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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perhaps it was because my nose was full of dried blood. right?” The dog was quiet. so that became a task in itself. but I knew it moved on its own because I wasn’t touching the bag at the time.” I said. “You’re thinking that this is a Yankee town. “I don’t think we should fall asleep. “I like the Mets. the smell from the bag was so strong I almost threw up. I mustered enough strength to zip open the bag and out fell the other pit-bull.Frank Atanacio Chapter 18 When I came to I realized I was sitting in a dark alley way covered in garbage and smelling my own blood. “Damn. The dog licked my arm. However.” The dog continued purring. and the dog looked into mine. There were two canvas duffle bags laying about three feet away from me.” I said. I didn’t realize it at first. and my face was covered in cuts. “But if you owed them money. I just knew that the duffle bags had something in them. that one-eyed punk the money if he would have guaranteed me the life of that poor dog. His bloodied head motionless on the ground.” I said. Something that wasn’t going into the garbage can. my friend. because I really couldn’t feel my legs. but I managed to crawl toward the first one. It appeared that he had his throat cut. Maybe you should have gambled too. They were next to each other side by side. I noticed the dog had a very difficult time trying to keep its head up. It looked like they took turns punching me around while I was unconscious because my entire body ached. “You rest. lying on his side with his paw frozen with rigomortise was the dog that made me lose ten thousand dollars. We may never get up. but somehow survived it. The dog too was looking for comfort. “I know what you’re thinking. He crawled closer to me and fell into my lap. In response to some sort of private investigator’s instincts. I looked for the zipper and it was dark outside. “It really is a dog eats dog world. The winner of that contest. “What the hell did these animals do to this poor dog?” On the ground next to my feet. and this was his reward. but I knew they were bleeding. “I know how you feel dog. In the bag was the dog with the missing ear. and then stopped almost as I put my hand on his head. I looked into his bloody eyes. He was stabbed twice in the throat. what hit me?” I said softly. I couldn’t feel my lips. “Should I?” I pulled the other bag toward me and it moved. The dog was almost purring. I would have given Froggy. He tried to clench his teeth and growl. It took some doing. but couldn’t. I opened the bag up and at first I couldn’t recognize the stench. and the other duffle bag next to it.” I said. “You with me buddy?” . “Don’t tell me it’s the other dog?” I whispered. “Of course we can become friends.” I said as the dog crawled closer to me. “I wonder what these monkey’s left behind?” I said as I pulled the first one toward me. “You like baseball?” The dog didn’t answer. and I knew the bags weren’t garbage. “We better talk about something to keep us awake. they wouldn’t have tried to kill you.” I said. He went into a whimpering frenzy. Or perhaps it was just the beating I got that made everything difficult.” The dog’s purr was quieter. He put his bloody head on my lap and closed his eyes.” The dog whimpered again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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