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Chapter 1 ................................................................................................................................... 1 Chapter 2 ................................................................................................................................... 3 Chapter 3 ................................................................................................................................... 5 Chapter 4 ................................................................................................................................... 9 Chapter 5 ................................................................................................................................. 12 Chapter 6 ................................................................................................................................. 14 Chapter 7 ................................................................................................................................. 16 Chapter 8 ................................................................................................................................. 19 Chapter 9 ................................................................................................................................. 22 Chapter 10 ............................................................................................................................... 26 Chapter 11 ............................................................................................................................... 28 Chapter 12 ............................................................................................................................... 32 Chapter 13 ............................................................................................................................... 35 Chapter 14 ............................................................................................................................... 38 Chapter 15 ............................................................................................................................... 41 Chapter 16 ............................................................................................................................... 42 Chapter 17 ............................................................................................................................... 45 Chapter 18 ............................................................................................................................... 48 Chapter 19 ............................................................................................................................... 50 Chapter 20 ............................................................................................................................... 53 Chapter 21 ............................................................................................................................... 55 Chapter 22 ............................................................................................................................... 58 Chapter 23 ............................................................................................................................... 60 Chapter 24 ............................................................................................................................... 62 Chapter 25 ............................................................................................................................... 64 Chapter 26 ............................................................................................................................... 67 Chapter 27 ............................................................................................................................... 69 Chapter 28 ............................................................................................................................... 72 Chapter 29 ............................................................................................................................... 74 Chapter 30 ............................................................................................................................... 77 Chapter 31 ............................................................................................................................... 79 Chapter 32 ............................................................................................................................... 82 Chapter 33 ............................................................................................................................... 86 Chapter 34 ............................................................................................................................... 88 Chapter 35 ............................................................................................................................... 91 Chapter 36 ............................................................................................................................... 93 Chapter 37 ............................................................................................................................... 96 Chapter 38 ............................................................................................................................... 98 Chapter 39 ............................................................................................................................... 99 Chapter 40 ............................................................................................................................. 101 Chapter 41 ............................................................................................................................. 104 Chapter 42 ............................................................................................................................. 107 Chapter 43 ............................................................................................................................. 110 Chapter 44 ............................................................................................................................. 112 Chapter 45 ............................................................................................................................. 114 Chapter 46 ............................................................................................................................. 117
Case File: Dog Eats Dog
She was wearing a light blue night cap, pulled back covering her weave that covered her forehead. Her night gown had a flowery pattern, and she was wearing no bra. Her face was dark and filled with black botches. She had thin skin, and lots of wrinkles. It appeared that she has had a rough life. Nevertheless she was Deacon Mike Brandon’s love. She was married to him for almost forty years. She was a devoted wife, and a dedicated Christian. She was tossing and turning in her queen size bed wondering why her husband wasn’t home yet. She glanced at the alarm clock, but really couldn’t tell the time. Her vision wasn’t as good as it use to be. Besides, she wasn’t wearing her glasses. She wasn’t the worrying type, but the deacon really gave her no reason to be the worrying type. It was late, she knew it, and he never stayed out before. It wasn’t his character, and it certainly wasn’t his nature. He liked being home with her. She knew it. “Baby, where in the world are you?” She whispered. Brenda Brandon sat up and moved closer to the foot of the bed. She kissed her wedding ring and held it against her lips for a few moments. The ring was almost embedded into her dark skin. It looked as if it was cutting off her circulation. She put that ring on 39 years ago, and she never took it off since. She loved her husband, and keeping that ring on through everything they went through was her testimony to that. “Why don’t you call me,” she whispered as she rubbed her eyes. “Tell me you’re okay, baby.” She never had to worry about him before. However, that night, she felt worried. She felt uneasy. She felt something she had never felt before. She felt something was wrong. “Oh my god,” she said as she adjusted her night gown.. Brenda was quiet for a moment as she reached for the lamp. Her huge breasts knocked over a water glass that was sitting on the night stand next to the telephone, and a box of tissues. “Oh dear,” she said as she stood the glass up immediately. “How clumsy can I be?” She had forgotten that she rested the glass there and she knocked it over reaching for the telephone. She grabbed some tissues and tried her best to wipe up the spill. “This spill is going to have to wait until tomorrow morning,” she said as she picked up the phone. She took a deep breath. “Baby, where you at?” she said softly as she dialed her husband’s cell number. It rang three times and then came the voice mail message. You’ve reached the deacon, I’m praying for you, so while I do that, leave me a message. “Baby, it’s Brenda, where you at honey? It’s late and I’m worried sick.” She hung up, and dialed the number again. You’ve reached the deacon, I’m praying for you, so while I do that, leave me a message. She was quiet again for a moment, as if she wasn’t quite sure what to say next. Her big brown eyes looked sadden as she hung up the phone. Her dark circles were almost black as she rubbed them with the back of her hands. She knew it was the worrying that was taken its toll on her. Brenda Brandon picked up the phone again and dialed my number. Nick Barnum here, at your service. “Nicky, pick up the phone!” she half shouted. Hello? “Nicky?” Who the hell is this at 3 in the morning? Shit better be good! “You just watch your mouth when you’re talking to me,” she said. B B? “Yeah, it’s me Nicky.” Is everything okay?
Nicky.” That’s not like him. “Well.” she started. he hasn’t been the same ever since his niece was murdered. I’m really worried.” Did you call his cell? “Twice. “You’ll do that for me. I’ll get up and I’ll look for him.” Of course.” B B. “I’m afraid something has happened to him. “I’ll just wait by the phone.” she said. Brenda Brandon closed her eyes and hung up the phone all in one motion. . “Thank you Nicky. “But he still never did anything like this before. She smiled. Why don’t you just get some rest.” It’s almost 3AM? “That’s why I called you. Nicky.Frank Atanacio “Mike isn’t home yet.” she said. I’ll call you when I have something.” Anytime B B. baby?” Of course. “If it’s all the same.
” I can’t do that. I knew it was the booze telling me not to go out and look for the deacon. “Settle yourself. and he fell over some tables. “Why don’t I call Vic and Alfredo to meet us there. big guy. “How did he die?” I asked.” I said to myself. I need you to meet me at Frankie’s diner off of Barnum Avenue. and I don’t like going back on my word. I had taken off my clothes just a few minutes ago. just yet. but I promised B B that I would look for her husband. “Why?” Because I told you. “You need to go back out and do what you have to do for B B.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 2 I sat at the foot of my bed with the phone still in my hand. “Holy fuck!” That’s what I said. I just wanted another shot.com 3 . and Alfredo Fuentes. “What do you mean. Perhaps it was just to embrace me for something unexpected. “You what?” I dropped the bottle. What the hell happened?” I don’t’ know.bibliotastic. “With just one punch?” That’s why I can’t turn myself in. My head wanted to explode.” I said. you don’t know?” I asked. She’s worried. I had just finished a night of playing cards with Victor Cruz. and I just wanted to sleep. and drank a whole bottle of Southern Comfort. and I caught the end of the bed to regain my balance. Can you do that? “Now?” It has to be now. I punched a guy out. “And you’re wife is looking for you. “She called here tonight.” My phone rang and it startled me for a moment. “You’re going to have to turn yourself in. it happen too fast. and now you’re going to put her through the ringer. “But you’re gonna have to call your wife. My footing slipped a bit from under me. and someone ran outside and told me that the guy I hit was dead. you gotta help me! “What’s up?” You gotta help me. but I just did. It was a good night for me. Perhaps. and I got no one to run too either. “Hello?” Nick! “Mike?” Nick. I saw the empty bottle of Southern Comfort on my night stand and I picked it up and looked in. I killed a man tonight. I didn’t know why I did that. just yet. I killed a man tonight. I won over three hundred dollars.” www. I was barefoot. Bouncers threw me out of the joint.” I said. A promise is a promise. I got nowhere else to go. No cops for now! “Okay deacon.” I said. “You killed a man!” It happened so fast! “It still happened. she’s worried sick. wearing my boxers and a T-shirt.” “So you pick on me?” You’re suppose to be at my service. I had to regain my composure and settle myself. I had forgotten I still had it in my hand.” I suggested.
” I dreaded every step I had to make that night. “Just trying to lighten things up. No matter what happened. “I’m just wondering why you don’t want to get Vic. his safe haven. “Stay up Nick. A thousand lies raced through my mind. don’t be getting on my nerves. but I can’t be too sure if he was killed by the deacon. It just seemed so uncharacteristic of him. But stranger things have happened. He wanted me to meet him at Frankie’s diner. That’s why I wanna meet you at Frankie’s diner. He had a strange way of putting all his little ducks in a row.” I said. It was certainly a no brainer. I don’t feel right tonight. or Alfredo involved. So you’re coming. and killing someone would not be on his list at all.” I said. You know me man. I’m sure there was a dead man. “You better call your wife. and that’s what I had planned to do. “I do. and you better have a good reason why you’re not calling the police. right? “Are you close to the diner?” I asked. I will hang up on you. “You called me. I don’t want to get involved with a murderer. “I’m not so sure you believe that.” Thanks Nick. that man can’t call me when I’m sober.” Right now I need you. “Damn. “Ok.” He did not respond. but none of them came out of my mouth. now you call her!” Don’t get so nasty. I was certain that the police would realize it as well. Drinking so much was my idea. I could have told him that I was busy with a girl or just made something up.Frank Atanacio I lost my cell phone. He didn’t even sound to convincing when he said he killed a man. I’m sure they’ll be willing to help you out.” You know I ain’t no murderer! “I know Mike. Not calling her was simply not the way he handled things. but a friend in need comes first. “Call her from this damn pay phone!” I shouted. The pleasure I received from the bottle was about to cash in its chips. “Get focused. and one of Bridgeport’s finest man need my help. I am Bridgeport’s finest private investigator. You’ve known them for several years. I’m the one who killed a man. “Damn.” I said. “Just don’t jerk my chain. and I wanted to get some sleep. He was a good Christian. Calling me first was so not like the deacon. Nick. you there?” He had already hung up the phone. I knew that and. “Hey Mike.” I tried to calm myself.” I said.” . even though I had a rough night. “Are you going to call B B when we hang up?” Nick. He would never speak to anyone on his duck’s list until he cleared it with B B. Very.” I started. “I’m coming now. She was his anchor. so I really shouldn’t be complaining about the condition.” I said.
” he said. but he didn’t.” he said. www. and he was using socks for gloves. “4-am . He smiled and I noticed he was missing all his front teeth. “Can you believe that?” “Did you ask for a free refill?” “No. or anything like that. but I don’t get no free refills.” “I’m sure it was. “Nick. He also had on a heavy jacket.” he continued. There was a man coming toward me wearing rain boots.” “The area was much nicer then.” “Nice.” he continued as he tried to strike up a conversation. “Back in the 70's. “In the morning?” I nodded. “Not at all. I smiled.” he smiled again flashing only gums.com 5 . “Damn. “What’s your name?” asked the toothless man.” “No free refills. “Mike. The overly dressed man turned and walked away when he saw the on duty manager walk out of the back room.” “Peaceful. “I’m Terry.” “Maybe that’s why you’re not getting any. Oh. His boot thudded softly on the diner floor and he stood about a foot in front of me. “Not really. “There’s nothing like the service they had. “They think I’m a bum. It was warm outside. “They just think I’m a bum. where does the time go?” I nodded again. of course they’ll sell me coffee. “Got the time?” asked another seated three seats down.” I nodded.” I answered.” I replied. “Was he bothering you?” the manager asked.” “I heard you the first time. “I use to come to this diner years ago. didn’t think I had to. “No. “That’s why I’d come over here for breakfast.” “Hey Nick. However. and a small overweight truck driver seated in a booth behind me.” he grimaced.bibliotastic.” He smiled and walked back into the kitchen. so I didn’t understand why he was overly dressed.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 3 I sat and drank coffee and ate pie waiting for Mike Brandon to show up at the diner. I didn’t see the deacon. I thought he was going to ask for change.” He looked away annoyed.” “They treat you poorly now?” I asked. The deacon walked into the diner wearing a baseball cap with the brim very low as if he was trying to conceal his identity. There was a older man seated three seats down.” I called.” I nodded.
I never expected the deacon to be in this much trouble. I punched back and busted his nose.” “Dog-fighting?” “Let me finish.” he said as he sat on the stool next to me. “At that time One-Eye Froggy’s bouncers threw me out of the club.” “So tell me what’s going on. He was dark skinned and had a clean shaven face. “Hey Nick. I hit the big one. “They told me I broke his neck. He was always good for setting a good example. He wasn’t dressed as your typical deacon. The deacon was not much of a gambler. The look on his face was that of confusion. “I grabbed him and pushed him a little. He took a swing at me and missed.” “That’s the blood on your shirt?” He nodded. he was the best in that department. His dark eyes were darker. The waitress came over wearing a black hair net and a stained uniform. and I couldn’t picture him at a dog-fighting match..” “I did.Frank Atanacio The deacon had a barrel chest. and sorrow.” .” he said as he sipped his coffee.” “One-Eye Froggy?” “Club owner. “So this Froggy is a bad man? “Big time.” “Business man?” “Wants to be.” “I was at this dog-fighting event. “But how did you kill him?” “He came at me again and I kicked him over some tables. “Coffee?” “Black. Nothing matched. We drank it together without really saying another word.” “Never heard of him.” replied the deacon. “I guess when they threw me out. and big arms.” he continued.” he said. “I’m trying. and his tee-shirt torn and covered with dried blood. He looked like he was running a marathon. and clear with me on this one. “Thanks. “I was placing bets and winning all night. “Someone came out and told me that the bookie broke his neck and died.” I said. He played the part of a guilty man on the run. Nick. His sweats were wrinkled.” “So you don’t really know?” He shook his head from side to side indicating no. In fact. and that was so obvious that it made a chill ride up my spine. and the bookie didn’t have enough to pay me.” The waitress had poured us another cup of coffee. and his face seemed gloom.” “So you killed him?” “No. “You’re going to have to be straight. She poured him a cup and left him four creamers.” I nodded..” “So it was an accident?” “No.” he started again.” he replied.
” he said.” www.” “I am.com 7 .” “Nobody expects it. “I broke his nose. How much more concrete evidence do you need?” “For now. I need to walk down some alley ways and come up with something tangible. but.” “Tougher than me?” The deacon nodded. “I just can’t.” “I understand. “But it feels more like an accident. and you’ll turn yourself in as soon as I find something concrete. “Tell her what happened too.” “Did you call your wife?” He nodded. “Tell him that I’m looking into things.” his voice was scarcely a croak. “Do you want something to eat?” I asked.” “I learned to duck years ago.” I said. one way or another.” “He can come at you hard Nicky. and I can’t live without her.” “You think he’ll keep me out of jail?” “Talk to him.” “I do.” I suggested. “And with the wrong people. I’ll see what really happened after you clocked the bookie. “Let’s just call it an accident.” “So am I. “Just worried. “I didn’t expect to be in the wrong places with the wrong people. I’ll pay this One-Eye Froggy a visit. “If it really was a murder?” “I don’t know.” he replied.” “Why don’t you talk to Captain Frank Roque. “That’s why I called you first. “I smell something rotten. “I’m not hungry.Case File: Dog Eats Dog I smiled. She can’t live without me.” I said.” He looked confused. You gotta trust me. He nodded slowly as if he wasn’t really sure if I had asked him a genuine question.” he said.” he said. I won’t tell you everything is going to be alright.bibliotastic. right?” “He is.” “He’s a mean son of a bitch.” He nodded again.” “How much trouble am I in?” he asked quietly. That’s just the way it is. It rattled as if he was stuck in a freezer for about an hour.” “I hit the guy.” I said. Whose going take care of my baby.” “You’re getting caught up in the wrong places. and tell him what happened. “Murder? I don’t know what to say. “Just tell the captain everything you told me. “He’s really tough. “I’m not going to lie to you. “Go to her.. “So this Froggy is now in town.” He grimaced.” I said.” I said.” “Can’t go to jail.” I started. “Let me look into this and we’ll get to the bottom of this. “Trying to make extra money for the church?” I asked. Nick.” I said.
“I’m going to do my best.” “Yeah. He looked at me as if I had all the answers.” “Go to your wife.Frank Atanacio The deacon had his eyes solely on me. and didn’t know how to ask. He had so many questions.” He smiled. He just wanted answers. Mike. “Go home to your wife. “You always do. and I watched. The rattling of plates didn’t cause him to look away.” “She’s a big girl. you know. “She always was.” I said. “Really.” “Thanks Nick.” he repeated softly.” “She always was.” “I disappointed her.” I said again.” “She can be the comfort you seek. He drank some more coffee. One-Eye Froggy? .” I smiled.” “Thank me when I’m done. I better.
Detective Peter O’Brien and I met for lunch on the patio at Danny O’s in Shelton. “They were fed the wrong information. “I don’t think Roque will be down for that. He was a visionary. and now he was a hunted man. I smiled. really.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 4 The next morning. They couldn’t believe that Mike Brandon was capable of murder. and the late night gambling. He was fair skinned and always clean shaven. the news ran with the story that the deacon had killed a man.” O’Brien huffed ever so slightly. and so much more.” I added.” I said.” “They did say it was at the Frogger Club. I ordered a Mango Splash with a hint of rum.” “I need to speak to those so-called eye-witnesses. He was purposely bald and kept his head shiny. The Police headquarters located on Congress Street was buzzing.” said O’Brien. And those secrets are going to reveal itself to me. They were all surprised about the reports. I had to think it was because of the deacon.com 9 .bibliotastic.” “So the papers got it wrong?” “No.” he said softly. He was a man everyone trusted.” I said smiling with my drink. There use to be a large plate glass window at the entrance.” “Papers got the news.” “They never mentioned the dog-fighting.” I said.” “That club is known for Salsa Dancing.” he said.” The waiter smiled as he left to help other customers. with a nice early morning breeze.” said the waiter. O’Brien was a big man with a strong upper body. They left out a lot of details. “I just need a little time. “I think I’m going to order one too when I get off. I’m not asking for much. but it has been removed and replaced with strong glass doors.” I smiled.” “I don’t get it. I served so many of them this past month. “No. By removing the large plate glass window. It was a large building with two floors. He was God’s soldier. He would occasionally break open a few. “Looks even better on the menu cover. that drinks fits you like a glove. His appearance meant a great deal to him because he wanted the public to experience his professionalism.” “And we do owe you. “It’s my first time trying it.”I said. “But it has secrets. “I don’t think he did.” “But that’s my point. O’Brien had a lot of peanuts on his plate. Pete” I said as I picked up a few of his opened peanuts and tossed them into my mouth. but he wasn’t eating any of them. “The deacon killed a man. It was early afternoon. “So you’re asking me to ask Captain Roque to not pick up the deacon until you’ve completed your investigation?” asked O’Brien. and eye-witnesses. He was a pillar of the community. “Is that what I am to understand?” I nodded. “Yeah.” I said. I knew this wasn’t going to sit to well with the men on Congress Street. “And you have to remember that they left out so much detail. that Mango Splash looks good. “Yes!” www. “I need you to keep the police away from the deacon until I check into this. but fail to pop them into his mouth. not too hot. “Damn. “It doesn’t get any better than this. and O’Brien ordered a beer.” he replied. and they wanted to launch their own investigation. They liked the deacon. and they respected him. that police command center lost its panoramic view of the City of Bridgeport’s Westside. but murder was murder nevertheless.
“Don’t push it,” said O’Brien. “It’s still not my call.” “But you’re the man.” O’Brien huffed again. There was a thin young lady sitting two tables down from us. She was looking at us the whole time, and it was probably the first time I noticed her. She had white skin, and matted brown hair that seemed to be pressed to the top of her head. Her face was lusterless, and her eyebrows bushy. She was a very unattractive woman, but she seemed to be noticing us. I opened my jacket to check to see if my gun was loaded. It was comforting to know that it was. Not because of the unattractive woman. It just made me feel free. “You see that woman looking at you,” said O’Brien. “Why me?” O’Brien smiled. The woman stood up and walked toward us with a hopeful expression. I looked down at her and didn’t realize I was staring at her extremely tight jeans that accentuated her crotch area. She had a sexual gait, but there was nothing sexual about her appearance. “Excuse me sir,” she said smiling. I smiled back. “I couldn’t help to notice you ordered that Mango Splash,” she said as she pointed to my drink. “Yes I did.” “I was thinking about ordering it,” she said still smiling. “But I wanted to ask you about the taste. Is it worth ordering, and does it have enough booze in it?” “Not worth the money,” I honestly replied. “And a little too fruity.” “Really?” “Sadly yes,” I said. “Pictured it looked good, but tasting it, I don’t know.” “Not enough booze for the price?” “Not enough anything for the price.” “Just order a beer,” O’Brien added. “You can’t go wrong ordering a beer.” “I think I’ll have my usual,” she said with a continuing smile. “Beer is not for me.” “Have a nice day,” I said returning the smile. “Thank you,” she said. “You saved my seven dollars.” “That’s the only reason why I’m drinking it,” I said. “I don’t want to lose my money.” She smiled, turned, and walked away. “What?” O’Brien said curiously as I titled my head. “She has a nice ass,” I replied. O’Brien smiled. “So you’re going to speak to the captain?” “He’s not going to agree,” O’Brien replied. “But I’ll talk to him.” “I’m sure you can convince him,” I said. “You talked me into buying this drink.” “You did that all on your own buddy.” I smiled. “I’ll give him good conversation,” said O’Brien as he cracked opened some more peanuts and failed to pop them into his mouth. “I will.” “That’s all I want you to do.”
Case File: Dog Eats Dog
“But you gotta tell the deacon to keep in touch with us,” He added.” I don’t want him running a little too far. You know, it’s for his own safety.” “He’s afraid.” “He’s needs to stay where we can get to him.” “Okay,” I said. “I’ll talk to him. I’ll get him to stay put. Just you make sure you speak to the captain. Get him to back down until I finish.” “I hope he can do this for you,” said O’Brien as he finished his beer. “You’re his friend,” I said. “Try a little convincing.” “He’s the captain.” “I need some time, Pete.” “I’ll see what I can do.” “That’s all I ask.” He smiled.
