Frank Atanacio

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?



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.



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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bibliotastic. www.com 25 .Case File: Dog Eats Dog I smiled. Their family problems are their own business. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”



Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.



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.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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