This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
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
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?
” she started. . “Thank you Nicky. he hasn’t been the same ever since his niece was murdered. I’m really worried.” she said. “I’ll just wait by the phone. I’ll call you when I have something. “But he still never did anything like this before.” Did you call his cell? “Twice. I’ll get up and I’ll look for him. “If it’s all the same. Brenda Brandon closed her eyes and hung up the phone all in one motion. “Well.” she said. “You’ll do that for me. She smiled.” Of course.” B B. “I’m afraid something has happened to him.” It’s almost 3AM? “That’s why I called you. baby?” Of course. Nicky.Frank Atanacio “Mike isn’t home yet.” That’s not like him. Nicky. Why don’t you just get some rest.” Anytime B B.
What the hell happened?” I don’t’ know. and Alfredo Fuentes. Can you do that? “Now?” It has to be now. big guy. I didn’t know why I did that. she’s worried sick. I killed a man tonight. No cops for now! “Okay deacon. it happen too fast. you don’t know?” I asked. My footing slipped a bit from under me.” I said. “And you’re wife is looking for you. “Hello?” Nick! “Mike?” Nick. I had just finished a night of playing cards with Victor Cruz.” I suggested. It was a good night for me. just yet. “Why don’t I call Vic and Alfredo to meet us there. and someone ran outside and told me that the guy I hit was dead. “How did he die?” I asked. “You’re going to have to turn yourself in.” My phone rang and it startled me for a moment. Perhaps it was just to embrace me for something unexpected. My head wanted to explode. and he fell over some tables. A promise is a promise. “You what?” I dropped the bottle. I was barefoot. “Settle yourself. She’s worried. “You killed a man!” It happened so fast! “It still happened. and I just wanted to sleep.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 2 I sat at the foot of my bed with the phone still in my hand. I got nowhere else to go. “Why?” Because I told you. but I just did. and I got no one to run too either. “You need to go back out and do what you have to do for B B. I need you to meet me at Frankie’s diner off of Barnum Avenue. and I don’t like going back on my word. I just wanted another shot. I saw the empty bottle of Southern Comfort on my night stand and I picked it up and looked in. I killed a man tonight.” I can’t do that. I punched a guy out. I won over three hundred dollars.com 3 . I had forgotten I still had it in my hand.” I said to myself. and drank a whole bottle of Southern Comfort. “But you’re gonna have to call your wife. I had to regain my composure and settle myself. Bouncers threw me out of the joint. Perhaps.” “So you pick on me?” You’re suppose to be at my service.” www. and I caught the end of the bed to regain my balance. “She called here tonight.” I said. I had taken off my clothes just a few minutes ago. but I promised B B that I would look for her husband. just yet. you gotta help me! “What’s up?” You gotta help me. and now you’re going to put her through the ringer. “What do you mean.” I said. “With just one punch?” That’s why I can’t turn myself in.bibliotastic. wearing my boxers and a T-shirt. I knew it was the booze telling me not to go out and look for the deacon. “Holy fuck!” That’s what I said.
He was a good Christian. I will hang up on you. I’m sure there was a dead man. his safe haven. “I’m not so sure you believe that. “I’m coming now.” I said. that man can’t call me when I’m sober. She was his anchor. “You better call your wife. Nick. He didn’t even sound to convincing when he said he killed a man. I was certain that the police would realize it as well. “Are you going to call B B when we hang up?” Nick. I knew that and.” I dreaded every step I had to make that night. You know me man.” I said. and I wanted to get some sleep.” I said. “You called me. No matter what happened.” Thanks Nick. or Alfredo involved. and you better have a good reason why you’re not calling the police. you there?” He had already hung up the phone.” Right now I need you. “Ok.” I tried to calm myself.” You know I ain’t no murderer! “I know Mike. now you call her!” Don’t get so nasty.” He did not respond. “Get focused. but I can’t be too sure if he was killed by the deacon. It just seemed so uncharacteristic of him. But stranger things have happened. “Just don’t jerk my chain. You’ve known them for several years. Calling me first was so not like the deacon.” . and that’s what I had planned to do. I could have told him that I was busy with a girl or just made something up. I am Bridgeport’s finest private investigator. That’s why I wanna meet you at Frankie’s diner. A thousand lies raced through my mind.” I started. He wanted me to meet him at Frankie’s diner. even though I had a rough night. He had a strange way of putting all his little ducks in a row. “Call her from this damn pay phone!” I shouted. don’t be getting on my nerves. I don’t want to get involved with a murderer. but none of them came out of my mouth. I don’t feel right tonight.Frank Atanacio I lost my cell phone. “Hey Mike. so I really shouldn’t be complaining about the condition. The pleasure I received from the bottle was about to cash in its chips. “Just trying to lighten things up.” I said.” I said. I’m sure they’ll be willing to help you out. but a friend in need comes first. Very. and one of Bridgeport’s finest man need my help. “Stay up Nick. He would never speak to anyone on his duck’s list until he cleared it with B B. “I’m just wondering why you don’t want to get Vic. “Damn. It was certainly a no brainer. “I do. So you’re coming. Not calling her was simply not the way he handled things. I’m the one who killed a man. and killing someone would not be on his list at all. Drinking so much was my idea. “Damn. right? “Are you close to the diner?” I asked.
“I’m Terry. “Back in the 70's. but I don’t get no free refills. “Mike. but he didn’t. I didn’t see the deacon. He also had on a heavy jacket. I smiled.” he said.com 5 .” he said. His boot thudded softly on the diner floor and he stood about a foot in front of me. He smiled and I noticed he was missing all his front teeth.” he smiled again flashing only gums.” He smiled and walked back into the kitchen.” I answered.” “Nice. “What’s your name?” asked the toothless man. The deacon walked into the diner wearing a baseball cap with the brim very low as if he was trying to conceal his identity.” I replied. “They just think I’m a bum.” He looked away annoyed. “That’s why I’d come over here for breakfast.” “I heard you the first time. The overly dressed man turned and walked away when he saw the on duty manager walk out of the back room.” “The area was much nicer then.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.” I nodded.bibliotastic. It was warm outside. “Got the time?” asked another seated three seats down. or anything like that.” “I’m sure it was.” “No free refills. and a small overweight truck driver seated in a booth behind me.” I nodded. “Not at all. There was a older man seated three seats down. I thought he was going to ask for change.” “They treat you poorly now?” I asked.” he grimaced. “They think I’m a bum.” I called.” “Maybe that’s why you’re not getting any. “Was he bothering you?” the manager asked. However.” “Peaceful.” he continued as he tried to strike up a conversation.” he continued. and he was using socks for gloves. so I didn’t understand why he was overly dressed. “Can you believe that?” “Did you ask for a free refill?” “No. “I use to come to this diner years ago. “There’s nothing like the service they had. “Nick. “4-am . “No. didn’t think I had to.” “Hey Nick. “Damn. of course they’ll sell me coffee. where does the time go?” I nodded again. www. “In the morning?” I nodded. There was a man coming toward me wearing rain boots. “Not really. Oh.
” he started again. Nothing matched.” he continued. He looked like he was running a marathon.” he said as he sipped his coffee. and the bookie didn’t have enough to pay me.” he said. “Hey Nick. and I couldn’t picture him at a dog-fighting match. I punched back and busted his nose. “But how did you kill him?” “He came at me again and I kicked him over some tables.” “Dog-fighting?” “Let me finish.” “Never heard of him. and big arms. He wasn’t dressed as your typical deacon.” “So tell me what’s going on. “Thanks.” “So it was an accident?” “No.” “Business man?” “Wants to be.” he said as he sat on the stool next to me. “At that time One-Eye Froggy’s bouncers threw me out of the club. She poured him a cup and left him four creamers. “I guess when they threw me out..Frank Atanacio The deacon had a barrel chest. and sorrow.” “So you killed him?” “No. “I was placing bets and winning all night. I hit the big one. “I grabbed him and pushed him a little.” I said.” “One-Eye Froggy?” “Club owner. “So this Froggy is a bad man? “Big time. He took a swing at me and missed. and that was so obvious that it made a chill ride up my spine. and his face seemed gloom. Nick. “Someone came out and told me that the bookie broke his neck and died. We drank it together without really saying another word.” he replied.” “I was at this dog-fighting event. “You’re going to have to be straight. His sweats were wrinkled. The look on his face was that of confusion. The waitress came over wearing a black hair net and a stained uniform.. I never expected the deacon to be in this much trouble.” “That’s the blood on your shirt?” He nodded.” “So you don’t really know?” He shook his head from side to side indicating no.” .” replied the deacon.” “I did.” I nodded.” The waitress had poured us another cup of coffee. His dark eyes were darker. and clear with me on this one. “Coffee?” “Black. The deacon was not much of a gambler. He was always good for setting a good example. and his tee-shirt torn and covered with dried blood. In fact. “They told me I broke his neck. “I’m trying. He was dark skinned and had a clean shaven face. He played the part of a guilty man on the run. he was the best in that department.
Case File: Dog Eats Dog I smiled. I won’t tell you everything is going to be alright. and tell him what happened. and you’ll turn yourself in as soon as I find something concrete. “Just tell the captain everything you told me. I need to walk down some alley ways and come up with something tangible.” he replied. I’ll see what really happened after you clocked the bookie. “I’m not hungry.. “Tell her what happened too. “If it really was a murder?” “I don’t know.” “Can’t go to jail.” He looked confused.” “He’s a mean son of a bitch.” “I understand. Nick.” “So am I. “Go to her. You gotta trust me. “He’s really tough. “I broke his nose.” “I learned to duck years ago. “I’m not going to lie to you.” I started. “Tell him that I’m looking into things. She can’t live without me.” “Nobody expects it.” He nodded again. He nodded slowly as if he wasn’t really sure if I had asked him a genuine question.” I said.” I said. It rattled as if he was stuck in a freezer for about an hour.” he said. “I didn’t expect to be in the wrong places with the wrong people.” www.” “Tougher than me?” The deacon nodded. one way or another.” “Did you call your wife?” He nodded.” I said. right?” “He is. “Just worried. “I smell something rotten. How much more concrete evidence do you need?” “For now.” I said.” he said.” I said.bibliotastic.” he said.” his voice was scarcely a croak. Whose going take care of my baby.” “How much trouble am I in?” he asked quietly.” “I am. but. “Let me look into this and we’ll get to the bottom of this. “Murder? I don’t know what to say. and I can’t live without her. I’ll pay this One-Eye Froggy a visit. “So this Froggy is now in town. “And with the wrong people. “Let’s just call it an accident.” He grimaced. “That’s why I called you first.” “He can come at you hard Nicky. “But it feels more like an accident. That’s just the way it is. “Do you want something to eat?” I asked.” “I hit the guy.” “You’re getting caught up in the wrong places.com 7 .” I suggested.” “Why don’t you talk to Captain Frank Roque. “I just can’t.” “You think he’ll keep me out of jail?” “Talk to him.” I said. “Trying to make extra money for the church?” I asked.” “I do.
Frank Atanacio The deacon had his eyes solely on me. “She always was. The rattling of plates didn’t cause him to look away. “Go home to your wife.” I said again.” he repeated softly. “You always do.” “She can be the comfort you seek. and didn’t know how to ask. He just wanted answers. He looked at me as if I had all the answers.” “Thanks Nick. Mike.” “Thank me when I’m done.” “She always was. He had so many questions.” “I disappointed her.” “Go to your wife. “I’m going to do my best. One-Eye Froggy? . you know.” “Yeah.” I smiled.” I said. I better.” “She’s a big girl.” He smiled. “Really. He drank some more coffee. and I watched.
” he replied. and they wanted to launch their own investigation.” “That club is known for Salsa Dancing. that Mango Splash looks good. that drinks fits you like a glove. He was a man everyone trusted. His appearance meant a great deal to him because he wanted the public to experience his professionalism.” I smiled. and now he was a hunted man. but he wasn’t eating any of them. He would occasionally break open a few. “It doesn’t get any better than this. the news ran with the story that the deacon had killed a man. and the late night gambling. They left out a lot of details. and O’Brien ordered a beer.” he said.”I said. “Yes!” www. “But it has secrets. I had to think it was because of the deacon. O’Brien had a lot of peanuts on his plate. They liked the deacon. “They were fed the wrong information. not too hot. It was early afternoon.” “I don’t get it. He was God’s soldier. By removing the large plate glass window.com 9 . “Looks even better on the menu cover. He was a visionary. I served so many of them this past month. “So you’re asking me to ask Captain Roque to not pick up the deacon until you’ve completed your investigation?” asked O’Brien.” I added.” I said smiling with my drink.” “Papers got the news.” “And we do owe you. “I just need a little time. I knew this wasn’t going to sit to well with the men on Congress Street. but fail to pop them into his mouth. “Is that what I am to understand?” I nodded.” I said. He was a pillar of the community. I smiled.” I said.” “So the papers got it wrong?” “No. He was purposely bald and kept his head shiny.” “I need to speak to those so-called eye-witnesses.” he said softly. O’Brien was a big man with a strong upper body. “The deacon killed a man.” “But that’s my point. “Damn.” said the waiter. and eye-witnesses. They couldn’t believe that Mike Brandon was capable of murder. The Police headquarters located on Congress Street was buzzing. I ordered a Mango Splash with a hint of rum.” said O’Brien. “No. “It’s my first time trying it. Pete” I said as I picked up a few of his opened peanuts and tossed them into my mouth. Detective Peter O’Brien and I met for lunch on the patio at Danny O’s in Shelton. And those secrets are going to reveal itself to me.” “They did say it was at the Frogger Club. that police command center lost its panoramic view of the City of Bridgeport’s Westside. and they respected him. “Yeah. but it has been removed and replaced with strong glass doors. There use to be a large plate glass window at the entrance. “I don’t think he did.” O’Brien huffed ever so slightly. “I don’t think Roque will be down for that. They were all surprised about the reports. He was fair skinned and always clean shaven. “I think I’m going to order one too when I get off.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 4 The next morning. really.” “They never mentioned the dog-fighting. I’m not asking for much. “I need you to keep the police away from the deacon until I check into this. It was a large building with two floors. but murder was murder nevertheless. and so much more.” The waiter smiled as he left to help other customers.” I said.bibliotastic. “And you have to remember that they left out so much detail. with a nice early morning breeze.
“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.
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 replied. “Difficult question?” “Too much for you to afford. “Is that all the questions?” she asked. “I do my business there.” “Police know?” “Told them. “How much you charge?” She stopped.” she replied.” She entered her apartment and slammed the door. “Don’t judge me.” “You give him some money for soliciting there?” “I got three kids to feed.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Why were you at the club?” “I’m a fucking whore.com 13 .” she said.” “Ouch. I gotta do what I gotta do!” I nodded.” “What can I get for twenty bucks?” “A kick in the nuts.bibliotastic. mother fucker!” “Only God judges. “Yeah. “I think I got what I need. “Cash up front.” I said.” “Club owner know?” “He didn’t throw me out yet. but didn’t turn to face me.” she said. www.” She turned around slowly. “That would be?” “Five hundred dollars for three hours.
. but a black guy. “What do you want to know?” “I wanna know what happened.” I corrected. “She’s only the messenger. Mrs.” he continued.” I corrected him again.” she said. “What do you want?” Mr. He also had a thick gray moustache.” Mr. “Carlos Rivera’s death?” he asked.” . but I had to speak with him because he was next on my list. “I can’t give anyone credit this week. “Hi.” I corrected. “he said “He came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. and he’s a deacon.” she replied almost quietly. “I want to ask you some questions about the deacon at Froggy’s nightclub.Frank Atanacio Chapter 6 The next witness on my list was Roberto Guzman. He owned Guzman’s Bodega over on the Eastside of town.” “That Bishop is a big guy. but he didn’t see her. “The bishop. His glasses were thick and he walked with a limp. He threw the first punch and missed. “Get back to work.” I replied. He scratched the top of his head as if he was thinking about what to say.” I said. He was bald on top. and then kept punching him until he broke Carlos’ nose.” I said. tell them I said no!” “Relax Mr.” “I know him. Guzman turned around with angry eyes and shouted. The small store had lots of stock and lots of customers. “No.” “Deacon. Carlos didn’t fight back. Guzman.” “What does she want?” “Credit. at your service. “I said to her.” I replied. Lopez wanted to ask something. “Whatever he was. and thick gray eye brows. a private investigator.” Where did I hear this before? I said to myself jokingly. I don’t think Carlos wanted to fight this man. but had lots of gray hair on the sides. He actually did a bang up business. I nodded. The place was busy. I need cash paying customers! If anyone asks for credit. but when I asked for him he immediately stopped what he was doing and came over. he just fell over some tables. “I don’t understand why you guys can’t get that right. Guzman was probably in his late sixties. “I’m Nick Barnum. Guzman’s cashier was standing behind the counter. I don’t pay you to stand around and flirt with all the guys that come in here!” “I’m sorry. He was clearly not thinking right. I stood there with my arms crossed waiting for him to reply. Her hair was dark brown with light highlights. “But I wasn’t flirting. She wore small black-rimmed glasses low on her nose so that she could check the prices better on the product she rung up.. He punched Carlos in the mouth. “He’s a deacon. It was located on a small dead end street off of East Main Street. “No credit!” he shouted with a vein sticking out of his neck. the deacon came at him with all he had. Mr. When it came to lists I’d often follow the same pattern. “Like you.” She smiled.” “I see. “Well anyways. She was trying to get his attention. “You the police?” he asked. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the bishop and that set him off. The light highlights gave her face such a wonderful glow. I didn’t think he’d have time for me. not a bishop.
“If you need my help. You’re not a business man. that I don’t understand?” He did not reply. “What don’t I understand?” “Nothing.” I paused. “Just ask. “I’m really busy today and I got to get back to work.” he half shouted. “Business?” He said nothing.” he said.” I said as I tossed a few of my business cards on the floor. Lots of bills to pay. Forget it.” He still didn’t reply.bibliotastic. He stopped but didn’t turn around.” I said.” I continued.” “You don’t under. and I need to stay ahead of the game.. very well too.” he stopped abruptly. I’m sure that’s something you wouldn’t understand.” “Nobody’s asking you. “All I’m saying is that you should relax. “What is it exactly. “I’ll leave you some of my cards. and I’ll be at your service if you need me.Case File: Dog Eats Dog He grunted. “Are you done asking me questions about the bishop.” I smiled. “She’s doing her job.” I added.” “Good.. “It’s my business. “And if you ask me.” He rushed away. www. Guzman. “I do know a little about running a business.” he shot back.com 15 .” I called. “Yeah I think I got what I need from you. My name is Nick PT Barnum. That’s all. He turned around and walked toward the cashier.” He was still silent. “Mr.. and Carlos Rivera?” “Dea.
“They were coached. I started jogging with him as he poured bottled water over his bald head to keep him cool. “Those witnesses.” he continued.” “That’s why Captain Roque is not taking in the deacon yet.” “So this guy is clever. “I really don’t want anything to happen to her.” he said. if he’s guilty. “You know I never need to do that.” he paused as he caught his second wind. “He should be home with B B.” “Good guy.” . I hope I’m right.” he replied. If he could fit in an activity. But we can arrest people if we have witnesses.” he continued. maybe counseling would help her through this.” I smiled. “He doesn’t stay because he’s afraid that the captain is going to change his mind and arrest him for the murder of Carlos Rivera. “It’s got to be the only way.” I said.” he said.” “I’ve known her for a long time.” “Bad witnesses.” he paused.” I said.” he said.Frank Atanacio Chapter 7 I met Detective Peter O’Brien at the end of my work day. “There was only Salsa and Merenge.” “But he doesn’t. “He’ll slip up.” “No gambling. He wanted to meet at Seaside Park so he could get his jogging in.” “You’re all heart. he would. “I had to take Mike’s wife to do some counseling. “If we don’t see one. “I got the same bull-shit story line you guys did.” “That’s a terrible way of looking at things.” I continued as I too had to catch my breath.” “Has the deacon been home?” “She told me that he comes and goes.” “I understand. He wasn’t the type to just sit around and waste time.” “But that dog fighting club doesn’t exist. “Can’t arrest people on hunches.” I said. I think the captain is going out on a limb for the deacon.” “You checked everything?” “Top to bottom. but we haven’t seen anything yet. That woman is staying up late. The guilty always do. I thought.” “So do you think there is a dog-fighting ring going on?” “I can’t say no.” O’Brien replied. You know that. and she’s not eating too well either.” O’Brien shot back. “So what did you find out?” he asked.” I smiled as I kept up my pace with him. “I guess you don’t run much. that captain.” “Good to hear. “There was nothing but Salsa and Merenge.” I replied. it really doesn’t exist. “What do you mean?” “We pulled a surprise shake down at the club that Froggy owns. “Did they say anything about gambling?” “You didn’t ask?” “I thought I’d ask you. But he understands the situation and he’s giving you the chance to square him. “She’s really not taking this too well.
“I think over the years. I miss that.” “He’s going to be a tough one.” he continued. There was never a question about that.” he continued.. “What are you going to do next.” O’Brien paused as he drank some warm bottle water.” O’Brien laughed.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Me too.com 17 .” he said as he stopped and bent over with his hands on his knees. “You know. “I’m telling you the truth.” “God saved him. www..” “My list goes on. “She’s taking just a little too much.” I nodded and didn’t say anything. “I put her and her son in harm’s way.” “Do you think she’s weak because of it?” “No. “And.” he explained.” “But Brenda was always on the up and up. “Yeah I did. “I’m going to pay Larry Bonilla a visit.” “So it wasn’t just sexual?” “At first.” I paused briefly as I caught my breath.” “I know that too. I don’t.” “She puts up with it.” I replied. “And there was no mistake about it.” “She was always a strong woman. Like the girl you use to date. her strength was weakened by Mike Brandon.” “I think over the years. “So?” “Mike is the one for her. the one that you really can’t live without. “Because she loves him and she has always loved him. I remember you telling me that you think you found the one.” I said. you son of a bitch!” “I’m not going to lie.” “Go ahead.” How good?” “I don’t want to talk about it.” I said. and your feet sweat. I was pretty sure that Detective Peter O’Brien really didn’t mean to say it that way. the guy that makes your heart stop.” “I know.” “And Zoraida was the one for you?” “I thought.. “She was a true Christian woman. He was probably motivated by the events that played up to that statement. maybe.” I smiled.” “So he was always the one for her?” “The one?” “Yeah.” “Okay.” I replied.” “She was good in bed. and you laugh?” “You’re a funny guy. She had all the reasons to dump me.” I said as I stopped next to him.” O’Brien warned.bibliotastic. “Damn. “What?” “You really loved her.” He laughed again. say it. You know Mike wasn’t always on the up and up.