There were five witnesses on the list that O’Brien gave me and each one of the witnesses didn’t seem to credible. I decided to call on each one of them. The first one on my list was Margie Sanchez. She lived on Gregory Street off of Park Avenue and near the University of Bridgeport. She lived on the bottom floor of a six family wooden frame house that was in dire need of repair. I rang the door bell several times before a young woman opened it up. “I’m looking for Margie Sanchez,” I said as the young woman just stared at me. She was wearing tight Seven jeans and a white tank top with a black bra. She was a little darker than an olive skin. She had full lips, and dark eyes. Her face was slightly angelic, and her attitude was worn on her sleeve. It appeared as if she had a chip on her shoulder. “Whatcha you want her for?” “Just going to ask her a few questions,” I replied. “Police been here.” “I’m sure they were,” I said. “But I’m not the police.” “Then who the fuck are you?” “A private investigator,” I replied. “What the fuck is that?” “I don’t know,” I replied. “It’s just a summer job I took because I knew I could handle it.” “I’m Margie,” she said. “The witness,” I said softly. “What?” “I need to ask you about the murder, and about the deacon that was accused.” “Fuck man,” she said as she stepped out of the house. “Whatcha you wanna know?” There is not really a way to force that young woman to stop swearing so much. It’s such a shame, because her mouth takes away from her beauty. “How did you see this whole thing play out?” “What the fuck do you mean?” “What happened?” “This fat bishop...” “Deacon,” I corrected. “Whatever,” she was annoyed. “He came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. He threw the first punch and missed. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the bis... deacon and that set him off.” “Mike threw the first punch?” “Yep,” she replied. “The bis... deacon came at him with all he got. He punched Carlos in the mouth, and then kept punching him until he broke Carlos’ nose. Carlos didn’t fight back, he just fell over some tables.” “The deacon did all this?” “Hell yeah man,” she continued. “The bouncers threw out the deacon...” “Aww, you got it right.” She rolled her eyes. “And then the bartender checked Carlos and said he was dead.” “Neck broken?” She nodded. “Did you know why they were fighting?” “I don’t know, don’t care.”
but didn’t turn to face me.” “Ouch. “How much you charge?” She stopped.” She turned around slowly. www. “I think I got what I need. “Cash up front. “That would be?” “Five hundred dollars for three hours.” I replied.” “Club owner know?” “He didn’t throw me out yet.” she replied.” “You give him some money for soliciting there?” “I got three kids to feed. “I do my business there. mother fucker!” “Only God judges. “Yeah.” she said.” “Police know?” “Told them.bibliotastic.” “What can I get for twenty bucks?” “A kick in the nuts. “Difficult question?” “Too much for you to afford.” she said. “Is that all the questions?” she asked. “Don’t judge me.com 13 .” I said.” She entered her apartment and slammed the door. I gotta do what I gotta do!” I nodded.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Why were you at the club?” “I’m a fucking whore.
“Hi.” Mr. “She’s only the messenger. He also had a thick gray moustache. not a bishop. It was located on a small dead end street off of East Main Street. He scratched the top of his head as if he was thinking about what to say.” I corrected.. tell them I said no!” “Relax Mr. “He’s a deacon.” Where did I hear this before? I said to myself jokingly. Guzman’s cashier was standing behind the counter.. He owned Guzman’s Bodega over on the Eastside of town. Guzman. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the bishop and that set him off. I don’t pay you to stand around and flirt with all the guys that come in here!” “I’m sorry. “Like you. Carlos didn’t fight back. His glasses were thick and he walked with a limp. at your service. but when I asked for him he immediately stopped what he was doing and came over. “I’m Nick Barnum. She was trying to get his attention. Mr.” “Deacon. He threw the first punch and missed. “No. Guzman was probably in his late sixties. “No credit!” he shouted with a vein sticking out of his neck.” . but a black guy. “he said “He came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. The light highlights gave her face such a wonderful glow. He was clearly not thinking right. Her hair was dark brown with light highlights. “Well anyways. “Carlos Rivera’s death?” he asked. He was bald on top. I didn’t think he’d have time for me. She wore small black-rimmed glasses low on her nose so that she could check the prices better on the product she rung up. Lopez wanted to ask something.” she replied almost quietly. “Whatever he was.” “What does she want?” “Credit.” she said. but had lots of gray hair on the sides. “The bishop. I nodded.” She smiled. “I don’t understand why you guys can’t get that right.” I replied. the deacon came at him with all he had. “I can’t give anyone credit this week. “Get back to work. I don’t think Carlos wanted to fight this man. The place was busy.Frank Atanacio Chapter 6 The next witness on my list was Roberto Guzman. but I had to speak with him because he was next on my list. He punched Carlos in the mouth. and he’s a deacon.” “I know him.” I said. but he didn’t see her. Guzman turned around with angry eyes and shouted.” I said.” he continued. The small store had lots of stock and lots of customers.” “That Bishop is a big guy. and thick gray eye brows. I need cash paying customers! If anyone asks for credit. When it came to lists I’d often follow the same pattern. He actually did a bang up business. “What do you want?” Mr. and then kept punching him until he broke Carlos’ nose. he just fell over some tables.” “I see. Mrs. “You the police?” he asked. “I said to her. “I want to ask you some questions about the deacon at Froggy’s nightclub.” I replied. “What do you want to know?” “I wanna know what happened. a private investigator.” I corrected him again. “But I wasn’t flirting. I stood there with my arms crossed waiting for him to reply.” I corrected.
” He still didn’t reply.” He was still silent. I’m sure that’s something you wouldn’t understand. “I’ll leave you some of my cards. “All I’m saying is that you should relax. “Are you done asking me questions about the bishop. He stopped but didn’t turn around. “And if you ask me. You’re not a business man.” he said. My name is Nick PT Barnum.” He rushed away. Guzman. “What don’t I understand?” “Nothing. “If you need my help. That’s all. that I don’t understand?” He did not reply.. “I do know a little about running a business.” I smiled. Forget it...” “Good. and I’ll be at your service if you need me. “Business?” He said nothing. “It’s my business.” I continued.” I said.bibliotastic. www.” I paused. and I need to stay ahead of the game.” “You don’t under.” he half shouted.” “Nobody’s asking you. and Carlos Rivera?” “Dea.” he stopped abruptly.com 15 .” I called. “Yeah I think I got what I need from you. “What is it exactly. “Mr.” I said as I tossed a few of my business cards on the floor. “She’s doing her job. “Just ask. very well too. Lots of bills to pay.” I added.Case File: Dog Eats Dog He grunted. “I’m really busy today and I got to get back to work. He turned around and walked toward the cashier.” he shot back.
” he paused.” “But he doesn’t. he would.” “Bad witnesses. He wasn’t the type to just sit around and waste time. “They were coached.” I smiled.” he said. I think the captain is going out on a limb for the deacon.” I said. I hope I’m right. But he understands the situation and he’s giving you the chance to square him.” “Has the deacon been home?” “She told me that he comes and goes. “She’s really not taking this too well.” he continued. “What do you mean?” “We pulled a surprise shake down at the club that Froggy owns. He wanted to meet at Seaside Park so he could get his jogging in. “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. If he could fit in an activity.Frank Atanacio Chapter 7 I met Detective Peter O’Brien at the end of my work day. “He’ll slip up.” I said. That woman is staying up late. that captain. You know that. I started jogging with him as he poured bottled water over his bald head to keep him cool.” “That’s a terrible way of looking at things. “Can’t arrest people on hunches.” “You’re all heart. “I guess you don’t run much. maybe counseling would help her through this. “I really don’t want anything to happen to her. “It’s got to be the only way. “Did they say anything about gambling?” “You didn’t ask?” “I thought I’d ask you.” he said. “So what did you find out?” he asked. if he’s guilty.” “No gambling.” “I’ve known her for a long time. I thought. and she’s not eating too well either.” he continued. “He should be home with B B. But we can arrest people if we have witnesses.” I replied. “I had to take Mike’s wife to do some counseling.” O’Brien shot back.” I smiled as I kept up my pace with him.” “So this guy is clever.” he said. but we haven’t seen anything yet. “If we don’t see one.” “So do you think there is a dog-fighting ring going on?” “I can’t say no. “I got the same bull-shit story line you guys did.” he paused as he caught his second wind. The guilty always do. “There was nothing but Salsa and Merenge. “There was only Salsa and Merenge.” “That’s why Captain Roque is not taking in the deacon yet.” “But that dog fighting club doesn’t exist. it really doesn’t exist.” “I understand.” “You checked everything?” “Top to bottom.” “Good to hear. “You know I never need to do that.” I continued as I too had to catch my breath.” O’Brien replied.” “Good guy.” he replied.” . “Those witnesses.” I said.
“I put her and her son in harm’s way.” O’Brien paused as he drank some warm bottle water. say it. I was pretty sure that Detective Peter O’Brien really didn’t mean to say it that way.” “She was always a strong woman.. “You know..” “So it wasn’t just sexual?” “At first.” I nodded and didn’t say anything. “What?” “You really loved her.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Me too.” he continued.” “He’s going to be a tough one. www.” O’Brien warned. “I’m telling you the truth.” How good?” “I don’t want to talk about it. He was probably motivated by the events that played up to that statement.” “Go ahead. and your feet sweat.” I replied. you son of a bitch!” “I’m not going to lie.” “But Brenda was always on the up and up.” I said. the one that you really can’t live without. She had all the reasons to dump me.” he said as he stopped and bent over with his hands on his knees. I don’t. maybe.” “I know.” he continued.” I said. “So?” “Mike is the one for her. There was never a question about that.bibliotastic.” “She was good in bed. “And there was no mistake about it. “Damn. and you laugh?” “You’re a funny guy. “What are you going to do next. “And.” “So he was always the one for her?” “The one?” “Yeah. “She was a true Christian woman.com 17 .” “And Zoraida was the one for you?” “I thought. the guy that makes your heart stop.” “God saved him.” I replied. “Yeah I did.. her strength was weakened by Mike Brandon.” “Do you think she’s weak because of it?” “No.” “I think over the years.” “Okay.” O’Brien laughed.” I said as I stopped next to him.” “I know that too. I remember you telling me that you think you found the one.” “She puts up with it. Like the girl you use to date.” “My list goes on.” He laughed again.” he explained. I miss that. “Because she loves him and she has always loved him.” I smiled. “I think over the years. “I’m going to pay Larry Bonilla a visit. You know Mike wasn’t always on the up and up. “She’s taking just a little too much.” I paused briefly as I caught my breath.
” he said as he stood up. not fat. “Thanks for the run. I waved my hand above my head without turning around. “Really!” “I’m Pete. “So bring tough on. . I didn’t want him to see that I was almost out of breath. and it’s solid muscle. “I’m done. “Good-luck!” he shouted.” He smiled. I can take care of my myself.” “Tired of running?” I asked.” I said as I began sprinting back to my truck. “I could have gone all day. He winced. not your secretary. Janet.” I said.” “Don’t worry. “I’m 6'2 I weigh 245 pounds. you’ll get it with him.Frank Atanacio “Look at me. Pete.” I lied.” “Leave her out of this.” He nodded.
” I called.” I said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 8 Larry Bonilla did business out of a store front located downtown Bridgeport.” “What do you want?” she shot back. “And I know you’re not him.” I answered. “Too busy for customers?” “People that buy this dollar shit ain’t customers. She stuck her head out of the backroom and shouted. The first hint of attitude gone bad was Margie Sanchez. “Thank you. The second sign was the attractive Asian woman. He sells dollar items in a 99 cent store. “What do you want?” “Am I bothering you?” “I was busy. at your service.” “Whose asking for him?” she asked ignoring my statement.” she replied. and there were several things that I would have purchased.” she replied. Get it known!” “Get it known?” I whispered.” I smiled. It was so patterned. and beautiful women developing bad attitudes. The store had junk tossed into baskets that lined the walls. and will probably tell me the truth. I could steal. “What does that mean?” “My boss will see you. “Dollar shit?” I smiled. “You know.” “Wait here. “I was just going to by a tooth brush.” “You must be a fucking genius to figure that out. At the check-out. “And don’t steal nothing. He wasn’t so eager to speak with me like the other two. She ignored me. It was June in Bridgeport.” She did not reply.” I paused. They were solid. Maybe his story might be different. “That’s not very nice to say.bibliotastic. “Hey Ming Lee!” I called. “I’m looking for Larry Bonilla. which normally means gang violence. “In there?” She nodded.” she said as she walked passed me. She was talking on her cell phone and turned around when she saw me. “I am a private eye.” “Well. I kept looking at all the dollar items. and the price was terrific. “Nick PT Barnum. but who was I to judge? The door was covered with Spanish cock fight promotions.” she said as she attitude her way toward the backroom. “It’s Linh Le! Asshole.com 19 .” She turned around and slapped her cell phone shut. and passed winners. www. “Hello. Maybe he had a change of heart. Didn’t understand why he didn’t call it a dollar store or something of that nature. I went in. The third witness kept me waiting longer than I expected. with long dark hair and wearing looping gold earrings was a very attractive Asian young woman.
“That’s all I got. “Came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. Mr.” “Are you sure?” .” “You’re helping to send an innocent man to jail. “Mr. He threw the first punch and missed. “So that man wasn’t a bishop?” “Nope. with an honest face. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the deacon and that set him off.” he said as he took out another cigarette and lit it up. “It’s about the deacon and Carlos Rivera.” “Okay. “Broke his nose. Bonilla.” “Everyone thought that. “I don’t think so.” “So the deacon went to town on him?” I asked sarcastically. “Nobody that hangs out there at the club is an innocent man.” he said slowly as if he was trying to think of the correct words.” “Then don’t.” “I can help you. “Just want to hear your side of the story.” I said “I figure that.” “You saw the deacon snap his neck?” He hesitated.” I said.” he replied.Frank Atanacio I walked into the back stock area and Mr. “Listen man. but he rubbed the bottom of his chin as if he were massaging a beard. Bonilla was a tall thin man. “The bouncers threw him out and later the bartender said that Carlos was dead. “Truth?” “I told you the truth.” He hesitated for a long time. but I have to ask anyways. it was as if he knew telling me the truth was out of the question.” I added. I have questions. “Well?” “The deacon. Bonilla?” “No. He had no facial hair. “Did you say deacon?” I nodded.” He tossed the cigarette to the floor and stepped on it. There was a sadness to the man’s eyes. something a little different. He nodded. Bonilla was leaning against some boxes smoking a cigarette.” I said. and I really don’t want to get involved.” He smiled. I may already know what you might say.” “Is there dog fighting?” “No.” He grimaced. I have a family.” he replied. tell me the truth. “I thought he was a bishop.” I said. and snapped his neck. “Mr.
” He smiled.” I said.com 21 . “Yeah. “Think about it. “Remember one thing. “I know something is bothering you.” His head fell to his chest.” “You know I really can help you. and for a good cause.” I said as I walked over to him and placed some business cards into his shirt pocket. and I can get Bridgeport Police to help.Case File: Dog Eats Dog He breathed in. I’ll always be at your service. I know a few of those guys and they will stick their necks out for the right reasons. www.bibliotastic.
” I continued stalling.” I replied. “I can’t.” “Damn. “He’s a fat piece of shit anyways. Jackie Reeves. “Can’t do that. They come a dime a dozen. The tailing has become more obvious.” I said as I cocked the gun.” he continued.” said the driver.” I smiled. He had a thin moustache and he wore stylish sunglasses. They followed me everywhere I went. “Last warning. He smiled. “Drop the gun!” He shouted.” the driver quickly replied. “What you’re telling me.” The driver looked agitated. “He’s not my buddy. A heavy set Hispanic suit opened up the passenger side and stood behind the opened door visually combing the area. “It hurts. I drove down Lee Avenue and parked at a corner gas station that closed several years back. He was the fourth person I had penciled in. “Like I said the first time. “I’m warning you.” “I’ll drop you. The bartender at Froggy’s club.” I replied. so I decided to find out why the tail.” he issued. I fired a shot through the inside of their car hitting the driver in the left thigh. It started as an all day tail. The driver did not hesitate as he quickly opened his door and pointed his gun at me from over the top of the car.” said the fat guy. His suit fit him like a glove. I hid behind a dumpster that was covered in graffiti as I waited for my tail to pull in.Frank Atanacio Chapter 9 The next day I had my first encounter with Froggy’s boys. “Girl eats girl. I had to make my move so I quickly jumped behind him and put my gun to his head. fat boy. He had his left hand on his hip and pushed his right hand into the breast pocket of the suit.” I said. it hurts!” he screamed. “What the?” I smiled. He was a well dressed Hispanic male in his mid thirties. it’s all the same to me.” I said. “It should. “Who cares. just semantics.” I said with a hint of smugness.” “Warms my heart to see such a loving family. 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. “It’s not my style. “Just an expendable associate. He dropped to the ground in pain as he held his bloody leg.” I smiled. Just the shells were still in place. “So you don’t care about your buddy?” I asked.” “Froggy is not going to like this. . “Is that you don’t mind if I put a bullet into your fat associate?” “Be my guest. dog eats dog world. “Hello. “Let him go!” he demanded.” I said. Perhaps they wanted to follow me to the fourth person on my list. and I do follow my list religiously. punk!” “Not before I drop him.” I said. The building was boarded up and the pumps were stripped clean. “Oops. “I shot you.
and then tell your boss that you had to kill him because you overheard him telling me. I really wanted to know why they were following me.” “Really. I can’t. “I know for a fact that you’re fat buddy there will tell me what I need to know. “You only shot me once.” “So you’d rather bleed to death?” “Froggy will kill me anyways. “Or. And trust me.com 23 . so I thought really hard about my next statement.” I said. “Frankly. I’m going to let you bleed to death.” I hit the fat guy in the back of his head with the butt of my gun and he dropped to the ground like a stone. I’m sick and tired of it. because It was something I wouldn’t have done. that thinking about it first was my only option. “I’m bleeding badly!” he shouted. bleeding to death isn’t going to be pretty. www. I had to think about it.” I started.” “You know blood can easily drain out of two bullet holes very quickly” I said as I tried frightening him.” “Two bullet holes?” He looked confused.” I said as I stepped on his designer sun glasses. “So. my friend.” I smiled devilishly.” “I can’t. I smiled.” “Froggy will hear about this!” “I’m sure he will. why were you following me?” “I can’t say anything.” He looked confused. “You’ll die.” he sobbed. He’ll tell your boss that you told me. It was a beautiful sight. It was something so out of the ordinary. “I can see that from here.” I walked around the car toward the driver. He just had a lot of fat in him. “I need help!” “Mental or physical?” “Damn you!” “Well.” “Once?” He nodded. and then die. I waited for a few seconds to see if the fat guy would come to. why were you following me?” “Fuck you!” “I’ve been hearing too much swearing these passed few days. He was still on the ground holding his thigh wincing in pain. and he gets off Scott free. “You’re going to go into a deep sleep. but he didn’t. “You know. “Now fat boy. “Damn you’re weak. I shot him in the other leg. “If you don’t tell me why you were following me. I thought he had a little more fight in him. Kill him. “Damn!” “Better?” “You’re crazy!” “And you’re going to bleed to death. I never realized how weak the big guy was.” “Of course you can. It’s that simple.” I started as I kicked his gun away.bibliotastic. Get it?” The driver thought about it. you’re going to know it. but I was wrong.” I said.” I said. you tell me. When the end comes closer.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “I don’t really care what Froggy likes or dislikes.
” I said. “So there is dog fighting?” “All the time.” “I see. I think one is dead. I smiled some more. 911 emergency. “Well.” he continued. right?” “I always keep my promises. “Well?” “One Eye Froggy wanted us to follow you because he needed to know that you got the information he wanted you to get. There’s been a shooting and two people have been shot.” “When and where is the next fight?” “Chico on Wordin Avenue.” “When?” “Sunday after mid-night. “Mike Brandon didn’t kill that man?” “That I can’t tell you. I took out my cell phone and dialed 911. “But Froggy wants them to use his words. the deed.” “But why the cover up?” “I don’t know.” I replied.” said the driver.” Your name? I hung up. we had to kill the witness.” he replied.” “My gun. “You’re going to call for help.” I pursed my lips a bit. that late?” He nodded. If anyone told you something different.” I nodded.” he begged.” he replied.. “Is there dog fighting at his club?” “That moves around. “You’ve been a wealth of information. “It wasn’t anything against you. We followed that fat cop.” “O’Brien. “But the deacon did get into a fight with that bookie. thank you my friend. “There must be some truth to what these witnesses are saying.Frank Atanacio The driver thought about it some more. “I wasn’t there. I’m calling from a closed down gas station on the corner of State Street and Lee Avenue. It wasn’t just you we followed. it was written across his face. “Hi.” I said.” “So the witnesses were coached?” He nodded.” “Damn. He wanted to. but the other can be saved if you come right away. “I see. I need you to send an ambulance right away.” he said.” He nodded as I retrieved his gun. “We just had to make sure you got what he wanted you to get.. The driver smiled. .
I jumped into my truck and turned right onto State Street and left onto Yale Street and then I heard two shots ring out. Their family problems are their own business.Case File: Dog Eats Dog I smiled.com 25 . I didn’t turn around nor did I look through my rear view mirror. www.bibliotastic.
” he said as he grinned sheepishly. He leaned directly in front of me as if he was going to kiss me or smell me.” “Insurance policies?” He grinned sheepishly again.” he said as he placed the open beer in front of me. I sat directly in front of him.” I smiled. I heard it was a jumping place. “Not so close. and he was simply reaching for it.” “Five dollars. I didn’t know and Frankly. “You’re Jackie?” He nodded. He came back with five singles and slapped it directly in front of me. or perhaps the murder of Carlos Rivera had something to do with it.” “Why?” “Questions about the murder that happened here. Jackie Reeves. “So. “Slow tonight?” I asked. I didn’t care. The bartender was no more than 23 years old as he stood behind the bar wiping glasses. He walked away. He had an Afro. “I started. “Your policies?” I asked as I pointed to one of them.” I called and he turned around.” he said. but that night there weren’t too many patrons. He was a thin Latino and African American mixed. “I’m looking for Jackie Reeves.Frank Atanacio Chapter 10 Later that evening I walked into Froggy’s bar on Fairfield Avenue. He looked like a Dr.” he said as he walked back toward me. I gave the bartender a ten and he walked toward the register and rung me up.” I nodded. but it was pulled upward and held together with a rubber band. I realized that there was a security button beneath the counter. “Old folks like you don’t need to come. “Can I ask you some questions?” “I don’t think so. I turned around and saw two mountain men standing on each side of me.” I said as I backed off just a little. “Now you need to speak to me. “Yes?” “Beer. They were big and stacked with muscles. “I hear he was one of the witnesses. “Why not?” “Because of my insurance policies. “It’s early. Seuss character. It was at that time.” I threatened.” I replied.” “You heard right. In fact you couldn’t really get a good checker game going with the patrons there. “Hey bar keep. My job was to question witness number four.” he said. Perhaps it was early. .” “What kind?” “Becks.” he replied. “I already spoke to the real police. “I don’t think so. “The crowd don’t kick in until 11pm. He had the olive skin with the black facial features.
