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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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1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog “He told me he’d knock my debt down if I got the information for him.” “Good. Do I make myself clear?” “Definitely understand you. she was okay. “He suspected Carolyn Lopez. laughing.” He nodded.” I nodded. If I ever see you again. “But otherwise. she was fine.” I said.. It had nothing to do with Carolyn Lopez. “I spoke with her last night.” I said..” He nodded. www. She was in good spirits.” “She’s telling the truth. “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. “Last night. “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.com 57 .” he continued.” “What?” “All that until she saw you get your ass kicked. I’m going to put a bullet into your fat ass. He walked out. “I already knew. “But she told him you already knew.bibliotastic.” I nodded.” he said as he forced himself off my client’s chair using my desk as a brace. “When was the last time you saw her?” I asked.” “How was she?” I nervously asked. You make sure he gets this information.” I smiled. “You will never see me again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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“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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bibliotastic.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. I hope.” “Just stay clear of him. I nodded.” “She can take care of herself. trust me.” “She’ll be fine.” “He’s making me a cut throat too. but I bet something will fall in my lap.” He nodded. “You got something planned.” He nodded.” “He’s a cut throat.” warned the deacon. She’ll be fine. “I got until Friday to pay him back. www.com 85 .” I replied.” “Too much confidence in that skinny girl.” I said. right?” “Not yet. “Just watch Janet. “He’s got you turned every which way. The deacon nodded again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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