” he said as he stood up. Pete. I didn’t want him to see that I was almost out of breath. and it’s solid muscle. “I could have gone all day. “I’m 6'2 I weigh 245 pounds. Janet.” I said as I began sprinting back to my truck. I waved my hand above my head without turning around. “Really!” “I’m Pete. I can take care of my myself.” He smiled. not your secretary.Frank Atanacio “Look at me.” “Don’t worry. “I’m done. “Thanks for the run.” “Leave her out of this. “Good-luck!” he shouted. He winced.” He nodded. .” I said. not fat.” “Tired of running?” I asked. you’ll get it with him. “So bring tough on.” I lied.
“Dollar shit?” I smiled.” She turned around and slapped her cell phone shut. Get it known!” “Get it known?” I whispered. but who was I to judge? The door was covered with Spanish cock fight promotions.” she replied. She was talking on her cell phone and turned around when she saw me.” “What do you want?” she shot back. It was June in Bridgeport.” I said.” I called.com 19 . and passed winners. “And I know you’re not him. which normally means gang violence.bibliotastic.” “Wait here.” I paused. at your service.” I answered. “Hello. It was so patterned. He sells dollar items in a 99 cent store. “Thank you. “It’s Linh Le! Asshole. At the check-out. He wasn’t so eager to speak with me like the other two. and there were several things that I would have purchased. “I am a private eye.” I smiled. “Nick PT Barnum. Maybe his story might be different. with long dark hair and wearing looping gold earrings was a very attractive Asian young woman. “I’m looking for Larry Bonilla.” “Well. www. “You know. “What does that mean?” “My boss will see you. Didn’t understand why he didn’t call it a dollar store or something of that nature.” she replied.” she said as she attitude her way toward the backroom. The store had junk tossed into baskets that lined the walls.” “Whose asking for him?” she asked ignoring my statement. and the price was terrific. The second sign was the attractive Asian woman. She stuck her head out of the backroom and shouted. I went in. She ignored me.” she said as she walked passed me. They were solid. “What do you want?” “Am I bothering you?” “I was busy. The third witness kept me waiting longer than I expected. “Too busy for customers?” “People that buy this dollar shit ain’t customers. Maybe he had a change of heart.” She did not reply. and will probably tell me the truth. “I was just going to by a tooth brush. “Hey Ming Lee!” I called. “That’s not very nice to say. I could steal. I kept looking at all the dollar items. and beautiful women developing bad attitudes. “And don’t steal nothing. The first hint of attitude gone bad was Margie Sanchez.” “You must be a fucking genius to figure that out. “In there?” She nodded.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 8 Larry Bonilla did business out of a store front located downtown Bridgeport.
“It’s about the deacon and Carlos Rivera. He had no facial hair. and snapped his neck. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the deacon and that set him off.Frank Atanacio I walked into the back stock area and Mr. but he rubbed the bottom of his chin as if he were massaging a beard. Mr. “Listen man. There was a sadness to the man’s eyes.” I added.” “Is there dog fighting?” “No. Bonilla was a tall thin man. it was as if he knew telling me the truth was out of the question. I have questions. “Truth?” “I told you the truth. “The bouncers threw him out and later the bartender said that Carlos was dead.” he said slowly as if he was trying to think of the correct words. with an honest face.” I said.” I said “I figure that. “Mr.” He hesitated for a long time. “I don’t think so.” He grimaced.” “I can help you.” “Are you sure?” .” he said as he took out another cigarette and lit it up. “Nobody that hangs out there at the club is an innocent man.” “Then don’t.” He tossed the cigarette to the floor and stepped on it. something a little different. “Did you say deacon?” I nodded. I may already know what you might say. I have a family. He threw the first punch and missed. “Broke his nose. “So that man wasn’t a bishop?” “Nope. but I have to ask anyways. “Came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. and I really don’t want to get involved.” “You’re helping to send an innocent man to jail. Bonilla?” “No.” He smiled. tell me the truth. “I thought he was a bishop. “Just want to hear your side of the story.” “Everyone thought that. He nodded.” I said. “That’s all I got.” “So the deacon went to town on him?” I asked sarcastically.” he replied. “Well?” “The deacon. “Mr.” he replied.” I said. Bonilla.” “Okay. Bonilla was leaning against some boxes smoking a cigarette.” “You saw the deacon snap his neck?” He hesitated.
Case File: Dog Eats Dog He breathed in.” I said as I walked over to him and placed some business cards into his shirt pocket.bibliotastic.” He smiled.” “You know I really can help you. “I know something is bothering you. “Yeah.com 21 . “Think about it. I’ll always be at your service. and I can get Bridgeport Police to help. I know a few of those guys and they will stick their necks out for the right reasons. “Remember one thing.” I said.” His head fell to his chest. www. and for a good cause.
“Hello. “Like I said the first time.” I smiled. They come a dime a dozen. “I can’t.” I said. I had to make my move so I quickly jumped behind him and put my gun to his head. The building was boarded up and the pumps were stripped clean.” I said.” I smiled. I drove down Lee Avenue and parked at a corner gas station that closed several years back. “Drop the gun!” He shouted. “It’s not my style. He had a thin moustache and he wore stylish sunglasses. and I do follow my list religiously.” The driver looked agitated.” the driver quickly replied. He dropped to the ground in pain as he held his bloody leg. A heavy set Hispanic suit opened up the passenger side and stood behind the opened door visually combing the area. “Let him go!” he demanded. His suit fit him like a glove.” said the driver. The driver did not hesitate as he quickly opened his door and pointed his gun at me from over the top of the car. “Who cares.” I said.” “Warms my heart to see such a loving family. It started as an all day tail. It was just a few seconds more that went by when a light blue late model car with four doors pulled up behind my green Ford Explorer. He was the fourth person I had penciled in.” I said with a hint of smugness. “He’s not my buddy. The tailing has become more obvious. punk!” “Not before I drop him. just semantics. I fired a shot through the inside of their car hitting the driver in the left thigh. it’s all the same to me. “What you’re telling me. He smiled. “So you don’t care about your buddy?” I asked. “Oops. “I shot you.Frank Atanacio Chapter 9 The next day I had my first encounter with Froggy’s boys.” I replied. They followed me everywhere I went. I hid behind a dumpster that was covered in graffiti as I waited for my tail to pull in.” said the fat guy. Perhaps they wanted to follow me to the fourth person on my list.” I replied. fat boy. “Just an expendable associate. “It should.” he issued.” “Froggy is not going to like this. He had his left hand on his hip and pushed his right hand into the breast pocket of the suit. “Can’t do that. “Is that you don’t mind if I put a bullet into your fat associate?” “Be my guest. “Girl eats girl.” he continued. “It hurts. Just the shells were still in place. Jackie Reeves. The bartender at Froggy’s club. it hurts!” he screamed.” I said.” “Damn. . “I’m warning you. “What the?” I smiled. He was a well dressed Hispanic male in his mid thirties.” I continued stalling.” I said as I cocked the gun.” “I’ll drop you. “He’s a fat piece of shit anyways. so I decided to find out why the tail. dog eats dog world. “Last warning.
” “Once?” He nodded. “Damn you’re weak. “Or. “If you don’t tell me why you were following me. but I was wrong. It was a beautiful sight. “So. I had to think about it. that thinking about it first was my only option. “You know.” I said. bleeding to death isn’t going to be pretty. “You’ll die.” I said as I stepped on his designer sun glasses. and then tell your boss that you had to kill him because you overheard him telling me. I smiled. I never realized how weak the big guy was. It was something so out of the ordinary. and then die.” “Froggy will hear about this!” “I’m sure he will.com 23 . “I know for a fact that you’re fat buddy there will tell me what I need to know.” 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.” “So you’d rather bleed to death?” “Froggy will kill me anyways. why were you following me?” “I can’t say anything. And trust me. why were you following me?” “Fuck you!” “I’ve been hearing too much swearing these passed few days. It’s that simple. “Now fat boy. I can’t. “You only shot me once. and he gets off Scott free. “Damn!” “Better?” “You’re crazy!” “And you’re going to bleed to death.” “I can’t. so I thought really hard about my next statement. www.” I walked around the car toward the driver. “I’m bleeding badly!” he shouted. you’re going to know it.” He looked confused. I’m sick and tired of it. He just had a lot of fat in him.” I said.” I smiled devilishly. Get it?” The driver thought about it. He’ll tell your boss that you told me. “I need help!” “Mental or physical?” “Damn you!” “Well.” I started as I kicked his gun away.” “Two bullet holes?” He looked confused.” “You know blood can easily drain out of two bullet holes very quickly” I said as I tried frightening him. “I can see that from here. He was still on the ground holding his thigh wincing in pain. Kill him.” I started.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “I don’t really care what Froggy likes or dislikes. because It was something I wouldn’t have done. I thought he had a little more fight in him. I waited for a few seconds to see if the fat guy would come to. I’m going to let you bleed to death. When the end comes closer. “You’re going to go into a deep sleep.bibliotastic. my friend.” I said. “Frankly.” he sobbed. I really wanted to know why they were following me. but he didn’t.” “Of course you can. you tell me.” “Really. I shot him in the other leg.
“You’ve been a wealth of information. It wasn’t just you we followed. The driver smiled.” “So the witnesses were coached?” He nodded.Frank Atanacio The driver thought about it some more.” “I see. “Well?” “One Eye Froggy wanted us to follow you because he needed to know that you got the information he wanted you to get... “We just had to make sure you got what he wanted you to get. If anyone told you something different. I took out my cell phone and dialed 911.” he said.” I said.” I said. “I see.” he begged. right?” “I always keep my promises. “So there is dog fighting?” “All the time. “I wasn’t there. We followed that fat cop.” I nodded.” “But why the cover up?” “I don’t know.” he continued.” “O’Brien. “Mike Brandon didn’t kill that man?” “That I can’t tell you.” said the driver.” I replied. There’s been a shooting and two people have been shot.” “When and where is the next fight?” “Chico on Wordin Avenue. “Well. the deed. “You’re going to call for help. thank you my friend. we had to kill the witness. .” He nodded as I retrieved his gun.” “When?” “Sunday after mid-night. “But Froggy wants them to use his words.” I pursed my lips a bit.” “Damn. 911 emergency. but the other can be saved if you come right away. He wanted to. “It wasn’t anything against you. I smiled some more.” he replied. I need you to send an ambulance right away. “Is there dog fighting at his club?” “That moves around.” he replied. it was written across his face. “There must be some truth to what these witnesses are saying. I think one is dead.” “My gun. “Hi. that late?” He nodded. I’m calling from a closed down gas station on the corner of State Street and Lee Avenue. “But the deacon did get into a fight with that bookie.” Your name? I hung up.
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.bibliotastic. www.com 25 . Their family problems are their own business.Case File: Dog Eats Dog I smiled.
He had an Afro. “Can I ask you some questions?” “I don’t think so.” he said as he grinned sheepishly. but that night there weren’t too many patrons. I turned around and saw two mountain men standing on each side of me. I sat directly in front of him. He walked away. “The crowd don’t kick in until 11pm. My job was to question witness number four. The bartender was no more than 23 years old as he stood behind the bar wiping glasses.” “Why?” “Questions about the murder that happened here. They were big and stacked with muscles. or perhaps the murder of Carlos Rivera had something to do with it. “So. “I started. “I’m looking for Jackie Reeves. He came back with five singles and slapped it directly in front of me. “Now you need to speak to me. I didn’t know and Frankly. “I hear he was one of the witnesses. It was at that time. He was a thin Latino and African American mixed.Frank Atanacio Chapter 10 Later that evening I walked into Froggy’s bar on Fairfield Avenue. “Hey bar keep. He leaned directly in front of me as if he was going to kiss me or smell me.” he said. “You’re Jackie?” He nodded.” I threatened.” he said as he placed the open beer in front of me. He had the olive skin with the black facial features.” I said as I backed off just a little.” “What kind?” “Becks. “I already spoke to the real police. I gave the bartender a ten and he walked toward the register and rung me up.” I nodded. “I don’t think so. “Yes?” “Beer. “Slow tonight?” I asked.” I replied.” I smiled. “Old folks like you don’t need to come. Jackie Reeves. Perhaps it was early. “It’s early.” he said. “Your policies?” I asked as I pointed to one of them. I heard it was a jumping place.” “Five dollars. He looked like a Dr. “Why not?” “Because of my insurance policies. Seuss character. but it was pulled upward and held together with a rubber band. In fact you couldn’t really get a good checker game going with the patrons there.” “You heard right. “Not so close. I realized that there was a security button beneath the counter. .” I called and he turned around.” “Insurance policies?” He grinned sheepishly again. and he was simply reaching for it.” he replied.” he said as he walked back toward me. I didn’t care.
” “I figure that. and there is no one left to fight with. but a man had to do what a man had to do. “Would you speak to me?” He looked confused. so I banged it against the bar again.” “Well. “It’s a simple question. “You have been a gracious bartender. and witness.” “But he comes with more insurance policies than me.” I said slowly. but he was nowhere to be found.” I said.com 27 . “I’m not looking for easy.” he replied. but I understood the reason for his incoherence. It was the quickest fight I have ever been in.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Jackie nodded.” “Then you’re screwing with the right guy. “I don’t think it’ll be that easy to cancel his.” “The truth?” “No. The man with the broken nose ran out of the bar. I nodded. “Would you speak to me if I had your policies cancelled?” “What?” “If I cancel your policy. but twice. You see. The pain really didn’t register with him. and the fight is over. “You will be too. “Will he fight me?” “No. I just said that to say it. and make this a real fist fight. I was proud of myself. I had to hit him again because I knew it was only a matter of time before he regained his full composure and was able to offer me a real fight. I grimaced.” I turned around to walk out.” said the bartender. “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 elbowed the man on my right in the nose breaking it instantly. “Are you that afraid of Froggy?” I asked. Well. not once. “I can’t tell you the truth. but you got my juices flowing.” I said.” “Remember who cancelled yours. I had no juices in me. In fact.” “I’m not a fighter!” he shouted.” I said. I heard Jackie Reeves mutter something from behind the bar.” I nodded and walked out. The big guy stood up with his face covered in blood and looked at me with vengeful eyes. but twice. I didn’t come here to fight. “Unfortunately.” “The coached story?” He nodded. I was expecting him to attack me. He fell back and was out cold.bibliotastic. given the position and circumstances you put me in. I was proud as hell. www. I just cancelled his insurance policies. except you. I have this need to break some bones. “You know he’s going to get you for this. And I grabbed the man on my left and slammed his face against the bar not once. It was unintelligible. I hadn’t planned on fighting that evening. Or perhaps to scare the bartender. He didn’t answer. and he had to deal with me. I may simple just beat what I want out of you.” he said honestly.
I smiled. “I feel bad that I have to put you through this.” I laughed. Her eyes were rich brown. and a body that made every man look. but that didn’t stop me from trying to enjoy her company. and opened the bottle of champagne. “Thanks for meeting me. and her face a gentle light complexion.” She smiled.” “It’s your job. “Thank God. She was dressed very tastefully. Carolyn and I had dinner in Ralph and Richie’s next to the Barnum museum.” I said as the waiter placed our food in front of us. right?” “Yes. and he certainly wasn’t kidding. She smiled and I nodded. I tried to look my best for her.” she said slowly as if she was trying to remember the correct words to say. .” I nodded in agreement. Plus. spacious place with excellent service. 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. “Is that what the others were saying?” she asked. “So this is about Carlos Rivera. so we got a nice table.” I said. “The deacon. and I fully understand why.” She looked down at the table cloth. She was wearing tight slacks and a pretty pink blouse. I felt sort of out of her league. “So. It was easy on my eyes. “Thanks for lunch. “This is professional. “You were coached. “Love your confidence. It was a big.” she replied. Carolyn knew the owner. “Go right ahead. Her black hair was so thick and curly. I ordered antipasto for two and a bottle of their best champagne. “I know what you’re going to say.Frank Atanacio Chapter 11 Carolyn Lopez was the final name on my list.” I took a breath. She laughed. She had thin perfect lips. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the deacon and that set him off. and the food was fantastic. “I’m not a good liar. “I’m not sure where to start.” she said.” she said.” I said. I nodded.” She frowned still looking terrific.” I said.” “Everyone does. O’Brien had warned me earlier. right?” “And the deacon.” I said. because she was extremely hot. “Why do men always say that when they’re talking to a pretty woman?” “So you think you’re pretty?” “Damn right.” she said as she sipped her water. “Came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. I smiled. He threw the first punch and missed.
” “Then I need to get to the bottom of this.Case File: Dog Eats Dog She smiled with a hint of flirtation.” she said. I know because I delivered it to him.” “Why?” “We have problems.” “I wasn’t. really?” “He did argue with the bookie.” “You don’t strike me as a gambler.” she paused briefly.” “Froggy says the deacon was too pushy.” she replied. “How?” “Gambling debts.” “Staged?” She nodded. It’s so childish.” “I didn’t want to do it. He would have my ass in a sling.” What a beautiful picture.bibliotastic.” www.” “Perjury?” “Big time. and we might say the wrong things. and I don’t get paid.” “So they were friends?” “I guess they had dealings before. but my ex-husband turned me on. her ass in a sling.” “But if you go to court.” “How so?” “They were talking all nice and nice.” “Yeah.” “Froggy says this may not go to court. That argument looked staged. And that’s when I doubt your good looks could bail you out.” she replied.” “So now you do favors for him?” “I’m his waitress. “You know. and I couldn’t shake it loose. Or at least from Carlos Rivera’s side.” “If it does.com 29 . “But I had to. “I’m here for you Carolyn. a little too late.” I slowly bit my lower lip. “It was weird though. “You’ll be in hot water.?” I said. yeah.” she said.” I said. “The police already know that you guys were coached. everyone going to tell that you’ve been coached. “I really shouldn’t be telling you any of this. and the bookie even bought the deacon a drink. plus this. “Why couldn’t Froggy just give you guys a different set of things to say.” She smiled. “I can’t really tell you if they were friends.” “Problems?” “I owe Froggy a lot of money. “Did the deacon start the fight.” “There’s help for that. “So there is more to this story?” “There is.
you know him?” “He tried picking me up. but she broke up with me.” I smiled.” I said.” “What’s her name?” “Zoraida Saez.” she said. “Good girl?” “Hot. like you. “I’m sure Froggy knows about it too.” she said. I heard. “Honestly?” .” She smiled. “Of course silly.” “Paulie. right?” She nodded. “What?” “How did you know about the dog fight this Sunday?” “I got it from someone in the driver’s seat. her ass in a sling. “Why do you keep smiling at me.” I smiled.Frank Atanacio She ate some food and I watched her chew. “I had a girl.” “Why the hesitation?” she asked.” “Private investigations?” I nodded. “Are you going to be at the dog fight this Sunday?” I asked. “I guess he and Tito were hired to follow you.” I smiled. “Me too. “He’s the one whose going to put your ass in a sling.” she said. no. what a beautiful picture. “Do you have a girlfriend?” she asked. Again. “He’s really nasty. “Oh.” “Why?” “My line of work. “If I know he definitely knows. “Ah.” “Puerto Rican?” I nodded.” she said. “I know. but you put a stop to that.” she replied. “I heard about the fight at the bar too.” she warned. She glared at me.
We ate and drank champagne.com 31 . I laughed.” She smiled.” “Oh?” I nodded.” she said. many ways. And the afternoon went well. baby.bibliotastic.” “You can still get to know me. “Honestly?” I nodded. www.” She laughed.” “And I’m going to give you mine.Case File: Dog Eats Dog She nodded. “Was wondering how you’d handle my ass in a sling. “You have my number. “I think you’d be a delight to get to know. “I’m trying to picture your ass in a sling.” She laughed. I laughed.” “Many ways. “Too bad we’re not meeting under different circumstances. “Now why are you always smiling?” I asked.
I can’t run my church.Frank Atanacio Chapter 12 I had to meet with Mike Brandon.” he replied. come on. but these past few days were really hard on me. “I got no more fight left in me. it’s me. and he was good at it. “A new fight?” He nodded again. I found him hiding in the basement of his church.” “Beat you up and took the money?” “Beat me up like this.” “Then can I ask you a few questions?” “Do you have to?” I nodded. “Sometimes bookies can’t cover the bets that same night. “You don’t believe me?” “No.” I said. “I won a lot of money and he refused to pay me. “So what really happened?” “I told you the truth. and nothing was thrown to the floor.” . He was a fighter. and I know those people need me. “Okay.” he said. and he was very difficult to find. He lifted his head up and I noticed it was covered with bruises. A kick ass kind of guy.” he started. “I’ll give you that. “They came in here?” “Yeah. He had a black eye on top of a black eye. “You fight back?” “Two of them grabbed me and the third punched the shit out of me.” He smiled. I walked in from the backside and he was sitting at his desk with his head down. He said he didn’t have it.” “I know you think I can take care of myself.” he said pointing to his face. He had lost his cell phone so I had to track him down the hard way. I can’t go home to my wife. “What happened Mike?” “Some punks came in here and tried to rob the church. I looked around and I noticed everything was in order.” I nodded. and I know she’s worried sick. “You okay Mike?” I asked. And the police are ready to jump on me as soon as you finish your investigation. “Mike. Why should I fight back?” “Because you’re Deacon Mike Brandon. shoot. “Did you ever change your clothes?” He nodded. but mine.” “But you didn’t give him enough time to get it?” I asked.” “He covered everyone’s bet. and dried blood on his shirt.” I didn’t believe the deacon because he wasn’t the type to just let anyone grab him.” “Why were you really arguing with Carlos Rivera?” “Money.
that Latina waitress did bring me a drink purchased by that cheap ass. I told him I needed the money and he told me tough shit. and I didn’t mean to punch that guy in the nose. “I’m sorry Nick.” “You may not have even killed him. “Are you reporting this to the police?” he asked.” “So you do have a little fight left in you. He said he wasn’t going to pay. give me something to hang my hat on. “I just don’t want to go to jail.” he started. you almost lost Zoraida. It wasn’t a fair fight. “But it was to get me to make bets with him.” “I know.” “The loss of your niece kind of put you out there.” I said.bibliotastic. “Didn’t he buy you a drink?” “That cat never bought anyone a drink!” he shouted. I can take!” I smiled. “And you know that because?” “He’s a cheap ass!” “But you don’t know him that well. it’s all semantics. That just triggered something in me so I called his mama a name.” “I know him from the gambling only.” I said knowing that if he lied to stay out of jail would only come back to bite him in the ass.” “Everyone lies!” “Even you?” He glared at me. “I hit the dog fights big. Nick.” “Okay. and I swung at him and punched the shit out of him.com 33 .” He smiled. dog eats dog.” he said as he looked directly at me.” I said using the driver’s line. You see everyone has a motive! It’s a dog eats dog world!” “Yeah.” “I’m just so sorry all of this started. girl eats girl.” he said. He swung at me and missed. “Don’t play with me. www. “I understand the ramifications of death.” I nodded. but I didn’t. I’m sorry for what I did.” “You. “Really?” “Just hang in a little longer and let me get to the bottom of this.” he confessed. “Not until I get all my little ducks in a row.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Were you friends?” “I don’t know him too well.” I said.” “A waitress said she delivered a drink to you that was purchased by Carlos.” I said.” “Yeah. “Come on Mike. I could cleaned up the floor with his scrawny ass. “Just want to make sure you’re on the up and up with me.” “You’re going to kick my ass?” “I’ll do more than that. “I went over to Carlos Rivera and asked him for my money. and he didn’t carry that much on him.