He fell back and was out cold.” I turned around to walk out. And I grabbed the man on my left and slammed his face against the bar not once. www.” I said.” “Well.” said the bartender. “Would you speak to me?” He looked confused. I just cancelled his insurance policies. “You know he’s going to get you for this. I elbowed the man on my right in the nose breaking it instantly. “You will be too. “I’m a lover!” “So what do I do about my need to control my juices?” “I’ll tell you what happened that night. I may simple just beat what I want out of you. “I don’t think it’ll be that easy to cancel his.” I said slowly.” he replied. and he had to deal with me. I heard Jackie Reeves mutter something from behind the bar.” “I’m not a fighter!” he shouted. I nodded.” “But he comes with more insurance policies than me. and make this a real fist fight. I didn’t come here to fight. “Would you speak to me if I had your policies cancelled?” “What?” “If I cancel your policy.” “Then you’re screwing with the right guy. “I’m not looking for easy. You see. but twice. but you got my juices flowing.” I said. Or perhaps to scare the bartender. given the position and circumstances you put me in. It was the quickest fight I have ever been in. I was proud as hell. I had no juices in me. The big guy stood up with his face covered in blood and looked at me with vengeful eyes.bibliotastic. “Are you that afraid of Froggy?” I asked. I was proud of myself. but he was nowhere to be found. but a man had to do what a man had to do. I had to hit him again because I knew it was only a matter of time before he regained his full composure and was able to offer me a real fight. except you.” “The truth?” “No. Well. and the fight is over.” I nodded and walked out. and there is no one left to fight with. I hadn’t planned on fighting that evening. but twice.” “The coached story?” He nodded. In fact. He didn’t answer. “Will he fight me?” “No.” “I figure that. The man with the broken nose ran out of the bar. It was unintelligible. but I understood the reason for his incoherence. “I can’t tell you the truth.” he said honestly. The pain really didn’t register with him. “Unfortunately. “It’s a simple question.com 27 . I was expecting him to attack me. and witness. “You have been a gracious bartender. not once. I have this need to break some bones. I grimaced. so I banged it against the bar again.” I said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Jackie nodded.” “Remember who cancelled yours. I just said that to say it.
“Thanks for lunch. and I fully understand why. “So. Her black hair was so thick and curly. It was a big.” I said. She laughed. He threw the first punch and missed. She was dressed very tastefully.” I said.” “Everyone does. and a body that made every man look. and opened the bottle of champagne. “You were coached. I ordered antipasto for two and a bottle of their best champagne. She was wearing tight slacks and a pretty pink blouse. Her eyes were rich brown. right?” “And the deacon. .” I said as the waiter placed our food in front of us. Plus.” I laughed. “I feel bad that I have to put you through this. 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 replied. “Is that what the others were saying?” she asked. “Love your confidence. “Came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing.” I said. “I know what you’re going to say. It was easy on my eyes. and her face a gentle light complexion. and he certainly wasn’t kidding. and the food was fantastic. I tried to look my best for her. I smiled. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the deacon and that set him off. She had thin perfect lips. I felt sort of out of her league.” she said.” She smiled.” she said slowly as if she was trying to remember the correct words to say. “Go right ahead. I smiled. “Thank God.” She frowned still looking terrific. “This is professional.” she said as she sipped her water. I nodded. “The deacon. “Thanks for meeting me. “I’m not sure where to start. “Why do men always say that when they’re talking to a pretty woman?” “So you think you’re pretty?” “Damn right. O’Brien had warned me earlier. spacious place with excellent service. Carolyn and I had dinner in Ralph and Richie’s next to the Barnum museum.” she said. because she was extremely hot.” I took a breath. “So this is about Carlos Rivera.” I nodded in agreement.” She looked down at the table cloth.Frank Atanacio Chapter 11 Carolyn Lopez was the final name on my list.” “It’s your job. She smiled and I nodded. but that didn’t stop me from trying to enjoy her company.” I said. “I’m not a good liar. so we got a nice table. right?” “Yes. Carolyn knew the owner.
” What a beautiful picture. Or at least from Carlos Rivera’s side.” “You don’t strike me as a gambler.” “Yeah. That argument looked staged. but my ex-husband turned me on. “Did the deacon start the fight.” “There’s help for that.” “So now you do favors for him?” “I’m his waitress. and we might say the wrong things. And that’s when I doubt your good looks could bail you out.” I said. plus this. “You know. “You’ll be in hot water. and the bookie even bought the deacon a drink.” she said. “I really shouldn’t be telling you any of this.” “I wasn’t. “How?” “Gambling debts. her ass in a sling.?” I said. “I can’t really tell you if they were friends.” she paused briefly. “I’m here for you Carolyn. “It was weird though. everyone going to tell that you’ve been coached.” “Then I need to get to the bottom of this.” “If it does.” “But if you go to court. and I don’t get paid. really?” “He did argue with the bookie. “But I had to.” “Froggy says the deacon was too pushy.com 29 .” she replied.” “Problems?” “I owe Froggy a lot of money.” “How so?” “They were talking all nice and nice. “So there is more to this story?” “There is.” www. and I couldn’t shake it loose.” “Staged?” She nodded.” I slowly bit my lower lip.bibliotastic. I know because I delivered it to him. yeah.” she said. It’s so childish. He would have my ass in a sling.” “Why?” “We have problems.” She smiled.” “I didn’t want to do it. “Why couldn’t Froggy just give you guys a different set of things to say.” she replied.” “So they were friends?” “I guess they had dealings before.” “Froggy says this may not go to court. a little too late.Case File: Dog Eats Dog She smiled with a hint of flirtation.” “Perjury?” “Big time. “The police already know that you guys were coached.
“He’s really nasty. “If I know he definitely knows.” “Private investigations?” I nodded. “I’m sure Froggy knows about it too. but she broke up with me. I heard. what a beautiful picture. “I had a girl.” “What’s her name?” “Zoraida Saez. “Are you going to be at the dog fight this Sunday?” I asked. “Of course silly.” she said. She glared at me. no.” she said. right?” She nodded. “Good girl?” “Hot.” I said. “Oh. “Me too.” she said. “Honestly?” .” she warned. her ass in a sling.” “Puerto Rican?” I nodded.” She smiled. you know him?” “He tried picking me up.” she replied. “What?” “How did you know about the dog fight this Sunday?” “I got it from someone in the driver’s seat.” “Paulie.” I smiled.Frank Atanacio She ate some food and I watched her chew.” she said. “I know.” “Why?” “My line of work.” I smiled. “I guess he and Tito were hired to follow you.” “Why the hesitation?” she asked. “He’s the one whose going to put your ass in a sling. like you. Again. “Do you have a girlfriend?” she asked.” I smiled. but you put a stop to that. “Why do you keep smiling at me. “Ah. “I heard about the fight at the bar too.
” “You can still get to know me.” she said. We ate and drank champagne.” “Oh?” I nodded. “I’m trying to picture your ass in a sling. “I think you’d be a delight to get to know.bibliotastic. many ways. “Honestly?” I nodded.” She laughed.com 31 .” She smiled. “Too bad we’re not meeting under different circumstances. “Was wondering how you’d handle my ass in a sling. I laughed.” “And I’m going to give you mine.Case File: Dog Eats Dog She nodded. And the afternoon went well.” “Many ways. baby. “Now why are you always smiling?” I asked. www.” She laughed. “You have my number. I laughed.
” “Then can I ask you a few questions?” “Do you have to?” I nodded. “A new fight?” He nodded again.Frank Atanacio Chapter 12 I had to meet with Mike Brandon. and dried blood on his shirt.” . but mine. come on. Why should I fight back?” “Because you’re Deacon Mike Brandon. and he was very difficult to find. “You don’t believe me?” “No. it’s me. He was a fighter.” I nodded.” He smiled. I found him hiding in the basement of his church. “You okay Mike?” I asked. “I won a lot of money and he refused to pay me.” he said. I can’t run my church. but these past few days were really hard on me. “Sometimes bookies can’t cover the bets that same night. and nothing was thrown to the floor.” he replied. “What happened Mike?” “Some punks came in here and tried to rob the church. “I got no more fight left in me. I walked in from the backside and he was sitting at his desk with his head down. “I’ll give you that.” “He covered everyone’s bet. “Did you ever change your clothes?” He nodded.” I said. He had a black eye on top of a black eye. and I know those people need me.” he started. He lifted his head up and I noticed it was covered with bruises. He had lost his cell phone so I had to track him down the hard way. “So what really happened?” “I told you the truth. and he was good at it. A kick ass kind of guy. “Okay. He said he didn’t have it.” “Why were you really arguing with Carlos Rivera?” “Money.” he said pointing to his face. And the police are ready to jump on me as soon as you finish your investigation. “Mike. and I know she’s worried sick.” “I know you think I can take care of myself. “They came in here?” “Yeah. I looked around and I noticed everything was in order. shoot. I can’t go home to my wife.” “Beat you up and took the money?” “Beat me up like this. “You fight back?” “Two of them grabbed me and the third punched the shit out of me.” “But you didn’t give him enough time to get it?” I asked.” I didn’t believe the deacon because he wasn’t the type to just let anyone grab him.
I can take!” I smiled. and I didn’t mean to punch that guy in the nose.” I said. “I just don’t want to go to jail. that Latina waitress did bring me a drink purchased by that cheap ass. “I hit the dog fights big.” “So you do have a little fight left in you.” “I’m just so sorry all of this started.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Were you friends?” “I don’t know him too well. I could cleaned up the floor with his scrawny ass.” he said as he looked directly at me.” I said. I told him I needed the money and he told me tough shit. “But it was to get me to make bets with him.” “Everyone lies!” “Even you?” He glared at me. That just triggered something in me so I called his mama a name.” “A waitress said she delivered a drink to you that was purchased by Carlos. “Don’t play with me.” I said using the driver’s line.” “Yeah. “Not until I get all my little ducks in a row.” “I know.” he confessed. “Come on Mike.” I nodded. www.” I said.” “You’re going to kick my ass?” “I’ll do more than that. “And you know that because?” “He’s a cheap ass!” “But you don’t know him that well. “Are you reporting this to the police?” he asked.” “I know him from the gambling only. “Really?” “Just hang in a little longer and let me get to the bottom of this.” I said knowing that if he lied to stay out of jail would only come back to bite him in the ass.” He smiled. Nick.” “You may not have even killed him. give me something to hang my hat on. girl eats girl.” “Okay. dog eats dog.bibliotastic. “Just want to make sure you’re on the up and up with me. It wasn’t a fair fight. but I didn’t.” he started. and I swung at him and punched the shit out of him. “I went over to Carlos Rivera and asked him for my money. “I’m sorry Nick. it’s all semantics. He said he wasn’t going to pay.” “You. you almost lost Zoraida. He swung at me and missed. and he didn’t carry that much on him. “Didn’t he buy you a drink?” “That cat never bought anyone a drink!” he shouted.com 33 . “I understand the ramifications of death. You see everyone has a motive! It’s a dog eats dog world!” “Yeah.” he said. I’m sorry for what I did.” “The loss of your niece kind of put you out there.
Maybe you were just a scape goat. “Yeah. Wishing I had stayed home. “Just want to see if his bark is worth than his bite.” The deacon nodded.” “This guy is tough. but I didn’t push it. I’m sure he felt the walls closing in. Mike. Nick.” I said.” “Be careful Nick.” “Robbed?” I nodded.” I said. There was no conviction.” “But dealing with Froggy is an over boil.Frank Atanacio He nodded. Not just yet. “I know. Mike Brandon was filled with adrenaline.” the deacon warned.” “I like dancing.” “I’m going to start keeping a close leash on One Eye Froggy. The reason I knew that he was lying to me was when he told the truth. “He’s not a punk gang member. yeah robbed. “You told me that once.” I said. “Keep in touch with your wife. “Call the police and let them know you were robbed. I left. you could hear the conviction. He smiled.” I said sincerely. and now look at me. “I thought I liked dancing too. “Why don’t you go wash up. I knew that there was more to his story. “You’re going to be dancing cheek to cheek with the devil. He was hiding something.” he continued.” I suggested. “I just want to find out if killing Carlos Rivera and the dog fights go hand and hand.” he added. and that would soon come out like dirty little secrets.” “Everything comes down to a boil for a reason.” I grimaced. I need to find out if there’s a correlation. .
” She was so organized.” “I make certain of that.” she grinned. Damn. She was wearing a New York Mets baseball cap. I realized she could have had her choice of any guy she wanted.” She turned and smiled. “I started as I looked around at her neat apartment.” I said. Everything has a place.” I joked. “Something funny?” “Yeah you. but she chose me.” “All bad I hope. How so?” “Let’s just say I can play hockey without a stick. She quickly made a dash for the kitchen and came back with two cold bottled beers.bibliotastic. “I am. “So.” She smiled.” She laughed. she was hot.” “Most of it. Or at least pile them high on the bedroom floor. “Nice place you have here. sit down.” “Is that a choice?” She nodded.” “You thought I’d be a fancy girl?” I laughed. “What.” I smiled. “Then I choose to rip your clothes off and take advantage of you right here. and a number 15 Mets black jersey with tight white shorts. “Well. I can’t be fancy?” I laughed again and she pushed me.” I said. but decided against it.” “Good. “Are you Nick PT Barnum?” she asked jokingly. I started those rumors. It was out of the blue and certainly unexpectedly.com 35 . I was planning to give her a thorough background check.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 13 I was pleased that Carolyn Lopez called me over to her apartment for a drink. Nick PT Barnum. Perhaps she was waiting by the window. “You can rip my clothes off and take advantage of me right here. It was as if she was expecting me right at that moment. She was a pretty girl caught up in bad things. I knocked on the light oak wood door and Carolyn opened it up immediately. 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. or you can simply ask for a drink. and we’ll take it slow. “You keep teasing me and I bet you won’t get lucky. “You’re going to be the lucky one. “A beer drinker. and there’s a place for everything. I’ve elected to simply allow the chips to fall where they may.” www.” “I heard so much about you. but why couldn’t she get her finances straightened out? “How do we start?” I nervously asked.” “Beer would be fine. Every stain can come out of dirty laundry.” she said. “Come in. “My kind of girl. I had all the plans to get the stains out of her dirty laundry.
” She smiled. everything goes flying. “Right here?” “Problem with that?” she asked. but I had to block that out of my mind.” She laughed.” “I am.” she replied. “With you. “It’s the best I got. “About two weeks ago.” “Just make me your bitch. even morals. When you’re with Nick. “No. “And who wants to keep on your good side so I’d be in your pants by the night’s end.” I said.” I started.” “Is that dirty talk?” “You want more?” “At least better than that.” she said.” “I’m not that easy. not Zoraida.” “That’s business?” “For me it is. “Or you’d rather not talk about it?” “I just want to spend some good times with a regular guy. “I thought I saw you in the newspapers once or twice before. “Now get undressed. “I just didn’t want to break any of your furniture as I make wild and passionate love to you.” “I’ll be the judge of that. “I understand. “You’re laughing at me?” I asked. and take me. “I’m asking as a friend who wants to help. “How did you start gambling?” She looked puzzled. .” she replied. She sort of reminded me of Zoraida.” I replied.” she said. “It was a terrific date.” “Really?” “I would know that.” I answered.” she said. “No business.” I said.” “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.” I smiled. “Did you have a moustache once?” “No.” “I bet you do.” “When was the last time you had hair on your face?” she asked.” “Is there a need to laugh?” “None.” “Oh you are a pig!” “Carolyn. I wanted to sleep with Carolyn that night.” she said softly as she began to undress.Frank Atanacio “I get that a lot.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t good looking.bibliotastic. and certainly no Viagra. Nick PT Barnum needed no comparison. because I couldn’t believe I was really here with her. I really had to pinch myself. It’s just that she was so attractive. I bet I’d pale in comparison to the men she’d usually date. Nevertheless. and I’m not a stock-broker type.com 37 . so take notes!” She smiled.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “I’m sure you will. I’m a great looking guy. Hell. www.
Frank Atanacio Chapter 14 The next morning I had to visit Dr.” “A broken nose couldn’t have killed him.” I started. Even he admitted to that. but I’m a simple guy. “We’ve determined the cause of death to be a broken neck. but her slight bags under her eyes told a different story. and my job was to find out how they got dead. “The deacon punched him in the nose. Dr. It appeared that her job kept her from keeping up with her appearance. Marcia Freeman at the Bridgeport Hospital Morgue.” .” The doctor smiled. “So it could be ruled out as an accident. She seemed well rested.” She smiled.” “So a punch in the nose could have caused him to fall backwards. “Can we talk away from the dead?” I asked.” I whispered. “Jenny doesn’t lie. She nodded as I walked closer to her. Her nose was long. his neck was snapped.” she said as she continued examining the body.” “Someone is telling you lies. and the fact that she hasn’t any make-up on didn’t help either.” “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.” “He neck was napped?” She stared disdainfully at me. and her blonde hair had sprinkles of gray. Personal computers were not allowed. Freeman was a tall slender woman. She wore designer glasses.” I said. “She’s a good captain.” “She nodded. “I know you want to use medical terminology on me. “Mr. There were programs that only their computers supported. “I hear that you cause a lot of these dead bodies. “But there simply was no traffic to get stuck in. Keep it simple. and there was access to the internet with medical ties. I was not to surprised that she was touching a dead body on a table in front of her.” I said mostly to myself. “But he didn’t have a broken nose. She was here to answer some questions. right?” “True. with a fit body structure.” she replied as we walked to a small corner office. and I’ll be out of your hair very quickly. “Information gave me directions to this haunting room.” In her office was one of the few personal computers allowed by hospital administrators.” “I was trying to be fashionable late.” she said not looking up.” I replied. “Yes. “Sure. Barnum. Her job was to examine the dead. “So you wanted some information on Carlos Rivera?” she asked. she wasn’t here to attract me.” she agreed. “Listen. She grabbed an old doughnut from the coffee counter and bit into it slowly.” She smiled. “And that could have killed him. Nevertheless.” “Yes. but cute. and checking personal information or email wasn’t permitted either. “Right on time.” “Sure he did. “Captain Camacho wanted me to give you my complete cooperation.” “Of course not. “Got her trained.” I said. The hospital wanted to make sure their patients were never ignored.” I started. I nodded.
PT Barnum is the greatest showman. “You decided to tell the captain of police your history?” www. “He did break his nose and he wasn’t holding the Bloody Mary. “Yes?” “This Froggy guy.” she started. “And the deacon drinking a Bloody Mary?” “I’m kidding. and homosexuals. “If I did.” I nodded. “But why?” I asked myself as I turned away from the doctor.” “Do you know his business?” I asked. She grinned. “Not really sure.” I Paused as she bit into the doughnut again.” “How do you know this?” She looked levelly at me. “So he did bust Carlos in the nose?” “Clocked him good. and the only thing found in his stomach were the ingredients to a Bloody Mary. and me Nick Barnum. “They’re going to have another examiner supply them with the same information. “I’m not really the greatest. and when the deacon swung.” I said.” she said. I hear you’re a show off.” she answered. “Why?” “My connections.” “You know Carlos?” “No. Lots of it. and missed the drink shot up and splattered all over him. “Didn’t the police tell you this?” “They kept it from me. It’s that play on words. but they’re not using it?” She nodded.” “So he could have been framed?” She nodded. He’d rather have others do the work for him. women.” “So you have evidence that could help free an innocent man. He hates black people. I had to have something great because I’m certainly no showman. damn you’re slow. “I was on duty when Carlos Rivera came in.” “My ex-husband worked for him.” I paused. How did you ever become Bridgeport’s greatest private eye? Carlos was holding the drink.” “Yeah.” I nodded. “I see his work come through this hospital often. “How do you know this.com 39 .” “I’m sorry.” she smiled.” “But when you found it had something to do with Froggy.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “He was holding a Bloody Mary in his hand. He has this controversial way of handling these groups of people.” she answered.” “Was Carlos drunk?” “His alcohol levels were very high.” she started as I turned back to face her. “The police knows it.” I started.” “Me too.” “Well. and then they’ll take it from there. “People like that man avoid scenarios that will have him come into contact with these groups of people.” I asked. he would have changed that.bibliotastic. “You know.” “Again.
“Is that all the questions you have?” she asked. “I’ve known him for a number of years through his wife. “I have a great deal of work to do.” she said warmly. her eyes shifting away from me. “Call the police.” she half shouted. “So the reports have no prejudices. She smiled.” “Good. call me.” “Here’s a print out of the autopsy report. “If you think of anything else I need to know. “Too bad your audience consists of dead people. “For now. glancing at the empty coffee pot.” I nodded again. “If you need anything else.” “I wish it were under different circumstances.” I Nodded.” “You’ve been a great help.” “Damn you’re a funny girl.” I said. “I could never have a bad night. and because of the ties you have?” She pondered those questions for a moment and then answered. I walked out of her workplace and looked at the autopsy report. “I’m here and I believe the police wanted you to speak to me.” “B B?” She nodded. I was the ideal person to speak to.” she said as she handed me the paper. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. and I stick with it. I handed the doctor my business card and she accepted it. I called her immediately and explained.Frank Atanacio She shrugged.” she replied. “Me too. That’s all. She slipped it into her pocket and smiled at me. No matter what!” “Just checking.” She said softly. is she on duty?” “He. She nodded.” she paused. right?” “Even still.” she said.” She smiled. but I studied it like a medical student would.” “After the reports?” “When I completed the reports is when all this came to light. “I think Detective O’Brien wanted me to make sure you get everything they got.” “Sometimes it’s better that way.” “So you think. . and no.” she said she took out a pair of surgical gloves from a box on the counter.” I said. “I was the first to handle his corpse.” “Because of what you found. “I would never jeopardize my job for anyone! I report the truth.” “I also know the deacon.” I nodded. “Captain Jenny Camacho and I go a long way back. “So the other doctor who handed everything over to te police.
I fell asleep. Delicate again? Tired and bothered as I was. Delicate? My house came with a farm porch that stretched from one side of the house to the other. Funny how relationship works.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 15 Everything didn’t seem to be going the way I expected it. her laughs. She once said she didn’t want to let fear in the door. and getting the upper hand is what I always strived for. I’d had a few sweethearts since Zoraida. but that was far too delicate for me. I knew my neighbors complained about it. They were always talking about the way I live.com 41 . but a rule nevertheless. She was afraid of what my job was going to do to her family. even a little fear. I thought about it. and I had mine. When the deacon spoke to me. I couldn’t remember a case ever being so delicate. I guess they thought I was much too delicate to hear the truth. Because if you do. Without being delicate. and the way she drove her sports car. It lets me be me. They complained amongst themselves. I took off my gun and laid down on the sofa that I had stored there for dumping purposes. When you allow something to challenge you. but I never got around to doing it. She wanted me to quit what I was doing once. and I fully understood. Pushing her skirt way up high so that I could be teased unmercifully. Again with the delicate. but she was the one I didn’t want to let go. I liked it. I couldn’t get some much needed rest. and it’s all I knew. Again they talked amongst themselves. when O’Brien spoke to me. I remembered her kisses. there has to be no room for being challenged. In my line a work. I lay there thinking and my thoughts kept coming around to Zoraida Saez. www. It’s difficult rule to follow.bibliotastic. he lacked conviction. Zoraida was a whole package deal. B B had her one. While the ripples were still spreading. and the thoughts of that beautiful girl intensified. and how I was never home. Everything we did together developed into a pattern that inked itself permanently in my consciousness. I kept thinking about that word. O’Brien had hit it on the head when he called her the one. and knew that I wasn’t trained to do anything else. She told me to try an office job. he seemed challenged. I remembered everything we did together. it’ll end up staying over like an unwanted family member who has nothing better to do than to sponge off of you. She was only trying to protect her son. Everything has to be hit head on. but they never approached me. it may cause you to lose your life.
