard stood from his desk. “He said he wasn’t clearing deadbeats.” “I don’t believe you for one minute. “He will clear their names.” “Funny guy. I think.” she replied.

“Is this monkey giving you a hard time.. Don’t you want some type of justice?” She looked down. “I don’t want your husband to get away with what he did.” “I know you want to.” “His debt was paid in full. go back to your duties.” “How do you know I can’t handle myself?” I said as I looked into her battered face. “Listen Stacey.Case File: Dog Eats Dog She nodded and backed away slowly.” I added. “I will.” she said.bibliotastic. “He’s just doing his job.. but didn’t say another word. “You can’t put up with him anymore. I smiled. He glanced at me.” “This is a gambling debt pay-off?” “I was loyal to him.” I started.com 103 .” “Everything is fine. but I don’t want you to get hurt. He started this whole thing. www. and I plan to finish it.” “Be careful.” “Please. “Don’t call me a monkey if you can’t back it up.” she half whispered. “Let me go take care of him. “Look what he did to you.” she said as she pulled me into the nearest office.” Stacey said. I kissed her bruised lips.” she said.” She nodded slowly. “And why did you marry him?” “To pay off.” I said.” I nodded and walked out. “Is everything alright?” asked the security guard. “That was part of the agreement. “Arnold.

“What’s good here?” he asked. right?” “You said Stacey had different information. “What we have will stick. give us a break.” O’Brien added. “If she would have come forward and gave us Froggy. “They’ll do hard time.” I replied. I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining and take advantage of the bargains. “Froggy’s people are going to issue a statement and they’re going to fire all of those involved. “What about Carolyn. I couldn’t believe that they’d still be in business charging these low prices.” he said. I nodded. O’Brien walked in and sat across from me. . “Froggy. He didn’t even say hello. “And Froggy isn’t one of them.” He shot a glance my way. He didn’t stop to ask if I was ready to order.” “Of course you know this is all bull shit.” “She’s afraid. but she wasn’t going to spill the beans. “BLT. “I’m buying. “It is nothing!” “It’s going to satisfy the State.” I said.Frank Atanacio Chapter 41 At noon the After Cafe on Edna Street roared with business.” “It’s better than nothing. “Something bothering you?” I asked.” he replied. “Froggy still walks.” I said as I took a sip of my water. we wouldn’t have taken those sworn statements. but at these prices. “Sounds good. The waiter came over quickly and handed O’Brien a menu.” said O’Brien.” I smiled.” I said. I’d give him a pass. but that doesn’t do anything for me.” “Ready to order?” asked the waiter as he stood by us waiting to jot down our order. and those dogs that died?” “It’s all on paper. He half smiled.” I smiled. but didn’t speak. The waiter came to me and handed me a menu.” “I’m sure it will.” I nodded. “What do you know?” “You have confessions. “Right?” “They confessed to everything. He sighed heavily.” I replied.” he said. It was a place where families came in and enjoyed a very good meal at very low prices. “So you’re not going to ask me about Froggy?” “I already know.” he said. I opened up the menu and notice almost everything on it was under five dollars. “Come on Nick.” “We would have protected her.

” I said. “Too many people owe him. and it seems everybody owes him money.” I said. he’s taken down those poor witnesses.” “He’s going to be extra careful now. “Me too. I nodded.” I said.” O’Brien said.” “How can we win when Froggy hasn’t got a mark on him?” I half shouted. It’s not going to be easy for him.” said O’Brien.” I said.” “Sure he’ll be careful. “You know Willie. Yet.” said O’Brien. “We just can’t roll over and look the other way. He’s taken down the good deacon.” I said. And don’t you think he’s given up on me either.” he said. He’s taken down some good people. “The city wins. The man will not stop until he gets what’s his. Nick. and I plan on collecting. He knows that the dog fighting in this city is over.” “Including you.” I said.” “I don’t think it’s going to help. He always wants to be king of the hill. “Did you check up on Janet?” he asked. “Better?” “Yeah. “Trust me on this.” “And he’ll remember that. “You weren’t betting.” “Orange soda. Don’t let him get away with this. “He’s in it up to his eye balls.” I replied. “But he’ll take more people down with him.” I smiled.” “Willie knows better. That’s going to take a big bite out of his gravy train.” “I’m telling you Pete. “Coke. “It’s a stat for us. “Better late than never.” said O’Brien as he took a bite out of his sandwich.” “You don’t even mean that. and he knows that. “Deal with it.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “BLT. He’s watching over his shoulder now. “Just let it go. The waiter quickly picked up the menus and hurried off to place our order.” I said.” I said.” “A little too late. That can’t be good because Willie hates owing anyone anything. and that we can prove that he’s been involved. You did nothing illegal.” “You do shake cages too hard. “But she’s pissed. remember?” I nodded. Even Willie the Greek owes him money. “He owes me money. he’s not putting up a fight against Froggy.bibliotastic.” he added.” “I told you before. “You gotta give me something better than that. It’s not going to be easy for him.com 105 .” “He’ll climb back on top. www. She wants me to get back at Froggy. “No. “Froggy wins.” O’Brien nodded as the waiter brought over our food and drinks.” I said. you shouldn’t stop right here.” “What do you want me to do?” “Tell the captain that the investigation is still incomplete. “We have him right where we want him.” “Then that’s when we make our move.” I nodded.” he said. I shook his cage.” “Just tell her this is all resolved.

