Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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



Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. It was clearly written across her face.bibliotastic.com 59 . She wanted me to be happy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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



Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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



Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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