” she said. It has put him in a bad spot.” Janet said. and drag us down with you. She started when she was in high school just doing some light filing.” “Janet.” I smiled. Things would certainly not be the same. “Damn you men know how to screw life up. “I hope you’re doing something about it. but had planned to reach her goals. She had olive skin and big brown eyes that often displayed a puppy expression. “What’s up with Mike Brandon?” “Looks like the deacon is in serious trouble. and she heard the news all the way down in Florida. It was a fashion statement for her. I bet.” I replied without holding back any punches. Knowing her. She was a thin. what the hell is going on?” she asked as she stood directly in front of me with her hands on her hips. That was a big plus in this business. She had a nose piercing and a tongue ring.” “I am. and knew how to handle people.” “Don’t be an ass. My door opened. She had a sour look on her face and her expression was clear.” “Yeah. as if she owned the joint. “Why are you glowing?” “Glowing?” “Yeah. It was upsetting and she wanted to know what I was doing about it.” Janet was visiting her favorite vacation spot when she first heard the news. She set the bar high for herself. pretty Latin woman with dark short hair. “When did you ever know me to play around about a serious situation?” Janet worked for me for about five years.” “Maybe I’m pregnant. “You haven’t glowed like that since Zoraida. you pimp!” . and she stormed in like a woman on a mission.” she continued. She didn’t realize that the deacon lost his cell. It was frightening and unsettling. ask yourself. She was steady.Frank Atanacio Chapter 16 Janet returned from vacation. Her favorite deacon was accused of murder.” she said giving me a curious look. So I decided to hire her as my secretary.” “I’m not glowing. She couldn’t continue to enjoy herself until she knew what was going on. “Hey.” I said. glowing. “He got caught up in places he shouldn’t be in. that wasn’t going to be much of a problem.” I said.” she said. but he has failed to return her calls. and had lots of dreams. I’m going to pay her a visit. you are.” “Don’t play with me Nick. She was finishing up college. and I would always look out for her.” “You got a new girl. but she wasn’t at all wild. “Janet. “Can’t have my favorite deacon locked up. She wasn’t very efficient. I’m all over this. and he hung around people he shouldn’t be seen with.” “Poor mama.” “What are you talking about?” “You got a girl!” “Don’t be crazy. She was always looking out for me. but she served her purpose. I got use to her and she got use to me. She was intelligent. She had left over seven messages on Mike Brandon cell phone. “Yeah. She was oddly my right hand man. frantic. Maybe try and give her some comfort. “Okay Nick. I nodded.” “What is B B doing about this?” “She’s worried. “You know I’m right. and I wouldn’t know what to do without her if she decided to leave.
“That hurts.” I laughed.” www.” I said. it’s nothing. “Come on pimp daddy.” she said.” “You see Nick.” “It’s been two years!” “Aha!” “What?” “You said It’s been two years. Let her stand on her own two feet and be her own person.” I smiled. “But damn Nick.” “Come on.” she put her fingers on her chin.” “Do what?” “You shouldn’t compare girls like that. “We just met.” “It’s nothing. really.” I said. “What’s her name?” “I’m telling you Janet. But hey.bibliotastic.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “You can’t tell that by just looking into my face.” “Carolyn Lopez. I smiled. is just a booty call?” “Booty call?” “Yeah. spill the beans.” “Damn. people change.com 43 . “What?” “I’ll find out who she is. Zoraida’s body isn’t even cold yet.” I said.” she said.” she chuckled. “Let’s just leave it at that.” “No.” “It really isn’t nothing.” “Nothing? Strange name. “But she reminds me a little of her though. Don’t live with Zoraida through her.” “Good. and it went a little too far.” I said. Reminding you of Zoraida is only telling me that you wish she was Zoraida.” “You had sex with her?” “You said it.” she started.” I tried to explain. “So you’re telling me that this nothing.” She smiled. “Don’t do that. “Carolyn Lopez? Hmm. Nicky boy.” I said.” Janet laughed.” She gave me the middle finger. “That means you are seeing someone knew. “You are college educated. and you just admitted it.” I smiled. “Why?” “Got to watch my old man’s back.” “Better looking than Zoraida?” “I don’t compare girls. “I’m a pimp daddy. “I just can’t picture you a booty call type of person. “I don’t think I know her.
“Damn.Frank Atanacio I gave her my middle finger.” She smiled. “Just leave things alone. She continued laughing as she walked out of my office and slammed the door behind her. “I think she will too.” .” I whispered.” I said.
They were closed of course. They had anger in their eyes. “Working tonight?” I asked as I kissed her cheek. The trailer was obviously used to transport animals. www. She was the complete package. exposing some dog crates. I slept with that! It wasn’t that hard to admit. It was my job. I found myself drifting in and out of reality. He also had exposed hair on his chest pushing up toward his neck. to her natural beauty. I walked toward the light and noticed a sign beneath it pointing to the rear of the building. A beer would be great!” She smiled. He was a bear of a man. I noticed that the gamblers were drawn to that particular spot because of her.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 17 Sunday came rather quickly as I hustled over to Chico for the dog fighting contest. “I don’t pay for beers. A wooden trailer was parked in the back.” she said. but failed to see this happening in their own back yard. She was a very attractive woman and the men knew it. Damn. Oh baby! “What are you doing later tonight?” I asked. “Here!” I knew where she was. She was handing the orders to the bartender and he was quickly handing her the drinks. but you know the deal. or he didn’t expect a password. They were like a well oiled machine. Everything you wanted in a girl with the exception of the gambling debt. “Nick!” Carolyn called. The building was situated just beyond the Fairfield town line and just short of the on-ramp to I95 South bound heading toward New York City.” I nodded. He wore farmer overalls and a wife beater tee-shirt. I sipped. In this case dogs used for fighting. Nevertheless. The one on the right side of the arena had a missing ear. “Oh. He simply just let me in. okay. There was a small arena at the center of the room and two pit-bulls tied on each side of the arena. and I had to keep digging. about a hundred yards from the stair-well. “Probably making love to you. I knocked on the dirty gray metal door and a thin tall dark skinned Latino male opened it up. but the flower shop at the end had a light on. He did not ask me for identification. It was partially covered. He gave me an up and down look and allowed me passage. In fact. “Yeah. and fighting clenched teeth. “You want a drink?” “Scotch and water. I followed the directions to the back of the shop and into a dark stairwell. I saw Carolyn Lopez standing at the corner of the bar taking drink orders. Both the dogs looked like they just came out of a war zone. He had a thick beard and a full moustache. He had lots of curly hair on his shoulder and upper arm. A community that had neighborhood watches. She blew a kiss at me.” “A beer?” “Scotch and water.” I repeated.. I smiled.bibliotastic. My eyes went into puppy mode. Behind her sat the bouncer. I knew that the sign was meant for the would be gamblers. The pit-bull on the left side had dried blood on his face that completely covered scars. I had to be there. There was a strip of stores on that side of the road next to Chico. and Mike Brandon was my friend. She handed me a draft. but I played it off and looked surprised to see her.com 45 .” she replied. It was held at the Chico Social Club in a blue collar community. The smell of urine was strong as it hit me like a ton of bricks. but I too was drawn to her charm.
Perhaps he was attracted to my tall good-looking features. I noticed the excitement in the patrons’ eyes. I was doing it for a friend. and my heart ached. The bouncer walked up to me with Froggy in tow. “After work. She’s got work to do.” she smiled. but it probably did attract his attention. “The missing ear dog. “How much?” a man in a light gray suit and a pimp hat asked me.” “Come back again. yet I wanted to feed him a fly. It was show time. and then a calm. He knew that the house had made a lot of money. “I know.” “I know right where that is. Froggy looked curiously at me as I tried not to stare.” “Your name?” “Nick.” “Ten. That ten dollars wasn’t going to make him any money. Thank God I only put down ten bucks. I know. I’m leaving her alone. but did not get off his chair.” I said.” The bouncer growled. I couldn’t believe people actually betted on these types of things. He was so excited with the outcome of the dog fight. and what dog?” I looked at the dogs in the arena and really didn’t want to bet on either one of them. I understood that I was violating his turf. The dogs in the arena were ripping at each other and all of a sudden there was a shriek. .” “Damn. Glancing around the club. There was a man standing next to the bouncer who really looked like a frog. and how much I placed as a bet.” I said. I couldn’t believe how ugly he looked. but I had to be here. “Leave the lady alone. I quickly turned to face the dogs as they went at it in the ring. He turned and whispered something to the bouncer and returned his glare toward me again. They needed medical attention. I looked toward the arena and the dog with the missing ear was covered in blood and lifeless. I get it. “Yes?” “Pay-out time. I saw it a million times. “Hey!” The bouncer called. He was studying the aftermath briefly and muttered. “The lady has work to do. The excitement was just about to begin as the lights dimmed and everyone quickly ran toward the arena. why do you bitches have to make this shit so difficult?” he said as he wrote my name in the book and walked away. “Hey!” The bouncer shouted.” I said. right?” “Only if you wanna meet me between the sheets. but gratification nevertheless. He had a patch over one eye and his facial feature and popped out eye had reptilian features.” “Last name too. It was a dreadful. I knew that look. “Holy-shit!” Foggy turned toward the ring and then his eyes smiled in triumph.Frank Atanacio I smiled. you asshole!” “Barnum. He was staring sullenly at me. Perhaps he was wondering why I was here. and this was probably their last night alive. and the bouncer smiled.” “I’m sorry. and horrible spectacle. There was a small heavy set man standing in front of the dogs holding cash in both hands. They stopped directly in front of me.” said the bouncer. “How much what?” “Are you betting. It was false gratification. “How much? You asshole. It was a total disgrace.
A flash shot right before my eyes.” I said..” said the bouncer.” “Everyone who came tonight knew about the minium. “Have our money!” he demanded as he pointed his finger into my chest.” Froggy smiled. The winners won twenty times the amount they placed. But let me tell you this. “Barnum?” Froggy looked confused. I didn’t know there was a minimum. “Besides. I didn’t understand what was happening to me.. I saw men shoes in front of me before everything went dark.” I said as I handed him ten dollars. and my body ached. I’m gonna have to kill you so the others can see that we don’t play around.com 47 . well the losers just pay.” I gulped. I’m giving you to the end of this week to pay. “Well?” he growled. “It’s hard to collect money from a dead man. of course. I wanted to push him away. “I don’t carry that much money on me. If not. “What the fuck is this?” “I lost.” “You took out some of my men. I saw the room spinning. I had to think about the bet I had just lost.” There was a quick thump and I fell to my knees. Normally it would have taken several hits to knock me out. but I just realized that someone had hit me in the back of the head with a blunt instrument.” he said. www. The bouncer moved closer to me and his big belly was unpleasantly touching my arm.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Oh. “You placed ten!” “Holy-shit.” “Can I plead my case?” “I can’t kill you. “I su. “You’re that guy asking questions?” “That’ll be me.bibliotastic. and the losers. but whatever they used was heavy and precise. I saw Carolyn Lopez worrying and finally.” “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. but I had to think.
“You with me buddy?” . I looked into his bloody eyes. “What the hell did these animals do to this poor dog?” On the ground next to my feet.” I said. Perhaps it was because my nose was full of dried blood. I opened the bag up and at first I couldn’t recognize the stench. He put his bloody head on my lap and closed his eyes. The dog licked my arm. lying on his side with his paw frozen with rigomortise was the dog that made me lose ten thousand dollars. that one-eyed punk the money if he would have guaranteed me the life of that poor dog. and my face was covered in cuts. they wouldn’t have tried to kill you. The winner of that contest. my friend. “It really is a dog eats dog world. I mustered enough strength to zip open the bag and out fell the other pit-bull. I would have given Froggy. His bloodied head motionless on the ground. and I knew the bags weren’t garbage. I noticed the dog had a very difficult time trying to keep its head up.” The dog continued purring. but couldn’t.” I said. He tried to clench his teeth and growl. “I don’t think we should fall asleep. but I managed to crawl toward the first one. It looked like they took turns punching me around while I was unconscious because my entire body ached. I looked for the zipper and it was dark outside. and this was his reward. We may never get up. “Should I?” I pulled the other bag toward me and it moved. but I knew they were bleeding. “Of course we can become friends. the smell from the bag was so strong I almost threw up. so that became a task in itself. “You like baseball?” The dog didn’t answer. The dog was almost purring. In response to some sort of private investigator’s instincts.” The dog whimpered again. It appeared that he had his throat cut.” I said. but somehow survived it. and then stopped almost as I put my hand on his head. I couldn’t feel my lips. “We better talk about something to keep us awake. I didn’t realize it at first. because I really couldn’t feel my legs.” I said as the dog crawled closer to me.” The dog’s purr was quieter. Or perhaps it was just the beating I got that made everything difficult. “You’re thinking that this is a Yankee town.” I said.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. In the bag was the dog with the missing ear. “I know what you’re thinking. and the other duffle bag next to it. “I wonder what these monkey’s left behind?” I said as I pulled the first one toward me. He was stabbed twice in the throat. “I know how you feel dog. However. They were next to each other side by side. “Don’t tell me it’s the other dog?” I whispered. He went into a whimpering frenzy. and the dog looked into mine. Something that wasn’t going into the garbage can. It took some doing. I just knew that the duffle bags had something in them. but I knew it moved on its own because I wasn’t touching the bag at the time. “I like the Mets. “Damn. “But if you owed them money. There were two canvas duffle bags laying about three feet away from me. He crawled closer to me and fell into my lap.” I said. what hit me?” I said softly. Maybe you should have gambled too. right?” The dog was quiet. “You rest. The dog too was looking for comfort.
“Damn.bibliotastic. www. I smelled the rotting dog next to me. I hope I don’t die alone.Case File: Dog Eats Dog There was no sound coming from the dog at all.com 49 . It was just too much for me to take as I drifted back into the unconsciousness. “But at least he didn’t die alone. and I kept petting the dog on my lap. “Buddy?” I pulled the dog’s head toward me and realized he had died.” I whispered.” But at least he didn’t die alone? That wasn’t even comforting! I kept patting the dog and my eyelids were getting to heavy.
Frank Atanacio Chapter 19 I heard a great deal of commotion. I didn’t have the energy to stand. “I’m in here. but I’m still good.” I said. “I wasn’t. “You know me!” “I thought I did.” I replied.” “What about the dead dogs in the alley?” I shouted as I pointed to the alley. “Someone threw me away. “Nick?” “God?” “No you idiot.” “Pete.” “Those old hens were put up to it!” . “It’s me.” I called. “It was really touch and go for a moment. “Can you help me out?” “I should let you rot there!” “It stinks so bad in here.” He said as he helped me stand to my feet.” I tried to reach for the lid. It took several minutes before someone realized that I was in the trash. It was darkness from within a garbage dumpster.” “What?” “They told them that you were here all night singing.” “Explain the beating. “Hello. you didn’t want to pay.” “I really want to tell you that you’re a sight for battered eyes. and when I opened my eyes up it was still dark.” I continued.” “Those women standing next to my police officers tell something different.” “A whore Nick?” O’Brien looked disappointed.” I said. The plastic lid shot open. “Help!” I called. we checked.” said O’Brien as he stuck his hand in for grabbing. you too. “No dogs. “Come in. carrying on with a prostitute. There was still a lot of commotion.” “You shouldn’t be drinking. “Froggy must have cleaned up his act. I was just about to make some coffee. and making a spectacle of yourself. I couldn’t believe it. Someone had picked me up and tossed me into a garbage dumpster like Tuesday’s trash. Pete. until I realized that it wasn’t darkness from the lack of sun. but I was far too deep.” I said as he helped me out of the dumpster. “Their pimp.” “What?” “They’re given us a written statement.” “The dog fight in Chico?” He shook his head from side to side.” “What the hell are you doing in the garbage?” “Someone threw me away.” I smiled faintly.” said O’Brien. and someone peered in at me. “Grab my hand. “Yeah.
“Let’s just leave this alone for now.” he said.com 51 .” “Can I bribe you?” “Don’t get cute or I’ll throw your ass back into the dumpster. we have to do something about Froggy.” “Must be the lack of evidence.” “What do you want me to say?” “That you’re getting leads. I’m telling you.” “Again Nick. Just like he’s doing to Mike Brandon. He does have a great deal of money. and he knows some important people. “We have increased our investigation. I came here for the dog-fight!” I pleaded. Nick. How can I believe you over them? There are several of them.” “That didn’t answer my question. “You got caught up with booze and a prostitute.” I said as he helped me into the car.” “You were out here doing whatever.” “Pete.” It just accord to me as O’Brien was helping me to his police cruiser. but I should for being a stupid ass. they were put up to it. “I’m telling you.” “Does that remotely sound like something I would do?” I asked. “Don’t worry. This would never fly if I really had to arrest you.” “That hurts. He was a genuine threat to the citizens of this city.” “Let’s just get you home.” “Pete.” “That makes him honest?” “I didn’t say that.” “Can’t say what isn’t true. “It came up empty. “Let’s go.” “Pete. “You’re really stinking up my cruiser. I was just wondering if O’Brien knew it. You know that. We’ll work on something to help the deacon out.” “Then lie. “Are given us statements. but he can account for every penny.” “But you love me. and then there is just you. “I lost a lot of money and I didn’t pay.” “Listen.” He nodded. I can’t take your side on this.” “You just had one too many. I’m not going to arrest you. “It’s you.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Let me take you home. it’s not what it looks like. “Pete. those woman over there.” “I should have left your stank ass there. check out the club!” “Let’s just go so I can let these people go back to their homes. They said you were out here with a woman and she demanded payment for the sex you’ve had.” He grimaced. and they took it out on me and the dogs.” he said.” he said as he entered the car.” he started as he turned to face me. thanks for getting me out of that can.” “No. you know it’s a game he’s playing.bibliotastic. you stink.” “Well.” he said. Froggy was a much more human presence than the mayor.” www. and that the deacon will be okay.” “So you’re not making any progress?” “We’re doing th best that we could. Or at least I couldn’t pay. He’s the highest tax payer this city has.” “You didn’t have to.” he said pointing toward some police officers and several woman standing next to them. They killed two pit bulls last night and must have taken them away.
” he said.” “For now.” I grimaced. Nick.Frank Atanacio He smiled. . “And the deacon continues to squirm. “For now.
” said O’Brien.” I said.” “We’re going to continue checking on that.” I said. “What?” “Gets the money from his church. “The place had walnut paneling. “So you do believe there is dog fighting?” “I believe you. If anything.” “I don’t know. “Not with B B standing over him.” “Okay.” he said. He helped me into my house and made sure I was cleaned up.” he said as he tossed me a dry towel. and the hours were just too long.” “Don’t put anything over on that woman.” he said.” “Deacon Brandon wouldn’t stoop that low. His never being married had something to do with being a police officer.” He nodded.” He nodded.” I restated. www. “Maybe she didn’t want to know. I think. and high ceilings that totally whispered privilege. “There were several scheduled. He had been doing it for over 30 years. He would never actually say it. I smiled.” he said. “How many dog fights?” he asked. “And the deacon had his hands dirty. “I just got to bet on the main event.” “From his parishioners. However.” O’Brien gave me a side-ways glance.” “If all this comes out.” I replied.” “She would have stopped it.” he said.” “Maybe she didn’t know. I should have realized that when the bets were a thousand dollar minium. “What? I couldn’t. I think the deacon thought he was helping the church.” “I guess. “Can’t make you promises though.” “A thousand?” “Something I couldn’t afford. “I’d like to loosen him a bit with my fist for having those dogs killed. “Mostly poor. She’s no dummy. “I can’t see Mike betting on those fights and she not knowing where the money is going.” “That place wasn’t just no dog-fighting backyard type. he was a good friend and he really cared about me and the deacon.” “He has a great deal of followers. “I’ve known her for a long time. “Can I offer you a drink?” “Enough with the booze.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 20 Detective Peter O’Brien lived his whole life as a bachelor. “I’m glad. I don’t know how he could have waged a thousand dollars a fight.” I said. He is a well tight man.com 53 .” “Froggy?” He nodded.” O’Brien started. He would always look for ways to raise money. but he didn’t have to.bibliotastic.
“Which is what?” I asked.” “Of course. Gamble in the name of God. I’m sure he’s gambling for his flock.” he said. He always comes through when basketball camps come around.. Mike doesn’t want anyone going without.” I said.Frank Atanacio “And Mike still manages to send needed kids to summer camps.” “And put him back on the straight and narrow.” O’Brien smiled. He still finds money to send needy kids to baseball games. . “These days?” “Right. Certainly not for personal gain. Maybe he had to do what he had to do.” “So we got to help him out of this mess. “It makes sense in a way.
“Wife know you have no job?” “She knows what I do.” “Salt of the earth.” I said as I pointed to one of my client’s chairs. “Rusty Miller. He wore oval shaped glasses with black rims. “he said. “We all are.” “So you have no financial problems with him?” I continued. and a Malcolm-X tee-shirt.” “Mr.” “Sit down. but we’re good. “What do you do for a living?” “I gamble.” “How do you do?” I said as I stood up quickly and shook his hand. “I’m sorry for what has happened to the deacon. “What do you mean?” “People find it too difficult to talk about what happened to Mike Brandon.” www. Miller nodded.” I said.” “So he made payment arrangements with you?” Mr. but my body seemed to have accepted the beating I sustained when Janet came in with an overweight black man wearing baggy shorts.” he said. “I’ll let you guys talk. “I’m paying on time. You don’t have that fear?” “I don’t have any enemies.” he said.” “Professionally?” He nodded. but not a lot. Miller. but I didn’t want Janet to look bad. I wasn’t really in the mood or the mind set to take on any new clients. are you okay to talk?” I asked. “This is my boss. but his nose big. “Mr.” Janet said.” “Are you behind?” “No. that he is. His hair was dark color with beads of gray. Nick PT Barnum. not behind on any gambling debts?” “I told you.” he said. “Do you owe Froggy money?” “Yes.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. “He is a good man.com 55 .” said Janet almost too professionally. “I do owe him a little money. “Was gambling with the deacon that night. “Are you married?” He nodded. “They have this fear brought on by Froggy. “No big debts. My face was still aching.bibliotastic.” I started explaining. His eyes were tiny. He looked at me quizzically.” Janet started. He smiled.” “Yeah. “And you’re debt free?” He nodded again. Miller.