it’s a dog eats dog world.” I lost my appetite.” I said. “Eat. .” “More like Frog eats dog.Frank Atanacio “You said it before Nick. the sandwich it’s good.

” “I want my money. “Yeah he does. They were his salvation. Mr. He was having dinner with three suits.. It was a great chance to collect what you owe me.” I replied. “Something would marry you?” “You don’t have to take this.” I said.” “Even the people that owe you?” “No. “Just wanted to see how the criminals live. “I figure in public you wouldn’t sick your dogs after me.” he half mumbled.” “Was it Stacey?” “Who?” “My damn wife!” he shouted. All I want is what you owe me. but I wanted to make sure I put a crimp in it.” www. “No one else knew I was here. “You know the guys running the dog fights confessed.” he said with a smirk on his face. “Who told you I was here?” he asked. “Nick Barnum. “I walked by and saw your pretty face from the window.” I said.” “You don’t get it. “My wife is in hot water. how are you going to pay me?” “With my foot in your ass if you don’t get out of here. That’s what I do best.” He grimaced. He knew I knew it too.” he continued smiling. “Shut up or I’ll kick the living shit out of you. “It’s okay. “If I don’t get it. “I’ll handle this one. “What brings you into an expensive place like this?” he asked again without looking at me.” he said. Barnum?” “You can pay me the money you owe me. I nodded.” I said.” Froggy said.” I smiled. “What can I do for you.” “Hey! You can’t say that!” shouted one of the suits.” I added. “All debts are off.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 42 Froggy dreaded every step I took when I walked into the eatery. “At your service. “So.bibliotastic. “It wasn’t your wife. I don’t care if you put a foot in my ass. as long as you give me what you owe me.” I replied.com 107 . A thousand reasons for him to get up and walk out raced across his mind.” I snorted back. Do I make myself clear?” “Hey.” “I’m going to punch you in the face in a few minutes if I don’t see you writing a check.” he said without looking at me.” said another suit.” “A threat?” he looked annoyed.. “Just for the last fight. I walked by and saw you. “I told you.

“You’re crazy!” “One.” I said. I flexed my arms. “The kick was extra.” I said. .” “Someone stop this bully!” Froggy shouted. but I kicked him in the face. “Sit down or I’ll beat you silly.” I said.” “I’ll sue!” “And I’ll shoot you dead. If that’s okay with you. “And you won’t!” “You don’t think I’ll punch you in the face. Blood spat everywhere.” “You’re in deep shit.Frank Atanacio “How dare you?” “I’m serious. A low-life.” “Mr. Barnum.” Froggy started. “Did you collect your winnings?” “Huh?” “Did they pay you?” He did not reply. “Five.” “I called the police. you better know who I am!” “Two.” “Let me get rid of him. The suits stood up but they all backed away.” “I don’t see a check book.” I said as I kicked him in the face again. I slowly walked over to Froggy and punched him in the face knocking him off his chair. Barnum.” I said. “I’m going to count to five. “Then I’ll drive to your house and kill your family. right?” He blinked.” “I’m serious!” “Three. “No charge.” “Wait!” “Checkbook?” “I said I wasn’t going to pay anyone for that past fight.” he said.” “In that case. It was a cramp that shot through me. and fought to relax them.” “Mr. “I’m going to get all my licks in.” said the third suit. or perhaps it was the urge to continue kicking the shit out of Froggy.” One of the suits picked up his cell phone and dialed the police.” “Those threats can land you in jail!” “But they will be carried out before I go to jail. “You’re just a thug. He touched his chin and growled.” he said. “Four. Froggy tried to stand.