Wishing I had stayed home. Nick.Frank Atanacio He nodded.” “This guy is tough. “Call the police and let them know you were robbed. “He’s not a punk gang member. but I didn’t push it. Maybe you were just a scape goat. “Why don’t you go wash up. “I just want to find out if killing Carlos Rivera and the dog fights go hand and hand. yeah robbed. The reason I knew that he was lying to me was when he told the truth.” The deacon nodded.” the deacon warned.” he added.” “I like dancing.” I suggested. and that would soon come out like dirty little secrets. you could hear the conviction. “Yeah. I knew that there was more to his story. “You told me that once. Not just yet.” I said.” “But dealing with Froggy is an over boil.” I said. Mike.” “Everything comes down to a boil for a reason. and now look at me. “I thought I liked dancing too. .” I said sincerely. “Keep in touch with your wife. He was hiding something.” I grimaced. He smiled.” I said.” “Robbed?” I nodded. I need to find out if there’s a correlation. I’m sure he felt the walls closing in. There was no conviction.” he continued. Mike Brandon was filled with adrenaline. “I know. “You’re going to be dancing cheek to cheek with the devil. “Just want to see if his bark is worth than his bite. I left.” “Be careful Nick.” “I’m going to start keeping a close leash on One Eye Froggy.
” “Is that a choice?” She nodded.” She smiled. but why couldn’t she get her finances straightened out? “How do we start?” I nervously asked.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 13 I was pleased that Carolyn Lopez called me over to her apartment for a drink.” she said.” She laughed.” “I heard so much about you. I was planning to give her a thorough background check. or you can simply ask for a drink. She quickly made a dash for the kitchen and came back with two cold bottled beers. Every stain can come out of dirty laundry. and we’ll take it slow. and there’s a place for everything. “So. I started those rumors. She was wearing a New York Mets baseball cap.” “I make certain of that.” www.” I said. “Nice place you have here. Or at least pile them high on the bedroom floor. She was a pretty girl caught up in bad things. “You can rip my clothes off and take advantage of me right here. I realized she could have had her choice of any guy she wanted.bibliotastic. Perhaps she was waiting by the window. “Something funny?” “Yeah you. “Well. It was as if she was expecting me right at that moment. “Are you Nick PT Barnum?” she asked jokingly. I’ve elected to simply allow the chips to fall where they may. Everything has a place. “I started as I looked around at her neat apartment.” “All bad I hope. What really turned me on was the fact that she seemed a bit frisky over the phone.” “Good. “I wanted to make sure it found its way to your front steps. Damn. but decided against it.” I joked. It was out of the blue and certainly unexpectedly. but she chose me.” “Most of it. “Come in. “You’re going to be the lucky one.” she grinned.” I smiled. Nick PT Barnum.” “You thought I’d be a fancy girl?” I laughed. “I am.” I said. I can’t be fancy?” I laughed again and she pushed me. she was hot.” She turned and smiled. “A beer drinker. I had all the plans to get the stains out of her dirty laundry.” She was so organized. “My kind of girl. “What. “You keep teasing me and I bet you won’t get lucky. “Then I choose to rip your clothes off and take advantage of you right here.” “Beer would be fine. I knocked on the light oak wood door and Carolyn opened it up immediately. sit down. and a number 15 Mets black jersey with tight white shorts. How so?” “Let’s just say I can play hockey without a stick.com 35 .
“Right here?” “Problem with that?” she asked.” “When was the last time you had hair on your face?” she asked. “No business. When you’re with Nick. “With you. “About two weeks ago.” “I am.” I said.” she said.” “Really?” “I would know that. “I just didn’t want to break any of your furniture as I make wild and passionate love to you.” she replied. everything goes flying. “No. “I’m asking as a friend who wants to help.” I started.” “Just make me your bitch. “Or you’d rather not talk about it?” “I just want to spend some good times with a regular guy.” She smiled.Frank Atanacio “I get that a lot.” she said.” she said softly as she began to undress.” “I’m not that easy. “It’s the best I got.” I replied. but I had to block that out of my mind.” “Is there a need to laugh?” “None. even morals.” she replied.” “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. “Now get undressed. “It was a terrific date. and take me. I wanted to sleep with Carolyn that night. .” “That’s business?” “For me it is. “And who wants to keep on your good side so I’d be in your pants by the night’s end. “You’re laughing at me?” I asked. “Did you have a moustache once?” “No. “I understand. “How did you start gambling?” She looked puzzled.” “I bet you do. “I thought I saw you in the newspapers once or twice before.” She laughed. not Zoraida.” “Oh you are a pig!” “Carolyn.” I answered.” she said.” I smiled. She sort of reminded me of Zoraida.” “Is that dirty talk?” “You want more?” “At least better than that.” I said.” “I’ll be the judge of that.
Case File: Dog Eats Dog “I’m sure you will. so take notes!” She smiled. It wasn’t that I wasn’t good looking.com 37 . I’m a great looking guy. Nevertheless. It’s just that she was so attractive. and I’m not a stock-broker type. and certainly no Viagra. because I couldn’t believe I was really here with her.bibliotastic. Hell. Nick PT Barnum needed no comparison. I bet I’d pale in comparison to the men she’d usually date. I really had to pinch myself. www.
“The deacon punched him in the nose.” The doctor smiled. Dr.” she replied as we walked to a small corner office. Personal computers were not allowed.” “So a punch in the nose could have caused him to fall backwards. and my job was to find out how they got dead. Her nose was long.” “She nodded.” “Of course not.” “He neck was napped?” She stared disdainfully at me. and her blonde hair had sprinkles of gray. Nevertheless. and there was access to the internet with medical ties.” I replied. She grabbed an old doughnut from the coffee counter and bit into it slowly. It appeared that her job kept her from keeping up with her appearance.” I said.” She smiled.” “Someone is telling you lies. and checking personal information or email wasn’t permitted either. “So you wanted some information on Carlos Rivera?” she asked. “She’s a good captain. and I’ll be out of your hair very quickly.” . “So it could be ruled out as an accident. but cute. “Mr. “I hear that you cause a lot of these dead bodies.” I said.” she agreed. Keep it simple. There were programs that only their computers supported. Freeman was a tall slender woman. “But he didn’t have a broken nose. I was not to surprised that she was touching a dead body on a table in front of her. The hospital wanted to make sure their patients were never ignored.” I started.” “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. “We’ve determined the cause of death to be a broken neck.” I said mostly to myself. She was here to answer some questions.Frank Atanacio Chapter 14 The next morning I had to visit Dr. “But there simply was no traffic to get stuck in. with a fit body structure. Even he admitted to that.” She smiled.” “Sure he did.” she said as she continued examining the body. “And that could have killed him. Her job was to examine the dead. but her slight bags under her eyes told a different story. “Jenny doesn’t lie.” “A broken nose couldn’t have killed him. his neck was snapped. right?” “True. and the fact that she hasn’t any make-up on didn’t help either. She nodded as I walked closer to her.” In her office was one of the few personal computers allowed by hospital administrators. “Got her trained.” I started. “I know you want to use medical terminology on me. I nodded. She wore designer glasses.” “Yes.” I whispered. but I’m a simple guy. “Sure. “Can we talk away from the dead?” I asked. “Captain Camacho wanted me to give you my complete cooperation.” “I was trying to be fashionable late. she wasn’t here to attract me. She seemed well rested. “Information gave me directions to this haunting room. “Right on time. Marcia Freeman at the Bridgeport Hospital Morgue. Barnum. “Listen.” she said not looking up. “Yes.
“The police knows it.” “Yeah.” I nodded. and then they’ll take it from there. “I was on duty when Carlos Rivera came in. “People like that man avoid scenarios that will have him come into contact with these groups of people. How did you ever become Bridgeport’s greatest private eye? Carlos was holding the drink.” I nodded.” “I’m sorry. I had to have something great because I’m certainly no showman.” I Paused as she bit into the doughnut again.” she started.” “But when you found it had something to do with Froggy.” “Was Carlos drunk?” “His alcohol levels were very high. “They’re going to have another examiner supply them with the same information. “He did break his nose and he wasn’t holding the Bloody Mary. “I’m not really the greatest. He’d rather have others do the work for him.” “Do you know his business?” I asked. I hear you’re a show off. He has this controversial way of handling these groups of people. “If I did. “So he did bust Carlos in the nose?” “Clocked him good. and missed the drink shot up and splattered all over him.” “So you have evidence that could help free an innocent man.” she answered. It’s that play on words.” she said. PT Barnum is the greatest showman.” I asked. “You decided to tell the captain of police your history?” www. “But why?” I asked myself as I turned away from the doctor.” “So he could have been framed?” She nodded. Lots of it.” I said.bibliotastic. “Why?” “My connections. “You know. and me Nick Barnum.” “How do you know this?” She looked levelly at me. “Yes?” “This Froggy guy.” I paused. he would have changed that. women. but they’re not using it?” She nodded. She grinned.” “You know Carlos?” “No.” “Well.com 39 . and when the deacon swung.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “He was holding a Bloody Mary in his hand. He hates black people. and homosexuals. and the only thing found in his stomach were the ingredients to a Bloody Mary. “How do you know this.” “My ex-husband worked for him.” “Again. “And the deacon drinking a Bloody Mary?” “I’m kidding. damn you’re slow. “Not really sure. “I see his work come through this hospital often.” she started as I turned back to face her.” she answered.” she smiled.” “Me too.” I started. “Didn’t the police tell you this?” “They kept it from me.
That’s all.” she said as she handed me the paper.” she paused. “If you need anything else. “If you think of anything else I need to know. She smiled. She slipped it into her pocket and smiled at me. “Too bad your audience consists of dead people. her eyes shifting away from me.” “I also know the deacon.” she said she took out a pair of surgical gloves from a box on the counter. “I was the first to handle his corpse.” “Because of what you found. and I stick with it.” “Here’s a print out of the autopsy report. I handed the doctor my business card and she accepted it.” “After the reports?” “When I completed the reports is when all this came to light.” “You’ve been a great help. “Call the police.” she said. “I have a great deal of work to do. but I studied it like a medical student would.” I said.” “Sometimes it’s better that way. “So the reports have no prejudices.” “B B?” She nodded. and because of the ties you have?” She pondered those questions for a moment and then answered.” “So you think. call me.” She smiled. “I think Detective O’Brien wanted me to make sure you get everything they got. No matter what!” “Just checking. “Captain Jenny Camacho and I go a long way back. “I would never jeopardize my job for anyone! I report the truth.” she replied.” she half shouted.” I Nodded.” “Damn you’re a funny girl. “Is that all the questions you have?” she asked. I was the ideal person to speak to. I walked out of her workplace and looked at the autopsy report. glancing at the empty coffee pot. “For now.” I said. “So the other doctor who handed everything over to te police.” She said softly. “I’m here and I believe the police wanted you to speak to me. “I could never have a bad night. . I called her immediately and explained.” “I wish it were under different circumstances. She nodded. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for.” I nodded. is she on duty?” “He. “I’ve known him for a number of years through his wife.Frank Atanacio She shrugged.” “Good. and no.” I nodded again. “Me too.” she said warmly. right?” “Even still.
I kept thinking about that word. but she was the one I didn’t want to let go. I remembered everything we did together. it’ll end up staying over like an unwanted family member who has nothing better to do than to sponge off of you. even a little fear. and it’s all I knew.com 41 . Everything has to be hit head on. They complained amongst themselves. O’Brien had hit it on the head when he called her the one. Zoraida was a whole package deal. but I never got around to doing it. Delicate? My house came with a farm porch that stretched from one side of the house to the other. he lacked conviction. but a rule nevertheless. I thought about it. and getting the upper hand is what I always strived for. Again they talked amongst themselves. I lay there thinking and my thoughts kept coming around to Zoraida Saez. Without being delicate. She was only trying to protect her son. I fell asleep. She was afraid of what my job was going to do to her family. It lets me be me. I couldn’t get some much needed rest. and the thoughts of that beautiful girl intensified.bibliotastic. I remembered her kisses. when O’Brien spoke to me.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 15 Everything didn’t seem to be going the way I expected it. I liked it. When the deacon spoke to me. and the way she drove her sports car. Funny how relationship works. he seemed challenged. I took off my gun and laid down on the sofa that I had stored there for dumping purposes. and I fully understood. She told me to try an office job. When you allow something to challenge you. and how I was never home. Delicate again? Tired and bothered as I was. her laughs. Again with the delicate. She wanted me to quit what I was doing once. She once said she didn’t want to let fear in the door. www. While the ripples were still spreading. but they never approached me. and knew that I wasn’t trained to do anything else. and I had mine. B B had her one. They were always talking about the way I live. I knew my neighbors complained about it. It’s difficult rule to follow. but that was far too delicate for me. Pushing her skirt way up high so that I could be teased unmercifully. it may cause you to lose your life. Because if you do. In my line a work. I’d had a few sweethearts since Zoraida. I couldn’t remember a case ever being so delicate. I guess they thought I was much too delicate to hear the truth. there has to be no room for being challenged. Everything we did together developed into a pattern that inked itself permanently in my consciousness.
” she continued. “He got caught up in places he shouldn’t be in. She had a sour look on her face and her expression was clear. So I decided to hire her as my secretary. as if she owned the joint. “What’s up with Mike Brandon?” “Looks like the deacon is in serious trouble. “When did you ever know me to play around about a serious situation?” Janet worked for me for about five years. and had lots of dreams. and I wouldn’t know what to do without her if she decided to leave. but he has failed to return her calls. Knowing her. She had olive skin and big brown eyes that often displayed a puppy expression. Her favorite deacon was accused of murder. “Yeah.” I smiled. She was intelligent. It was upsetting and she wanted to know what I was doing about it.” “Janet. ask yourself. pretty Latin woman with dark short hair. frantic.” Janet was visiting her favorite vacation spot when she first heard the news. “Can’t have my favorite deacon locked up. She set the bar high for herself. She started when she was in high school just doing some light filing. and knew how to handle people. glowing. She was finishing up college. It has put him in a bad spot. but had planned to reach her goals. She couldn’t continue to enjoy herself until she knew what was going on.Frank Atanacio Chapter 16 Janet returned from vacation. I got use to her and she got use to me. “Janet. “You haven’t glowed like that since Zoraida.” I replied without holding back any punches. That was a big plus in this business.” she said giving me a curious look. My door opened.” “Maybe I’m pregnant. I’m going to pay her a visit. Maybe try and give her some comfort. She had left over seven messages on Mike Brandon cell phone. and she heard the news all the way down in Florida. She had a nose piercing and a tongue ring.” “Don’t be an ass. and he hung around people he shouldn’t be seen with. but she served her purpose. It was a fashion statement for her. She was oddly my right hand man. It was frightening and unsettling. and I would always look out for her.” “Poor mama. what the hell is going on?” she asked as she stood directly in front of me with her hands on her hips. but she wasn’t at all wild. Things would certainly not be the same. She was a thin. She didn’t realize that the deacon lost his cell. and she stormed in like a woman on a mission. “Okay Nick. and drag us down with you. “Why are you glowing?” “Glowing?” “Yeah.” “What is B B doing about this?” “She’s worried. I bet. “Hey. “Damn you men know how to screw life up. “I hope you’re doing something about it.” “What are you talking about?” “You got a girl!” “Don’t be crazy.” “Don’t play with me Nick. I’m all over this. “You know I’m right. She wasn’t very efficient.” she said.” Janet said. She was steady.” “I am. you are. you pimp!” .” she said. that wasn’t going to be much of a problem.” I said.” “Yeah. She was always looking out for me.” I said.” “You got a new girl. I nodded.” “I’m not glowing.
” “No.” she said.” she chuckled. Reminding you of Zoraida is only telling me that you wish she was Zoraida.” I smiled. “I just can’t picture you a booty call type of person.” “It’s nothing.” “You had sex with her?” “You said it.” she put her fingers on her chin. and you just admitted it.bibliotastic. “Let’s just leave it at that. “Don’t do that.” Janet laughed. really. “Why?” “Got to watch my old man’s back.” “Better looking than Zoraida?” “I don’t compare girls.” www.” I said.” “Nothing? Strange name. “I don’t think I know her.” I said.” I said.” “You see Nick.” “Come on.” “Do what?” “You shouldn’t compare girls like that.” I smiled. “You are college educated. “So you’re telling me that this nothing.” I laughed. “I’m a pimp daddy.” She smiled.” “Damn. Zoraida’s body isn’t even cold yet.” I tried to explain. “But damn Nick. But hey. “But she reminds me a little of her though.” she started.” She gave me the middle finger.” “It’s been two years!” “Aha!” “What?” “You said It’s been two years. “What’s her name?” “I’m telling you Janet. people change. I smiled. “We just met. “What?” “I’ll find out who she is.” “Carolyn Lopez.” I said. Let her stand on her own two feet and be her own person. and it went a little too far.” I said.” “Good. “Come on pimp daddy. Nicky boy.” “It really isn’t nothing. spill the beans. “Carolyn Lopez? Hmm.com 43 . Don’t live with Zoraida through her. “That means you are seeing someone knew. it’s nothing. is just a booty call?” “Booty call?” “Yeah. “That hurts.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “You can’t tell that by just looking into my face.” she said.
She continued laughing as she walked out of my office and slammed the door behind her.Frank Atanacio I gave her my middle finger.” .” I said. “Just leave things alone. “Damn.” She smiled.” I whispered. “I think she will too.
com 45 . She was a very attractive woman and the men knew it. The pit-bull on the left side had dried blood on his face that completely covered scars.” she replied.. I followed the directions to the back of the shop and into a dark stairwell. to her natural beauty.bibliotastic.” “A beer?” “Scotch and water. The building was situated just beyond the Fairfield town line and just short of the on-ramp to I95 South bound heading toward New York City. I noticed that the gamblers were drawn to that particular spot because of her. He also had exposed hair on his chest pushing up toward his neck. “Yeah. Oh baby! “What are you doing later tonight?” I asked. Everything you wanted in a girl with the exception of the gambling debt. but I too was drawn to her charm. He had a thick beard and a full moustache. My eyes went into puppy mode. but I played it off and looked surprised to see her. They were closed of course. The trailer was obviously used to transport animals. In fact. A wooden trailer was parked in the back. “I don’t pay for beers. I slept with that! It wasn’t that hard to admit. but you know the deal. She was the complete package.” she said. A beer would be great!” She smiled. He was a bear of a man. “Nick!” Carolyn called. I sipped. but the flower shop at the end had a light on. about a hundred yards from the stair-well. or he didn’t expect a password. I saw Carolyn Lopez standing at the corner of the bar taking drink orders. www. He simply just let me in. It was my job. “Working tonight?” I asked as I kissed her cheek. She handed me a draft. exposing some dog crates. okay. They were like a well oiled machine. In this case dogs used for fighting. It was partially covered. It was held at the Chico Social Club in a blue collar community. He gave me an up and down look and allowed me passage. and Mike Brandon was my friend.” I nodded.” I repeated. but failed to see this happening in their own back yard. “Probably making love to you. She blew a kiss at me. A community that had neighborhood watches. There was a small arena at the center of the room and two pit-bulls tied on each side of the arena. I had to be there. She was handing the orders to the bartender and he was quickly handing her the drinks. I found myself drifting in and out of reality. “Here!” I knew where she was. and I had to keep digging. The smell of urine was strong as it hit me like a ton of bricks. He wore farmer overalls and a wife beater tee-shirt. Behind her sat the bouncer. I knocked on the dirty gray metal door and a thin tall dark skinned Latino male opened it up. I walked toward the light and noticed a sign beneath it pointing to the rear of the building. He had lots of curly hair on his shoulder and upper arm. There was a strip of stores on that side of the road next to Chico. and fighting clenched teeth. I knew that the sign was meant for the would be gamblers. They had anger in their eyes. I smiled. He did not ask me for identification.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 17 Sunday came rather quickly as I hustled over to Chico for the dog fighting contest. Nevertheless. “Oh. The one on the right side of the arena had a missing ear. Damn. Both the dogs looked like they just came out of a war zone. “You want a drink?” “Scotch and water.