“What does Froggy want with me?” “Nothing. trust me.” “That’s just a fact.” I smiled again. “I didn’t find him. He really didn’t expect me to believe he came here to help the deacon. He wanted some information from me. “And if you don’t tell me. “To help. And forgive me for saying this. “Whether it be the lottery.” he half stood and then sat back down. but it was clearly written across his face. He doesn’t want anything from you. That’s how I make my money. What do you mean?” “I’m just wondering what attracted the deacon to something like this.” he snorted. jai-alai.” he said.” he said bravely.” “Yeah.” “I’m a God loving man. “Tell me?” “I came here to help my buddy out.” He was quiet.” he said. “There is no need to grill me like that. The man shook his head slowly from side to side. ponies.” he said. I do it all!” “Dog fighting?” “Cock fighting too.Frank Atanacio I smiled. “Hell.” I smirked. is all. That’s how I roll. “I told you. dogs.” “I don’t think so. Mike. he is. scratch offs. I’m a professional gambler. Nothing at all.” “How much are you really in debt?” “What the hell?” Rusty Miller was struggling with his confidence.” “He wanted to know how you found out about the dog-fighting contest. debt will be the last thing you’re going to worry about. but you’re beneath him too. He didn’t say it. “Why are you really here?” I asked. He wanted to pick my brain for Froggy. “It’s a mystery to me.” “Just trying to find out where you found Mike Brandon. The deacon doesn’t really hang around with such bad elements. It’s beneath him. “But I didn’t come here to talk about my profession.” “You like taking decent men to these places too?” “I don’t understand. the so called deacon is not as honest as you think. right?” “I came to help you.” I added. I came here to talk about the deacon. “Which buddy?” “Mike. trying to steady himself.” “But you don’t fear him?” “Why should I?” “Because you’re here. . “Whether you believe me or not. we make enough money to take a vacation every year around Christmas time.” “Which buddy?” I asked again.” “He found me. “If the odds are in your favor.” he replied.” I reworded. I could hear him taking a deep breath.
” I nodded.” He nodded. “When was the last time you saw her?” I asked.” I nodded. Do I make myself clear?” “Definitely understand you.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “He told me he’d knock my debt down if I got the information for him.” he continued..” “She’s telling the truth.” I said. “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.” he said as he forced himself off my client’s chair using my desk as a brace.” “How was she?” I nervously asked. If I ever see you again.bibliotastic.” I said. It had nothing to do with Carolyn Lopez. “I already knew. “He suspected Carolyn Lopez. You make sure he gets this information. “But otherwise..” “What?” “All that until she saw you get your ass kicked. she was okay. she was fine. “But she told him you already knew.” He nodded. “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. He walked out. She was in good spirits.” I smiled.” “Good. I’m going to put a bullet into your fat ass. “Last night. “I spoke with her last night. laughing. “You will never see me again. www.com 57 .
“It’s the path he didn’t want to go down. It was like trying to remember good dreams. Some were here for the long haul.” She smiled at that.” I glanced at my secretary. You’re intelligence is a farce. “Getting smarter?” She nodded. and countless other stores. “The deacon is out there alone.” “Trust me. and it’s going to remain here until my last breath.” “You think something’s going to happen to your new friend?” “Carolyn?” “Yeah.” She smiled.” I smiled. others were just bad experiences. “And he always came out of it on top. “It’s not like that. “You should go home and rest.” said Janet. Nick?” Janet asked. I knew she wasn’t Zoraida.” I followed Janet’s lean figure toward the door. and now it’s gone giving way to another pharmacy. Some of my teachings were clear. Janet. “Thanks. .” I said. “Yeah. She knew we weren’t a couple. Furniture stores opened and closed. you’re taking the rest of the day off. The last thing she felt when she closed the door behind her was my worried expression over Carolyn Lopez. “I’ve given that fat-ass what he wanted to know. “But if I’m going home.” “I feel like it.” “Mike had always dealt with difficult hands.” she spread her hands in a helpless gesture. “I spoke to B B and she tells me that he is worried.” “I’m too tired to argue.” “Then maybe he’ll come out of this on top. “You okay. “A man without a mission. “You really look like shit.” “Why you thanking me?” “For being here. “Could my intelligence be rubbing off on you?” Janet tried to recall the lessons I’ve given her.” she suggested. “You look like it more than you could ever feel like it.” she said.” I whispered.” I replied.” “The deacon without a church. and she made me laugh.” “With pay?” “Of course. tips touching my chin and thought about Carolyn Lopez briefly. Maybe he preached paths like this.” I crossed my fingers. Rite Aid Pharmacy was on the corner for almost twenty years.” I said. I told him where I got my information from. and I think that will satisfy Froggy. I didn’t have to be a mind-reader to know what she was thinking. I guess. but she was sweet. So many different stores opened and closed on this street over the past few years.” “I don’t think so. My office has been here through all that.” “I’m just stating a fact. but now he’s experiencing it firsthand. “Let’s go.Frank Atanacio Chapter 22 I stood up from my desk and turned to face the window that over looked downtown Main Street.” “I guess you’re right.
www.com 59 .Case File: Dog Eats Dog but the thought of her in danger troubled her a great deal. and this wasn’t making me happy at all.bibliotastic. It was clearly written across her face. She wanted me to be happy.
I didn’t remember leaving it that way. Nick.” I bowed my tired head. but this one I had to bring to you.” “Can’t you just tell them I looked at it already?” I asked.” “Murdered?” He nodded. “Carolyn Lopez?” He nodded again. and I was relieved to see him standing behind me. “I know. We had a conversation about Mr. “We trust you. “Those animals!” “We need you just to take a small look. She looked like she was fitting right into that small group. O’Brien and I faced each other on my drive way.” “Why. He was arrested several times before in different cities for laundering money through his church.” “That guy Rusty saw her last. right?” He nodded slowly again.” I said. “Been bad.” he explained.” Guilt seeped through my numbed body. “She won’t be a witness for us anymore. “Her face sort of stripped away. I didn’t hear him walking toward me. It had to be the only explanation. “It’s what you gotta do. “You need to identify the body for us.” “I came to pick you up.” “But you know it’s Carolyn. Rusty Miller earlier. “So why do you need to pick me up?” “You were the last person we know who saw her alive.” “Damn. His engine was still running.” O’Brien said. “How’s your day going?” I asked right off the bat.” “What?” He nodded. but nevertheless I was glad it was him. I was almost in a clear state of shock. He looked at me and knew exactly what I meant. I didn’t have the energy for another round of fighting. but everything that happened to me over the past week could have left me a bit absent-minded. That witness you’ve been seeing on the side.” “She changed her story?” I asked.” he paused as if to catch his breath. I looked toward the street and saw Detective Peter O’Brien’s unmarked police cruiser parked at the curb. “She was murdered.” he said. “I don’t like bringing bad news. Looks like she was punch inside out. “Then I’ll bring you back. because I was too tired to think of anything else. Or was it me? Was she excited to see me at the club? . It was unbelievable that this could have happened to her.Frank Atanacio Chapter 23 I pulled into my driveway. “We need you to identify the body for us. “Are you sure?” “Of course. Nick. I’d certainly lose. and I had filled him in on what that man tried to do.” his eyes softened.” said O’Brien. Pete?” “They beat her up so badly. O’Brien did a little research on him and told me that he was also a deacon. and I noticed that my front door was opened. I wanted it to be the only explanation. The one I told you to leave alone.
Officers Victor Cruz and Alfredo Fuentes would stop by for a card game or a sporting event. Taking a bigger sip. I shut my eyes for a moment and sipped.” O’Brien broke my train of thought. so I can’t say if it’s Froggy. “Damn. The houses were built larger these days. dreading the times Carolyn and I had. and her death would certainly invade my dreams.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Nick?” “Was it Froggy?” “Can’t say. “What can make men so cruel?” The stillness in my heart was almost contained. but it happened. “Maybe I could have had a chance in getting to know her better.” My house was in a new sub-division in the North End of the city. “You can leave your truck here. but now she’s been murdered. He was a caring person. I finished my drink. O’Brien blew the horn. Every now and again.” “That’s true. I really couldn’t recall the last time I had seen a police car cruise through. She was murdered. But remember. “You did leave the front door unlocked. I knew it wasn’t going to happen. “Janet told me that this girl reminded you of Zoraida. but scotch whiskey usually helps.” I smiled. I sipped again as I permitted the scotch to ease my mind. I had so many things on my mind that I was already fearing it.” He continued. “Just let me get a quick drink. And everyone knows how much you were into that girl. “I saw a light on in your house so I thought you were home. perhaps for no reason. It was only that time you’d see a police car. I walked toward my bar and poured a tall glass of Johnnie Walker Black. I walked into my front door feeling terrible about what happened to Carolyn Lopez. I took another deep breath and another sip of scotch. I watched O’Brien make his way to the car. I was ready to see Carolyn Lopez for the last time. or at least take control of it for a moment. and slowly back up into my driveway.” O’Brien started explaining about the opened door. and the extra rooms were tedicously large. but Pete. Pete. The neighbors were so quiet. Leaning against the bar. and my mind began relaxing the best way it knew how. and they were always off duty. and I knew it. she was so different in so many ways. I began to dread going to bed. “Why was she killed?” I asked myself as I took a longer sip. and a good man.” “I’ll wait in the car.” “You mean you won’t say?” “I’ll say if I knew. I didn’t know what I would do when I saw the mutilated body of Carolyn Lopez. break-ins and robberies were so rare. That wasn’t a smart thing to do.com 61 . I gean to dread meeting her. I know she was cute.” I said.” I whispered. I took a deep breath as Carolyn Lopez’s face washed across my mind. Lord knows I need one. “I’ll bring you back home. The last time I saw her was when I was on the social club floor. Tonight was going to be a difficult night to deal with. and actually making love to her.bibliotastic. The scotch was doing its job. It wasn’t planned. She adored me. “I’ll be with you. Nick. I felt a little easier.” O’Brien grimaced.” I nodded. There will be no problem with that. Her smiled would certainly invade my sleep. www. Her eyes would light up in my presence. you just met her.” I said.” I nodded. I waited for the absolute quiet to begin easy my snarled nerves and hopes it washes away my worries. “I know it’s killing you.
no direction. “They made their first mistake. “She owed him a gambling debt. “It’s okay to look. He wasn’t very careful in doing it. and that made O’Brien angry. Took several family members to identify her.” I said. she was drinking and fell right onto the tracks. Hell. that’s her. and this is this. The stretcher bumped into the door way onto a white tile floor almost spilling the black body bag.” 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.” “Are you sure?” “Yep. 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. “Now I’m going to fester and then make them wish they had killed me. only death. “What?” said the man in the white jump-suit.Frank Atanacio Chapter 24 The morgue had a distinctive odor.” O’Brien corrected. “The girl was hit by a train. “No. That woman who really liked me. “I’ll prove that they do exist.” “They can try.” I said. “She’s already dead!” O’Brien waved me over as the man moved the body bag from the Gurney to the center table. I turned away and closed my eyes. And part of that stench came from Carolyn Lopez.” “They still can.” O’Brien nodded.” O’Brien ordered. I needed to look away because the body in front of me was indeed Carolyn Lopez. “Ye sir. “It’s okay Nick.” “That’s Carolyn Lopez. “Hey watch it!” Shouted O’Brien as he stood next to a metal table in the center of the room.” O’Brien tried to comfort. and he took it out in trade. and we’ll be on our way.” he started as he unzipped the body bag. She was a waitress at those dog-fighting contests.” “That’s that. It was that stale air that came from death that invaded my nostrils. It was odd to see her on the stretcher lifeless. No meaning. Damn there were pieces everywhere. and we will find out who did this.” “Allege. She’s dead. “Listen you punk son of a bitch!” “What?” the man shouted as he pulled away from O’Brien’s reaching hand. “Cowards.” said O’Brien.” “Zip her up. Just identify her.” I said. “Killing Carolyn?” “Not killing me when they had their chance.” “She worked for Froggy for no money.” I nodded. “She was beaten to death. “You got that right. . “They kept pounding away at her until she stopped breathing.” O’Brien nodded. I waited by the entrance until a small thin man wearing a white jump-suit rattled in a Gurney. Damn thing was a freaking mess. That woman that I made love to. and I really liked her.” O’Brien said in an almost whisper.” said the attendant.” he said as he stepped to one side so I could get a good look at the body. it was that stale stench of death. some even left this place not sure if it was their family member.
bibliotastic. I really didn’t want to see her again so I started looking around the room.” “I’m not a cop. He did.” he said. but I wasn’t a doctor. It was a room for the dead who were violently murdered. They kept the room spotless. I just wanted my mind to drift until the attendant was able to secure the body into the bag. “Looks that way. the sink.” I said. I nodded. “Don’t you think?” “Don’t get nasty. I just wondered why anyone would go through a lot of trouble to keep a room like this clean. the top of the counters. Nick. It couldn’t have been for contamination. “Is that all?” asked the attendant. I didn’t see dirt or smudges of any kind. “Ready to go?” O’Brien asked.com 63 . He nodded. He kept pushing her torso forward and her hand kept slipping out. “Let’s go. and I was happy.” I nodded. www. and slowly closed my eyes. I was also really not interested. I was scanning the walls. and I wondered why.Case File: Dog Eats Dog The attendant was having a difficult time zipping up Carolyn’s body. I glanced at the stretcher for the last time.” said O’Brien. “I was just trying to help you cops. O’Brien was holding the door with his foot until the attendant was able to push the Gurney forward and out the room.
“It comes with the job. Man stunk like dog shit. sat down.” she said with her eyes closing just a bit. and huffed. “They’re going to kick my ass again. They’ll wait until all the blood seeps out of my body. They wanted to.Frank Atanacio Chapter 25 I walked into my downtown office and I couldn’t believe my eyes. sat down. “Those punks told me that the next time they come here.” “Hey. “What?” I asked. Nick. like O’Brien with front missing teeth. and long dirty hair tied back into a pony-tail. crossed her long legs. “Straight!” I smiled. I couldn’t stop looking until I. My eyes fell into a curious rhythm as I scanned the area. you need a doctor?” “I need some Southern Comfort.” she continued. Everything was turned over as if someone was frantically looking for something. That’s the only reason they kept me alive. “Came in looking for money you owe them. “I know. and drop me from the window. She took out the petty cash lock box and showed me that it was empty. “What the hell happened?” “Damn bill collector.” she said as she sat down at her desk. I nodded. tried to take it out of my skin. “I was caught off guard. Damn they punched me around like I was a man. “They’re on my shit list!” “Those bastards followed me into your office.. She was extremely tensed..” “They beat you up?” I asked. but I was to warn you.” . so I stood behind her and gave her a shoulder rub.” she said as she limped toward me. They ransacked the entire place and left everything like a disaster area. Her clothes were torn a bit.” “Did you get a good look at them?” “Yeah. and barked out demands. “Or did you try to stop them?” She glared at me for a moment. and her face covered with welts. “Came here collecting.” “A bill collector?” “Yeah. “Greedy punks even took my lunch!” Janet walked back to her desk. “I managed to get a few licks in before they got to me. “Those bastards worked me over and then they hung me out of your window and threatened to drop me. right?” “You’re brave Janet.” I half whispered.” “What?” She nodded.” she said. “Janet. I steered toward Janet’s desk and noticed blood stains on a place mat.” Janet stood up and walked toward the filing cabinet.” she replied through clenched teeth. and bruises.” “Sick. Damn.” “I’m sorry Janet.” she replied. I noticed her rolling her head.” she winced a bit. “Nick!” Relief! I looked back to my private office and Janet was standing by the door. “One was a big guy.
not maybe. I was caught so off guard. “But they still pocketed it. a pity cash. pimp.” I said.” I smiled.” I said. looked around the office.” “Nick.” She jammed her fist against her lips. about a hundred and seventy eight. for sure. stopped crying.” I said. “Thought I had a ten dollar bet. Janet. “I’m sorry. Remember they took our petty cash. and looked at me. Maybe if I knew what they wanted I would have thrown one of them out the window. “I gotta straighten their ass out. “Don’t want to come to work one morning and find me useless secretary splattered all over Main Street. “You really only owe them Nine thousand eight hundred and twenty two dollars. “Let it out. “I feel better now pimp.” “How much do you owe those suckers?” “Ten thousand.” she said.” “Hey pimp.” “Just don’t want you to end up like Carolyn Lopez.” “Kiss my ass. I like the adventure.” she said.” “Yeah.” “Not on your life!” she shouted. I sat down beside her and patted her gingerly on her shoulder.” I started. and began to cry.” “Dollars?” I nodded. and you’ve been threatened.” “You go boy!” “They’re pushing me too hard. He even begged. maybe you should just stay home. “They also had the nerve to call our petty cash. and bam! I owe them ten thousand dollars.” “Carolyn?” “Yeah.” “Now you playing with the big boys. They told me that it’s not a warning for me. “I thought they were paying clients and I completely turned my back on them. she’s a corpse now. looks like they’re going to get a pity ass-kicking. “It’s not my life that I’m worried about.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Yeah.” “I don’t know what to say.” I said.” she insisted. I was scared as shit.” “How much did we have in petty cash?” “After I did my nails. now you.” she sobbed.” “You should stay home until all of this is over. I guess I really must have pissed them off because the skinny guy wanted the fat guy to drop me. “How in the hell can you owe someone that much money?” “They tricked me into owing them that much.” she said. “I didn’t mean for you to get involved in this.com 65 .” I said almost quietly.” She smiled. covered her mouth with her palm.” “I’m serious. “But to be honest with you.” she started. Janet looked at me.” “Then. “First Carolyn. “Well. but they twisted the lingo. www. it’s a promise.bibliotastic.
“First time I ever saw you cry. but I really didn’t want to be the cause of her leaving.” “Funny pimp got jokes. “I had to release my anger. “They won’t get me again.” “They really worked me over like I was a man. I’m staying. Those bitches!” “But you took it like a man.” I said honestly. He struck a nerve with Carolyn.” she replied. “I’m too pretty to be scattered all over Main Street.” I said.” I said. I knew it. “Me too. She was the main switch that kept everything running.” She smiled. pimp. One Eyed Froggy was playing too close to my candle flame. and that was my next move. . I looked at her and she smiled.” she said as she rubbed her knuckles.” “I bet. and I won’t be pushed around.” “Besides.” “That’s true. I had to react with force. and she knew it. It was hard to imagine this office without Janet. I realized that someday she would move on and begin her own life.” she said. She was much to valuable to me and my office. “It just filled me up and had nowhere to go but through tears.” “It’s dropped that I’m worried about.Frank Atanacio “They got me once.” she said.” “I’m glad you are okay. the punches hurt. “Damn straight. and he struck a bigger nerve with Janet. “Those tears?” I nodded.” “I understand.
but it wasn’t the right time. I smiled at that.com 67 . But I want you to open the bar up. “I’m telling you.” shouted the bouncer. “Hey.” “You!” shouted the bouncer.” I smiled. It felt nice to be popular. “What for?” “The eye for an eye. He had long hair tied into a pony tail and he had missing front teeth.” I said. “Janet was tight. “You don’t belong here.bibliotastic.” I tried snarling back. Jackie Reeves recognized me right away as he turned to the seated bouncer and whispered something into his ear.” “Just come in to buy a beer. “You’re not going to beat us done easily this time. I needed to express myself differently. and rationality had no place in it. It was almost an art form as they danced to the Latin rhythms.” “We refuse to serve you!” “You smell like shit. The odor was that clear. The bouncer was a big burly man with no facial hair. I was almost shocked when I realized he smelled just like shit. “And death. I had to send him a message.” I said.” “Hey.” “It is in my book.” I said.” “The skinny bitch?” “My secretary. The disc jockey was sitting high above the dance floor looking down at the dancers who were moving in sequence. I came to make a statement. “She said you smelled like shit when you were dangling her from my office window.” “You don’t belong here?” “I guess I don’t. but I had to make a statement. “But I’m here anyways. The club was crowded and there was Salsa music beaming out of the speakers on the walls and ceiling.” shouted the bartender. you have to do your job. His face was flushed and his eyes angry.” “It’s all part of living Jackie. I knew that Froggy wasn’t going to like it. The message had to be loud and clear.” I whispered. and maybe I will get it. my friend. “I’m a paying customer. “Get rid of this joke.” he snarled. I don’t think that’s the right way to treat a lady.” he said as he turned to the bouncer again.” I said. “You want something from me?” I asked.” “Then you should be reading the Bible. The bartender. I knew it had to be about me because the bouncer quickly glanced my way. I do what I do. “Looking for trouble?” “Not really. “You don’t get it!” “Of course I don’t. “You said it’s closed. my co-worker. or at least to be recognized.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 26 I found myself hurrying to the club that night in spite of the warning.” “Well.” “And we do what we do.” “Bar’s closed for you.” I said. “You’re not allowed in here!” He shouted.” “Open it up.” I replied. www. The ape stood directly in front of me.” “We are ready for you. I wanted to explore my rational way of thinking.
The bouncer cracked his knuckles and moved closer to me. “Maybe I should have dropped her ass out of the window,” he said. “Jackie over there was begging me to do so. He wanted to see her splat.” “Why, Janet kicked his ass?” “She made it tough for him,” he replied. “And I’m going to make it tough for you.” I looked toward the bartender and he smirked. “Don’t you turn away from me!” shouted the bouncer. “It isn’t him you should be worried about, it’s me. I’m the one whose gonna break every bone in your body. Yet keep you alive so you can pay off your debt. It’s going to be painful for you, but a whole lot of fun for me.” “I’m not worried about him,” I said. “I’m not even worried about you. I just want to see his expression when I kill you.” The bouncer laughed. “You find something funny?” “Your empty threats!” I hit the bouncer in the neck with my fist and he quickly fell to his knees. There was a tile missing on the floor and the bouncer’s blood filled the void. The floor was measured nicely with blood. It covered all the nooks and crannies. “Froggy’s not going to like that!” Shouted the bartender. “You are already on his to do list!” “I want you to tell him what I did,” I said. “You’re going to pay!” I took my gun out and shot the bartender in the chest. “You know what, Jackie? I think I’ll tell him myself.” The bouncer reached for me as he bloody hand touched my shirt. “I can’t breathe,” he gargled. I put my hand on his head and pushed it down facing the floor. I put my gun to the back of his head and shot him twice. I knew after the first bullet entered, it had killed him instantly. The second bullet was simply an insult. The crowd of Latin dancers quickly rushed toward the exits like cockroaches do when someone turns on the lights. They scurried and scuffled as the music continued to play. Dog Eats Dog, I thought.