The suits sighed. “He wasn’t remotely afraid.” I looked at her and winked.” Froggy said. Froggy watched me as the police did their job. because they were just simply doing their job. It would have been unproductive because the suits would have definitely saw right through him.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Froggy looked up at me. Froggy stood up and tried not to be so tall. I didn’t let him down as I kicked him again. “You’ll get your money. “Please. “I’ll see you later. it kinda was. Nick. He was feeling the pain. Now all he had to do was wait for me to try and get revenge. “What an animal. The Fairfield police led me through the narrow. “I’m sure they have. “That one!” shouted one of the suits. “Leave him alone.” said the waiter. away from the waiters and waitresses as they tried to gear in closer for a look at me. “Oh.” “Yeah. “Please. “These guys can be tough. He was banking on it.” he sighed. The police were headed for the main cruiser parked right outside the door. for my money.com 109 . “Kicking my face wasn’t necessary. please.” she begged. He was particularly concerned that he had nothing to do with my capture.” said a waiter as he stood next to the suits.” Froggy said quietly. speaking slowly. It was suppose to be his way or the highway. Froggy took a breath. “My money!” I shouted back.” Always careful of what he says in front of other people. “Bastard is going to pay for this. you’re going to kill him. “Those type of guys don’t pay.” “I don’t think they have dealt with people like Nick before. Froggy nodded.” he began.” He grimaced as the Fairfield police rushed into the restaurant.” Froggy whispered. cramped rows of dining tables of the very upscale eatery. He wanted to be in control. I smiled.bibliotastic. This part was over.” “Maybe the cops will do that.” I’ll give you your damn money!” “You see how simple that was?” Froggy’s head dropped into one hand. The Fairfield Police quickly tackled me to the ground and handcuffed me. www. His eyes were red with anger as he waited for another kick. Froggy just stared at me as he resisted the temptation to berate me for my actions. “They got to be put out of their misery. I didn’t put up a fight.” a waitress said softly.” said another suit as he helped Froggy to a seat.” I said as the police hauled me away. He wanted to bark out the orders.

This gave O’Brien the urge to just fall to sleep. when the captain had his back toward him. They will handle the obvious and overlook the unobvious. “Captain. “He does what he does and I don’t ask questions. “No wait. In his uniform days. It was their way of sharing things with sister towns. A thin female police officer knocked at the door. right?” The captain made no effort to match O’Brien’s soft. He did it because he knew there would be no serious social repercussions O’Brien smiled as he cursed under his breath. “In many ways. but he had always hid his dislike for them. and I was a Bridgeport citizen causing havoc in their town.” O’Brien nodded. and he knew he poked fun at the Bridgeport Police Department. Will that be to your satisfaction. He just respected the position.” she said. he’d nearly dozed off on two separate occasions. stroking his beard again.” O’Brien replied with a hint of sarcasm. “My men will never be put in the position you’re in. I’m also sure you wouldn’t want your men to question your friends or what you do. but he didn’t have to like him.” O’Brien replied as he stood up. He knew that the captain was speaking to him like an undisciplined child.Frank Atanacio Chapter 43 This was just the sort of meeting that usually put Detective Peter O’Brien to sleep. “Am I correct in my assumption?” He asked. polite tone. he had watched captains come and captains go. He knew he played O’Brien. Mr.” “I hear your captain is tough. but managed to snap himself out of it when a question was shot his way.” we must watch out for our own people.” he said. “With respect to your captain. he was obvious. I will release this animal to you without handcuffs. It was something they wanted no part of. not bothering to hide it. “The last thing I wanted to do was come here to pick up Nick Barnum. and help you watch out for yours. and I will make sure Captain Frank Roque takes care of him.” O’Brien nodded. “Come.” O’Brien added. O’Brien sat at the head of the table as the captain was pacing in a command sort of way. “Do you want him in cuffs or not?” “I’ll take the obvious. I think he’s good friends with this Nick character. The captain shrugged. “Hey Pete. “I don’t get into my captain’s business.” O’Brien sighed. He also remained alert enough to follow the conversation. “Something I said?” asked the captain. “He is an animal. “I have the prisoner. and my actions at the restaurant. “I’m bringing the animal to you.” O’Brien replied as he leaned back in his chair. . They wanted to explain all of this to O’Brien.” I said. I just had a long night. This time.” The captain cleared his throat in satisfaction.” said the captain.” said the Fairfield police captain. They wanted to talk to him about my release. “What a sight for sore eyes!” “Your friend too?” said the captain as he removed the handcuffs. O’Brien snored silently.” the captain barked. but I heard many good things about this Nick PT Barnum. “I hope you put him in his cage.” O’Brien hadn’t been particularly fond of the captain. O’Brien?” “Yes sir.” An embarrassed silence descended over O’Brien’s face.” he replied. he’s an animal. “What?” The captain silently groaned. “It will be. stroking his brown thin chin beard. The captain turned to O’Brien. In fact. You’re right. “Well.