” said the bouncer. Perhaps he was wondering why I was here.” I said. It was false gratification. He had a patch over one eye and his facial feature and popped out eye had reptilian features. There was a small heavy set man standing in front of the dogs holding cash in both hands. He was so excited with the outcome of the dog fight.” “Damn. I noticed the excitement in the patrons’ eyes. you asshole!” “Barnum. “Leave the lady alone. They needed medical attention. and what dog?” I looked at the dogs in the arena and really didn’t want to bet on either one of them. I knew that look. “Hey!” The bouncer shouted. but gratification nevertheless. “How much?” a man in a light gray suit and a pimp hat asked me. I know. It was show time.” I said. Thank God I only put down ten bucks. I saw it a million times. Perhaps he was attracted to my tall good-looking features. and this was probably their last night alive. She’s got work to do. The bouncer walked up to me with Froggy in tow. “Holy-shit!” Foggy turned toward the ring and then his eyes smiled in triumph. “How much what?” “Are you betting. “The missing ear dog. but it probably did attract his attention. There was a man standing next to the bouncer who really looked like a frog. “The lady has work to do.Frank Atanacio I smiled.” “Come back again. “I know. That ten dollars wasn’t going to make him any money. .” “Your name?” “Nick. “Hey!” The bouncer called. The dogs in the arena were ripping at each other and all of a sudden there was a shriek. I couldn’t believe people actually betted on these types of things. “Yes?” “Pay-out time. I understood that I was violating his turf. and horrible spectacle. He was staring sullenly at me. “After work. Glancing around the club. but I had to be here. “How much? You asshole. but did not get off his chair.” I said. I quickly turned to face the dogs as they went at it in the ring.” “I’m sorry. and then a calm. and the bouncer smiled. Froggy looked curiously at me as I tried not to stare. right?” “Only if you wanna meet me between the sheets. He was studying the aftermath briefly and muttered. It was a total disgrace.” “Last name too. The excitement was just about to begin as the lights dimmed and everyone quickly ran toward the arena. He turned and whispered something to the bouncer and returned his glare toward me again. I was doing it for a friend. He knew that the house had made a lot of money.” “I know right where that is. It was a dreadful.” she smiled. I looked toward the arena and the dog with the missing ear was covered in blood and lifeless. and my heart ached. yet I wanted to feed him a fly. I get it.” The bouncer growled. why do you bitches have to make this shit so difficult?” he said as he wrote my name in the book and walked away. and how much I placed as a bet. They stopped directly in front of me.” “Ten. I couldn’t believe how ugly he looked. I’m leaving her alone.
com 47 . and my body ached. well the losers just pay. I had to think about the bet I had just lost.” I said as I handed him ten dollars..” “You took out some of my men.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Oh. I saw men shoes in front of me before everything went dark. If not. “It’s hard to collect money from a dead man. I saw the room spinning. “Well?” he growled. I’m giving you to the end of this week to pay. I didn’t understand what was happening to me.” “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.” said the bouncer. “I don’t carry that much money on me. But let me tell you this. I didn’t know there was a minimum.” I said. I wanted to push him away.” “Can I plead my case?” “I can’t kill you.” I gulped. “What the fuck is this?” “I lost..” he said. “You placed ten!” “Holy-shit.” There was a quick thump and I fell to my knees.” Froggy smiled. Normally it would have taken several hits to knock me out. of course. “Besides. “Barnum?” Froggy looked confused. A flash shot right before my eyes. and the losers. I’m gonna have to kill you so the others can see that we don’t play around. The winners won twenty times the amount they placed.” “Everyone who came tonight knew about the minium. “You’re that guy asking questions?” “That’ll be me. “I su.bibliotastic. “Have our money!” he demanded as he pointed his finger into my chest. I saw Carolyn Lopez worrying and finally. www. but I just realized that someone had hit me in the back of the head with a blunt instrument. but I had to think. but whatever they used was heavy and precise. The bouncer moved closer to me and his big belly was unpleasantly touching my arm.
” I said.” I said. The dog licked my arm.Frank Atanacio Chapter 18 When I came to I realized I was sitting in a dark alley way covered in garbage and smelling my own blood. They were next to each other side by side. It looked like they took turns punching me around while I was unconscious because my entire body ached. “I like the Mets. and I knew the bags weren’t garbage. right?” The dog was quiet. “It really is a dog eats dog world. I mustered enough strength to zip open the bag and out fell the other pit-bull. “Don’t tell me it’s the other dog?” I whispered. and the other duffle bag next to it. “You rest. He was stabbed twice in the throat. We may never get up. but I knew it moved on its own because I wasn’t touching the bag at the time. The dog too was looking for comfort. “Of course we can become friends. lying on his side with his paw frozen with rigomortise was the dog that made me lose ten thousand dollars. “Should I?” I pulled the other bag toward me and it moved. He tried to clench his teeth and growl.” I said as the dog crawled closer to me. I looked for the zipper and it was dark outside. I just knew that the duffle bags had something in them. “I know how you feel dog. and my face was covered in cuts. that one-eyed punk the money if he would have guaranteed me the life of that poor dog. I noticed the dog had a very difficult time trying to keep its head up. “I wonder what these monkey’s left behind?” I said as I pulled the first one toward me. my friend. but I managed to crawl toward the first one. There were two canvas duffle bags laying about three feet away from me. The dog was almost purring. “We better talk about something to keep us awake. Perhaps it was because my nose was full of dried blood.” I said. “But if you owed them money. but somehow survived it. “You with me buddy?” . “I don’t think we should fall asleep. He went into a whimpering frenzy.” The dog continued purring. the smell from the bag was so strong I almost threw up. He crawled closer to me and fell into my lap.” I said. “What the hell did these animals do to this poor dog?” On the ground next to my feet. In response to some sort of private investigator’s instincts. “You like baseball?” The dog didn’t answer. Something that wasn’t going into the garbage can. I would have given Froggy. “I know what you’re thinking. they wouldn’t have tried to kill you. because I really couldn’t feel my legs. However. “You’re thinking that this is a Yankee town. Maybe you should have gambled too. I opened the bag up and at first I couldn’t recognize the stench. His bloodied head motionless on the ground. but I knew they were bleeding. The winner of that contest. I looked into his bloody eyes. and this was his reward. He put his bloody head on my lap and closed his eyes. and the dog looked into mine. It took some doing. so that became a task in itself. I didn’t realize it at first.” I said. It appeared that he had his throat cut. In the bag was the dog with the missing ear. what hit me?” I said softly.” The dog whimpered again. but couldn’t. Or perhaps it was just the beating I got that made everything difficult. and then stopped almost as I put my hand on his head. “Damn. I couldn’t feel my lips.” The dog’s purr was quieter.
and I kept petting the dog on my lap.bibliotastic. “But at least he didn’t die alone. I hope I don’t die alone. It was just too much for me to take as I drifted back into the unconsciousness. I smelled the rotting dog next to me. “Buddy?” I pulled the dog’s head toward me and realized he had died.” I whispered. www.Case File: Dog Eats Dog There was no sound coming from the dog at all. “Damn.” 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.com 49 .
” “Explain the beating. and when I opened my eyes up it was still dark. “You know me!” “I thought I did. I didn’t have the energy to stand.” “Pete.” I smiled faintly.” “You shouldn’t be drinking. It took several minutes before someone realized that I was in the trash. “Someone threw me away. “I’m in here. “No dogs. I was just about to make some coffee.” I said.” “A whore Nick?” O’Brien looked disappointed. Someone had picked me up and tossed me into a garbage dumpster like Tuesday’s trash. you didn’t want to pay. The plastic lid shot open.” I continued. “Froggy must have cleaned up his act. “I wasn’t. but I’m still good.” He said as he helped me stand to my feet. until I realized that it wasn’t darkness from the lack of sun. and someone peered in at me.” “Those women standing next to my police officers tell something different. we checked. “Yeah. “Their pimp. “Can you help me out?” “I should let you rot there!” “It stinks so bad in here. “It’s me. “Grab my hand. you too.” “The dog fight in Chico?” He shook his head from side to side.” “Those old hens were put up to it!” . I couldn’t believe it.” “I really want to tell you that you’re a sight for battered eyes.” I called. “Help!” I called.” “What the hell are you doing in the garbage?” “Someone threw me away. but I was far too deep.” “What?” “They’re given us a written statement. There was still a lot of commotion. carrying on with a prostitute. Pete.” I tried to reach for the lid.” “What about the dead dogs in the alley?” I shouted as I pointed to the alley.” I said. It was darkness from within a garbage dumpster.” I said as he helped me out of the dumpster. “Hello.” said O’Brien. “Come in.” I replied.” “What?” “They told them that you were here all night singing.” said O’Brien as he stuck his hand in for grabbing. “It was really touch and go for a moment. and making a spectacle of yourself. “Nick?” “God?” “No you idiot.Frank Atanacio Chapter 19 I heard a great deal of commotion.
” “Can’t say what isn’t true. Just like he’s doing to Mike Brandon.” he said.” “You just had one too many.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Let me take you home. “Don’t worry.” “No.” “That hurts.” “Can I bribe you?” “Don’t get cute or I’ll throw your ass back into the dumpster. He’s the highest tax payer this city has.” “You didn’t have to. I’m telling you. it’s not what it looks like. “It came up empty. those woman over there. “I’m telling you.” he said as he entered the car.” “That makes him honest?” “I didn’t say that. I can’t take your side on this.” He grimaced. How can I believe you over them? There are several of them.” “Pete. “Are given us statements. you stink. and that the deacon will be okay. but I should for being a stupid ass. thanks for getting me out of that can.” “Does that remotely sound like something I would do?” I asked. “You’re really stinking up my cruiser.” he said.” www.” He nodded.” “You were out here doing whatever. and they took it out on me and the dogs.” he said.” “What do you want me to say?” “That you’re getting leads.” “But you love me. check out the club!” “Let’s just go so I can let these people go back to their homes.” “Again Nick. “Let’s just leave this alone for now. He was a genuine threat to the citizens of this city. “Pete. “You got caught up with booze and a prostitute. Nick.” I said as he helped me into the car. “We have increased our investigation. I was just wondering if O’Brien knew it. “Let’s go.com 51 .” “Then lie. “It’s you.” “I should have left your stank ass there.” “Pete. We’ll work on something to help the deacon out. He does have a great deal of money. we have to do something about Froggy. Or at least I couldn’t pay.” “Pete. Froggy was a much more human presence than the mayor.” he said pointing toward some police officers and several woman standing next to them. I’m not going to arrest you. They killed two pit bulls last night and must have taken them away.” “Let’s just get you home. they were put up to it.” “So you’re not making any progress?” “We’re doing th best that we could. but he can account for every penny.” he started as he turned to face me. I came here for the dog-fight!” I pleaded. You know that. “I lost a lot of money and I didn’t pay.” “Must be the lack of evidence. They said you were out here with a woman and she demanded payment for the sex you’ve had.” “Well. you know it’s a game he’s playing. This would never fly if I really had to arrest you. and he knows some important people.bibliotastic.” “That didn’t answer my question.” It just accord to me as O’Brien was helping me to his police cruiser. and then there is just you.” “Listen.
” I grimaced.” he said. “For now.Frank Atanacio He smiled. . “And the deacon continues to squirm.” “For now. Nick.
” “That place wasn’t just no dog-fighting backyard type.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 20 Detective Peter O’Brien lived his whole life as a bachelor.” I restated.bibliotastic.” he said.” “Okay. but he didn’t have to.” I said.” he said as he tossed me a dry towel.” he said. “I just got to bet on the main event. “I can’t see Mike betting on those fights and she not knowing where the money is going.” “She would have stopped it.” I replied.” “A thousand?” “Something I couldn’t afford. He is a well tight man. and high ceilings that totally whispered privilege.” “I don’t know. “Maybe she didn’t want to know. He would always look for ways to raise money.” He nodded. If anything.” O’Brien started. “And the deacon had his hands dirty. She’s no dummy. www. “Not with B B standing over him.” “Froggy?” He nodded. “What?” “Gets the money from his church. “There were several scheduled. “Mostly poor. “What? I couldn’t.” He nodded.” I said.” “I guess. I think. “I’d like to loosen him a bit with my fist for having those dogs killed. However.” “He has a great deal of followers. His never being married had something to do with being a police officer.” I said.” O’Brien gave me a side-ways glance. I don’t know how he could have waged a thousand dollars a fight. “I’ve known her for a long time. “I’m glad.” he said. and the hours were just too long.” “Don’t put anything over on that woman. I should have realized that when the bets were a thousand dollar minium.” “Deacon Brandon wouldn’t stoop that low. “Can’t make you promises though. He helped me into my house and made sure I was cleaned up. “The place had walnut paneling.” “If all this comes out. He would never actually say it.” “Maybe she didn’t know.” “From his parishioners.” said O’Brien. “So you do believe there is dog fighting?” “I believe you. he was a good friend and he really cared about me and the deacon. “How many dog fights?” he asked.” “We’re going to continue checking on that. I think the deacon thought he was helping the church. “Can I offer you a drink?” “Enough with the booze. I smiled.com 53 .” he said. He had been doing it for over 30 years.
. “Which is what?” I asked.” “And put him back on the straight and narrow.” “So we got to help him out of this mess. Certainly not for personal gain.” I said. Maybe he had to do what he had to do.” “Of course. I’m sure he’s gambling for his flock. He still finds money to send needy kids to baseball games. “It makes sense in a way. He always comes through when basketball camps come around. “These days?” “Right.. Gamble in the name of God.” O’Brien smiled.Frank Atanacio “And Mike still manages to send needed kids to summer camps.” he said. Mike doesn’t want anyone going without.
” “So he made payment arrangements with you?” Mr.” he said. “They have this fear brought on by Froggy.” he said.” www. “I’ll let you guys talk.” said Janet almost too professionally.” “Salt of the earth.” he said. “We all are. “This is my boss.” “Mr. “Mr. “Rusty Miller. but not a lot. that he is. not behind on any gambling debts?” “I told you. are you okay to talk?” I asked. “Wife know you have no job?” “She knows what I do.” I said as I pointed to one of my client’s chairs.” Janet said. but my body seemed to have accepted the beating I sustained when Janet came in with an overweight black man wearing baggy shorts.” I said. and a Malcolm-X tee-shirt. but we’re good.” Janet started. “And you’re debt free?” He nodded again.” “How do you do?” I said as I stood up quickly and shook his hand.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.” “Are you behind?” “No. He smiled. “What do you do for a living?” “I gamble. but his nose big. You don’t have that fear?” “I don’t have any enemies. He looked at me quizzically. Miller nodded. “I’m sorry for what has happened to the deacon.” “Sit down.” “Professionally?” He nodded. “Are you married?” He nodded. “What do you mean?” “People find it too difficult to talk about what happened to Mike Brandon. Nick PT Barnum.bibliotastic. “Was gambling with the deacon that night. “I do owe him a little money. He wore oval shaped glasses with black rims.” I started explaining. “he said. His eyes were tiny. His hair was dark color with beads of gray. “I’m paying on time.” “So you have no financial problems with him?” I continued. I wasn’t really in the mood or the mind set to take on any new clients.com 55 . “He is a good man. My face was still aching. Miller.” “Yeah. Miller. “Do you owe Froggy money?” “Yes. but I didn’t want Janet to look bad. “No big debts.
trying to steady himself. ponies.” he said. but it was clearly written across his face. “Hell. “It’s a mystery to me.” he said. “Whether you believe me or not. I do it all!” “Dog fighting?” “Cock fighting too. “But I didn’t come here to talk about my profession. debt will be the last thing you’re going to worry about. That’s how I roll. He wanted some information from me.” “Which buddy?” I asked again. “If the odds are in your favor. “I told you. He really didn’t expect me to believe he came here to help the deacon. “What does Froggy want with me?” “Nothing.” he snorted. And forgive me for saying this. we make enough money to take a vacation every year around Christmas time. “Why are you really here?” I asked.” “He wanted to know how you found out about the dog-fighting contest.” “He found me. It’s beneath him. I came here to talk about the deacon. but you’re beneath him too.” “That’s just a fact. “I didn’t find him. He doesn’t want anything from you. “Whether it be the lottery. “And if you don’t tell me.” “You like taking decent men to these places too?” “I don’t understand.” “I don’t think so. trust me. I could hear him taking a deep breath. dogs. What do you mean?” “I’m just wondering what attracted the deacon to something like this. jai-alai. right?” “I came to help you.” I added. “Tell me?” “I came here to help my buddy out. The deacon doesn’t really hang around with such bad elements. That’s how I make my money.” he half stood and then sat back down. The man shook his head slowly from side to side.” he replied. I’m a professional gambler.” “Yeah.” “How much are you really in debt?” “What the hell?” Rusty Miller was struggling with his confidence.Frank Atanacio I smiled. Nothing at all. he is.” “But you don’t fear him?” “Why should I?” “Because you’re here. . scratch offs. the so called deacon is not as honest as you think.” I reworded.” He was quiet.” I smiled again. “Which buddy?” “Mike. “To help. Mike. He didn’t say it. is all.” “I’m a God loving man.” he said. “There is no need to grill me like that. He wanted to pick my brain for Froggy.” “Just trying to find out where you found Mike Brandon.” I smirked.” he said bravely.
” He nodded.” he said as he forced himself off my client’s chair using my desk as a brace.” I said. He walked out.” “Good.” “How was she?” I nervously asked.” I nodded.com 57 .” I smiled. “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.” “She’s telling the truth. www. “But she told him you already knew.” He nodded. “I already knew..” I said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “He told me he’d knock my debt down if I got the information for him. Do I make myself clear?” “Definitely understand you.bibliotastic. “Last night. “But otherwise. “When was the last time you saw her?” I asked. she was okay. You make sure he gets this information. “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. It had nothing to do with Carolyn Lopez. she was fine..” “What?” “All that until she saw you get your ass kicked. laughing. I’m going to put a bullet into your fat ass. “He suspected Carolyn Lopez. “I spoke with her last night.” I nodded. “You will never see me again. If I ever see you again. She was in good spirits.” he continued.
tips touching my chin and thought about Carolyn Lopez briefly. “I’ve given that fat-ass what he wanted to know. My office has been here through all that.” “I guess you’re right. Some were here for the long haul.” I glanced at my secretary.” I said. Maybe he preached paths like this. and countless other stores. “Thanks. Nick?” Janet asked. “The deacon is out there alone.” I followed Janet’s lean figure toward the door. She knew we weren’t a couple. I knew she wasn’t Zoraida.” she spread her hands in a helpless gesture. “You okay. “It’s the path he didn’t want to go down. It was like trying to remember good dreams.” She smiled. “Yeah. and she made me laugh.” “Why you thanking me?” “For being here.” I crossed my fingers. I guess. . “You really look like shit.” I smiled. “You should go home and rest. “You look like it more than you could ever feel like it. and it’s going to remain here until my last breath. but she was sweet.” “With pay?” “Of course.” she suggested. “Let’s go.” I said. you’re taking the rest of the day off.” “You think something’s going to happen to your new friend?” “Carolyn?” “Yeah.” “Then maybe he’ll come out of this on top. “It’s not like that.” said Janet.” “Mike had always dealt with difficult hands. and now it’s gone giving way to another pharmacy. Some of my teachings were clear.Frank Atanacio Chapter 22 I stood up from my desk and turned to face the window that over looked downtown Main Street. Rite Aid Pharmacy was on the corner for almost twenty years. I didn’t have to be a mind-reader to know what she was thinking.” She smiled at that. others were just bad experiences.” “Trust me.” she said. Furniture stores opened and closed. and I think that will satisfy Froggy. So many different stores opened and closed on this street over the past few years. “Could my intelligence be rubbing off on you?” Janet tried to recall the lessons I’ve given her. “Getting smarter?” She nodded. Janet.” “The deacon without a church. You’re intelligence is a farce. The last thing she felt when she closed the door behind her was my worried expression over Carolyn Lopez. I told him where I got my information from.” “I don’t think so.” I replied. but now he’s experiencing it firsthand.” “I’m just stating a fact. “And he always came out of it on top.” I whispered. “A man without a mission. “But if I’m going home.” “I feel like it. “I spoke to B B and she tells me that he is worried.” “I’m too tired to argue.
www. and this wasn’t making me happy at all. She wanted me to be happy.com 59 . It was clearly written across her face.Case File: Dog Eats Dog but the thought of her in danger troubled her a great deal.bibliotastic.
Looks like she was punch inside out.” “What?” He nodded. but everything that happened to me over the past week could have left me a bit absent-minded. right?” He nodded slowly again. “We need you to identify the body for us. “Her face sort of stripped away. He looked at me and knew exactly what I meant.” “I came to pick you up.” Guilt seeped through my numbed body. “I don’t like bringing bad news. “She won’t be a witness for us anymore. “I know.” said O’Brien.” I said. Nick. The one I told you to leave alone. “Carolyn Lopez?” He nodded again. He was arrested several times before in different cities for laundering money through his church. “She was murdered. Rusty Miller earlier. She looked like she was fitting right into that small group. and I was relieved to see him standing behind me. “So why do you need to pick me up?” “You were the last person we know who saw her alive.” his eyes softened. Pete?” “They beat her up so badly. and I noticed that my front door was opened. I wanted it to be the only explanation. I looked toward the street and saw Detective Peter O’Brien’s unmarked police cruiser parked at the curb. “You need to identify the body for us.” O’Brien said. “Been bad.” “She changed her story?” I asked.” “But you know it’s Carolyn.” “Why. because I was too tired to think of anything else. Or was it me? Was she excited to see me at the club? . I didn’t hear him walking toward me. and I had filled him in on what that man tried to do. That witness you’ve been seeing on the side. “Those animals!” “We need you just to take a small look. “It’s what you gotta do.” he paused as if to catch his breath. I didn’t remember leaving it that way.” “Can’t you just tell them I looked at it already?” I asked. I was almost in a clear state of shock.” “That guy Rusty saw her last.” he explained. “Then I’ll bring you back.” he said. Nick.” I bowed my tired head. It was unbelievable that this could have happened to her. It had to be the only explanation.” “Damn. “We trust you.” “Murdered?” He nodded. but nevertheless I was glad it was him. We had a conversation about Mr. O’Brien did a little research on him and told me that he was also a deacon. His engine was still running. O’Brien and I faced each other on my drive way. “Are you sure?” “Of course.Frank Atanacio Chapter 23 I pulled into my driveway. but this one I had to bring to you. I didn’t have the energy for another round of fighting. “How’s your day going?” I asked right off the bat. I’d certainly lose.
The neighbors were so quiet. “You can leave your truck here.” “That’s true. “I saw a light on in your house so I thought you were home.” “You mean you won’t say?” “I’ll say if I knew. Leaning against the bar. so I can’t say if it’s Froggy. I knew it wasn’t going to happen. She was murdered.com 61 . The houses were built larger these days. but it happened. That wasn’t a smart thing to do. It was only that time you’d see a police car. I finished my drink. or at least take control of it for a moment. I had so many things on my mind that I was already fearing it.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Nick?” “Was it Froggy?” “Can’t say. perhaps for no reason.” I said. I didn’t know what I would do when I saw the mutilated body of Carolyn Lopez. He was a caring person. I began to dread going to bed. I was ready to see Carolyn Lopez for the last time. I sipped again as I permitted the scotch to ease my mind. but Pete. Her smiled would certainly invade my sleep. and my mind began relaxing the best way it knew how. And everyone knows how much you were into that girl. and a good man. It wasn’t planned. you just met her.” I whispered. but now she’s been murdered. Nick. I waited for the absolute quiet to begin easy my snarled nerves and hopes it washes away my worries. There will be no problem with that. “I know it’s killing you. break-ins and robberies were so rare. and I knew it.” O’Brien started explaining about the opened door. but scotch whiskey usually helps.” I nodded.” He continued. I gean to dread meeting her. I really couldn’t recall the last time I had seen a police car cruise through. I shut my eyes for a moment and sipped. Lord knows I need one. I watched O’Brien make his way to the car. she was so different in so many ways. and slowly back up into my driveway.” I nodded. and her death would certainly invade my dreams. “Janet told me that this girl reminded you of Zoraida.” “I’ll wait in the car.” I smiled. www. and actually making love to her. and they were always off duty.” O’Brien broke my train of thought. Tonight was going to be a difficult night to deal with.bibliotastic. “I’ll bring you back home. I know she was cute. I walked toward my bar and poured a tall glass of Johnnie Walker Black. I took a deep breath as Carolyn Lopez’s face washed across my mind.” I said. Her eyes would light up in my presence. I took another deep breath and another sip of scotch. dreading the times Carolyn and I had. Taking a bigger sip. Officers Victor Cruz and Alfredo Fuentes would stop by for a card game or a sporting event. “You did leave the front door unlocked. I felt a little easier. Every now and again.” My house was in a new sub-division in the North End of the city. The last time I saw her was when I was on the social club floor.” O’Brien grimaced. “Damn. “I’ll be with you. But remember. “Maybe I could have had a chance in getting to know her better. “What can make men so cruel?” The stillness in my heart was almost contained. She adored me. and the extra rooms were tedicously large. “Just let me get a quick drink. “Why was she killed?” I asked myself as I took a longer sip. Pete. O’Brien blew the horn. The scotch was doing its job. I walked into my front door feeling terrible about what happened to Carolyn Lopez.