Case File: Dog Eats Dog
O’Brien wanted to meet me at the Flyer Diner on the corner State Street and Fairfield Avenue. There had to be some explaining to do, and he wanted to hear it from the horse’s mouth. The Flyer Diner was great during the afternoons, when there weren’t so many people there and it was quiet. They had Becks in bottles, and the hottest wings in the city. I ordered some and it arrived just in time. My beer was still cold and my craving for the wings have just expanded. Explaining what happened just got easier. I took a bite of one of the wings and looked around the diner. It had paneled walls in a light oak. A throw back to the late 1970s. There were some old pictures of the City of Bridgeport’s old Landmarks. There was the Barnum Museum, Casco Factory, Harvey Hubbell, and several old department stores that use to grace the downtown portion of the city. Stores like Gimbles, Reads, Sears, and Woolworth. The diner was also still using the 1970 style register. Behind the counter mirror, with wines stored in front of it, back lit, gave it a classy look for a truck stop. The diner was around for more than forty years, and it survived the city’s many changes. O’Brien ordered a coffee and a piece of Boston Creme pie. “Pete, these wings are off the hook,” I smiled using one of the lines Janet would use. “My pie is fine,” he said as he took a sip of coffee. “Your loss.” “So, what happened at Froggy’s place?” “Bartender attacked me,” I replied biting into another wing. “He came at me with a knife, so I had to put him down.” “Are you telling me a lie?” “Now why would I do that?” “How about Douglas Fowler?” “Who?” “The bouncer.” “He got cute,” I said. “You know how much I hate cute.” “I’m being serious Nick.” “I’m being serious.” “Damn it Nick!” he slammed his fist on the counter top. “There are witnesses saying that you just came in and shot up the place! They saying you walked in looking for a fight.” “Froggy put them up to it,” I said. “Nick, it’s getting hot,” O’Brien warned. “Things are hitting the fan left and right. Captain Roque is getting on everybody’s back, and I don’t like to deal with him when he’s pissed.” “You know all this is a set up,” I said. “Just like with Mike Brandon.” “Don’t bring him up,” he said. “Why?” “We got to bring him in for murder,” he replied. “I’m still trying to prove he didn’t do it,” I said. “Another person.” “What?” “A witness.” “A witness?” “He tried to get one of the witnesses to change their story,” he explained. “He offered him a great deal of money, and when he refused, he killed him.”
“How do you know.” “The prostitute witness.” “Margie Sanchez?” He nodded. “She works for Froggy.” “She gave us a written statement,” O’Brien said. “We match the finger prints on the money envelope that came straight from his church. He’s guilty.” “You believe that 500 hundred dollar whore?” “500 dollars?” “Yeah, I asked how much.” “Of course we don’t,” he replied. “But I think the captain is bringing him in for protection. He didn’t say it, but I know that’s what he’s doing. I know the captain. He’s not going to let the deacon fry.” “So how did this all happen?” I asked. “Mike went to Margie Sanchez first,” he started explaining. “She declined to change her story, so he went to Mr. Roberto Guzman. He gave him a hard time and they fought. He then beat him to death.” “Mr. Guzman?” O’Brien nodded. “He’s an old man.” “Now he’s a dead old man,” O’Brien said. “We gotta stop this mess,” I said. “The Frog is getting a little too violent.” “And the witnesses are slowly falling off.” O’Brien added. “First Carolyn Lopez, then you took care of Jackie Reeves, and now Roberto Guzman.” “Two left,” I whispered. “Yep.” The waitress came over and poured O’Brien another cup of coffee, and she slapped down another beer for me. I smiled, she smiled, and O’Brien stared. “So what do we do now?” I asked. “Stop killing Froggy’s men,” he said. “Let us do our job.” “They’re looking for it,” I replied. “The captain think it’s for revenge.” “Revenge?” He nodded. “For Carolyn?” “For Janet.” “What?” “Janet called Fuentes, and Cruz down to your office and gave them a full statement. She told them how they came looking for you and how they threatened to throw her out of your window. She told me that made you a little upset,” O’Brien started. “Don’t think that the captain is stupid, Nick. He knows how you think, and he knows you’ll protect your people with your own life. I’m just asking you to let us do our job. Stop killing his men.” “I’m working to clear the deacon, is all.” “Do that,” he said. “Don’t pull the trigger on your gun anymore.” I nodded.
Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Now finish up your wings before I take them. www.” I smiled.com 71 .bibliotastic.
“They arrested Mike this morning. The deacon will bounce back and continue his good work. “I know.” “I know that too.” I took hold of B Bes hand. “You wait until all this is cleared up. How lifeless and thin her skin felt as tears started to blossom as they streamed slowly down her face.” I tried to comfort her. “She’s a good girl. I liked that about her.” B B nodded slowly. I ain’t stupid. You wait until we find out why One Eye Froggy has it out for your husband.” She looked at me intently.” I said. “He says it’s for horse racing. “Hey Janet.” “You will help him. “No problem.Frank Atanacio Chapter 28 B B approached me as I sat at my desk. I opened my top drawer with my other hand and handed her a box of tissues.” I said. “What?” I asked.” “What do I do baby?” “You wait. “Yeah baby. B B?” I asked. You know he’s a good man. “I know. “Mike has been taking money out of the collections to pay for his gambling debt. “It’s going to take some time. right?” “I want to help where I can. She sat down and looked around my office.” I said.” “He’ll always be the love of my life. “When she’s a sleep.” I nodded as my eyes fell on her worried face. I smiled. baby.” “I know it’s not going to be easy for you. “Are you okay.” she said softly. B B forced a smile. She looked like she hasn’t slept for days.” “You can’t mean that. She looked frail and I could see it in her eyes that she felt like her knees were going to collapse.” Janet replied as she winked at the deacon’s wife and walked out of my office. I think she needs some time with me alone. She put everything back in it’s place and didn’t change a thing. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly as if she was trying to catch her breath. Janet had done a wonderful job cleaning up the mess. but I know I’ve rattled some cages. he’s going right to hell. “Thank you. but I know he’s been going to those dog fighting events.” “Collection money?” “Oh yeah. She placed it down in front of her and stood next to me with her arms folded. I felt my stomach curdle. “But things will come out in the wash for the better. She steadied herself as she reached to brace herself with one of my client’s chairs.” she sobbed. like I was going to hear some unwanted news.” Janet walked in with a cup of coffee for B B.” “But he’s not guilty. “Can you excuse me and B B for a moment.” .” She said.” B B said.
I had always tried to fulfill my promises.” She forced another smile.” she said.bibliotastic. “O’Brien told me that you were very fond of one of the witnesses.” “I mean it B B. It was a sadness that of nowhere to turn.” “Your lips to God’s ear.” “I’m sorry I took up your time. “That’s a shame. “I understand.” she said.” “There are so many things I know God wouldn’t forgive me for. “I’ll do my best for Mike. “I had to punish one of them myself.” “Revenge?” she asked.” The response put B B at ease. “I will B B. there had to be an extra push. and with Mike. “I believe in an eye for an eye.” I said. “But I’m sure this is the exception to the rule. There was a sadness to B B’s eyes.” she said as she stood slowly from the chair.” I added. It really outweighs the bad. “And you know I will.” “They’ve been punished.” “Thanks Nicky.” she sniffled. a sadness that went beyond the loss of her husband’s good name. “Try and get some rest.” “Should have just turned the other cheek.” I said.” I agreed.” “Me too.” “Janet will see you out. Regardless of the circumstances it puts me in. “Yeah.” I said. “I don’t want to worry about your health. I came here probably to get some reassurance. There was no pretense about my promises. “I just wanted to know that you’re still helping out my Mike.” She walked out. It was like watching a trapped animal in a cage.” I nodded.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Some witnesses have died.” she said.” I said.” “Of course. “He has too many good points. www.” “I believe you.” “Don’t worry about it.” She smiled. “I don’t know if God will forgive you for that. “Is that true?” “Carolyn Lopez. “Be very careful Nick. I know.” she said.” she said. He got a little carried away.” “I’m sorry baby. “And I think God will forgive Mike.com 73 .” I said. “Don’t bother that poor child.” “I got his back. “I know my way out.” she said. I didn’t mean to make a spectacle out of myself by crying.
” I said as I stepped back a bit.” “Don’t get cute!” “Cute is my middle name.Frank Atanacio Chapter 29 The next morning I drove down to Seaside Park near the diamond six area off of Iranistan Avenue. but it wasn’t a major league team. “Looking for a pick-up game?” I nervously asked. “You had your chance. It was at that time when a late model four door sedan pulled up slowly and parked behind my truck. “And we out gun you. I suddenly realized that they too were holding their guns at me. I think. “And I think I’m going to enjoy it. “Froggy wants his money.” “You have no idea who he is. 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. “He was ordered to ask you to meet us here. but nevertheless. “Hey. They were carrying baseball bats. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t tell me over the phone. and it’s considered America’s favorite past-time.” I felt an imaginary noose around my neck as they pointed their guns directly at my head.” “Me too. “Looks like that. “He will get his money. They looked at each other only for a brief moment and then dropped their bats. “Froggy can kiss my ass.” he continued. Willie the Greek had asked me to meet him here because he had some information he wanted to share with me.” He smiled. They stopped five feet in front of me and three feet apart from each other. Do you guys mind picking up the bats again?” “Too late for that.” I started. Baseball was invented in this country. “You could have hit me with that thing. and the white lines that marked off the foul-lines were untouched. I like watching people squirm. but that was it. “Fist fight going to become a shoot-out?” I asked. Three young Latino males came out of the car wearing baseball caps.” he said. and team logo jerseys.” smiled the middle man.” said the middle man. “I’d prefer an ass-kicking. It would have been a perfect day for a double header. It was pretty early for any baseball to be played.” . ordered?” The middle man nodded slowly. Neither one of them had baseballs or gloves.” the middle man replied. The grass was cut recently.” “Willie. “You know. The colors were black and white.” The middle thug grunted.” replied the middle man. It was at that moment that I reached for my revolver and pointed it at the bat swinging thugs. “I guess a pick-up game is out then?” One of the three swung his bat in my direction. but the day was going to be a terrific one. I was here bright and early.” “But not from me.” “We come here to beat it out of you. so I suspected the worst. The Park was lined with small freshly planted trees running toward the bathhouses.
“Two will die today. I will get a bullet off and there’s nothing you can do about it.” “There’s always turning back. I will not die alone today.” “I don’t want to do this!” “Sammy!” Sammy pointed his gun toward the man in the middle. Oh yeah. A frown wrinkled his forehead.” Sammy shouted.” I said as I pointed my gun to the thug on my right. Do you hear me? You and I will die. You took it to a level you can’t turn back from.” The thug on my left stared at me. They have me pinned to the wall. “Okay. He’s just bluffing. It was clearly written across his face.” Sammy peered at the middle thug.” “Froggy just wanted us to beat him up. “We have to stop this. So lets do this.” “You see?” I smiled. and it had better be quick.” “But I am. “Not this time. Take me out. “Two people will die here today. He wanted no deaths today. He realized that they had made a mistake in trying to approach me.” Sammy knew that there was truth in what I was saying. It’s three against one.” started the middle thug.” said the middle thug. “Don’t listen to him!” shouted the middle thug. and the way things look now. it’s me and you. you’re coming with me. “I will take you with me.com 75 . “Sammy. “We can’t turn back now.” I smiled.” I said. He’s not going to shoot you. “We’ve changed our position now. but you took it to another level.” I felt the imaginary noose around my neck getting tighter.” “I don’t want to die!” He shouted as he turned toward the middle man.” I continued. “I’m going to tell you this. “It’s never too late. It’s probably a promise I wouldn’t be able to keep. He believed that I would shoot him instantly. “Sammy. “Let’s just take him out. We have the upper hand. “Let’s put down our guns. “Just shut up!” demanded the thug in the middle. “He won’t kill you!” “Yeah.bibliotastic. He wanted all of us to put down our guns and walk away.” I continued. I’m not going alone. He wanted all of this to end without bloodshed. Don’t be stupid and don’t let him get to your head!” “No Sammy. “I do like to know who is going to die with me today.Case File: Dog Eats Dog I promised O’Brien that I wouldn’t be involved in anymore shootings with One Eye Froggy’s men anymore.” he nervously replied.” I said.” said the middle thug. I will.” I continued grinning sheepishly. I had to think of something. “But Sammy. He was afraid. shock and bewilderment riddled his eyes. and it showed in his eyes. He wasn’t ready to die and he wanted his partners to understand that. “I don’t want to hurt anyone.” “Sammy. I think it’s going to be you and me. go ahead. “He won’t have a chance to get a bullet off. “He’s trying to get into your head. “Too late!” shouted the thug to my left. I have no intentions of going alone. I’m taking you with me. they’ll kill me. He wanted to end this without him losing his life. “He didn’t want this!” “Don’t be stupid.” he said.” “Don’t point that gun at me!” www. The thought of him being shot in the head tormented him.” he said. Understand that.” “Sure. In fact two of us will be dead. “We came here to just work you over and try to collect the money you owe our boss. and he wanted no part of death. but I won’t die alone. and it looks like it’s going to be me and you. “What’s your name?” I asked.” I said. “Sammy.
” “I don’t want to die. It would really mean a new life for me. but that didn’t make him put down the gun.” said the thug in the middle. He kept it pointed toward the middle thug and he had no intentions of dropping it. I looked briefly at the billboard flashing the seventy-five million dollar lottery prize. That’s when I made my move. The thug on my left swung to the left to face Sammy.” Sammy was willing to shoot one of his own in order to save his own life. Two against two. and dancing with women half my age. I’ve always longed for the sun and the glistening sand off any beaches in the Carribean.” “Make up your minds fast.Frank Atanacio “I don’t want to die. It was just what I had planned. “I have a very itchy finger.” “We can’t shoot each other!” “We don’t have to. and I want to scratch it so bad.” he half whispered. “I don’t want to die. “I am a man of my word. We don’t need to do this. and he did so without realizing it as the middle thug fell quickly to the ground. Go some where warm. “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.” “You’ll shoot me in the back. now!” “I’m telling you. “Go before I do change my mind!” He ran. I turned and shot the man on my left in the head and Sammy shot the middle thug. My shot made him react. Escape this city and its cold.” “What do I do?” “Run back to your car and drive away. If I had it I wouldn’t have to be chasing down cheating spouses. He didn’t do it on purpose as blood splattered all over him. “I told you that only two of us was going to die. “You know he’ll come down on us. relentless winters. Sammy leaned forward as he tried to get a bit closer to the middle thug. Seventy-five million flashing above me as I saw it through my peripheral vision.” he continued.” I said. or getting into gun fights. “Don’t shoot me!” Sammy shouted as it snapped me out of my day dream.” He looked confused. the odds were even. I’d be on the beach in Florida sipping all kinds of exotic drinks with brown skin females. It was a great deal of money. An epiphany unfolded. He looked confused.” he sobbed. It was working like a charm. I laughed.” “Froggy’s not going to like this. . I looked back at the billboard and briefly began to dream about what else I would do with that windfall. I’d be playing cards every night.” “You’re not going to kill me?” “Nope. So what’s it going to be?” Vengeful eyes stared back at Sammy. “We just leave him alone and come back another time.
He collected bad debts. but he wouldn’t back down.” he admitted. “Hey buddy.” he half shouted.” I lied. “What?” He didn’t say anything.” “You shouldn’t be afraid of me. “You might end up dead. He thinks they’re spying on him.” “I understand.” I said. He also had to pay for shaking up Janet.” I smiled. confused. “No. “I’m sorry.” “I said I wasn’t going to hurt you.” he said looking worried. like Carolyn Lopez. The music of Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe was being pumped out of the club and the crowd were dancing as they walked into the club. but it looks like it. or come into the club and wait for your date there.” he continued. “Too many people owe him money. you’re going to have to take your date elsewhere. I could smell liquor on his breath as he stood up-right very quickly. Killing Carolyn Lopez hurt. It was a complete misunderstanding. “But your boss better. “You owe froggy money?” “It seems everyone does. “Can’t park here unless you’re going into the club.” I warned. and he threatened people who owed. and it did hit a soft spot. “The boss doesn’t like anyone sitting in their cars.” Someone said as they knocked on my window. “You know damn well that your boss had her killed. Of course I saw him at the club. “I’m afraid of you.” I said. he always managed to make money from it. He looked at me. They were gearing up for some late night Salsa dancing. He had to pay for that. An enthusiastic crowd had packed the entrance before the bouncers permitted them to enter. I had to let him know that I really didn’t owe him a dime. “I’m not going to hurt you. He wanted to collect money from me that I really never owed. he really isn’t.com 77 . He was getting on my nerves and we really never met face to face. but his goons clocked me before I really made myself known.” “I don’t want any trouble from you. That man has done so much to piss me off. “Do me a favor and move on.” “My boss isn’t a murderer. “Still can’t sit in the car. “You better go before your boss sees you talking tome. I had to confront him. “Then why are you so afraid.” “Okay.bibliotastic.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 30 I parked outside a small club near Ogden Street off of Noble Avenue on the Eastside. I know you ain’t watching him. and I think he was waiting for me to make the first move. He keeps sending thugs my way.” He nodded quickly.” he said.” www.” he added. No matter what Froggy’s been doing. “I’m waiting for a date. He just likes everything to stay neat and clean. It’s a pattern that would soon get me killed if I don’t stay on my toes. I was told that Froggy owned that club too. and I keep knocking them off. When he recognized me his eyebrows crashed down.” I said.” “Your boss is insecure.” I replied. I looked and noticed that it was one of the bouncers from the club.” He looked at me with suspicious eyes. and he doesn’t like to be watched. He didn’t know what to do.” “Of you. and keeping Mike Brandon on the tip of an iceberg.” “You can’t come into the club.
. “What?” “Nothing. “I owe him.” I warned.” I whispered.” “Be careful buddy.” He nodded and ran back across the street.Frank Atanacio He didn’t answer. just go.” I continued. “Idiot. “But he owes me too. “Your boss is no angel.” “You killed Carolyn.” he blurted out.
There was a spicy.” she said in a soft sweet voice. He keeps sending thugs to kick me around. but she wasn’t of an Asian decent.” “Like your dog-fighting business?” “I have no such business. He was sharply dressed in a light tan suit.” I replied.” I said. The woman’s hair fell unconstrained around her oval face.” www. “I’m here to see One Eye Froggy. floral scent that invaded my nostrils. She walked slowly away and I couldn’t keep my eyes off the beauty of her backside.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 31 Confronting your enemy had to be a top priority. and fake frogs sitting on the edges. but he waved them away with his free hand. but I do understand you hire nothing but cowards.” She stuck her hand out for shaking and her perfume was so nice. on the Bridgeport side. I sniffed the air appreciatively. He walked over to me and the two guards followed suit. I just wanted to clear the entire matter up once and for all.” I nodded. A tall thin man came out of a corner office wearing a black eye patch over his left eye. It was in the center of a brand new plaza on the left-side of Main Street. I had to meet with Froggy face to face again. It was like two kittens and a sack trying to get out.” “Drugs. “Mr.” she smiled.” I replied. “Welcome.” “We could have killed you that night.” “It has a real name?” Repressing a smile at my question. she escorted me to a chair.” she corrected. I simply had to try to convince him that the money I owed him was all a misunderstanding.com 79 .” “Mr. “Big mistake. “I’ll tell him that you’re here.” “You come to make a payment?” I smiled. but it made her look so hot. “I’m Stacey. Newsom. It looked like one of those offices you see on HGTV. and the guards walked away. “Willie the Greek arranged this meeting for us. I walked into an ground floor office near the Trumbull Mall.” “At your service. “I’m Nick. Her eyes were slightly slanted. “How can I help you. It was a welcomed invasion. but they all end up dead. and a welcomed sight. “Well?” “What do you do here?” I asked.bibliotastic. and had a walking cane with a gold tip. “I deal in everything. It was a form-fitting tube dress. Mr. There was a miniature waterfall fountain in the center of the spacious waiting area.” She smiled. “But you didn’t. The office was clean and had a graceful selection of colors on the walls. “Nick Barnum?” he asked. I was hoping this time someone wouldn’t hit me from behind. “Can I help you?” I walked up to her with a puppy expression. prostitutes?” “This is a legitimate business. Newsom does have a real name. Near the fountain at the center of the office stood two security guards and a thin woman dressed in a long silver dress. Nick?” “Just Nick. and I had ignored that rule long enough. It had fake lilies floating in the well. “I see that the swollen bump on your neck went down.” he said. “Cowards hit me from behind. That was something that O’Brien wanted me to avoid.
“It was all a misunderstanding. “So.” I started. “I just participate.” “How so?” “When I made that bet. The tall thin woman in the silver dress walked over to me. I’m sure you’re tired of sending men. She wrapped her hands around my upper arm and again her perfume almost had me in a trance.” I smiled. “I’m glad you think I’m funny.” “Whether I could or can’t. “But if you keep sending men my way.” he shouted back as he walked into his office and slammed the door.” “One Eye Froggy. Barnum. like you did.” I said.” “I came to tell you that we have a misunderstanding. There will be a dog-fight at the old glue factory behind Wentfield Park on Railroad Avenue. 1AM.” I said.” “That’s what I like to hear.” They nodded.” he said as he slowly turned around.” “And I didn’t make wages I couldn’t pay. then that means I don’t owe you any money. “I know.” he said firmly.” “I’m tired of killing your men!” I shouted. did you come here to pay off your debt?” “Yeah. “I’m sure a great detective like you could have deduced that.” “You don’t get to tell me what I should or should not do. Mr. “My husband wouldn’t want me to fraternize with deadbeats. “Because I’m no deadbeat.” I said.” he said with a thin smile. about that.” “Just to let you know. “I should leave. “I am in charge of this situation. I had no intentions to bet way over my head.” “I don’t need excuses.” “Then I’ll be there.” “My money will be paid to me by this Friday.” “Oh good. and you will pay me my money. “Mr.” “When?’ “Tomorrow night. “I said I don’t own it. I’m going to kill them and then come after you and shove that cane up your ass!” He smiled.” .” he growled.” “Minimum bet is a thousand dollars. You shouldn’t make wages that you can’t pay. The two security guards walked toward me and stopped in front of me.” “Are you going to be there?” “Yes. “If you want to try and win your money back.” “I’m not planning to give you any excuses.” she said. “Lightens my payroll. Newsom is a dangerous man.” she warned. “If not.” “You don’t really know who I am. Nick PT Barnum will be murdered on Saturday. So lets do each other a favor and call this whole thing off. I thought your bookie understood that all I wanted to bet was ten dollars.” I said.Frank Atanacio “So. I’m tired of killing your men who come after me looking for money.