“Let’s get out of here.” “You have clean holding cells.” I nodded. “Come on Nick.” I said. The captain grimaced.Case File: Dog Eats Dog O’Brien felt a chill. “Just get him out of here.bibliotastic.com 111 .” said O’Brien. www.

“Even if I do. “But I think you should just let things be for now. and the cruelty to those animals.” “Even if I do.” “We got our man.” I said.” I laughed again. The waiter stopped in front of us with our meals. O’Brien began tapping the counter with his fingers and he realized that I was annoyed. That has to be good enough. I’m not even including the dogs he killed. “His bark is worse than his bite. “No exceptions. O’Brien looked straight into my eyes and said to me. but he didn’t place them down. I guess I made him nervous. Willie the Greek produced some Patsies. Including murder!” “He’ll pack up in leave.” O’Brien continued.” I said as I took a small bite of my club.” he paused. That man is getting away with everything.” said O’Brien. “That Frog managed to produce Patsies!” I half shouted. “It shouldn’t end this way. “What?” “He called the captain and asked the captain to put a leash on you. So again.” “Pete. I know deep down inside you agree with me. “It’s okay. “I just don’t like the way this played out. Why is this so different?” . “What?” “Do you have to keep tapping the freaking counter?” “Are you angry?” “Damn straight. The deacon is back home. Not like this. “And the captain called him a fly eater. The men will serve a great deal of time. It was okay with you then. We hurried in and ordered a turkey club and two diet colas.” said O’Brien. “The captain told him if he had to put a leash on you he’d tie you up at his office.” I said.” he growled. there is no exceptions!” “One.” he huffed. “Coming into Fairfield to bail your stank ass out of jail because you couldn’t leave Froggy alone!” “I shook him good.” O’Brien replied.” Damn.” I continued. and he simply lost his train of thought. “He got the deacon tied up in knots. I can feel it.” The waiter smiled and continued doing his job.” I laughed. “Leave it alone.” he said as he finished off his soda and ordered another one without speaking. We have written statements.Frank Atanacio Chapter 44 O’Brien was hungry so we stopped off at The Flyer Diner on State Street next to the truck stop area and McDonalds. It’s all right there with no exceptions. “Yeah you did rattle his cage. “Besides. “It can’t just end here. and he almost killed Janet.” “I’m the one who should be angry. “It has to be enough. everything the court needs to make the charges stick. what can I do about it. and the men he sold down the river is doing time for everything that has happened. I know he’s getting away with too much. he killed Carolyn. “How can you say that?” I said as I sipped on my soda. nine times out of ten I’d agree with you.” O’Brien smiled.” O’Brien said. Besides. But not this time. confessions. “As you may recall from past incidences. “Froggy called the captain a pig. we have confessions to everything.” said O’Brien.” “It’s still not him.” I shouted almost abstractedly.

“Yep.bibliotastic. I knew where he was coming from. O’Brien smiled. “You can do some serious jail time Nicky boy. but I also knew he didn’t really share in that belief. and nothing was being accomplished. it just had to be done. www.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “He’s a killer!” “Willie killed people too!” “Drug dealers! And other gang members!” “It’s all the same!” O’Brien shouted.” “You know I’m right. “We need to kill him. Froggy had to die. “I’m just telling you that there is nothing we can do about this situation.” I grimaced. and as cruel as my intentions were.” I said.” “How?” “Kill him. “Innocent people die because of it!” “And because we’re turning a blind eye on Froggy.” I fought the urge to raise my voice.” I said softly.. “Two wrongs. I’m just like you. for doing what you think is right. A spectator in life. “Regardless of what you believe my intentions are.” “Now you’re talking murder.” said O’Brien. but I just had to say my say. more innocent people are going to die. “You win. Froggy wins!” “But he doesn’t have to win!” “Don’t go there Nick. listen to what you’re saying. “We have the chance to stop him. “You’re talking murder and I want no part of it.. his eyes hard with restrained emotion. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Nick. I realized we were just arguing in circles.” I interrupted. He knew I was right.” O’Brien continued. “I can’t do anything about it.” “What?” “You heard me Pete.com 113 .” he spoke. You’re not making any kind of sense.” I whispered.” I sighed. Let’s just change the subject.” “Don’t even say it.” I said. so I spoke slowly and calmly and hoped the effort did not offend O’Brien.” His face was tight.” “Dog eats dog world. “I don’t win!” he shouted.