” I said. and that made O’Brien angry.” O’Brien ordered. No meaning. “You got that right. “Hey watch it!” Shouted O’Brien as he stood next to a metal table in the center of the room. I turned my head directly toward a morgue office as I watched a security officer sitting at his post with his feet up watching monitors on the wall. “I’ll prove that they do exist. “She’s already dead!” O’Brien waved me over as the man moved the body bag from the Gurney to the center table.Frank Atanacio Chapter 24 The morgue had a distinctive odor.” “She worked for Froggy for no money. . She was a waitress at those dog-fighting contests.” “Allege. “What?” said the man in the white jump-suit. She’s dead.” O’Brien nodded. I turned away and closed my eyes. “The girl was hit by a train. “She was beaten to death. and he took it out in trade.” said the attendant. it was that stale stench of death. “No.” O’Brien nodded. “They made their first mistake. “She owed him a gambling debt. He wasn’t very careful in doing it. she was drinking and fell right onto the tracks. “It’s okay Nick. That woman who really liked me. Just identify her. It was odd to see her on the stretcher lifeless.” “Are you sure?” “Yep. and we will find out who did this.” “Zip her up. only death.” O’Brien tried to comfort. “Ye sir. “Listen you punk son of a bitch!” “What?” the man shouted as he pulled away from O’Brien’s reaching hand. Hell. “Now I’m going to fester and then make them wish they had killed me. and I really liked her. “Cowards. That woman that I made love to. The stretcher bumped into the door way onto a white tile floor almost spilling the black body bag. And part of that stench came from Carolyn Lopez. some even left this place not sure if it was their family member. “They kept pounding away at her until she stopped breathing.” he said as he stepped to one side so I could get a good look at the body.” said O’Brien. “Killing Carolyn?” “Not killing me when they had their chance. I needed to look away because the body in front of me was indeed Carolyn Lopez. “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.” he started as he unzipped the body bag.” I said.” O’Brien said in an almost whisper. Damn thing was a freaking mess.” “That’s that. that’s her. and we’ll be on our way.” I nodded. no direction.” “That’s Carolyn Lopez. Damn there were pieces everywhere. Took several family members to identify her.” “They can try. “It’s okay to look.” “They still can.” I said. and this is this. I waited by the entrance until a small thin man wearing a white jump-suit rattled in a Gurney. It was that stale air that came from death that invaded my nostrils.” O’Brien corrected.” I said.
O’Brien was holding the door with his foot until the attendant was able to push the Gurney forward and out the room.” said O’Brien. It was a room for the dead who were violently murdered. the top of the counters. I didn’t see dirt or smudges of any kind. “I was just trying to help you cops. I was also really not interested. “Is that all?” asked the attendant. I was scanning the walls. “Don’t you think?” “Don’t get nasty. He did. I nodded. It couldn’t have been for contamination.bibliotastic. They kept the room spotless. and I was happy.” “I’m not a cop. He kept pushing her torso forward and her hand kept slipping out. I just wanted my mind to drift until the attendant was able to secure the body into the bag. but I wasn’t a doctor. “Ready to go?” O’Brien asked. I glanced at the stretcher for the last time. I just wondered why anyone would go through a lot of trouble to keep a room like this clean. He nodded.” I said. Nick. www.Case File: Dog Eats Dog The attendant was having a difficult time zipping up Carolyn’s body. “Let’s go.” he said. and slowly closed my eyes. and I wondered why.com 63 . I really didn’t want to see her again so I started looking around the room. the sink. “Looks that way.” I nodded.
“Nick!” Relief! I looked back to my private office and Janet was standing by the door.” “I’m sorry Janet.” she said with her eyes closing just a bit. “I was caught off guard.” I half whispered.” “What?” She nodded. I noticed her rolling her head. I nodded.” she replied. “They’re going to kick my ass again. “They’re on my shit list!” “Those bastards followed me into your office. “I managed to get a few licks in before they got to me. “Came here collecting. Her clothes were torn a bit. “Or did you try to stop them?” She glared at me for a moment.” “Did you get a good look at them?” “Yeah.” she said.” she said as she sat down at her desk. I couldn’t stop looking until I. and barked out demands. and long dirty hair tied back into a pony-tail. like O’Brien with front missing teeth.” “A bill collector?” “Yeah. “Greedy punks even took my lunch!” Janet walked back to her desk.” .” Janet stood up and walked toward the filing cabinet. sat down. That’s the only reason they kept me alive. “Straight!” I smiled.” she continued.” “Sick. I steered toward Janet’s desk and noticed blood stains on a place mat.. “Janet. Damn.” “Hey.” she said as she limped toward me. tried to take it out of my skin. Nick. right?” “You’re brave Janet. “What the hell happened?” “Damn bill collector.” “They beat you up?” I asked. “I know. They wanted to. and huffed. sat down. you need a doctor?” “I need some Southern Comfort. “Came in looking for money you owe them. My eyes fell into a curious rhythm as I scanned the area. “What?” I asked.” she winced a bit. Everything was turned over as if someone was frantically looking for something. and bruises. They’ll wait until all the blood seeps out of my body. “Those bastards worked me over and then they hung me out of your window and threatened to drop me.. She was extremely tensed. and drop me from the window. and her face covered with welts. crossed her long legs.” she replied through clenched teeth. They ransacked the entire place and left everything like a disaster area. but I was to warn you. “One was a big guy. “It comes with the job. Man stunk like dog shit. so I stood behind her and gave her a shoulder rub. “Those punks told me that the next time they come here. She took out the petty cash lock box and showed me that it was empty. Damn they punched me around like I was a man.Frank Atanacio Chapter 25 I walked into my downtown office and I couldn’t believe my eyes.
” “Carolyn?” “Yeah. “Don’t want to come to work one morning and find me useless secretary splattered all over Main Street. I was caught so off guard.” “You go boy!” “They’re pushing me too hard. I like the adventure. I sat down beside her and patted her gingerly on her shoulder. for sure.” “You should stay home until all of this is over.” She jammed her fist against her lips.” “Then. Janet. maybe you should just stay home.” she said.” she sobbed.” she said.” “I’m serious. stopped crying.” I said.” “Not on your life!” she shouted.” “I don’t know what to say. “How in the hell can you owe someone that much money?” “They tricked me into owing them that much. she’s a corpse now. “But to be honest with you. “I didn’t mean for you to get involved in this. “I thought they were paying clients and I completely turned my back on them.” I started.” I said. “Thought I had a ten dollar bet. I guess I really must have pissed them off because the skinny guy wanted the fat guy to drop me. “They also had the nerve to call our petty cash. I was scared as shit. Maybe if I knew what they wanted I would have thrown one of them out the window. looked around the office. about a hundred and seventy eight. “Let it out.bibliotastic. “I’m sorry. “But they still pocketed it.” I said almost quietly. “I feel better now pimp. Remember they took our petty cash. looks like they’re going to get a pity ass-kicking. “I gotta straighten their ass out. He even begged.” she said. and you’ve been threatened. covered her mouth with her palm.” “How much did we have in petty cash?” “After I did my nails.com 65 .” I said. Janet looked at me.” “Hey pimp.” “Now you playing with the big boys. not maybe. a pity cash. and looked at me.” “Kiss my ass. pimp.” “Dollars?” I nodded. but they twisted the lingo.” she started.” “How much do you owe those suckers?” “Ten thousand.” “Yeah.” she insisted. They told me that it’s not a warning for me.” She smiled. “Well.” I smiled. and began to cry. it’s a promise. and bam! I owe them ten thousand dollars. www. “You really only owe them Nine thousand eight hundred and twenty two dollars.” “Just don’t want you to end up like Carolyn Lopez.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Yeah. “First Carolyn. “It’s not my life that I’m worried about.” “Nick. now you.” I said.
Those bitches!” “But you took it like a man.” I said. “Those tears?” I nodded.” “Besides.” she said. She was the main switch that kept everything running. and that was my next move.” she replied. He struck a nerve with Carolyn. I looked at her and she smiled. I realized that someday she would move on and begin her own life.” I said honestly.” she said as she rubbed her knuckles. but I really didn’t want to be the cause of her leaving.” “I’m glad you are okay. “First time I ever saw you cry.” “They really worked me over like I was a man. I knew it. “I had to release my anger. pimp. “Damn straight. “I’m too pretty to be scattered all over Main Street. the punches hurt. and I won’t be pushed around. One Eyed Froggy was playing too close to my candle flame. I’m staying. and she knew it.” she said. I had to react with force. “Me too.Frank Atanacio “They got me once. “It just filled me up and had nowhere to go but through tears. It was hard to imagine this office without Janet.” “It’s dropped that I’m worried about.” “I bet.” She smiled. “They won’t get me again. .” I said.” “That’s true.” “I understand. She was much to valuable to me and my office. and he struck a bigger nerve with Janet.” “Funny pimp got jokes.
” I said. The bartender.” “The skinny bitch?” “My secretary. “You want something from me?” I asked. I knew it had to be about me because the bouncer quickly glanced my way.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 26 I found myself hurrying to the club that night in spite of the warning.” he said as he turned to the bouncer again. Jackie Reeves recognized me right away as he turned to the seated bouncer and whispered something into his ear. He had long hair tied into a pony tail and he had missing front teeth. I needed to express myself differently. “I’m telling you.” “We refuse to serve you!” “You smell like shit. or at least to be recognized.” I whispered. “What for?” “The eye for an eye.” I said. The club was crowded and there was Salsa music beaming out of the speakers on the walls and ceiling. His face was flushed and his eyes angry. “Get rid of this joke. I smiled at that. www. my co-worker. I knew that Froggy wasn’t going to like it.” I said.bibliotastic. and rationality had no place in it. The message had to be loud and clear.” I replied. I was almost shocked when I realized he smelled just like shit. but I had to make a statement. but it wasn’t the right time. “Hey. But I want you to open the bar up. I do what I do.” “You!” shouted the bouncer.” “Then you should be reading the Bible. “She said you smelled like shit when you were dangling her from my office window. “And death. It was almost an art form as they danced to the Latin rhythms. you have to do your job.” I said. The disc jockey was sitting high above the dance floor looking down at the dancers who were moving in sequence. “You said it’s closed.” I tried snarling back. “But I’m here anyways.” “You don’t belong here?” “I guess I don’t.” “It’s all part of living Jackie. “Janet was tight. I came to make a statement.” shouted the bartender.” I smiled.” “And we do what we do.” he snarled.” “Just come in to buy a beer. It felt nice to be popular.” “Bar’s closed for you.” “Well. The ape stood directly in front of me.” “We are ready for you. “You’re not allowed in here!” He shouted. I had to send him a message. I don’t think that’s the right way to treat a lady.” “Hey. “You don’t belong here.” I said. “You don’t get it!” “Of course I don’t.” “It is in my book.com 67 .” “Open it up. I wanted to explore my rational way of thinking. The odor was that clear. “Looking for trouble?” “Not really.” shouted the bouncer. The bouncer was a big burly man with no facial hair. “I’m a paying customer. “You’re not going to beat us done easily this time. and maybe I will get it. my friend.
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
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.”
“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.com 71 .bibliotastic. www.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Now finish up your wings before I take them.
“No problem.” “I know it’s not going to be easy for you.” B B nodded slowly.” she sobbed.” she said softly. “I know. I felt my stomach curdle.” . “She’s a good girl. I smiled.” “Collection money?” “Oh yeah. “It’s going to take some time. You wait until we find out why One Eye Froggy has it out for your husband.” Janet replied as she winked at the deacon’s wife and walked out of my office. She steadied herself as she reached to brace herself with one of my client’s chairs. I ain’t stupid. She put everything back in it’s place and didn’t change a thing. I liked that about her. like I was going to hear some unwanted news. “I know. “Can you excuse me and B B for a moment. “What?” I asked. baby. The deacon will bounce back and continue his good work. She placed it down in front of her and stood next to me with her arms folded. You know he’s a good man.” She said.” “What do I do baby?” “You wait.” “You will help him. She looked like she hasn’t slept for days. “Hey Janet. “But things will come out in the wash for the better.” I took hold of B Bes hand.” I said. She looked frail and I could see it in her eyes that she felt like her knees were going to collapse. he’s going right to hell.” Janet walked in with a cup of coffee for B B.” She looked at me intently. “He says it’s for horse racing.” “I know that too.” “But he’s not guilty. “They arrested Mike this morning. Janet had done a wonderful job cleaning up the mess. “Mike has been taking money out of the collections to pay for his gambling debt. “You wait until all this is cleared up.” I tried to comfort her. but I know he’s been going to those dog fighting events. but I know I’ve rattled some cages. “Thank you. She sat down and looked around my office.” I said. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly as if she was trying to catch her breath. I think she needs some time with me alone.Frank Atanacio Chapter 28 B B approached me as I sat at my desk. “When she’s a sleep.” B B said.” “He’ll always be the love of my life.” I said. B B forced a smile. right?” “I want to help where I can. “Are you okay. “Yeah baby.” “You can’t mean that. I opened my top drawer with my other hand and handed her a box of tissues.” I nodded as my eyes fell on her worried face. How lifeless and thin her skin felt as tears started to blossom as they streamed slowly down her face. B B?” I asked.
” I said. “Be very careful Nick.” she said.” “I’m sorry baby. It was a sadness that of nowhere to turn. “O’Brien told me that you were very fond of one of the witnesses. “He has too many good points.com 73 .” she said as she stood slowly from the chair.” “Thanks Nicky.” I added.” I agreed.” I said.” “They’ve been punished. “I will B B. “I believe in an eye for an eye.” “Should have just turned the other cheek.” she said. Regardless of the circumstances it puts me in.” I said. www.” “Your lips to God’s ear. “That’s a shame.” “Of course. a sadness that went beyond the loss of her husband’s good name. “I know my way out. “Yeah.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Some witnesses have died. “And you know I will.” “I got his back.” The response put B B at ease. “Don’t bother that poor child.” “I’m sorry I took up your time. “I don’t know if God will forgive you for that.” she said. I didn’t mean to make a spectacle out of myself by crying.” I nodded.” she said. “And I think God will forgive Mike.” she said.” she sniffled. It really outweighs the bad.” “I mean it B B. and with Mike.bibliotastic. I had always tried to fulfill my promises. “I’ll do my best for Mike. “I just wanted to know that you’re still helping out my Mike.” She forced another smile. “I had to punish one of them myself.” “There are so many things I know God wouldn’t forgive me for. “Is that true?” “Carolyn Lopez.” “Janet will see you out.” “Don’t worry about it.” she said.” She walked out. He got a little carried away. there had to be an extra push. “Try and get some rest. There was a sadness to B B’s eyes. I came here probably to get some reassurance.” “I believe you.” I said.” “Revenge?” she asked.” I said. “I understand.” She smiled. It was like watching a trapped animal in a cage. “But I’m sure this is the exception to the rule. “I don’t want to worry about your health. I know. There was no pretense about my promises.” “Me too.
“I’m serious!” “We are here to do just that?” “Did Willie the Greek send you?” “Nope. The colors were black and white. so I suspected the worst. but the day was going to be a terrific one. Where was he? I looked over toward a flashing billboard and noticed that the Power-ball Jackpot has reached seventy five million dollars. I was here bright and early. I like watching people squirm. “Froggy wants his money. Baseball was invented in this country. “Fist fight going to become a shoot-out?” I asked. and team logo jerseys.Frank Atanacio Chapter 29 The next morning I drove down to Seaside Park near the diamond six area off of Iranistan Avenue.” “Don’t get cute!” “Cute is my middle name. Neither one of them had baseballs or gloves.” I felt an imaginary noose around my neck as they pointed their guns directly at my head. “I’d prefer an ass-kicking.” “But not from me. and the white lines that marked off the foul-lines were untouched. The Park was lined with small freshly planted trees running toward the bathhouses. “I guess a pick-up game is out then?” One of the three swung his bat in my direction. ordered?” The middle man nodded slowly.” The middle thug grunted. “You know. “Hey. They were carrying baseball bats. “You had your chance. It was pretty early for any baseball to be played.” “Willie. “You could have hit me with that thing. “Froggy can kiss my ass. “Looking for a pick-up game?” I nervously asked.” said the middle man.” smiled the middle man.” he said.” He smiled. Three young Latino males came out of the car wearing baseball caps. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t tell me over the phone. It would have been a perfect day for a double header.” I started.” “Me too. I suddenly realized that they too were holding their guns at me. but that was it. “He was ordered to ask you to meet us here. They looked at each other only for a brief moment and then dropped their bats. but nevertheless.” I said as I stepped back a bit. Do you guys mind picking up the bats again?” “Too late for that. “And we out gun you.” . “Looks like that. but it wasn’t a major league team. and it’s considered America’s favorite past-time. It was at that moment that I reached for my revolver and pointed it at the bat swinging thugs. “He will get his money. It was at that time when a late model four door sedan pulled up slowly and parked behind my truck.” “We come here to beat it out of you. The grass was cut recently.” he continued.” the middle man replied. They stopped five feet in front of me and three feet apart from each other. “And I think I’m going to enjoy it.” replied the middle man. Willie the Greek had asked me to meet him here because he had some information he wanted to share with me.” “You have no idea who he is. I think.
“He won’t have a chance to get a bullet off.” “I don’t want to do this!” “Sammy!” Sammy pointed his gun toward the man in the middle.” I continued grinning sheepishly. “Don’t listen to him!” shouted the middle thug. but you took it to another level.” he said.” started the middle thug. “Okay. He’s just bluffing.” he said. He wasn’t ready to die and he wanted his partners to understand that. it’s me and you.” I said as I pointed my gun to the thug on my right. “But Sammy. I’m not going alone. They have me pinned to the wall. “Let’s just take him out.” I said. but I won’t die alone. go ahead.” The thug on my left stared at me. He believed that I would shoot him instantly. A frown wrinkled his forehead. and it showed in his eyes. you’re coming with me.” I felt the imaginary noose around my neck getting tighter.” Sammy peered at the middle thug. “We came here to just work you over and try to collect the money you owe our boss. Oh yeah. Do you hear me? You and I will die. He realized that they had made a mistake in trying to approach me. and the way things look now. “He won’t kill you!” “Yeah.” he nervously replied.” “Sure. “Not this time.” “But I am. “Two will die today. In fact two of us will be dead.” “I don’t want to die!” He shouted as he turned toward the middle man.” I smiled. “He’s trying to get into your head. It was clearly written across his face.” Sammy shouted.com 75 . and it had better be quick. and he wanted no part of death. “We have to stop this. “I will take you with me. “It’s never too late.” “Don’t point that gun at me!” www. “Sammy. they’ll kill me. I’m taking you with me. He wanted all of this to end without bloodshed. The thought of him being shot in the head tormented him. I think it’s going to be you and me. “We can’t turn back now. You took it to a level you can’t turn back from. He was afraid. It’s three against one. and it looks like it’s going to be me and you. Don’t be stupid and don’t let him get to your head!” “No Sammy. “Too late!” shouted the thug to my left. “He didn’t want this!” “Don’t be stupid.” said the middle thug. So lets do this. shock and bewilderment riddled his eyes. “I’m going to tell you this. I will.” said the middle thug.” Sammy knew that there was truth in what I was saying.” “Froggy just wanted us to beat him up. “I do like to know who is going to die with me today. We have the upper hand. “I don’t want to hurt anyone. “Let’s put down our guns.” I continued.” “There’s always turning back.” I continued. “Sammy.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.bibliotastic. He wanted no deaths today.” “You see?” I smiled. “Just shut up!” demanded the thug in the middle. He’s not going to shoot you. Take me out.” I said. Understand that.” “Sammy. I have no intentions of going alone. “We’ve changed our position now. It’s probably a promise I wouldn’t be able to keep. I will get a bullet off and there’s nothing you can do about it. “Sammy. I will not die alone today. “Two people will die here today. He wanted all of us to put down our guns and walk away. I had to think of something. He wanted to end this without him losing his life. “What’s your name?” I asked.” I said.
If I had it I wouldn’t have to be chasing down cheating spouses.” Sammy was willing to shoot one of his own in order to save his own life.” he continued. and he did so without realizing it as the middle thug fell quickly to the ground. I looked back at the billboard and briefly began to dream about what else I would do with that windfall. now!” “I’m telling you.” “I don’t want to die. I’d be playing cards every night. “What the hell do you think you’re doing? Put that gun down.” “We can’t shoot each other!” “We don’t have to. . That’s when I made my move.” he half whispered. It would really mean a new life for me. “I don’t want to die!” “What did I say when all this first began?” I asked. It was just what I had planned.” said the thug in the middle. My shot made him react. “I told you that only two of us was going to die. but that didn’t make him put down the gun. I looked briefly at the billboard flashing the seventy-five million dollar lottery prize. or getting into gun fights.” I said. He looked confused. and I want to scratch it so bad. I turned and shot the man on my left in the head and Sammy shot the middle thug. Escape this city and its cold. He didn’t do it on purpose as blood splattered all over him.Frank Atanacio “I don’t want to die. The thug on my left swung to the left to face Sammy.” “Froggy’s not going to like this. Seventy-five million flashing above me as I saw it through my peripheral vision. the odds were even. relentless winters.” “What do I do?” “Run back to your car and drive away. It was a great deal of money. Go some where warm. Sammy leaned forward as he tried to get a bit closer to the middle thug.” “You’ll shoot me in the back. “We just leave him alone and come back another time. “Go before I do change my mind!” He ran. I’d be on the beach in Florida sipping all kinds of exotic drinks with brown skin females. We don’t need to do this. An epiphany unfolded.” He looked confused. Two against two. and dancing with women half my age. “I have a very itchy finger. I laughed.” he sobbed. “Don’t shoot me!” Sammy shouted as it snapped me out of my day dream.” “Make up your minds fast. So what’s it going to be?” Vengeful eyes stared back at Sammy. “I am a man of my word. “I don’t want to die. I’ve always longed for the sun and the glistening sand off any beaches in the Carribean. He kept it pointed toward the middle thug and he had no intentions of dropping it.” “You’re not going to kill me?” “Nope. “You know he’ll come down on us. It was working like a charm.