” she said as she stood at the front door with her hands on her hips. “That’s a fucking fact.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Your opinion.com 81 . “My opinion also thinks you have a nice ass. www.” she said as she escorted me to the front door.bibliotastic.” “That’s not your opinion.” I smiled and walked out.
“Well. I sat down across from him and folded my hands on top of the table. but his greeting was cold.” “He’s right.” “So what we going to do?” “I want you to stop telling me lies. I need to hear it right from your mouth. “Mad at me?” “Look where I am!” he half shouted.” I raised my hand. “It’s me.” “I’m not a criminal.” I said. I knew Mike Brandon’s case was a tough one to crack.” He finally looked up. He did not look up at me.” he mumbled. this whole situation made him soft. He had turned himself in. and the police got him a safe jail cell at the North Avenue Correctional Center. “Or Frog eats Frog. and his rational mind wasn’t biting.. He’s a tough son of a bitch. Independent.” “What the. “I don’t think that’s funny. “I also heard you were tapping one of the witnesses.” .” “How can you do that to me?” “What?” I looked confused. “You’re not a murderer. I owe Froggy some big time money.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 was a respected deacon that slipped through an evil crack.” I said trying to comfort him. and I don’t think he’s afraid of anyone. “I understand things didn’t go right for you while you were gambling on the dogs. It wanted me to pound the whole truth out of him. but for some strange reason.” “Me neither. He had on prison rags. He knew I was coming.” he said somberly.” I said. “Mike?” He nodded. you better know. and I liked her. “I don’t know. “It’s a damn dog eats dog world.” “I know. I hear he’s got Willie the Greek running errands for him. “Hell. It took him down some serious dead end streets. they didn’t go right for me either. and unreceptive. He’s always been Mr. I nodded.” I nodded. “She was cute. “Captain Roque says this is best for my safety. that just didn’t look right on him. either. I shot more men in the passed few days then I have ever done in my whole life.” he whispered.. He was sitting at a long conference table shackled like an animal. He had a little something extra that he didn’t want me to know. He was hard at the core. The serious voice in my head wanted to shout and take apart the deacon for withholding information. only because he made it a mystery. Hell.” I smiled.” “I heard. You know Willie.
so she had to work it off. I didn’t get the chance to smile back. They were hurting. “It’s been difficult.” “I’m going to another dog-fight.com 83 . but they started beating up on my congregation.” Mike added. and mugging my friends.” he said. The deacon looked at me again. “She was hot.” “Brenda told you?” I nodded. “I’m sorry about Carolyn. Then I returned my attention back to Mike Brandon.” “I don’t like it in here.” “No. She peeked into the conference room and smiled at me. “I’m serious Mike.” “Why did you pick her?” He asked. I didn’t know the minium bet was a grand. and I couldn’t pay. “I know you don’t.” “She’s no Zoraida. There was a rough edged wind blowing raindrops around. They caught me off guard. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. she owed Froggy money too?” “She did. “I’m going to rattled cages even harder now that I know you’re in here safe.” I replied. “Yeah.” I replied.” I nodded. “She got what she deserved. I was horny. For a second my gaze connected with a female correction officer making her rounds.” I said.” he replied.” He shrugged his shoulders as his shackles made a clinging noise.” “Hey!” I started. “And she couldn’t do anything about it.” “That’s messed up.bibliotastic.” “So what really happened that night?” He looked at me with sunken eyes. “Getting Froggy for everything. I knew it was late and I hoped Brenda wasn’t waiting up for me.” I replied. “I walked in betting above my head. “Death isn’t what people deserves. “It was that night that really stirred me up. His eyes were rimmed with red.” he said. I wasn’t going to pay. “I liked her. “The truth. me too. She hated when I came home late. I fought through it and made it to the dog-fight.” “What. “But when you’re cleared of all this shit. you have a reputation to mend. “So what are you up to next?” he asked.” “And what’s the girl’s name again that you were tapping?” “Carolyn.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “They killed her. All this was not going to stop until I paid them. I know you didn’t mean that. I nodded.” “Damn Froggy got everybody by the balls.” he said.” I said.” “Me too. Every www.” I nodded. “Why is that?” “You taking advantage of her too.” I said. she’s a woman and I’m a man.
running orders to the bar. I pushed across to the bar and tried to settle my face in front of Carlos Rivera. There were so many people there. “I am certain of it.” “I was scared. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t care about the dog’s condition. and ripped it apart. and I couldn’t walk away. I had won and I wanted to collect my money. I even saw Carolyn Lopez there wearing a tight skirt. If I had gotten her involved before all of this started. or making death noises. As many times as I’ve been there I really haven’t seen a familiar face. She was the rock in my heart that kept me stable. “Well?” “He got up. I couldn’t let that settle.” “I was so excited and nervous.Frank Atanacio time I did. but I wouldn’t have recognized them out of the club. hunger in my eyes. “There is something delicate about how you’re telling me what happened. but then I realized that she was doing it all for my own good. that hit me like a ton of bricks.” “So you didn’t call his mama names. strangling her. It was me. Nick. Well. The other Mike Brandon wasn’t there. anyways.” I said.” “And are you sure you saw him standing back up?” “Now that I think of it. “And you knew that. but he had signaled to Carlos not to pay me the winnings.” He nodded. and that image would have tangled with his heart until it hurt. Well. “Ten thousand dollars. alone. she would read me the riot act. and then making a cutting motion. The dog just died! The sad part about that. and he didn’t throw the first swing?” He shook his head back and forth indicating no. Carlos told me that the other dog was disqualified and no one was getting any winnings. “There was no robbery. and that he wasn’t going to pay you?” “No.” “So you hit him?” “I deck that son of a bitch!” “Did he get up?” He paused. He would have needed it to wipe away the image of that dead dog. The other Mike Brandon would have needed some strong drinks in order to turn his back on the darkness. Sometimes I felt like making love to her. “Why you smiling?” “Because this makes more sense to me then that made up crap you told me when all this started. smiling. I remember that night clearly as the mirror behind the ranks of bottles of booze stood at such attention. kicking her around the room. laughing and having a good time.” I smiled. “He didn’t say he didn’t carry that much money on him. I saw Froggy in that mirror putting his fingers to his neck.” “How much was your take?” I asked. It was odd that I remembered that. Or at least my mind wouldn’t allow me to recognize them.” . I wouldn’t be here in jail.” he replied. That was odd.” He smiled.” “Wow. “What about the robbery at your church?” I asked. I didn’t realized it then. I stood in the raised entryway of the club looking down at the dogs fighting.” he paused briefly. I met some people there. and she wouldn’t be home. Nick. “This time I believe you because I can see the conviction in your eyes. I never seen a dog just die without whimpering. and greed in my heart. the dogs were going at it and my dog took a bite out of the other dog’s throat. Well.” “I got your back. but some bar backs held him back.
” “Too much confidence in that skinny girl. “I got until Friday to pay him back.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. She’ll be fine.” “She can take care of herself. The deacon nodded again. right?” “Not yet.” warned the deacon. “You got something planned.bibliotastic. I nodded.com 85 .” “She’ll be fine.” He nodded. “He’s got you turned every which way. but I bet something will fall in my lap.” “Just stay clear of him.” He nodded. www. trust me. “Just watch Janet. I hope.” “He’s a cut throat.” “He’s making me a cut throat too.” I replied.” I said.
They saw a man down and came rushing over. He hit like a child. “What?” “You’re sitting in my seat. you win. “Really?” “I’m going to take you down!” “Oh boy. He came toward me moving slowly. I put down twenty dollars. his knees occasionally buckling. you think you’re tougher?” “Yeah.” . I wanted to tell him what Brandon told me. “Becks. and failed. “Bottle only. “Listen.Frank Atanacio Chapter 33 I had called Detective Peter O’Brien to meet me at Corners Bar and Grill on Boston Avenue. I’m not going to lie down.” I started. The man had soft hands. “But I was here first.” he shuddered. “I don’t want to fight. so I basked in the pleasures. Two bar maids helped him up to his feet and he shot me a side ways glance.” “I’m sorry. scores of patrons all wanting to be witnesses to a bar room scuffle.” I said. It almost made me regret my chivalry. “Get off my stool?” I laughed.” The man took a swing at me and I expected pain. attempted to throw a punch. “Hey. I sat at the bar and it was the first time I ever got one of the cushioned stools.” He stared at me for a second. and I’m here to give you one. “You were looking for a fight. He clung on to one of the women and forced his way toward me. will you?” “No.” I said The crowd surrounded the man on the floor. He just looked at us. but the bartender didn’t grab it right away. but he pushed my hand away.” He snarled. You can have it. I pushed him and he immediately fell to the floor. and pity. It wasn’t much of a scuffle. “I didn’t even hit you. are you?” “I still think I can take you.” I called out to a bartender. “That’s my seat. “I don’t want to fight. as if he didn’t understand my reply. It was a rare treat for me. expecting a bar room brawl.” he said.” He nodded. I do. and I wanted to let him know that there was another dog-fighting contest brewing. So please take your sorry ass out of my face. but the people reacted differently. “You think it’s funny?” he said flatly.” “No! I’m in a fighting mood. I watched his progress with a mixture of confusion for taking my shove like a man. and I’m not giving it up to anyone. There was no pain.” I replied. and bar backs.” “Go lie down.” I sighed.” “Tough guy?” “Very tough. You want the stool. “Here we go again. “I think you’re funny. I wanted simple to keep him in the mix. you’re not going to start with me again. body guards.” someone said from behind me. The bartender caught my attention and pointed to the beer he placed in front of me. Just because you’re bigger than me. I had gallantly offered to help the man up. for trying to take my shove like a man. “Listen.” I stood closer to him.
Case File: Dog Eats Dog
The bar maid that helped him sighed, wondering if it was crueler to allow him to fight me. Or should she have left him on the floor. She nodded, looked down as the man throw up on her new sneakers. “Fuck!” she shouted. The body guards had seen enough. They walked over to the man and tossed him out of the bar. That’s when Peter O’Brien walked in. Always never around when you need one.
I managed to slip into the club without any of the bouncers seeing me. I must have cut my arm on some wire mesh they used to block the back entrance. My arm was bleeding, but I didn’t remember cutting it. Nevertheless I was in the club. It was well after 1: AM, but I promised Stacey I’d show up. I didn’t tell O’Brien about the dog-fighting contest, but I got my camera phone in my back pocket. I had plans to record what I can. It was my plan to take down the big frog. “Mr. Nick?” I turned and saw Stacey standing in front of me with a drink in her left hand. She wore a long shiny red dress that was clinging to her body, just right. “Stacey.” She smiled. “Are you setting me up?” She smiled again. “It doesn’t matter,” I said. “I would have come anyways.” “I’m setting someone up,” she smirked, “But it’s not you.” “Oh?” “My husband,” she added. “Oh, how so, and why?” “Let’s step into that back room,” she said as she grabbed my arm. “I’ll explain why.” “Where is your husband?” “He’s coming for the main event.” I nodded as I allowed her to escort me into a back room. I turned toward the fighting area and I saw two dogs getting ready to put on a display. The pit-bulls were damaged. One had an empty eye socket, chipped tooth, and the other had a torn ear that was sewn back together by a non-professional. The management were grooming the dogs for fighting as they were taunting the poor animals. I heard the bell ring and then Stacey closed the door behind me. “You’re going to miss the dog fight,” I said. “That’s not the main event,” she replied. “Those dogs look beat.” “They all are.” “Damn shame.” She nodded. “So,” I started. “How are you going to get back at your husband?” “He had Carolyn Lopez killed,” she said. I nodded. “She was my best friend.” “Mine too for a short while.” “Froggy treated her like a welcome mat,” she said softly. “Never gave a chance to pay him. He treated her ex-husband like shit too. I think that’s why he really never gave Carolyn what she deserved.” I nodded. “She liked you,” she said almost in an eerie calm. “She really liked you.”
Case File: Dog Eats Dog
The announcer’s voice from the next room filled the office. “Listen up, everybody. This is your chance to hit it big with the main event coming up early this morning. Minimum bet has been dropped to five hundred dollars, so everyone could get in on the action. Make sure you make your wagers early!” “Well,” she started as she sat down in a small sofa. “The main event will make him lots of money. I want to make sure he loses.” “How?” “He’s going to take heavy bets on the dogs, and when he looks at the odds he’s going to drug one of them so he’d be guaranteed to win. That’s where you come in.” I titled my head sideways. “I get all the betting slips and I calculate his winnings,” she continued. “I hand them over to Malone and he does his thing. Little will he know I’ll hand him your betting slip after he counts out the advantage. He will then wink at the dog handlers, and they’ll do their thing. You’re going to win, because I’ll make sure of it.” “What should I bet?” “Fifty thousand,” she smiled. “Dollars?” “Of course, ten times the amount.” “Wow, I’d have to sell my ass for cash if I should lose.” “Trust me,” she grinned sheepishly. “No one would buy that ass for cash. Not even in prison.” “And you know that how?” “Carolyn said you had a flat ass.” “Even the dead lie.” “Just bet that amount.” “And my dog will win?” “You’ll get ten times the amount.” “Ten times, boy that sounds pretty.” “That’s why people bet on the dogs,” she replied. “Damn, if I didn’t love animals so much, I’d be here every night. Now I understand what was going through the deacon’s mind. Or Carolyn’s mind. It seems like easy money, and ten times the amount is great.” She nodded. “But folks can get hooked.” “They all do.” I smiled. “That’s probably the reason the guards let you in,” she said. “I snuck in.” “We saw you on camera,” she smiled. “You voyeur you.” She smiled again. “All that for nothing,” I said. “I even cut my arm trying to come in undetected.” “Your fault,” she said. “Should have come in with everyone else. Trust me, you wouldn’t have been stopped.” “Says you.” “Of course,” she replied. “I’m Froggy’s wife.” “Bad taste you have,” I added.
” “What about you?” “I get to watch him squirm. and I don’t want to talk about it. you understand?” “I’m just picturing you naked. I just wanna make sure the gambling information I give you goes our way. he’ll believe you. She smiled as she stood there completely nude.” “Then let my actions speak for me.” “Are you sure you can handle it?” “With flying colors.” she answered.” “How do I know you’re not doing this so I could owe him more money?” “You can tell him what I had planned. He will then place a bet on the other dog for half as much. and obeyed. repeat it all over again. “He won’t like it.” she ordered.” I continued.” “Just do your part. I smiled.” “Take off your clothes. and give you the difference. “It’s the prize.” she replied.” “Crowded room. “I hope you can handle this because all I hear from you is a lot of talk. “When you tell him of the drugged dog.” “So you’re giving me a hot tip?” She nodded. Then you take that money and pay off Carolyn’s share. . the fix is in.” I said.” “Now.” she said. So you see.” “Okay.” “He’ll figure a way.” “You know he is not an honest man. “Good. I can handle it. You figure he’ll deduct what you owe him.” She smiled with the urge to laugh at my stupidity.“I said.” she continued. “Do you think you can handle me?” “With flying colors. “Long story. but he’ll have to pay. and the deacon. getting me all hot and bothered. someone will hear the dog you choose and they will bring it to the dummy bettor. “Big house.” “Just pick a dog. “He wouldn’t know the amount because I’m not going to include it until everything’s counted.” she replied. “My dog will win.” she said as she began removing her clothes. right?” “It’s not the dog that will win. I have a dummy bet on the dog you don’t chose. “Trust me Stacey.Frank Atanacio “I had no choice. “What makes my dog the winner?” “The amount of money you’re betting on. “He can’t afford not to pay you.” “I like your style. okay.” she explained.” I replied.
. “I thought someone else was going to over hear my choice. Nick Barnum. but it didn’t matter. I pushed the door out her hand and walked out first. “Two heads are better than one. I didn’t know which one to pick.bibliotastic.” “Not if you’re just getting my. www.” “Oh. but they were all too busy gambling and getting drunk. I expected a lot of eyes on us. but she didn’t. “Well?” “Dingy. “Bets.” “Just making sure.” “Just give me your freaking name!” I smiled.” I replied. but I felt that I had to.” he said. Stacey walked over to me and stood there with her arms crossed. at your service. “Mr. She was calm and relaxed and I was tapping a married woman.” One of the bouncers laughed. “Damn.com 91 . “What?” “The other big show. She followed me right out the office.” I whispered. “No. “Fifty?” I nodded.” someone called from behind me. Frog with one eye. I thought she was going to stay behind. How much dangerous could it get? “Ready?” she asked. “Which dog?” I looked over to the two dogs in the fighting area. never mind. you are?” I nodded. “This is the main event. and Froggy looked embarrassed.” she said.” “Your name?” “Nick Barnum.” I said. “Another round?” She laughed. I turned to face Froggy and two bouncers. “Don’t get cute..” “I thought you were getting the big show. Stacey said that the dog I picked was going to win.” I said. “Mr. it’s time for the big show. “But first I’m going to try to win some of it back.” said a man as he stood in front of me.” We got dressed and headed for the door. “I’ll take the one with the scar on the right side of his face.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 35 I knew there was no reason to hurry as we had sex for about an hour. It was just too easy. “Did you come to pay me my money?” “I did.” She smiled and walked away.” “Dingy?” “I guess. fifty. she didn’t even wish me luck.” She giggled.” “Yeah.
The proof would be in that ring. “Let him brag all he wants. I’m going to turn the tables on you.” “Good luck on your wager.” I said. “How about you.” “For your sake. “If I win. to help you get use to them. “No.” “Let’s see about that.” I replied. “I just know I can back my shit up. Barnum. It’s not going to be about the money anymore.” he said.” I started.” “Is that so?” “Yes.” he said. “You better pay me. it’ll be my pleasure to serve you.” he grinned.” I lied.” replied Froggy.” he said. “Funny now. “You’re a funny guy.” “I try to be. how much did you wager?” “I don’t gamble.” “Yeah whatever. can we shut him up for you?” asked a bouncer.” “So is your momma!” So is your momma? I simply had nothing else to say to him.” I replied. . “He looks like he can take a licking and keep on ticking.” He smiled.” he replied as he turned and walked away. “I’ll give you one now. and you don’t pay me.” “Boss.Frank Atanacio “What dog did you bet on?” “The black and white younger looking dog. I’m going to kick your ass everyday until I get paid.” “You are aggressive.” “Well.” He looked confused. “I hope you lose. “Gamblers are losers. Just to keep your body guards busy while I beat the shit out of you. “And Mr.” “If you’d like.” I said.” “Until you get killed. You know. “And I’m going to get a few bouncers and body guards of my own. “I can give you a taste of things to come.” “No?” “It’s going to be about how many ass-kicks you can take before you die. “Ass kicks.” “And when I win.” I said.
The fight was over and my dog won hands down. “Winning?” Someone asked from behind me. “It’s just an animal.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 36 The pit-bulls dreaded every step into the center of the ring. not people.” he continued.” I whispered. the dog dies. “Anyways. She was sitting next to her husband.” “Not god’s ear.” I smiled.” “I don’t give a shit about the dog. I turned to look and noticed Rusty Miller breathing heavy behind me. I had a difficult time wondering why humans were so savage like.” he said.” “It’s a life!” I half shouted.” “Why aren’t you happy?” www. They weren’t sad because a dog died. There was no chance of either one of them to live. “I got five hundred bucks riding on this Dingy dog.” “Your words to god’s ear. “You win. I got a look at Stacey as she turned away from the fight.” “Big money.com 93 .” I whispered. and he had a hard expression on his face. It was just a sickening sight. I’ll be out of the red. “Even you.” “You’ll win my friend. “Never mind. He was actually enjoying the fight. “Doesn’t matter whose ear. “Hey man. They were sad because they lost a great deal of money. We enjoy watching other species ripped a part and we bet money on it.” he smiled as the dogs continued fighting to the end. “I just placed a bet on this main event. and then their lives would be done.” I whispered.” I couldn’t help but to notice all the blood. There was no good life. pure and undiluted. “I wonder what’s going through his sick little mind. no better life.” he added. “If my dog wins. It feels so good. “Damn look at all that blood. not people.” The fight began and I struggled with wave after wave of cruelty to animals being displayed right in front of me.” said Rusty Miller.” I said softly.” I whispered as I took a seat on a white plastic picnic chair. “Anyways. I turned to face the crowd and there were so many sad faces. “I really don’t want to see this. Their was a hint of jubilee in his eyes. “Yes!” Rust Miller shouted.” he said as he sat down in an empty plastic seat beside me. Where does anyone get off by making such a statement? “Cops should arrest everyone here. By animals. To see violence the way it should be displayed.” I pointed as Dingy put the final blows on his opponent.” “Congratulations.” I grimaced.” he continued. and no neutral life.” I nodded slowly in agreement. “This is why I come here.” I said. “Look. Rusty Miller said animals should rip each other apart.bibliotastic. I looked into the glowering face of Rusty Miller. It was going to come down to this fight.” he started. “You will win. “My god I can’t believe I finally won. did you win?” He asked. a lost gambler. “I see you got money on this fight. It was misery for the dogs. “This is action. He nodded. and felt very sick to my stomach. “Damn. “Yeah.
” He was angry. I didn’t have to stand to close to smell it. and I expect to get paid.” he said as he looked toward Froggy.” I said.” I smirked as he was almost in my face. The bookie was a small roundish man with red cheeks and balding jet black hair. I grabbed the bouncer in front of me and shot him twice in the foot.” Froggy came racing over with his body guards in tow. you must think I’m a push-over.” I replied.” said Froggy.” I warned.” “You know what I’ll do. “As long as I get mine.Frank Atanacio “A dog just got killed. “What’s this?” “I come to collect. “This can’t be tight. I saw it deep in his eyes. His partner failed to catch him.” he said. “I get it. “Let that be a lesson.” I said. “If I don’t get my money.” Froggy said.” “None of these bets are legal.” I said.” “You don’t get it.” He was agitated.” “Nope.” I said.” “Fuck them. In fact.” he said.” “Someday you will. “Or at least I better get it in one week.” he started feeling the pressure as a bigger crowd surrounded us.” he said as he pushed his way toward me. Froggy grinned mirthlessly. The crowd was stirring around the bookie as they were paying their losses. You think I’m the type to allow anyone to insult him like this? You’re barking up the wrong tree. “I mean this bet wasn’t factored in. “It’s right. “What do you want me to do?” one bouncer asked as he stepped in front of me. “I don’t think this bet was legally taken. “Deduct what I owe you. “I’ll give you one week to come up with the rest of my money.” I said. “I”ll tear up the note you have with me and we’ll call it even. Nick!” .” “I don’t understand. “What seems to be the problem?” “I can’t pay this man. “That’s my warning. “I want my money. He had tired eyes.” “Did everybody hear the threat?” he shouted. he just moved to one side as the wounded man fell passed him. “Hey. tell them to come down now and arrest me for threatening your life. “It was taken properly. you ass!” “I mean. “I think I found it. “How dare you dictate!” he shouted. I also want you to deduct what the deacon owes. “There’s some kind of mistake. I walked up to the bookie and handed him my slip. “And I want my winnings.” I said as I holstered my gun. “Call the police.” “Man you’re looking for ugly.” “Don’t threaten me!” He shouted. I pushed him toward the other one as he fell to the floor. “I don’t want to tell you again.” replied the bookie.” I said. “I’m going to kill you and your two bouncers.” I said. and What Carolyn Lopez owed. I promise you that.” I said.” he said as he stood up. Froggy looked at my slip and realized it was genuine. and smelly breath. “Yeah. “Let him go for now. plus the interest you require. He reeked.