I was trying to find out what was going on in the office. “Stacey?” Nick. “You be careful. I had to let him know what was going on. Fate was stepping in. “Pete. It wasn’t a step up. O’Brien. In order to take down the beast. It wasn’t my normal way of thinking. but I didn’t forget to bring it with me. She was strangled to death with that choker.” Don’t tell me you’re locked up again? . I couldn’t let Froggy move on. I slowly walked into the office and was shocked to see a woman’s body on the floor next to the security guard’s desk. It was built on the spot were an old building once stood. the only exit I wanted was exit 7. I took out my cell phone and called O’Brien.” I said as I knelt down before her and removed the choker from her lifeless body. Froggy’s office was not one of them. It gave the new building character.” Nicky. I think Froggy is going to hurt me. the door was unlocked. The man is not thinking like he use to. it connected to Fairfield Avenue which became the Old Post Road. but really didn’t care.” I said under my breath. It was one of the old fashioned gold knobs. Maybe I’m dead this time. I knew that Stacey would have been relieved if she knew I was outside. I thought about it as I turned onto Route eight and was heading for the Trumbull Mall. I wasn’t going to give it too much consideration because I knew O’Brien would just talk me out of it. I couldn’t believe my luck. I didn’t really have the time to think it over. but then I remembered that Stacey was expecting me. I think he’s gone off the edge. However.” I said as I slapped the cell phone shut and tossed it into the passenger’s side. I wanted someone to peek out the window. He would have urged me to mind my own business. and it was what I took. and I wanted to avoid The entrance side to Beardsley Park. which broke into several different avenues. He had to be stopped. I walked to the front of the office and slowly turned the door knob. “Damn Stacey. sacrifices had to be made. I wanted to make sure I didn’t get caught on the ever lasting construction on Boston Avenue. I touched my back pocket to see if I had my cell phone with me. I was going to see Stacey. I still had all my wits. I can’t make him out. He’s on his way to the office and he told me not to leave. and Froggy struck again. However. “Should I call Pete?” I whispered. but I had no choice.Frank Atanacio Chapter 45 I stopped for a light on Boston Avenue and East Main Street when my cell phone buzzed. I wasn’t ready to enter. “Please don’t be Stacey. “I’m coming down now. It was either going to be him or me. it’s me. Froggy was a maggot in my book. I didn’t have my head piece on so I picked up the phone and place it to my ear. and he even smelled like one. It connected to I95 North and South. I wanted to avoid the build-up on East Main Street. “Didn’t he already hurt you?” This time he sounds crazy. To my surprise. but that didn’t happen. It was newly built with the permanent paint siding. and it connected to Route 25 and the Merritt Parkway.” I said. Age hasn’t caught up to me yet. A woman was dead. and I didn’t even care if I was being baited. Or did. she genuinely needed my help. I knew I had tossed it on the passenger side of my truck. I just wanted to make sure she wasn’t setting me up. In a flash I had realized that I had just stumbled upon my first substantial opportunity to get at Froggy. Although North Main Street has many buildings dating back over a hundred years. I walked over to the body and noticed a choker collar around her neck. Shadows that didn’t expect me. Thank goodness for that. it’s me. Route Eight consisted of a catalogue of highways. Out of a window in front of the office I could see silhouettes pacing. and I had my chance to put an end to Froggy. It was Exit 7 that I wanted. “Nick here. Be careful. It was something I couldn’t do. I thought about Stacey for a moment.