” I smiled. It’s a pattern that would soon get me killed if I don’t stay on my toes. He keeps sending thugs my way.” “My boss isn’t a murderer. and I think he was waiting for me to make the first move.” He looked at me with suspicious eyes. “The boss doesn’t like anyone sitting in their cars. you’re going to have to take your date elsewhere. “I’m not going to hurt you. and keeping Mike Brandon on the tip of an iceberg.” I replied.” he added. he always managed to make money from it. He also had to pay for shaking up Janet. confused. “You owe froggy money?” “It seems everyone does. “Still can’t sit in the car. He was getting on my nerves and we really never met face to face. “Then why are you so afraid. He just likes everything to stay neat and clean. I had to let him know that I really didn’t owe him a dime.” “I understand.” he continued. I know you ain’t watching him. “You might end up dead. and I keep knocking them off. and he threatened people who owed.” “Okay.” He nodded quickly.” “Of you.” “Your boss is insecure. He collected bad debts. “You better go before your boss sees you talking tome. “I’m waiting for a date.bibliotastic. He thinks they’re spying on him.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 30 I parked outside a small club near Ogden Street off of Noble Avenue on the Eastside.” I lied.” I said.” “You can’t come into the club.” he half shouted. he really isn’t. and he doesn’t like to be watched. but his goons clocked me before I really made myself known.” he said looking worried. He had to pay for that. and it did hit a soft spot. “Hey buddy. “But your boss better. but it looks like it.” I said.” I warned. “I’m afraid of you. When he recognized me his eyebrows crashed down. Killing Carolyn Lopez hurt.” Someone said as they knocked on my window. “You know damn well that your boss had her killed. “What?” He didn’t say anything. “Too many people owe him money.” “I don’t want any trouble from you.com 77 . “No. like Carolyn Lopez. The music of Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe was being pumped out of the club and the crowd were dancing as they walked into the club.” he admitted. “I’m sorry. “Can’t park here unless you’re going into the club. “Do me a favor and move on.” www. I had to confront him.” “I said I wasn’t going to hurt you. It was a complete misunderstanding. I was told that Froggy owned that club too. I looked and noticed that it was one of the bouncers from the club. He wanted to collect money from me that I really never owed. That man has done so much to piss me off. Of course I saw him at the club.” “You shouldn’t be afraid of me. but he wouldn’t back down. No matter what Froggy’s been doing. or come into the club and wait for your date there. He didn’t know what to do. He looked at me. I could smell liquor on his breath as he stood up-right very quickly.” I said.” he said. They were gearing up for some late night Salsa dancing. An enthusiastic crowd had packed the entrance before the bouncers permitted them to enter.
“What?” “Nothing. “But he owes me too.Frank Atanacio He didn’t answer.” “You killed Carolyn. just go.” “Be careful buddy.” I continued. “Your boss is no angel.” I whispered.” I warned. .” he blurted out.” He nodded and ran back across the street. “Idiot. “I owe him.
“Can I help you?” I walked up to her with a puppy expression. Near the fountain at the center of the office stood two security guards and a thin woman dressed in a long silver dress. “I’m Nick. That was something that O’Brien wanted me to avoid.” She smiled. It looked like one of those offices you see on HGTV. I sniffed the air appreciatively.” “Drugs. Nick?” “Just Nick. He keeps sending thugs to kick me around.” she corrected.” She stuck her hand out for shaking and her perfume was so nice. but I do understand you hire nothing but cowards. on the Bridgeport side. but he waved them away with his free hand. The woman’s hair fell unconstrained around her oval face. “I’ll tell him that you’re here. “How can I help you. but it made her look so hot. “Mr. I walked into an ground floor office near the Trumbull Mall.” I nodded. prostitutes?” “This is a legitimate business.” “It has a real name?” Repressing a smile at my question. The office was clean and had a graceful selection of colors on the walls. It was a welcomed invasion. There was a spicy. “I’m Stacey. “I’m here to see One Eye Froggy. and the guards walked away. A tall thin man came out of a corner office wearing a black eye patch over his left eye. but they all end up dead. “Welcome. “Well?” “What do you do here?” I asked. she escorted me to a chair. He was sharply dressed in a light tan suit. Mr. and fake frogs sitting on the edges.bibliotastic. but she wasn’t of an Asian decent.” “We could have killed you that night. I was hoping this time someone wouldn’t hit me from behind. “I see that the swollen bump on your neck went down. Newsom does have a real name. “Willie the Greek arranged this meeting for us. “But you didn’t. “I deal in everything. I just wanted to clear the entire matter up once and for all. I had to meet with Froggy face to face again.” “Mr. It was like two kittens and a sack trying to get out. “Cowards hit me from behind.” “You come to make a payment?” I smiled.” I replied. I simply had to try to convince him that the money I owed him was all a misunderstanding. Her eyes were slightly slanted. It was a form-fitting tube dress. Newsom. and I had ignored that rule long enough. and a welcomed sight. It had fake lilies floating in the well. There was a miniature waterfall fountain in the center of the spacious waiting area.” “At your service.com 79 . It was in the center of a brand new plaza on the left-side of Main Street.” “Like your dog-fighting business?” “I have no such business. floral scent that invaded my nostrils. “Nick Barnum?” he asked.” I said.” she smiled. “Big mistake.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 31 Confronting your enemy had to be a top priority.” he said.” I replied. and had a walking cane with a gold tip. He walked over to me and the two guards followed suit. She walked slowly away and I couldn’t keep my eyes off the beauty of her backside.” she said in a soft sweet voice.” www.
” I smiled.” he said as he slowly turned around. “So. “I said I don’t own it. 1AM.” “Are you going to be there?” “Yes. “I should leave. Newsom is a dangerous man. The two security guards walked toward me and stopped in front of me.” “My money will be paid to me by this Friday.” “Whether I could or can’t.” he said firmly. “My husband wouldn’t want me to fraternize with deadbeats.” “Minimum bet is a thousand dollars.” “How so?” “When I made that bet. “It was all a misunderstanding. I thought your bookie understood that all I wanted to bet was ten dollars. and you will pay me my money.” “Then I’ll be there.” I said. “Mr. “I know.” I said.” he said with a thin smile. The tall thin woman in the silver dress walked over to me. I’m going to kill them and then come after you and shove that cane up your ass!” He smiled. “If not. “I am in charge of this situation.” “That’s what I like to hear.” he shouted back as he walked into his office and slammed the door. “I just participate.” she warned. You shouldn’t make wages that you can’t pay.” “I’m tired of killing your men!” I shouted.” “One Eye Froggy. “I’m glad you think I’m funny. She wrapped her hands around my upper arm and again her perfume almost had me in a trance. I had no intentions to bet way over my head.” “Just to let you know. like you did. “I’m sure a great detective like you could have deduced that.” I started. “But if you keep sending men my way. I’m tired of killing your men who come after me looking for money. There will be a dog-fight at the old glue factory behind Wentfield Park on Railroad Avenue. Nick PT Barnum will be murdered on Saturday. So lets do each other a favor and call this whole thing off.” “Oh good.Frank Atanacio “So. “Because I’m no deadbeat.” “You don’t get to tell me what I should or should not do.” “I’m not planning to give you any excuses.” “You don’t really know who I am.” “When?’ “Tomorrow night.” he growled. “If you want to try and win your money back. about that. did you come here to pay off your debt?” “Yeah.” I said.” They nodded. I’m sure you’re tired of sending men.” .” I said. “Lightens my payroll. Mr.” she said.” “I don’t need excuses.” “I came to tell you that we have a misunderstanding. Barnum.” “And I didn’t make wages I couldn’t pay. then that means I don’t owe you any money.
” “That’s not your opinion. “My opinion also thinks you have a nice ass.bibliotastic.” she said as she stood at the front door with her hands on her hips.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Your opinion. www.” I smiled and walked out. “That’s a fucking fact.” she said as she escorted me to the front door.com 81 .
“She was cute. and unreceptive.” “What the. “It’s a damn dog eats dog world. I nodded. and I liked her.” I said trying to comfort him. “I understand things didn’t go right for you while you were gambling on the dogs. It wanted me to pound the whole truth out of him. “I also heard you were tapping one of the witnesses. I owe Froggy some big time money. The serious voice in my head wanted to shout and take apart the deacon for withholding information. I sat down across from him and folded my hands on top of the table. “Or Frog eats Frog. but his greeting was cold.” I smiled. You know Willie. I need to hear it right from your mouth. I knew Mike Brandon’s case was a tough one to crack. It took him down some serious dead end streets.” “I’m not a criminal. He’s always been Mr.” “He’s right. and his rational mind wasn’t biting. “Hell.. but for some strange reason.” he whispered. I shot more men in the passed few days then I have ever done in my whole life. He had turned himself in. He knew I was coming.. only because he made it a mystery. “Captain Roque says this is best for my safety. He’s a tough son of a bitch. “It’s me.” I said.” He finally looked up.” I nodded.” “I heard. “You’re not a murderer. that just didn’t look right on him. they didn’t go right for me either. either.” “Me neither.” . this whole situation made him soft.” I said.” “So what we going to do?” “I want you to stop telling me lies.” “I know. He had a little something extra that he didn’t want me to know. “Mike?” He nodded.” he mumbled. I hear he’s got Willie the Greek running errands for him. He was a respected deacon that slipped through an evil crack. “Mad at me?” “Look where I am!” he half shouted. He did not look up at me. He had on prison rags. you better know. Hell. “I don’t know.” I raised my hand. “I don’t think that’s funny. Independent.” “How can you do that to me?” “What?” I looked confused. “Well. and I don’t think he’s afraid of anyone. He was sitting at a long conference table shackled like an animal. He was hard at the core.” he said somberly. and the police got him a safe jail cell at the North Avenue Correctional Center.Frank Atanacio Chapter 32 I found myself hurrying to the holding cell in spite of the fact that Mike Brandon wasn’t going anywhere.
“I liked her. “I’m going to rattled cages even harder now that I know you’re in here safe. They were hurting. “I’m sorry about Carolyn. I didn’t get the chance to smile back.” he said. She peeked into the conference room and smiled at me. I wasn’t going to pay. and mugging my friends.” “Hey!” I started.” I said. There was a rough edged wind blowing raindrops around.com 83 . “She was hot. For a second my gaze connected with a female correction officer making her rounds. I knew it was late and I hoped Brenda wasn’t waiting up for me.” “That’s messed up. I nodded. I was horny.” “Why did you pick her?” He asked. but they started beating up on my congregation.” “Me too. I fought through it and made it to the dog-fight.” I nodded.” “Brenda told you?” I nodded.” “Damn Froggy got everybody by the balls.” I replied. “She got what she deserved. me too. “The truth.” I said. They caught me off guard. “So what are you up to next?” he asked. I didn’t know the minium bet was a grand.” “She’s no Zoraida.” He shrugged his shoulders as his shackles made a clinging noise.” “No. His eyes were rimmed with red.” “And what’s the girl’s name again that you were tapping?” “Carolyn. “But when you’re cleared of all this shit.” he said. and I couldn’t pay. All this was not going to stop until I paid them. Then I returned my attention back to Mike Brandon.” Mike added. “I’m serious Mike.” I said. “I walked in betting above my head. “Why is that?” “You taking advantage of her too. “Yeah. “And she couldn’t do anything about it. you have a reputation to mend.” I replied. “Getting Froggy for everything. “It’s been difficult.” “So what really happened that night?” He looked at me with sunken eyes. “I know you don’t. I know you didn’t mean that. The deacon looked at me again. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.” “What. “It was that night that really stirred me up. She hated when I came home late. she owed Froggy money too?” “She did. she’s a woman and I’m a man.” I replied.” “I don’t like it in here.” he said.bibliotastic.” he replied. so she had to work it off.” “I’m going to another dog-fight.” I nodded.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “They killed her. Every www. “Death isn’t what people deserves.
running orders to the bar.” “So you hit him?” “I deck that son of a bitch!” “Did he get up?” He paused. anyways. and I couldn’t walk away. I had won and I wanted to collect my money. It was me. “This time I believe you because I can see the conviction in your eyes. That was odd. that hit me like a ton of bricks. laughing and having a good time. “He didn’t say he didn’t carry that much money on him. strangling her. If I had gotten her involved before all of this started. I remember that night clearly as the mirror behind the ranks of bottles of booze stood at such attention. “And you knew that. or making death noises. “Why you smiling?” “Because this makes more sense to me then that made up crap you told me when all this started. I never seen a dog just die without whimpering.” . I didn’t care about the dog’s condition.” he paused briefly. but then I realized that she was doing it all for my own good. The other Mike Brandon would have needed some strong drinks in order to turn his back on the darkness. As many times as I’ve been there I really haven’t seen a familiar face. she would read me the riot act. but some bar backs held him back.” he replied.” “So you didn’t call his mama names.” “I was so excited and nervous. and that he wasn’t going to pay you?” “No.” He nodded. and she wouldn’t be home. smiling. I even saw Carolyn Lopez there wearing a tight skirt.” “I got your back. Well. I didn’t realized it then. “I am certain of it. “Ten thousand dollars.” I smiled.Frank Atanacio time I did.” “How much was your take?” I asked. and then making a cutting motion. Don’t get me wrong. Or at least my mind wouldn’t allow me to recognize them. There were so many people there. and ripped it apart. kicking her around the room. The dog just died! The sad part about that. The other Mike Brandon wasn’t there. the dogs were going at it and my dog took a bite out of the other dog’s throat. I stood in the raised entryway of the club looking down at the dogs fighting.” I said. She was the rock in my heart that kept me stable. Nick. Well. Nick. “There is something delicate about how you’re telling me what happened. Well.” He smiled. I pushed across to the bar and tried to settle my face in front of Carlos Rivera. I met some people there. “What about the robbery at your church?” I asked. but he had signaled to Carlos not to pay me the winnings. hunger in my eyes. and greed in my heart. I saw Froggy in that mirror putting his fingers to his neck. “Well?” “He got up. “There was no robbery. He would have needed it to wipe away the image of that dead dog. and he didn’t throw the first swing?” He shook his head back and forth indicating no.” “And are you sure you saw him standing back up?” “Now that I think of it.” “I was scared.” “Wow. and that image would have tangled with his heart until it hurt. alone. Sometimes I felt like making love to her. but I wouldn’t have recognized them out of the club. Carlos told me that the other dog was disqualified and no one was getting any winnings. I couldn’t let that settle. I wouldn’t be here in jail. It was odd that I remembered that.
com 85 .Case File: Dog Eats Dog “I guess he wanted you to give him some money with your prints on the envelopes so that he could set you up.” I replied. right?” “Not yet. but I bet something will fall in my lap.” “She’ll be fine.” warned the deacon. “I got until Friday to pay him back.” He nodded. www. I hope.” I said. The deacon nodded again. “He’s got you turned every which way.” “She can take care of herself.” “He’s making me a cut throat too. She’ll be fine.” He nodded. “Just watch Janet. “You got something planned. trust me.” “He’s a cut throat.” “Too much confidence in that skinny girl.” “Just stay clear of him. I nodded.bibliotastic.
and I wanted to let him know that there was another dog-fighting contest brewing.” . and I’m not giving it up to anyone. I watched his progress with a mixture of confusion for taking my shove like a man. I had gallantly offered to help the man up.” I replied. “Get off my stool?” I laughed. Two bar maids helped him up to his feet and he shot me a side ways glance. It almost made me regret my chivalry. There was no pain. You want the stool. will you?” “No. but the bartender didn’t grab it right away. “I think you’re funny. The man had soft hands. “I don’t want to fight. “I don’t want to fight.” someone said from behind me. “What?” “You’re sitting in my seat. “Bottle only. The bartender caught my attention and pointed to the beer he placed in front of me.” he said. He hit like a child. scores of patrons all wanting to be witnesses to a bar room scuffle.” He stared at me for a second. I wanted to tell him what Brandon told me. “You were looking for a fight.” “I’m sorry.” I said. Just because you’re bigger than me. and failed. He just looked at us. I sat at the bar and it was the first time I ever got one of the cushioned stools.” The man took a swing at me and I expected pain. as if he didn’t understand my reply.” I called out to a bartender.” “Go lie down. I put down twenty dollars.” “Tough guy?” “Very tough. He clung on to one of the women and forced his way toward me. you win. so I basked in the pleasures. “Here we go again. They saw a man down and came rushing over. “Listen.” “No! I’m in a fighting mood. his knees occasionally buckling. and pity. “Really?” “I’m going to take you down!” “Oh boy. You can have it.” I said The crowd surrounded the man on the floor. “That’s my seat. He came toward me moving slowly.Frank Atanacio Chapter 33 I had called Detective Peter O’Brien to meet me at Corners Bar and Grill on Boston Avenue. for trying to take my shove like a man.” He nodded.” he shuddered. but he pushed my hand away. and I’m here to give you one.” I started. “Listen. It wasn’t much of a scuffle. are you?” “I still think I can take you. I do.” I stood closer to him. you’re not going to start with me again. but the people reacted differently. I wanted simple to keep him in the mix. I pushed him and he immediately fell to the floor. “Becks. body guards. attempted to throw a punch. “But I was here first. and bar backs. expecting a bar room brawl. So please take your sorry ass out of my face. “I didn’t even hit you. “You think it’s funny?” he said flatly. “Hey. you think you’re tougher?” “Yeah.” He snarled. I’m not going to lie down.” I sighed. It was a rare treat for me.
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.
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.
and the deacon.” she continued.” I continued. So you see. “My dog will win.” she answered. right?” “It’s not the dog that will win.” “Crowded room.“I said. repeat it all over again. and give you the difference.” “What about you?” “I get to watch him squirm. and obeyed. “Long story.” “Just do your part. “He wouldn’t know the amount because I’m not going to include it until everything’s counted. “It’s the prize.” She smiled with the urge to laugh at my stupidity.” I replied. I just wanna make sure the gambling information I give you goes our way. okay.Frank Atanacio “I had no choice.” “Okay. and I don’t want to talk about it.” “So you’re giving me a hot tip?” She nodded. He will then place a bet on the other dog for half as much.” she explained. “What makes my dog the winner?” “The amount of money you’re betting on.” “Just pick a dog. “Good. “Big house. you understand?” “I’m just picturing you naked.” “Then let my actions speak for me. getting me all hot and bothered.” she ordered. Then you take that money and pay off Carolyn’s share. “He won’t like it. I can handle it.” she said as she began removing her clothes. She smiled as she stood there completely nude.” “How do I know you’re not doing this so I could owe him more money?” “You can tell him what I had planned.” “Are you sure you can handle it?” “With flying colors. “When you tell him of the drugged dog.” she replied. “I hope you can handle this because all I hear from you is a lot of talk.” “He’ll figure a way. “Trust me Stacey.” “You know he is not an honest man.” she replied.” “I like your style.” she said. he’ll believe you. the fix is in. “He can’t afford not to pay you. but he’ll have to pay. I have a dummy bet on the dog you don’t chose. I smiled.” “Now. “Do you think you can handle me?” “With flying colors.” “Take off your clothes.” I said. . You figure he’ll deduct what you owe him. someone will hear the dog you choose and they will bring it to the dummy bettor.
“Don’t get cute.” “Not if you’re just getting my.” “Dingy?” “I guess.” I said.” She giggled. Stacey said that the dog I picked was going to win. “Damn.” “Just making sure. She was calm and relaxed and I was tapping a married woman. “I’ll take the one with the scar on the right side of his face.” I replied. “Well?” “Dingy.” she said. “This is the main event.” he said. but she didn’t.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 35 I knew there was no reason to hurry as we had sex for about an hour. “Mr.” “Your name?” “Nick Barnum. “Bets. it’s time for the big show.” She smiled and walked away. I didn’t know which one to pick. It was just too easy.com 91 .” “Oh.” said a man as he stood in front of me. “Two heads are better than one. www.” I whispered. but they were all too busy gambling and getting drunk. “Mr. but I felt that I had to. I pushed the door out her hand and walked out first. Frog with one eye. she didn’t even wish me luck. “Fifty?” I nodded. at your service.. fifty. “Which dog?” I looked over to the two dogs in the fighting area..” “Yeah.” “Just give me your freaking name!” I smiled. “I thought someone else was going to over hear my choice. but it didn’t matter.” “I thought you were getting the big show. “Another round?” She laughed. never mind. Nick Barnum. and Froggy looked embarrassed. I thought she was going to stay behind. “No.” One of the bouncers laughed. you are?” I nodded. I turned to face Froggy and two bouncers. How much dangerous could it get? “Ready?” she asked. Stacey walked over to me and stood there with her arms crossed.” We got dressed and headed for the door. I expected a lot of eyes on us. She followed me right out the office. “What?” “The other big show.bibliotastic. “Did you come to pay me my money?” “I did.” someone called from behind me.” I said. “But first I’m going to try to win some of it back.
” “Good luck on your wager. “I can give you a taste of things to come. it’ll be my pleasure to serve you.” He smiled.” “Yeah whatever.” “You are aggressive. to help you get use to them.” He looked confused. “If I win.” “Boss.” he grinned.” I replied. I’m going to kick your ass everyday until I get paid.” I started. “I hope you lose. “You better pay me.Frank Atanacio “What dog did you bet on?” “The black and white younger looking dog.” he replied as he turned and walked away.” “I try to be. can we shut him up for you?” asked a bouncer.” I lied.” “Well. “Ass kicks. “No. “Gamblers are losers. and you don’t pay me. “How about you. It’s not going to be about the money anymore.” replied Froggy. “Funny now.” “So is your momma!” So is your momma? I simply had nothing else to say to him. “I’ll give you one now. “Let him brag all he wants.” he said.” I said.” “Is that so?” “Yes. “And Mr.” I replied. “And I’m going to get a few bouncers and body guards of my own. Barnum. “He looks like he can take a licking and keep on ticking.” I said.” “For your sake. You know.” he said. The proof would be in that ring. Just to keep your body guards busy while I beat the shit out of you.” he said. I’m going to turn the tables on you.” “Until you get killed.” “And when I win. “I just know I can back my shit up. how much did you wager?” “I don’t gamble.” “Let’s see about that.” “If you’d like.” I said.” “No?” “It’s going to be about how many ass-kicks you can take before you die. “You’re a funny guy. .
