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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. I didn’t turn around nor did I look through my rear view mirror.Case File: Dog Eats Dog I smiled. Their family problems are their own business.com 25 .

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

I was expecting him to attack me. I just cancelled his insurance policies.” I said. “It’s a simple question. “You will be too.” “Then you’re screwing with the right guy. “I don’t think it’ll be that easy to cancel his.” I turned around to walk out. but twice. And I grabbed the man on my left and slammed his face against the bar not once. I had no juices in me. I didn’t come here to fight. I just said that to say it. I was proud of myself. “Would you speak to me if I had your policies cancelled?” “What?” “If I cancel your policy. “You know he’s going to get you for this. The man with the broken nose ran out of the bar. given the position and circumstances you put me in.” “I figure that. I hadn’t planned on fighting that evening.” “The truth?” “No.” “The coached story?” He nodded. I have this need to break some bones. but twice. and witness.” I said. I was proud as hell. “I’m not looking for easy. not once.” I said.” “But he comes with more insurance policies than me. I may simple just beat what I want out of you.” “Remember who cancelled yours. In fact. It was the quickest fight I have ever been in. The big guy stood up with his face covered in blood and looked at me with vengeful eyes. and there is no one left to fight with. He fell back and was out cold. I nodded.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Jackie nodded.” he replied. I grimaced. and make this a real fist fight. “Would you speak to me?” He looked confused. “Unfortunately.” I said slowly. “I’m a lover!” “So what do I do about my need to control my juices?” “I’ll tell you what happened that night. Or perhaps to scare the bartender. “You have been a gracious bartender.” said the bartender. “Are you that afraid of Froggy?” I asked.” I nodded and walked out. and the fight is over. but he was nowhere to be found. I heard Jackie Reeves mutter something from behind the bar. www.com 27 . He didn’t answer. but a man had to do what a man had to do. so I banged it against the bar again.” “Well. and he had to deal with me. except you. “Will he fight me?” “No. Well. I elbowed the man on my right in the nose breaking it instantly. but I understood the reason for his incoherence.bibliotastic. “I can’t tell you the truth. The pain really didn’t register with him. You see.” he said honestly. but you got my juices flowing.” “I’m not a fighter!” he shouted. It was unintelligible. 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 nodded in agreement. 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. . “The deacon. She was dressed very tastefully. “So this is about Carlos Rivera. It was a big.” I said. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the deacon and that set him off. right?” “And the deacon.” I said.” she replied.” she said. Plus.” I said as the waiter placed our food in front of us.” she said as she sipped her water. She smiled and I nodded. “I feel bad that I have to put you through this. “You were coached.Frank Atanacio Chapter 11 Carolyn Lopez was the final name on my list. It was easy on my eyes.” I laughed. because she was extremely hot. “Came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing.” She smiled. I ordered antipasto for two and a bottle of their best champagne.” she said slowly as if she was trying to remember the correct words to say. “So.” I said. “I know what you’re going to say. so we got a nice table. “I’m not sure where to start. and her face a gentle light complexion. “I’m not a good liar.” I took a breath. I smiled. He threw the first punch and missed. “This is professional. I tried to look my best for her. “Love your confidence. I nodded.” “It’s your job. I smiled. She was wearing tight slacks and a pretty pink blouse. “Thank God. I felt sort of out of her league. and opened the bottle of champagne. O’Brien had warned me earlier.” “Everyone does. “Is that what the others were saying?” she asked. Her black hair was so thick and curly.” she said. Carolyn and I had dinner in Ralph and Richie’s next to the Barnum museum.” She looked down at the table cloth. right?” “Yes. “Thanks for meeting me. and the food was fantastic. “Thanks for lunch.” She frowned still looking terrific. and a body that made every man look. She had thin perfect lips. spacious place with excellent service. and I fully understand why. and he certainly wasn’t kidding. but that didn’t stop me from trying to enjoy her company. Carolyn knew the owner. “Why do men always say that when they’re talking to a pretty woman?” “So you think you’re pretty?” “Damn right. “Go right ahead.” I said. She laughed. Her eyes were rich brown.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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