” “What are you talking about?” www. you’re not going to hurt her. Instead. the kick to the stomach?” “Making love to my wife. “Sure thing.” came a voice from behind me. he lifted the gun up over his head and brought it down with such a thrust he knocked me over onto the body of his dead wife.” I smiled. “Well?” “You’re something.” I started. “Damn that hurt. I’m sorry I didn’t get to see your new condo.” I whispered in her ear as I kissed her cheek. “You would have made it a fine home.” I said.” Froggy paused and stared at his office for a moment.” Froggy replied. Then he looked for a moment as if he were going to pat my shoulder. “And then paid for it. and she was proud that it went unnoticed. I may need your help. “I enjoy it. She told me it had a modern captain’s galley kitchen. and a big living room with a fireplace and a picture window that looked out to the Long Island Sound.” “You’re sick. “You ass. “She was choked to death with a choke collar. He hated me. Stacey had a condo at the old Warner Cost Factory off of Myrtle Avenue and close to Seaside Park. Why don’t you head down to Froggy’s office. He stood closer and then just smiled at me.” he paused briefly. but I was the one in pain.” “Touching.” “How did it feel?” he asked.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Stacey’s dead. “Stay on your knees. “Is this your handy work?” He smiled as I turned and looked up to face him.” Stay put. Mr. and I knew he wanted to pull the trigger. “Stacey. “She’s already dead!” “Yeah. or a fall guy?” I asked. There he stood with a chrome 38 special beaming down on me.” he said. Newsom?” “Of course. His fingers were twitching. “What. thanks to you. “Mr.bibliotastic.com 115 . and I hated him. I tried to gingerly remove myself off of Stacey. “Punk!” he growled.” “Enjoy it?” “She showed me up. I’m coming down!” O’Brien hung up the phone. “An accomplice. because it was the first step she made toward leaving her twisted husband. “Now shut the fuck up before I plant you next to my whore of a wife.” He grimaced. Barnum.” I said loudly.” he growled. She wanted me to see it. but was brutally helped by Froggy as he kicked me in the stomach. She was proud of that purchase. “Why did you kill your own wife?” I asked. But he didn’t. There was no mistake about it. “Anything for a murderer. We wanted each other dead.” he said.

“Do as I say.” I nodded. a security guard poked his head out. “Only I can judge my wife.” “Get up!” Froggy demanded. “You’re not the only one. “Some she didn’t even know about.” “You’re all heart.” Froggy wasn’t impressed as he pushed me forward. you keep calling me that and I’m going to show you my punk. and just maybe I’ll kill you without making you suffer.” he said as he pushed me toward the office.” “And murder her?” “Damn you!” From the office.” “Punk. “Bring him in boss. She was a whore and she got what she deserved.” he said. “And the only way to do that was to sleep with other guys!” Froggy kicked me in the face turning me completely over onto my back. “You don’t get to say that!” he shouted. “Yeah. Nick.” he replied. I did as I winced with pain. “There were many. .Frank Atanacio “I have cameras everywhere.” “She was trying to keep your stench off her body!” I shouted.

“He catches you with this bag of money and he shoots you dead. I know you’re angry and worried about this whole thing. He thinks he’s mister tough guy.” Froggy smiled.” Froggy started explaining. I can’t have anything go wrong.” I replied.” said Froggy.” said the guard as he took his gun out of his holster. let me at him!” “In time. “In time.com 117 .” I said.” Froggy instructed. and all the draws to the file cabinets were tossed onto the floor as if someone was looking for something. You’ll also get to shoot Nick PT Barnum.” I said. “Stay put! Don’t give me a reason to knife you. Carefully. The guard walked over toward me and made one mistake. “I need to make sure this all goes as planned.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 46 The security guard grabbed me and pushed me face first into the wall. He stuck the gun in my face giving me the chance to knock it away. but was he going to leave me dead or alive? The office was made up to look like a robbery.” he said sarcastically. “You will get your reward. “It was very nice knowing you. Froggy didn’t know what was happening as he scurried toward his gun. One big mistake. It happened too fast as I snapped his neck and threw him toward One Eyed Froggy. but trust me. “Boss.” He smiled even harder. just a few more minutes. Froggy was taking money out of his safe and stuffing it in a duffel bag. It crossed my mind that he was planning on setting me up. I shook my head slightly from side to side. She was killed because she walked in on me robbing the place. “Let me shoot this idiot.” “I won’t. and blame this all on me?” He smiled. “Boss?” “Wait.” “I can kick your ass any day of the week.” “This guard?” “Yes!” “I’m going to snap his neck before all of this is over. “Okay. I was also assuming that Stacey was caught in the cross-fire. “I didn’t like him when he first came in to speak to you.” The guard nodded.” “I’m so glad. He had left it on the desk when he was filling the duffel bag with money. “You’re going to shoot me. “Arnold!” he screamed. “Nick. “It’s not a good thing to do when you’re going to die.” The guard smiled.bibliotastic. I noticed that the office was completely a mess.” Froggy said. I grabbed his neck and forced him up against the wall. www.” “He’s getting on my nerves!” “Arnold.” Froggy continued. “How do I get shot?” “The guard walks in on you after he discovers the body of my dear wife.” I threatened. sure.” “Oh yeah. “Don’t smile. do it. Everything was turned over.