” I said. and felt very sick to my stomach. not people. There was no good life.” he continued. did you win?” He asked. “Yes!” Rust Miller shouted. “Damn. I’ll be out of the red.” “Big money.” I whispered. “It’s just an animal. I had a difficult time wondering why humans were so savage like. “You will win.” “It’s a life!” I half shouted.” I whispered.” I smiled.” I couldn’t help but to notice all the blood.” I pointed as Dingy put the final blows on his opponent.” I whispered as I took a seat on a white plastic picnic chair.” The fight began and I struggled with wave after wave of cruelty to animals being displayed right in front of me. He was actually enjoying the fight.” he said as he sat down in an empty plastic seat beside me.” I grimaced. “Anyways.” he started.” “Your words to god’s ear.bibliotastic. “Yeah. It was just a sickening sight. They weren’t sad because a dog died. I looked into the glowering face of Rusty Miller. To see violence the way it should be displayed. pure and undiluted. “Damn look at all that blood. The fight was over and my dog won hands down. “If my dog wins.com 93 . It was misery for the dogs. “Look. It feels so good. “Doesn’t matter whose ear. I turned to look and noticed Rusty Miller breathing heavy behind me.” “Why aren’t you happy?” www.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 36 The pit-bulls dreaded every step into the center of the ring. We enjoy watching other species ripped a part and we bet money on it. “I just placed a bet on this main event. I got a look at Stacey as she turned away from the fight.” “Congratulations. “I see you got money on this fight. “This is action. “Even you. not people.” “I don’t give a shit about the dog. There was no chance of either one of them to live. “You win.” he smiled as the dogs continued fighting to the end. She was sitting next to her husband.” said Rusty Miller. “Winning?” Someone asked from behind me. It was going to come down to this fight. “Never mind. and then their lives would be done. a lost gambler.” “Not god’s ear. and he had a hard expression on his face. “I really don’t want to see this. the dog dies. “I wonder what’s going through his sick little mind. and no neutral life. By animals. “This is why I come here.” “You’ll win my friend.” I whispered.” he added. “I got five hundred bucks riding on this Dingy dog.” he continued.” he said. “Anyways.” I nodded slowly in agreement. They were sad because they lost a great deal of money. He nodded. Rusty Miller said animals should rip each other apart. Where does anyone get off by making such a statement? “Cops should arrest everyone here. “Hey man. I turned to face the crowd and there were so many sad faces. no better life.” I said softly. Their was a hint of jubilee in his eyes. “My god I can’t believe I finally won.
“Or at least I better get it in one week.” He was agitated. “I don’t think this bet was legally taken. “What seems to be the problem?” “I can’t pay this man.” replied the bookie. “Let him go for now. “What’s this?” “I come to collect. you must think I’m a push-over. I promise you that. “It was taken properly. “If I don’t get my money. Froggy looked at my slip and realized it was genuine. In fact.” he said as he pushed his way toward me.” I said. His partner failed to catch him.” he said.” “I don’t understand.” “You know what I’ll do. I also want you to deduct what the deacon owes.” “Did everybody hear the threat?” he shouted. “I want my money.” he said. I saw it deep in his eyes. The bookie was a small roundish man with red cheeks and balding jet black hair. He reeked. I walked up to the bookie and handed him my slip.” I said. he just moved to one side as the wounded man fell passed him.” “Don’t threaten me!” He shouted. and smelly breath. “I get it.” I warned. I didn’t have to stand to close to smell it.” I said.” He was angry. plus the interest you require. you ass!” “I mean.” “Nope. “I don’t want to tell you again. Nick!” .Frank Atanacio “A dog just got killed. “That’s my warning. and What Carolyn Lopez owed. You think I’m the type to allow anyone to insult him like this? You’re barking up the wrong tree.” I replied.” I said. tell them to come down now and arrest me for threatening your life.” “Someday you will.” I said. “There’s some kind of mistake.” he said as he stood up. “I”ll tear up the note you have with me and we’ll call it even.” “You don’t get it.” “Man you’re looking for ugly. The crowd was stirring around the bookie as they were paying their losses. “I’m going to kill you and your two bouncers.” I smirked as he was almost in my face.” “None of these bets are legal. “Let that be a lesson. Froggy grinned mirthlessly. “Hey. “As long as I get mine. and I expect to get paid.” “Fuck them. “I think I found it.” I said.” said Froggy. “Deduct what I owe you. “And I want my winnings. “This can’t be tight.” I said. “I mean this bet wasn’t factored in.” Froggy said. “What do you want me to do?” one bouncer asked as he stepped in front of me.” Froggy came racing over with his body guards in tow. “Yeah.” he said as he looked toward Froggy. He had tired eyes.” I said. “Call the police. “How dare you dictate!” he shouted.” I said as I holstered my gun. “I’ll give you one week to come up with the rest of my money.” he started feeling the pressure as a bigger crowd surrounded us. “It’s right. I pushed him toward the other one as he fell to the floor. I grabbed the bouncer in front of me and shot him twice in the foot.
“Never touch me again. The blow knocked her on her ass. knees occasionally buckling in several places. “Stay out of this. Froggy turned to her and punched her in the face as hard as he could.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Let’s go home. “One week. but that would have made him suspicious. but did not turn around.” I said as I just watched on helplessly. “I said one week!” He stormed out pushing everything and everyone out of his way.” “I said. stay out of it. She didn’t even blink as she grinned. “One week!” I shouted.” She smiled almost sheepishly. It was probably a direct insult toward her husband. and blood shot out of her nose. for taking a punch like man. I watched her progress with a mixture of admiration for standing up to her husband. www.” Stacey said as she made her way through the crowd. Little bitch. and again It looked like an insult. “Too many people. He stopped. but didn’t make a sound. She stood up and moved slowly toward the door.” he growled.com 95 . She wiped the blood away with her hand.” she said. She was clinging to the bar as she forced her way toward the exit.bibliotastic.” she said as she touched his upper arm.” “Please. “Let’s go. “You’ve never been caught up in such turmoil. I wanted to jump on him.” Froggy said to the other bouncer as he ignored the other one on the floor. and pity.
” “We did. and they were best friends. and I strongly advice you not to take the payment if he offers it to you. “I hope you guys go to his office and pick his stank ass up. “But he owes me a great deal of money.” said O’Brien. “I can.” I said.” “Good guys. Do I make myself clear?” I just stared at him.” I started. because you were just trying to help out the deacon. We met at a coffee shop on Pennsylvania Avenue. “Why don’t you just let me rattle his cage for a little bit.” said O’Brien. “Do you really think he’s going to pay me?” O’Brien smiled.” he replied. but it served good coffee and cake.” I said.” “Come on Pete.” “He’s not going to pay. We sat at the counter talking about what transpired last night. “The captain sent Victor Cruz and Wilfredo Fuentes to keep a tale on him. We can take it from here..” “Captain Roque says he’s going to overlook this. “And that’s what I don’t want to happen.” I smiled.” “What?” “He was quickly released on bail.” O’Brien nodded.” he replied slowly.” “What?” “His wife Stacey told me that he took care of Carolyn Lopez. “But you did it anyways?” I nodded again. “So you placed a big bet.” I said.” “He might hurt the people around you.” .” “How?” “His wife. “Who do you have watching him?” I asked.” “We can’t prove that.” “I hope you guys have someone watching him.” I said.” “Good.” “I’m out.” “Why would she go back on her husband?” “Because that marriage is a farce. “That man can be very dangerous. He has murdered Carolyn Lopez. He had received my photo text messages I sent to his computer and had now believed that there was dog-fighting was a reality. he even has Willie the Greek on his payroll. “What?” “You’ll make him pay you. I gave him one week to pay. I won’t take the money. “He has already hurt the deacon. broke into my office and stole my petty-cash. “Yeah. but I promised him I’ll give him a taste of his own medicine. “Nick?” “He rattled my cage for his payment. “You know that’s illegal?” I nodded.Frank Atanacio Chapter 37 I wasn’t surprised that O’Brien knew about what I did last night at the club. Hell. “But we want you to keep out of this now. It was a small coffee shop.” he frowned.
” he said. and I knew that he knew I wasn’t really going to stay away from Froggy.” “If she doesn’t. I knew he wanted to protect me.bibliotastic.” “Just stay away from Froggy. and I just had to agree. “We’ll take care of him. www. He just had to say it. We got that all out of the way as I sipped my coffee. “I’m serious Nick.” I nodded.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “And she will testify?” “I don’t know. “I plan to.” “I said okay!” O’Brien was eating a doughnut and I looked at him with curious eyes. you need to talk to her.” he warned.com 97 .
O’Brien came to my office and looked around. “Everything is going to go down well. “Now clean up this mess and go visit your secretary in the hospital. and as she cowered in stunned pain. . I knew he meant well. That Froggy wanted to send me a message. right?” I asked.” “Leave this one too us.” “I can’t believe Janet would just lay down without a fight.” “Okay. I had to move around so I could distract myself before I lost my composure.”He said. He had heard about what happened to Janet and he too was enraged. the thugs had gotten to her. “Did you hear what I said?” he asked.” I sat tensely. and he was most certainly going to receive it just as loud and clear. “But they took her down a notch.” “He’s gotten my attention. she was calling my name.” he replied. okay Nick?” “Deacon?” “We’re going to release him when this is all finalized. They beat her up and almost left her for dead. “Consider your investigation closed. This time I mean it. look around you.” I said knowing damn well that she was probably caught off guard.” I said.” “How about B B?” “I have Eggy watching her.” he replied.” he said. It was my turn to send him a message.Frank Atanacio Chapter 38 I couldn’t bear to sit at my desk. Do you understand me?” “Pete. I’m sure she wants to know that you’re okay.” he said. “Even the murder of Carolyn Lopez.” “Because we arrested him. I told you at that coffee shop to stay away from Froggy. “Too many people are getting hurt because you’re sticking your nose in way too deep. and I received it loud and clear. My mouth was so dry that I had to take several sips of coffee before I was able to ask. now let him start touching ours. By the time Janet punched in 911. but I had to pay Froggy a visit.” “I hope so.” I nodded. It’s what Janet would have wanted me to do. “Good.” he said.” “He’s pushing me.” How is she doing?” “She’ll live.” “I hope so. looking hard at O’Brien. You can trust me on that. “I heard.” “I know.” “He keeps touching my spots. I can’t believe they would do something like this. She was struck several times and it was the first blow that fractured her ribs.” I nodded. “We’ll handle it Nick.” “Have I ever lied to you?” I looked around my office again and shook my head from side to side indicating no. “So let him start pushing us. I heard. but you have to let us handle this. “This one will not slip through our fingers.” “You’re going after him for this too. “We’re going to try and get everything in.
” she screamed. and I was thinking about my checking account. the tears running down her cheeks. Her hair was in a net. I didn’t want to answer that question. He didn’t have a worried look on his face.” I nodded.” he said as he tried looking into her eyes.” she continued sobbing.” I said. Her painted lips were clamped together tightly. She’s going to be just fine. She was worried sick. That just wasn’t right. “Hi. “We’re going to keep her here a little longer than expected just watch some vital organs. “Is there a problem with her organs?” I asked.” Janet’s mother blurted. I too felt relief entering my body. www.” “Mama–“ ” Nick. “Nick. I just want you to pray for my baby. “You are?” “Ahhh. “You do work with dangerous people.” “Thank God. “What?” “She said it while they wheeled her in here.” he said. “I heard. I looked over toward Janet’s mother and saw the look of pain washing over her face.” I whispered.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 39 I found Janet’s mother in the waiting room outside the intensive care unit.. He looked at me with a sideways glance. Janet’s mother seemed suddenly flustered. are you the mom?” She nodded. We just want to make sure everything goes smoothly. and she had it pinned up. “Did you want to fill out paperwork for your eh wife?” “I let my dear old mother in-law do it. “Janet suffered some broken bones and same and muscle bruising. “Why did they do this to her?” she asked while trying to catch her breath. “I don’t want to know.” “She’s my baby. as though she was afraid of opening her mouth because the screams would just come pouring out. “But other than that.” she sobbed. so I knew the news was going to be positive.” I nodded. The doctor came out and walked over to Janet’s mother. “Mine too.” I replied softly. “It’s nothing you did.bibliotastic.” she laid a gentle hand on her lips. “She’s a good girl. She had on her night gown and a blue knitted sweater covering her up. “Nothing to worry yourself.” “Even near death. right?” she said abruptly.com 99 .” I nodded. her boss. She was weeping quietly.” he said. It was obvious that she just ran out of her house as fast as she could.” “That’s noted on her files. she tries to squeeze me.” “Her husband. “But make sure all billing goes to Nick PT Barnum.
I smiled. She looked better. . “Tell her I was here.” She smiled.Frank Atanacio “Mama. whatever it takes to get her back on her feet is okay with me.” “Okay Nick.” I said. She smiled. just do what you got to do.” I said. “I’ll check on her when they move her to recovery.” she said. “I don’t care how much it cost.
“Isn’t that. “That bastard worked me over last night when he got home. and she was wearing a tee-shirt and black jeans. Nick. Her face was covered in bruises.” he shouted.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 40 The evening was getting tougher to accept when I drove to Froggy’s office on Main Street.” she said.com 101 .” she replied.” “I’m okay. The security guard on duty emerged from the back door wiping his hangs on a paper towel. “Stacey?” “He has three men on his payroll that’s going to take the fall for everything that happened. “We’re closed. I had noticed the sign in front stating that the office is closed..” he replied. and the lights were dim. “Trust me Arnold. but that didn’t stop me. “That’s an order.” “Oh. He will keep them out of jail.” “No you don’t. “Nick?” I turned and I saw Stacey standing behind me. “Where is that little weasel?” “He’s out hiring the best lawyers the state has to offer. “I have orders.” “I’m suppose to harm him. but I saw a tall thin man walking out. and noticed that it was empty. I heard a toilet flush.. he’s with me. He’s going to hire the best lawyers to defend them even if it takes a lifetime.” she said. www. I’m so surprised that he hasn’t had you killed yet.” she paused briefly. It was probably closed to the public. “What the hell happened to you?” “He had to put me in my place. I went inside.” I said.” “And he’ll keep on trying. “Why don’t you go to the police?” She didn’t answer. and I’m just saving your life. he’s tried.” I nodded. I gotta try.?” “I said. and pay them well. “Stacey?” “Look. I went by the security desk.” “What?” She nodded slowly.” “But Mam. “Froggy can have me killed in a minute.” she said as she tried smiling.” she added.” she replied.” she replied as she walked over to me and kissed my cheek. The water fountains were off.” “Mam.bibliotastic. “He’s trying to get off?” She didn’t answer.” He nodded and walked over to his security desk. “I come here to pay Froggy back for what he did to my secretary. and he will not harm you. “You won’t be able to. “He’s with me Arnold. “Everything went as planned.” he continued. “And you know this?” I asked as a rhetorical question.
” she replied.” “Did he clear the deacon.” “I’m just going over there to ask for my money.” I said. right?” “No.” she said.” “Just let it go.” she said. and Carolyn Lopez?” She didn’t answer. “You can’t keep making trouble.” she replied. even if they’re dead. He just watched on as if he was awaiting instructions. Consider yourself a winner.” she said while holding me back. not me. I think.Frank Atanacio “Where is he searching for these god sent attorneys?” “Fairfield.” “Poor sap is going to end up dead. “Then this war isn’t over!” “Nick you can’t mean that. and Janet?” “War causalities. You beat him in his own game.” “What about the deacon. “He will clear their names.” She slapped me again.” I said mostly to myself. “That’s all.” She nodded slowly. “Nick.” she held both my upper arms and looked directly into my face. “That hurts!” I shouted. “They’re going to meet at a restaurant on the Post Road.” “Not because of my bet.” she said as she grabbed my hand.” .” I said. “I meant Froggy.” “I don’t believe you for one minute. “I’ll find out the time and date. The security guard stood from his desk. He’s going to kill you. Diamonds.” she said through clenched teeth.” “Whose going to stop me?” She slapped my face and stood directly in front of me waiting for me to slap back. “I won’t let you do it.” she replied. “He is keeping me out of the loop now.” She grimaced. “I just want you to be safe.” “I know the place.” I replied. “I’m just saying that you’re pushing this just a little too far. “Stacey. “When his men turned themselves in. “Hit me!” “I’m not going to hit you.” “I don’t know the time or what day.” “Nick. “He didn’t pay me yet and I want to keep him honest. “He said he wasn’t clearing deadbeats. “If it means keeping you off his back.” “Funny guy. Nick.” “He’ll pay you. but did not say a word.” she said.” she said. he’ll pay you. “Stacey?” “No.” “You asked whose going to stop you!” “I didn’t mean you. it’ll all be over. “Hit me. stop hitting me. “He blamed his bookie. Carolyn.” “For him.” she replied.
I smiled.” “His debt was paid in full. “That was part of the agreement.bibliotastic.” “This is a gambling debt pay-off?” “I was loyal to him. “Is this monkey giving you a hard time.” “How do you know I can’t handle myself?” I said as I looked into her battered face.” I nodded and walked out. “Look what he did to you.” she said.” “Everything is fine.” “Be careful.” “Please.. He glanced at me. but I don’t want you to get hurt. “Let me go take care of him. www. “Arnold. “And why did you marry him?” “To pay off. and I plan to finish it..” She nodded slowly. “Is everything alright?” asked the security guard. “You can’t put up with him anymore. go back to your duties.” she said as she pulled me into the nearest office.” Stacey said. He started this whole thing. “He’s just doing his job.Case File: Dog Eats Dog She nodded and backed away slowly.” I added.com 103 . Don’t you want some type of justice?” She looked down. “I don’t want your husband to get away with what he did.” I said. “Listen Stacey.” I started.” she half whispered. “I will.” “I know you want to.” she said. I kissed her bruised lips. but didn’t say another word. “Don’t call me a monkey if you can’t back it up.
“It is nothing!” “It’s going to satisfy the State. “What do you know?” “You have confessions.” “Of course you know this is all bull shit. “Something bothering you?” I asked.” I nodded. He sighed heavily. “Froggy. He didn’t stop to ask if I was ready to order. .” I smiled. The waiter came to me and handed me a menu.” O’Brien added. The waiter came over quickly and handed O’Brien a menu. “If she would have come forward and gave us Froggy. “So you’re not going to ask me about Froggy?” “I already know. “I’m buying. we wouldn’t have taken those sworn statements.” I replied. He half smiled.” I replied. It was a place where families came in and enjoyed a very good meal at very low prices. “Come on Nick. “Right?” “They confessed to everything. “Froggy still walks.” I said as I took a sip of my water. give us a break. “They’ll do hard time. “What’s good here?” he asked.” “I’m sure it will. I nodded. “What we have will stick. right?” “You said Stacey had different information.” I smiled. He didn’t even say hello. and those dogs that died?” “It’s all on paper.” he said. but didn’t speak.” I said. “BLT.Frank Atanacio Chapter 41 At noon the After Cafe on Edna Street roared with business.” I said. I couldn’t believe that they’d still be in business charging these low prices. I’d give him a pass.” “Ready to order?” asked the waiter as he stood by us waiting to jot down our order. but she wasn’t going to spill the beans.” said O’Brien. “Sounds good. but at these prices. O’Brien walked in and sat across from me.” he replied. “Froggy’s people are going to issue a statement and they’re going to fire all of those involved.” “It’s better than nothing.” “We would have protected her. “What about Carolyn.” he said.” “She’s afraid.” He shot a glance my way.” he said. I opened up the menu and notice almost everything on it was under five dollars. I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining and take advantage of the bargains. but that doesn’t do anything for me. “And Froggy isn’t one of them.
” “Orange soda.” “Including you.” I said. “Coke. Nick.” “You don’t even mean that. “It’s a stat for us. he’s not putting up a fight against Froggy. That can’t be good because Willie hates owing anyone anything.” I said. “Better?” “Yeah.” O’Brien said.” I smiled. He’s taken down the good deacon.” he added. and it seems everybody owes him money.” “You do shake cages too hard. you shouldn’t stop right here. The waiter quickly picked up the menus and hurried off to place our order. Don’t let him get away with this.” I said.” “Sure he’ll be careful. He’s watching over his shoulder now.” I nodded.” said O’Brien. “Better late than never. and he knows that.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “BLT. “But he’ll take more people down with him. “No. Yet. I nodded.” said O’Brien as he took a bite out of his sandwich.” “How can we win when Froggy hasn’t got a mark on him?” I half shouted.” I said. “We just can’t roll over and look the other way. “You know Willie.” “Willie knows better. It’s not going to be easy for him.” O’Brien nodded as the waiter brought over our food and drinks.” “A little too late.” “I told you before. “Deal with it. www. It’s not going to be easy for him.” I said. I shook his cage.” I said. He always wants to be king of the hill.bibliotastic.” “Then that’s when we make our move.” “Just tell her this is all resolved. “You gotta give me something better than that. “We have him right where we want him. “Froggy wins. “The city wins.” “I’m telling you Pete. “Did you check up on Janet?” he asked.” he said.” “He’s going to be extra careful now. and that we can prove that he’s been involved.” I said. remember?” I nodded. “Me too. The man will not stop until he gets what’s his. “He owes me money. Even Willie the Greek owes him money.com 105 . And don’t you think he’s given up on me either. and I plan on collecting.” “And he’ll remember that.” I said.” I replied. he’s taken down those poor witnesses.” “I don’t think it’s going to help.” “He’ll climb back on top.” I said.” said O’Brien. “Just let it go.” he said. “Too many people owe him. That’s going to take a big bite out of his gravy train. He knows that the dog fighting in this city is over. “He’s in it up to his eye balls. “Trust me on this. “But she’s pissed. “You weren’t betting. You did nothing illegal. She wants me to get back at Froggy.” “What do you want me to do?” “Tell the captain that the investigation is still incomplete. He’s taken down some good people.
” I lost my appetite. . the sandwich it’s good.” “More like Frog eats dog.Frank Atanacio “You said it before Nick. “Eat. it’s a dog eats dog world.” I said.
“It’s okay. “It wasn’t your wife. “What brings you into an expensive place like this?” he asked again without looking at me.” I said.” he continued smiling.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 42 Froggy dreaded every step I took when I walked into the eatery. “Shut up or I’ll kick the living shit out of you. Barnum?” “You can pay me the money you owe me. That’s what I do best. “Something would marry you?” “You don’t have to take this. He knew I knew it too.” I replied.” www.bibliotastic. “Who told you I was here?” he asked. “At your service. “I walked by and saw your pretty face from the window. A thousand reasons for him to get up and walk out raced across his mind. “Just for the last fight.. He was having dinner with three suits.” He grimaced.” he said. “Just wanted to see how the criminals live.” I said. All I want is what you owe me.” he said without looking at me.” “Even the people that owe you?” “No.” I said.” “You don’t get it. “What can I do for you. “My wife is in hot water. “So. as long as you give me what you owe me.com 107 . They were his salvation. “Nick Barnum. “I told you.” he half mumbled. “I figure in public you wouldn’t sick your dogs after me. Mr. “Yeah he does.” “A threat?” he looked annoyed.” Froggy said. how are you going to pay me?” “With my foot in your ass if you don’t get out of here. but I wanted to make sure I put a crimp in it.” I snorted back.” I smiled.” “I want my money. I nodded.” “Hey! You can’t say that!” shouted one of the suits.” he said with a smirk on his face. “No one else knew I was here. “If I don’t get it.” I added.” “Was it Stacey?” “Who?” “My damn wife!” he shouted. “All debts are off.. I walked by and saw you. It was a great chance to collect what you owe me.” I replied.” said another suit.” “I’m going to punch you in the face in a few minutes if I don’t see you writing a check. Do I make myself clear?” “Hey. “You know the guys running the dog fights confessed. “I’ll handle this one. I don’t care if you put a foot in my ass.