“Freeze!” Shouted Detective Peter O’Brien as he stormed into the office with his aimed directly at me.” I smiled.” I did and Froggy smiled. She didn’t have to die like that.” I said as I aimed the gun at him. The only sad thing is you killing your wife. “Drop it or I’ll have to drop you.” “You wouldn’t. Nick. “Get out of here.” We scuffled for the gun as I pushed him to the floor.” I said smiling. “I didn’t think so. trust me. and I’ll even pay off your winnings!” “Can you bring Stacey. “Now I have the drop on you. “In that duffel bag. It was an easy win for me because Froggy was a weak man. but he knew I was a man of my word. “There’s more. “She was your wife. or Carolyn back?” He bowed his head.” Froggy gazed into my eyes. but he had to follow the rules.” I said. and he grabbed my arm. He had no strength. He felt like his knees were going to collapse. He steadied himself.” He closed his eyes.” “I know. now.” I said. “She was a retarded whore. He was trying to see if I was the type to kill a man in cold blood.Frank Atanacio “He can’t hear you. He was simply a weakling with money. “See how nice this all played out for you.” He nodded slowly.” “That’s not nice. but she got the raw end of that deal. . “Damn you Nick!” He shouted as he crawled to his feet. lots of it!” I smiled. O’Brien approached me and kicked the gun away. That’s just the way I roll.” “She wasn’t all upstairs!” he shouted as he pushed his index finger against his temple. “Do it then!” He demanded.” he said. “Do you want a blind fold instead?” “Fuck you!” I smiled.” “Pete?” “Drop the gun. That’s murder. “Oh.” “But Stacey. lots more. I always tried to carry out my threats.” “Let me do this. “His neck is broken. take it!” “I can kill you and take the money. “Pete?” “Drop it Nick. I will. Carolyn. “Can’t let you kill a man. He knew what he was doing had no meaning. He didn’t know me. I don’t know why she married you.” “I have money.

” he said. I blamed myself. “He came at me with a knife. Suddenly.” O’Brien said as he finally holstered the weapon. THE END www. “That man was caught in here by my wife and my guard. “You better go. detective. “Nick. Stacey’s body was on the floor and I looked around the office to find something to cover her. right?” “My word.” O’Brien said. go ahead.” O’Brien explained.” “Froggy?” “That’s my story!” O’Brien shouted.” “Hey. I looked to the floor and I saw a knife just two feet away from the body. I stopped. I left. I nodded. “He came at you?” “He came at me and I shot him once.” O’Brien just looked at Froggy. can I take Deacon Mike Brandon’s duffel bag?” “He had Mike’s bag?” I nodded. He killed them both. “Cuff him!” “Nick.” I grabbed the duffel bag and walked quickly toward the door.” O’Brien nodded. “Pete!” I ran back into the office and I saw Froggy on the floor with two bullet holes in his chest. I should have done it quickly. Followed by another. He just snapped their necks and then he came after me looking for his winnings. “That didn’t stop him so I had to shoot him again.” Froggy started. “Don’t let him get away!” Froggy shouted. and people will testify that he threatened my life. I couldn’t believe he didn’t let me put that Frog out of his misery. but I did not turn to face him. “That is Mike’s bag. and get out of here. “See if you can cover up Stacey’s body or something. “Just calm down. “Yeah. O’Brien still had the smoking gun pointed upward. “Back up is on their way.” O’Brien smiled. “This will stick.com 119 .” I couldn’t believe O’Brien was going to listen to that crazed killer. There was nothing. and the man who took it is getting away with it. She lost her life. “Tell me the whole story from the beginning. a shot.bibliotastic.” he said.” he called. “I can produce many witnesses. just wait for me in the other room.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Listen. He won a great deal of money from me and I wasn’t going to pay.” I nodded and walked out of the office.” he said.

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