” “Those threats can land you in jail!” “But they will be carried out before I go to jail. “You’re just a thug.” “I’m serious!” “Three. but I kicked him in the face.” Froggy started.” “Let me get rid of him. you better know who I am!” “Two. “Did you collect your winnings?” “Huh?” “Did they pay you?” He did not reply.” he said. “Then I’ll drive to your house and kill your family.” “Someone stop this bully!” Froggy shouted. If that’s okay with you. “Sit down or I’ll beat you silly. or perhaps it was the urge to continue kicking the shit out of Froggy. Froggy tried to stand. “I’m going to count to five.” “Mr. I slowly walked over to Froggy and punched him in the face knocking him off his chair. The suits stood up but they all backed away.” One of the suits picked up his cell phone and dialed the police. It was a cramp that shot through me. Barnum.” I said as I kicked him in the face again. “And you won’t!” “You don’t think I’ll punch you in the face. “No charge. “I’m going to get all my licks in. Barnum. “You’re crazy!” “One.Frank Atanacio “How dare you?” “I’m serious.” “I’ll sue!” “And I’ll shoot you dead.” said the third suit.” “In that case. Blood spat everywhere.” “I don’t see a check book. “Four. .” I said. I flexed my arms.” I said. right?” He blinked.” “I called the police.” I said.” “Mr. He touched his chin and growled.” “You’re in deep shit. “The kick was extra. “Five. A low-life.” “Wait!” “Checkbook?” “I said I wasn’t going to pay anyone for that past fight.” he said.” I said. and fought to relax them.
Froggy nodded.com 109 . He was feeling the pain. It was suppose to be his way or the highway. it kinda was. for my money. “He wasn’t remotely afraid.” said the waiter. Froggy just stared at me as he resisted the temptation to berate me for my actions. He wanted to bark out the orders. He wanted to be in control.” Froggy said. I didn’t let him down as I kicked him again.” Froggy whispered. The Fairfield Police quickly tackled me to the ground and handcuffed me. Froggy took a breath.” a waitress said softly.” “I don’t think they have dealt with people like Nick before. speaking slowly. “Kicking my face wasn’t necessary. “Please. “They got to be put out of their misery. “Leave him alone. “I’m sure they have. I smiled. He was particularly concerned that he had nothing to do with my capture.” I looked at her and winked. “Those type of guys don’t pay. Now all he had to do was wait for me to try and get revenge. because they were just simply doing their job.” “Maybe the cops will do that. please.” I’ll give you your damn money!” “You see how simple that was?” Froggy’s head dropped into one hand. “What an animal.” he sighed.” said a waiter as he stood next to the suits.” said another suit as he helped Froggy to a seat.bibliotastic. “Please. He was banking on it. Nick. His eyes were red with anger as he waited for another kick. “You’ll get your money. cramped rows of dining tables of the very upscale eatery.” “Yeah. Froggy stood up and tried not to be so tall.” I said as the police hauled me away.” Froggy said quietly. “These guys can be tough. “Bastard is going to pay for this. “My money!” I shouted back.” she begged.” he began. I didn’t put up a fight.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Froggy looked up at me. The suits sighed.” He grimaced as the Fairfield police rushed into the restaurant.” Always careful of what he says in front of other people. away from the waiters and waitresses as they tried to gear in closer for a look at me. This part was over. “Oh. The Fairfield police led me through the narrow. www. “That one!” shouted one of the suits. you’re going to kill him. Froggy watched me as the police did their job. It would have been unproductive because the suits would have definitely saw right through him. “I’ll see you later. The police were headed for the main cruiser parked right outside the door.
and I will make sure Captain Frank Roque takes care of him.” “I hear your captain is tough. he had watched captains come and captains go. He knew he played O’Brien. “He is an animal.” O’Brien replied as he stood up. “I hope you put him in his cage. .” O’Brien replied with a hint of sarcasm.” O’Brien nodded.” we must watch out for our own people. “I’m bringing the animal to you. It was something they wanted no part of. but managed to snap himself out of it when a question was shot his way. O’Brien?” “Yes sir. “Do you want him in cuffs or not?” “I’ll take the obvious.” O’Brien nodded. “Something I said?” asked the captain. I’m also sure you wouldn’t want your men to question your friends or what you do. He just respected the position.” he said. He also remained alert enough to follow the conversation. Will that be to your satisfaction.” I said.” An embarrassed silence descended over O’Brien’s face. he’d nearly dozed off on two separate occasions. “He does what he does and I don’t ask questions. “Captain. and he knew he poked fun at the Bridgeport Police Department. “It will be. when the captain had his back toward him. “No wait. “I have the prisoner. I will release this animal to you without handcuffs. stroking his beard again. This gave O’Brien the urge to just fall to sleep. “Am I correct in my assumption?” He asked. but he had always hid his dislike for them.” the captain barked. he’s an animal. “What?” The captain silently groaned. He knew that the captain was speaking to him like an undisciplined child. polite tone. but I heard many good things about this Nick PT Barnum. “With respect to your captain. In his uniform days. and I was a Bridgeport citizen causing havoc in their town. “Well. and my actions at the restaurant. “In many ways. O’Brien snored silently.” said the Fairfield police captain. stroking his brown thin chin beard.” The captain cleared his throat in satisfaction. They wanted to talk to him about my release. I just had a long night. I think he’s good friends with this Nick character. “I don’t get into my captain’s business.” said the captain.” O’Brien added. “The last thing I wanted to do was come here to pick up Nick Barnum. right?” The captain made no effort to match O’Brien’s soft. In fact. The captain shrugged. You’re right.” he replied. This time. “Come. Mr. He did it because he knew there would be no serious social repercussions O’Brien smiled as he cursed under his breath.Frank Atanacio Chapter 43 This was just the sort of meeting that usually put Detective Peter O’Brien to sleep. The captain turned to O’Brien.” she said.” O’Brien replied as he leaned back in his chair. “My men will never be put in the position you’re in.” O’Brien hadn’t been particularly fond of the captain. “Hey Pete. “What a sight for sore eyes!” “Your friend too?” said the captain as he removed the handcuffs. A thin female police officer knocked at the door. not bothering to hide it. It was their way of sharing things with sister towns. he was obvious. but he didn’t have to like him.” O’Brien sighed. They wanted to explain all of this to O’Brien. and help you watch out for yours. O’Brien sat at the head of the table as the captain was pacing in a command sort of way. They will handle the obvious and overlook the unobvious.
com 111 . “Let’s get out of here. The captain grimaced.” I said.” “You have clean holding cells.bibliotastic.” I nodded. “Just get him out of here.” said O’Brien. “Come on Nick. www.Case File: Dog Eats Dog O’Brien felt a chill.
“Leave it alone. I know he’s getting away with too much. Including murder!” “He’ll pack up in leave. “Besides. Willie the Greek produced some Patsies. and the men he sold down the river is doing time for everything that has happened. “How can you say that?” I said as I sipped on my soda. “Yeah you did rattle his cage.” “It’s still not him. I’m not even including the dogs he killed. That has to be good enough.” I said. Not like this. “That Frog managed to produce Patsies!” I half shouted. “And the captain called him a fly eater. what can I do about it.” I laughed. So again. everything the court needs to make the charges stick.” he paused. “Even if I do. It’s all right there with no exceptions. O’Brien began tapping the counter with his fingers and he realized that I was annoyed. “He got the deacon tied up in knots. “The captain told him if he had to put a leash on you he’d tie you up at his office. Why is this so different?” .” O’Brien smiled. “Coming into Fairfield to bail your stank ass out of jail because you couldn’t leave Froggy alone!” “I shook him good. and the cruelty to those animals. The men will serve a great deal of time. We hurried in and ordered a turkey club and two diet colas. O’Brien looked straight into my eyes and said to me. The deacon is back home.” I laughed again.” Damn.” I said as I took a small bite of my club.” said O’Brien.” I continued. The waiter stopped in front of us with our meals.” “Pete. Besides. We have written statements. and he almost killed Janet. I know deep down inside you agree with me. confessions. we have confessions to everything. “I just don’t like the way this played out.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. I guess I made him nervous.” The waiter smiled and continued doing his job. nine times out of ten I’d agree with you. “It shouldn’t end this way. “What?” “Do you have to keep tapping the freaking counter?” “Are you angry?” “Damn straight.” “Even if I do.” he said as he finished off his soda and ordered another one without speaking. “What?” “He called the captain and asked the captain to put a leash on you.” I said. he killed Carolyn. “Froggy called the captain a pig. there is no exceptions!” “One. It was okay with you then. “It can’t just end here.” “I’m the one who should be angry. “As you may recall from past incidences.” said O’Brien.” O’Brien continued. “It has to be enough. But not this time. “No exceptions. but he didn’t place them down.” “We got our man.” he growled.” I shouted almost abstractedly. “His bark is worse than his bite. “But I think you should just let things be for now.” said O’Brien. “It’s okay. and he simply lost his train of thought.” he huffed. That man is getting away with everything. I can feel it.” O’Brien said.” O’Brien replied.
Let’s just change the subject. and nothing was being accomplished.” I sighed. I knew where he was coming from.” “What?” “You heard me Pete.. but I just had to say my say. www.” he spoke. “I’m just telling you that there is nothing we can do about this situation. You’re not making any kind of sense. “We need to kill him.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. A spectator in life. I’m just like you.” I whispered. “We have the chance to stop him. for doing what you think is right.” I grimaced. “Innocent people die because of it!” “And because we’re turning a blind eye on Froggy. “Regardless of what you believe my intentions are. Froggy wins!” “But he doesn’t have to win!” “Don’t go there Nick..” His face was tight. “Two wrongs.” I said.” I interrupted.” “Dog eats dog world. so I spoke slowly and calmly and hoped the effort did not offend O’Brien. “I can’t do anything about it. listen to what you’re saying. Froggy had to die. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly.” said O’Brien.com 113 .bibliotastic.” “You know I’m right.” I said softly. it just had to be done. “You win. He knew I was right. O’Brien smiled. “I don’t win!” he shouted. more innocent people are going to die. “You’re talking murder and I want no part of it.” “How?” “Kill him. “Yep. “Nick.” I said. “You can do some serious jail time Nicky boy. but I also knew he didn’t really share in that belief.” “Don’t even say it.” I fought the urge to raise my voice. his eyes hard with restrained emotion.” “Now you’re talking murder.” O’Brien continued. I realized we were just arguing in circles. and as cruel as my intentions were.
” Nicky. Froggy’s office was not one of them. 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. and I wanted to avoid The entrance side to Beardsley Park. I wasn’t going to give it too much consideration because I knew O’Brien would just talk me out of it. I wanted to avoid the build-up on East Main Street. Be careful. I touched my back pocket to see if I had my cell phone with me. it’s me. which broke into several different avenues. I wasn’t ready to enter.” I said under my breath. I walked over to the body and noticed a choker collar around her neck. sacrifices had to be made. I couldn’t let Froggy move on. In order to take down the beast. I was trying to find out what was going on in the office. I think Froggy is going to hurt me. It wasn’t a step up. she genuinely needed my help. the door was unlocked. Route Eight consisted of a catalogue of highways. To my surprise. but I had no choice. “Damn Stacey. Thank goodness for that. I had to let him know what was going on. but that didn’t happen. I just wanted to make sure she wasn’t setting me up. I knew that Stacey would have been relieved if she knew I was outside. She was strangled to death with that choker. It was built on the spot were an old building once stood. I was going to see Stacey. It was either going to be him or me. He had to be stopped. Shadows that didn’t expect me. and I had my chance to put an end to Froggy. “I’m coming down now. I thought about it as I turned onto Route eight and was heading for the Trumbull Mall. A woman was dead. The man is not thinking like he use to. It was one of the old fashioned gold knobs.” I said as I slapped the cell phone shut and tossed it into the passenger’s side. but I didn’t forget to bring it with me. I didn’t have my head piece on so I picked up the phone and place it to my ear. I thought about Stacey for a moment. In a flash I had realized that I had just stumbled upon my first substantial opportunity to get at Froggy. and it connected to Route 25 and the Merritt Parkway. I wanted someone to peek out the window. Out of a window in front of the office I could see silhouettes pacing. “Please don’t be Stacey. I knew I had tossed it on the passenger side of my truck. “Should I call Pete?” I whispered. It wasn’t my normal way of thinking. Although North Main Street has many buildings dating back over a hundred years.Frank Atanacio Chapter 45 I stopped for a light on Boston Avenue and East Main Street when my cell phone buzzed. “Nick here. I wanted to make sure I didn’t get caught on the ever lasting construction on Boston Avenue. I couldn’t believe my luck. I can’t make him out. It connected to I95 North and South. it connected to Fairfield Avenue which became the Old Post Road. and it was what I took. Froggy was a maggot in my book. Age hasn’t caught up to me yet. However. I walked to the front of the office and slowly turned the door knob. “You be careful. but then I remembered that Stacey was expecting me.” I said. but really didn’t care. “Didn’t he already hurt you?” This time he sounds crazy. I didn’t really have the time to think it over. the only exit I wanted was exit 7. it’s me. “Pete. I still had all my wits. It gave the new building character. I think he’s gone off the edge.” I said as I knelt down before her and removed the choker from her lifeless body. Or did. and he even smelled like one. It was Exit 7 that I wanted. He would have urged me to mind my own business. O’Brien. Maybe I’m dead this time. and I didn’t even care if I was being baited. It was something I couldn’t do. and Froggy struck again. He’s on his way to the office and he told me not to leave. I took out my cell phone and called O’Brien. Fate was stepping in. “Stacey?” Nick. It was newly built with the permanent paint siding. However.” Don’t tell me you’re locked up again? .
bibliotastic. “Stacey.” “You’re sick. “You would have made it a fine home.” I smiled. “What. but was brutally helped by Froggy as he kicked me in the stomach. because it was the first step she made toward leaving her twisted husband. “Punk!” he growled. 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. Stacey had a condo at the old Warner Cost Factory off of Myrtle Avenue and close to Seaside Park. and I knew he wanted to pull the trigger. thanks to you. “Why did you kill your own wife?” I asked. “I enjoy it. “Now shut the fuck up before I plant you next to my whore of a wife. His fingers were twitching.” I whispered in her ear as I kissed her cheek. you’re not going to hurt her. and a big living room with a fireplace and a picture window that looked out to the Long Island Sound.” “Enjoy it?” “She showed me up.” he said. Why don’t you head down to Froggy’s office.” he paused briefly. I’m coming down!” O’Brien hung up the phone. “Anything for a murderer. Newsom?” “Of course.” Froggy replied.” He grimaced.com 115 . or a fall guy?” I asked. “An accomplice. He hated me. There he stood with a chrome 38 special beaming down on me. “Damn that hurt. “She was choked to death with a choke collar. the kick to the stomach?” “Making love to my wife. “Is this your handy work?” He smiled as I turned and looked up to face him. There was no mistake about it. “Sure thing.” “What are you talking about?” www.” “How did it feel?” he asked.” came a voice from behind me. She wanted me to see it. and I hated him. She was proud of that purchase.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Stacey’s dead.” I said loudly.” “Touching.” Froggy paused and stared at his office for a moment.” I started. Mr. Instead. I tried to gingerly remove myself off of Stacey. “You ass. Then he looked for a moment as if he were going to pat my shoulder. “She’s already dead!” “Yeah.” I said. and she was proud that it went unnoticed.” Stay put. “Well?” “You’re something. I’m sorry I didn’t get to see your new condo. “And then paid for it. He stood closer and then just smiled at me. But he didn’t.” he growled. but I was the one in pain. We wanted each other dead. She told me it had a modern captain’s galley kitchen.” he said. Barnum. “Stay on your knees. “Mr. I may need your help.
“Yeah. Nick.” he said as he pushed me toward the office.” “Punk.” “You’re all heart. and just maybe I’ll kill you without making you suffer.” “Get up!” Froggy demanded.” he replied. “Bring him in boss.” “She was trying to keep your stench off her body!” I shouted. She was a whore and she got what she deserved. “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. “Some she didn’t even know about.” Froggy wasn’t impressed as he pushed me forward. “You don’t get to say that!” he shouted.” I nodded. “Only I can judge my wife. you keep calling me that and I’m going to show you my punk.Frank Atanacio “I have cameras everywhere.” “And murder her?” “Damn you!” From the office. “Do as I say. “You’re not the only one. a security guard poked his head out. I did as I winced with pain. “There were many.” he said. .
” “I won’t.” I said. I know you’re angry and worried about this whole thing. but was he going to leave me dead or alive? The office was made up to look like a robbery. “It was very nice knowing you. let me at him!” “In time. just a few more minutes. “You will get your reward.” The guard nodded.” Froggy said. It happened too fast as I snapped his neck and threw him toward One Eyed Froggy. He stuck the gun in my face giving me the chance to knock it away.bibliotastic. “Stay put! Don’t give me a reason to knife you.” “I’m so glad. but trust me. “You’re going to shoot me.” he said sarcastically.” I threatened. “In time. I grabbed his neck and forced him up against the wall.” I said.” “Oh yeah.” Froggy started explaining. and all the draws to the file cabinets were tossed onto the floor as if someone was looking for something. I noticed that the office was completely a mess. sure. and blame this all on me?” He smiled. You’ll also get to shoot Nick PT Barnum. “I need to make sure this all goes as planned. Everything was turned over.” said Froggy. I can’t have anything go wrong.” The guard smiled. “Okay. I was also assuming that Stacey was caught in the cross-fire. “Boss.” Froggy continued.” “I can kick your ass any day of the week. “It’s not a good thing to do when you’re going to die. The guard walked over toward me and made one mistake. Carefully. I shook my head slightly from side to side.” Froggy instructed. “How do I get shot?” “The guard walks in on you after he discovers the body of my dear wife.” 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. Froggy was taking money out of his safe and stuffing it in a duffel bag. He thinks he’s mister tough guy.” I replied. “He catches you with this bag of money and he shoots you dead. One big mistake. “Arnold!” he screamed. Froggy didn’t know what was happening as he scurried toward his gun.” “This guard?” “Yes!” “I’m going to snap his neck before all of this is over.com 117 . “Boss?” “Wait. It crossed my mind that he was planning on setting me up.” He smiled even harder.” “He’s getting on my nerves!” “Arnold. “Let me shoot this idiot. do it. She was killed because she walked in on me robbing the place. “I didn’t like him when he first came in to speak to you. www.” Froggy smiled. He had left it on the desk when he was filling the duffel bag with money. “Nick. “Don’t smile.
” Froggy gazed into my eyes. “Now I have the drop on you.” “She wasn’t all upstairs!” he shouted as he pushed his index finger against his temple.” “I have money. “I didn’t think so. now. It was an easy win for me because Froggy was a weak man. and I’ll even pay off your winnings!” “Can you bring Stacey.” “I know.” I said. and he grabbed my arm. or Carolyn back?” He bowed his head. “Oh. He had no strength. take it!” “I can kill you and take the money. “She was a retarded whore. “Can’t let you kill a man.” We scuffled for the gun as I pushed him to the floor. but she got the raw end of that deal.” He nodded slowly.” he said. He felt like his knees were going to collapse. but he had to follow the rules.” He closed his eyes. “Do you want a blind fold instead?” “Fuck you!” I smiled.” “Let me do this. The only sad thing is you killing your wife.” “But Stacey.” I did and Froggy smiled. I will.” I said smiling. “Freeze!” Shouted Detective Peter O’Brien as he stormed into the office with his aimed directly at me. “See how nice this all played out for you. “Get out of here. “Do it then!” He demanded. O’Brien approached me and kicked the gun away. 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. “There’s more. He was simply a weakling with money.” I said as I aimed the gun at him. “She was your wife. I always tried to carry out my threats. “Drop it or I’ll have to drop you. lots more. That’s murder. but he knew I was a man of my word. .” I smiled.” “Pete?” “Drop the gun. lots of it!” I smiled. Carolyn.Frank Atanacio “He can’t hear you.” I said. trust me. That’s just the way I roll. He steadied himself. “His neck is broken. He knew what he was doing had no meaning. I don’t know why she married you.” “You wouldn’t. “Pete?” “Drop it Nick. She didn’t have to die like that.” “That’s not nice. He didn’t know me. “In that duffel bag. Nick.
“That man was caught in here by my wife and my guard. Suddenly. O’Brien still had the smoking gun pointed upward. just wait for me in the other room. and people will testify that he threatened my life. detective.bibliotastic.” O’Brien said. I looked to the floor and I saw a knife just two feet away from the body. go ahead.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Listen.” he said.” “Hey. can I take Deacon Mike Brandon’s duffel bag?” “He had Mike’s bag?” I nodded. a shot.” O’Brien just looked at Froggy. He just snapped their necks and then he came after me looking for his winnings. right?” “My word. “You better go. I blamed myself.” I nodded and walked out of the office. “Just calm down.” I couldn’t believe O’Brien was going to listen to that crazed killer. “Cuff him!” “Nick.” O’Brien smiled. Followed by another. but I did not turn to face him. He won a great deal of money from me and I wasn’t going to pay. “I can produce many witnesses. I should have done it quickly. She lost her life. “He came at me with a knife. He killed them both. There was nothing. I stopped.com 119 .” O’Brien nodded. THE END www. I nodded. “Tell me the whole story from the beginning. and get out of here.” O’Brien explained. “Don’t let him get away!” Froggy shouted. “That is Mike’s bag. “Yeah. “Back up is on their way. “See if you can cover up Stacey’s body or something. I left.” “Froggy?” “That’s my story!” O’Brien shouted.” he said.” Froggy started. “Nick.” O’Brien said as he finally holstered the weapon.” he said. “This will stick. “He came at you?” “He came at me and I shot him once. “Pete!” I ran back into the office and I saw Froggy on the floor with two bullet holes in his chest. Stacey’s body was on the floor and I looked around the office to find something to cover her.” I grabbed the duffel bag and walked quickly toward the door.” he called. “That didn’t stop him so I had to shoot him again. I couldn’t believe he didn’t let me put that Frog out of his misery. and the man who took it is getting away with it.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.