I wanted to jump on him. and pity. She didn’t even blink as she grinned. She wiped the blood away with her hand. stay out of it.” I said as I just watched on helplessly. Froggy turned to her and punched her in the face as hard as he could. He stopped. for taking a punch like man.” he growled. but did not turn around.” she said as she touched his upper arm. “You’ve never been caught up in such turmoil. It was probably a direct insult toward her husband.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Let’s go home. “Let’s go.” Froggy said to the other bouncer as he ignored the other one on the floor. The blow knocked her on her ass. and again It looked like an insult. “One week. She stood up and moved slowly toward the door.” she said.” “I said. www.” Stacey said as she made her way through the crowd.” She smiled almost sheepishly. Little bitch. “I said one week!” He stormed out pushing everything and everyone out of his way.com 95 . She was clinging to the bar as she forced her way toward the exit. but that would have made him suspicious. “One week!” I shouted. knees occasionally buckling in several places. “Stay out of this.bibliotastic. and blood shot out of her nose. “Too many people. I watched her progress with a mixture of admiration for standing up to her husband. but didn’t make a sound.” “Please. “Never touch me again.
” he replied. “But he owes me a great deal of money.” “What?” “He was quickly released on bail. “What?” “You’ll make him pay you. “He has already hurt the deacon.” “How?” “His wife.” he frowned. He has murdered Carolyn Lopez. Hell. but it served good coffee and cake.” I said.” “Good.” “I hope you guys have someone watching him. “You know that’s illegal?” I nodded. Do I make myself clear?” I just stared at him. I gave him one week to pay.” he replied slowly. “But you did it anyways?” I nodded again. “The captain sent Victor Cruz and Wilfredo Fuentes to keep a tale on him.” O’Brien nodded.” I said.” I said. but I promised him I’ll give him a taste of his own medicine.” “He’s not going to pay. and they were best friends. “Why don’t you just let me rattle his cage for a little bit. “Nick?” “He rattled my cage for his payment.” “We can’t prove that.” I started. because you were just trying to help out the deacon. broke into my office and stole my petty-cash.” “We did. I won’t take the money. he even has Willie the Greek on his payroll. He had received my photo text messages I sent to his computer and had now believed that there was dog-fighting was a reality. We met at a coffee shop on Pennsylvania Avenue.” I smiled.” “Why would she go back on her husband?” “Because that marriage is a farce. “So you placed a big bet. “Yeah. “Do you really think he’s going to pay me?” O’Brien smiled.. We can take it from here.” “Captain Roque says he’s going to overlook this. “I hope you guys go to his office and pick his stank ass up.” I said.” “He might hurt the people around you.” “What?” “His wife Stacey told me that he took care of Carolyn Lopez. “Who do you have watching him?” I asked.” “Come on Pete. “But we want you to keep out of this now.” “Good guys.” . “I can.” said O’Brien. “That man can be very dangerous.Frank Atanacio Chapter 37 I wasn’t surprised that O’Brien knew about what I did last night at the club.” said O’Brien. We sat at the counter talking about what transpired last night. and I strongly advice you not to take the payment if he offers it to you.” “I’m out. It was a small coffee shop. “And that’s what I don’t want to happen.
” “Just stay away from Froggy.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “And she will testify?” “I don’t know. you need to talk to her.” he warned.” “If she doesn’t. He just had to say it. and I knew that he knew I wasn’t really going to stay away from Froggy. “I plan to. I knew he wanted to protect me. We got that all out of the way as I sipped my coffee.” he said.bibliotastic.” I nodded. “We’ll take care of him. www.com 97 . “I’m serious Nick.” “I said okay!” O’Brien was eating a doughnut and I looked at him with curious eyes. and I just had to agree.
“So let him start pushing us. “We’ll handle it Nick. right?” I asked.” he replied.” “I know. By the time Janet punched in 911. now let him start touching ours.” I nodded.”He said. You can trust me on that.” I sat tensely. I heard. “Good. the thugs had gotten to her. . “Did you hear what I said?” he asked.” “He’s gotten my attention. My mouth was so dry that I had to take several sips of coffee before I was able to ask.” “I can’t believe Janet would just lay down without a fight. looking hard at O’Brien. I told you at that coffee shop to stay away from Froggy. It’s what Janet would have wanted me to do. but you have to let us handle this. okay Nick?” “Deacon?” “We’re going to release him when this is all finalized.” “Okay. “But they took her down a notch.” “I hope so.” “Because we arrested him. “We’re going to try and get everything in. I can’t believe they would do something like this.” I nodded.” I said knowing damn well that she was probably caught off guard. I knew he meant well. look around you.” “Have I ever lied to you?” I looked around my office again and shook my head from side to side indicating no.” “You’re going after him for this too. “Everything is going to go down well. “Too many people are getting hurt because you’re sticking your nose in way too deep.” “How about B B?” “I have Eggy watching her. I’m sure she wants to know that you’re okay.” How is she doing?” “She’ll live. she was calling my name. They beat her up and almost left her for dead. “I heard. Do you understand me?” “Pete.” “I hope so. “Even the murder of Carolyn Lopez.” he said. He had heard about what happened to Janet and he too was enraged. but I had to pay Froggy a visit.” “He keeps touching my spots. I had to move around so I could distract myself before I lost my composure. She was struck several times and it was the first blow that fractured her ribs. “Now clean up this mess and go visit your secretary in the hospital.” I said. “Consider your investigation closed. and he was most certainly going to receive it just as loud and clear.” “He’s pushing me. That Froggy wanted to send me a message.Frank Atanacio Chapter 38 I couldn’t bear to sit at my desk. It was my turn to send him a message.” he said. O’Brien came to my office and looked around.” he said. and as she cowered in stunned pain. and I received it loud and clear.” “Leave this one too us. “This one will not slip through our fingers. This time I mean it.” he replied.
are you the mom?” She nodded. That just wasn’t right.” she screamed.” “Her husband.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 39 I found Janet’s mother in the waiting room outside the intensive care unit. her boss. I looked over toward Janet’s mother and saw the look of pain washing over her face.” she continued sobbing. “Why did they do this to her?” she asked while trying to catch her breath.” he said as he tried looking into her eyes.” I nodded. she tries to squeeze me.” “Thank God. “What?” “She said it while they wheeled her in here. She was weeping quietly. “Janet suffered some broken bones and same and muscle bruising. “Nothing to worry yourself. “She’s a good girl. “It’s nothing you did. “Did you want to fill out paperwork for your eh wife?” “I let my dear old mother in-law do it. as though she was afraid of opening her mouth because the screams would just come pouring out.” she laid a gentle hand on her lips.” “She’s my baby. We just want to make sure everything goes smoothly. Her hair was in a net. He looked at me with a sideways glance. “We’re going to keep her here a little longer than expected just watch some vital organs. right?” she said abruptly. “But other than that. I just want you to pray for my baby. The doctor came out and walked over to Janet’s mother. “But make sure all billing goes to Nick PT Barnum. “Mine too. She’s going to be just fine. “Hi.com 99 .” I whispered. Janet’s mother seemed suddenly flustered. “I heard. I didn’t want to answer that question.” I nodded..” “Mama–“ ” Nick. Her painted lips were clamped together tightly.” Janet’s mother blurted.” “Even near death. www.” I said. “Nick. and I was thinking about my checking account. so I knew the news was going to be positive. “I don’t want to know. He didn’t have a worried look on his face.bibliotastic.” he said. She was worried sick. the tears running down her cheeks. I too felt relief entering my body. “Is there a problem with her organs?” I asked. “You do work with dangerous people.” “That’s noted on her files. She had on her night gown and a blue knitted sweater covering her up. It was obvious that she just ran out of her house as fast as she could. “You are?” “Ahhh.” she sobbed.” I replied softly.” I nodded.” he said. and she had it pinned up.
Frank Atanacio “Mama.” she said. “I don’t care how much it cost. “I’ll check on her when they move her to recovery. whatever it takes to get her back on her feet is okay with me. I smiled. She smiled. She looked better. “Tell her I was here. .” I said.” “Okay Nick.” She smiled. just do what you got to do.” I said.
” she added. and noticed that it was empty.” she said.” he replied.” I nodded. The water fountains were off.” “Oh. www. “He’s with me Arnold. “I have orders.com 101 . I went inside.” she replied as she walked over to me and kissed my cheek. He will keep them out of jail.” she said.” he continued.” I said. but that didn’t stop me. “And you know this?” I asked as a rhetorical question. “Nick?” I turned and I saw Stacey standing behind me. I’m so surprised that he hasn’t had you killed yet. “What the hell happened to you?” “He had to put me in my place. but I saw a tall thin man walking out. “That bastard worked me over last night when he got home. “Stacey?” “Look. “Stacey?” “He has three men on his payroll that’s going to take the fall for everything that happened. He’s going to hire the best lawyers to defend them even if it takes a lifetime. I went by the security desk. It was probably closed to the public. The security guard on duty emerged from the back door wiping his hangs on a paper towel. “We’re closed.” he shouted. “Isn’t that.” “Mam. he’s tried.” she said as she tried smiling.. I gotta try. “You won’t be able to. “Where is that little weasel?” “He’s out hiring the best lawyers the state has to offer. “Froggy can have me killed in a minute.” “I’m okay.. “Trust me Arnold. “That’s an order.” she paused briefly. and she was wearing a tee-shirt and black jeans. Nick. and he will not harm you.” He nodded and walked over to his security desk. and I’m just saving your life.” “No you don’t. “He’s trying to get off?” She didn’t answer.” she replied.?” “I said.” “But Mam.” “I’m suppose to harm him. I heard a toilet flush. I had noticed the sign in front stating that the office is closed.” “What?” She nodded slowly. he’s with me. Her face was covered in bruises. “Why don’t you go to the police?” She didn’t answer. “I come here to pay Froggy back for what he did to my secretary.bibliotastic.” she replied. and the lights were dim.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 40 The evening was getting tougher to accept when I drove to Froggy’s office on Main Street. and pay them well.” “And he’ll keep on trying. “Everything went as planned.
and Janet?” “War causalities. “Nick. Consider yourself a winner. it’ll all be over. “I’ll find out the time and date. He just watched on as if he was awaiting instructions.” “I don’t believe you for one minute.” “You asked whose going to stop you!” “I didn’t mean you. “Stacey.” she held both my upper arms and looked directly into my face.” “What about the deacon.” .” she said through clenched teeth. stop hitting me. “Hit me. “That hurts!” I shouted.” she said.” she replied.” “Poor sap is going to end up dead. he’ll pay you.” “I’m just going over there to ask for my money. and Carolyn Lopez?” She didn’t answer.” “I don’t know the time or what day.” she replied. “Stacey?” “No.” “Funny guy. “They’re going to meet at a restaurant on the Post Road. but did not say a word. “He didn’t pay me yet and I want to keep him honest. “When his men turned themselves in. “He will clear their names. “If it means keeping you off his back. “I just want you to be safe. “He said he wasn’t clearing deadbeats.” She slapped me again. right?” “No. I think. “Hit me!” “I’m not going to hit you. “He blamed his bookie.” she said.” “Not because of my bet.Frank Atanacio “Where is he searching for these god sent attorneys?” “Fairfield.” “Whose going to stop me?” She slapped my face and stood directly in front of me waiting for me to slap back.” “Just let it go. He’s going to kill you.” “For him.” she said.” she replied.” she replied. Carolyn. “I’m just saying that you’re pushing this just a little too far. “I won’t let you do it. The security guard stood from his desk.” I said.” I replied.” “Nick.” I said. “He is keeping me out of the loop now. “I meant Froggy. Nick.” she said while holding me back. “That’s all. “You can’t keep making trouble.” “Did he clear the deacon. not me.” She nodded slowly.” She grimaced. even if they’re dead.” “He’ll pay you. Diamonds.” I said mostly to myself. “Then this war isn’t over!” “Nick you can’t mean that. You beat him in his own game.” she said.” “I know the place.” she said as she grabbed my hand.
” “I know you want to. “He’s just doing his job. “Arnold..com 103 . “That was part of the agreement. “You can’t put up with him anymore.” “His debt was paid in full. “I will.” She nodded slowly.” Stacey said..” I added. go back to your duties. www.” she said.” “This is a gambling debt pay-off?” “I was loyal to him.” “Be careful. “And why did you marry him?” “To pay off. I smiled.” I nodded and walked out. Don’t you want some type of justice?” She looked down. “I don’t want your husband to get away with what he did.” “Please. but didn’t say another word. and I plan to finish it. “Listen Stacey.” she said as she pulled me into the nearest office.” “Everything is fine.” she half whispered. “Is everything alright?” asked the security guard.” she said.bibliotastic. He started this whole thing. He glanced at me. “Look what he did to you. but I don’t want you to get hurt.Case File: Dog Eats Dog She nodded and backed away slowly. “Don’t call me a monkey if you can’t back it up. “Is this monkey giving you a hard time. “Let me go take care of him. I kissed her bruised lips.” I started.” “How do you know I can’t handle myself?” I said as I looked into her battered face.” I said.
” “It’s better than nothing. He sighed heavily.” he said. It was a place where families came in and enjoyed a very good meal at very low prices. give us a break. “What do you know?” “You have confessions. “Froggy.” I smiled.” “I’m sure it will. “If she would have come forward and gave us Froggy.” I replied. “What about Carolyn. but at these prices. “It is nothing!” “It’s going to satisfy the State. “Come on Nick. He half smiled. “What’s good here?” he asked.” “She’s afraid. He didn’t even say hello. but that doesn’t do anything for me. “What we have will stick.” he said. right?” “You said Stacey had different information. but she wasn’t going to spill the beans. He didn’t stop to ask if I was ready to order. we wouldn’t have taken those sworn statements.” I replied.” I said as I took a sip of my water. O’Brien walked in and sat across from me.” I nodded.” He shot a glance my way.” O’Brien added. and those dogs that died?” “It’s all on paper. “Sounds good.Frank Atanacio Chapter 41 At noon the After Cafe on Edna Street roared with business. “I’m buying.” I said. I opened up the menu and notice almost everything on it was under five dollars. “Froggy’s people are going to issue a statement and they’re going to fire all of those involved. I nodded. “BLT. .” I smiled. I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining and take advantage of the bargains. “And Froggy isn’t one of them.” he replied. “Right?” “They confessed to everything. “Froggy still walks.” I said. “They’ll do hard time.” he said.” said O’Brien. but didn’t speak.” “Ready to order?” asked the waiter as he stood by us waiting to jot down our order. I couldn’t believe that they’d still be in business charging these low prices. The waiter came over quickly and handed O’Brien a menu.” “We would have protected her.” “Of course you know this is all bull shit. The waiter came to me and handed me a menu. I’d give him a pass. “So you’re not going to ask me about Froggy?” “I already know. “Something bothering you?” I asked.
” I said. “Deal with it.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “BLT. That’s going to take a big bite out of his gravy train.” “You do shake cages too hard.” said O’Brien as he took a bite out of his sandwich. I shook his cage. “No. He knows that the dog fighting in this city is over.” I said. “Better?” “Yeah.” I said. He’s taken down some good people. Even Willie the Greek owes him money. remember?” I nodded.bibliotastic. I nodded.” “What do you want me to do?” “Tell the captain that the investigation is still incomplete. “Coke. The waiter quickly picked up the menus and hurried off to place our order. “Froggy wins. “But he’ll take more people down with him.” said O’Brien.” he added.” I said.com 105 . “Too many people owe him.” “I told you before. “Trust me on this. It’s not going to be easy for him.” “Sure he’ll be careful. www.” “And he’ll remember that.” said O’Brien.” “Including you.” “He’ll climb back on top. you shouldn’t stop right here. He always wants to be king of the hill. “The city wins. “You weren’t betting.” he said. he’s taken down those poor witnesses. “It’s a stat for us.” “I’m telling you Pete.” “I don’t think it’s going to help. he’s not putting up a fight against Froggy.” “A little too late.” “Then that’s when we make our move.” “You don’t even mean that.” “Orange soda.” I said.” he said. “But she’s pissed. and I plan on collecting. It’s not going to be easy for him. He’s taken down the good deacon. That can’t be good because Willie hates owing anyone anything. He’s watching over his shoulder now. “Just let it go.” “He’s going to be extra careful now. and it seems everybody owes him money.” O’Brien said. “You know Willie. The man will not stop until he gets what’s his. and he knows that. and that we can prove that he’s been involved. “He’s in it up to his eye balls. “Me too. “We have him right where we want him.” I said. Yet.” I said.” I said.” I replied.” I nodded.” I smiled. And don’t you think he’s given up on me either.” “Just tell her this is all resolved. “Did you check up on Janet?” he asked. “Better late than never.” “How can we win when Froggy hasn’t got a mark on him?” I half shouted. You did nothing illegal. Don’t let him get away with this. “We just can’t roll over and look the other way. Nick. “He owes me money.” I said.” “Willie knows better. “You gotta give me something better than that. She wants me to get back at Froggy.” O’Brien nodded as the waiter brought over our food and drinks.
” I lost my appetite. it’s a dog eats dog world. “Eat.” “More like Frog eats dog. .” I said. the sandwich it’s good.Frank Atanacio “You said it before Nick.
“I’ll handle this one. “My wife is in hot water..” I added. He knew I knew it too. All I want is what you owe me.” I said. “Nick Barnum. I nodded. how are you going to pay me?” “With my foot in your ass if you don’t get out of here. “What can I do for you. They were his salvation.com 107 . “Who told you I was here?” he asked.” “I’m going to punch you in the face in a few minutes if I don’t see you writing a check.” I said. “Something would marry you?” “You don’t have to take this. “It’s okay. That’s what I do best.” I smiled.” “You don’t get it. “Just wanted to see how the criminals live. but I wanted to make sure I put a crimp in it.” he said without looking at me.” he half mumbled. I walked by and saw you. “No one else knew I was here.” “Was it Stacey?” “Who?” “My damn wife!” he shouted. It was a great chance to collect what you owe me. “Shut up or I’ll kick the living shit out of you. “I figure in public you wouldn’t sick your dogs after me.” he said. A thousand reasons for him to get up and walk out raced across his mind.bibliotastic.” “Hey! You can’t say that!” shouted one of the suits.” “Even the people that owe you?” “No.” he continued smiling.” he said with a smirk on his face. He was having dinner with three suits. “So.. “If I don’t get it. “Yeah he does. Barnum?” “You can pay me the money you owe me. Mr.” “A threat?” he looked annoyed. “I walked by and saw your pretty face from the window.” www. “At your service.” I replied.” I replied. “You know the guys running the dog fights confessed.” He grimaced.” I snorted back.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 42 Froggy dreaded every step I took when I walked into the eatery. “I told you.” I said. “It wasn’t your wife.” Froggy said. “All debts are off. as long as you give me what you owe me. “Just for the last fight. “What brings you into an expensive place like this?” he asked again without looking at me. I don’t care if you put a foot in my ass. Do I make myself clear?” “Hey.” said another suit.” “I want my money.
“Sit down or I’ll beat you silly. “No charge. If that’s okay with you. “Five. and fought to relax them.Frank Atanacio “How dare you?” “I’m serious.” “Someone stop this bully!” Froggy shouted.” I said. Froggy tried to stand.” said the third suit. or perhaps it was the urge to continue kicking the shit out of Froggy. I slowly walked over to Froggy and punched him in the face knocking him off his chair. “Four. “I’m going to count to five. “Did you collect your winnings?” “Huh?” “Did they pay you?” He did not reply. He touched his chin and growled. right?” He blinked. A low-life.” “You’re in deep shit. you better know who I am!” “Two.” “I called the police. I flexed my arms. Barnum.” “Let me get rid of him.” I said.” “Wait!” “Checkbook?” “I said I wasn’t going to pay anyone for that past fight. The suits stood up but they all backed away.” One of the suits picked up his cell phone and dialed the police. “You’re crazy!” “One. Barnum. “I’m going to get all my licks in.” Froggy started.” “I don’t see a check book.” “Those threats can land you in jail!” “But they will be carried out before I go to jail. “Then I’ll drive to your house and kill your family. but I kicked him in the face.” I said. .” I said.” “Mr. “The kick was extra.” “I’ll sue!” “And I’ll shoot you dead. Blood spat everywhere. It was a cramp that shot through me.” I said as I kicked him in the face again. “You’re just a thug. “And you won’t!” “You don’t think I’ll punch you in the face.” “I’m serious!” “Three.” he said.” “In that case.” he said.” “Mr.
” I’ll give you your damn money!” “You see how simple that was?” Froggy’s head dropped into one hand. Froggy took a breath.” a waitress said softly. He wanted to be in control. “That one!” shouted one of the suits.” she begged.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Froggy looked up at me.” said a waiter as he stood next to the suits. Nick. “Oh. The suits sighed. “Those type of guys don’t pay. Froggy just stared at me as he resisted the temptation to berate me for my actions. I didn’t put up a fight.” he sighed. Froggy stood up and tried not to be so tall. for my money. “I’ll see you later. It was suppose to be his way or the highway. He wanted to bark out the orders. He was banking on it. Now all he had to do was wait for me to try and get revenge. Froggy watched me as the police did their job. “You’ll get your money. away from the waiters and waitresses as they tried to gear in closer for a look at me. because they were just simply doing their job. you’re going to kill him. He was feeling the pain.” said the waiter. “My money!” I shouted back.” Froggy whispered.” “Yeah. He was particularly concerned that he had nothing to do with my capture.” “I don’t think they have dealt with people like Nick before.” “Maybe the cops will do that. “What an animal. www.” he began. I didn’t let him down as I kicked him again. His eyes were red with anger as he waited for another kick. cramped rows of dining tables of the very upscale eatery.” Froggy said quietly.” Froggy said.com 109 .” I looked at her and winked. “Bastard is going to pay for this. The Fairfield Police quickly tackled me to the ground and handcuffed me. please. This part was over. The Fairfield police led me through the narrow.” Always careful of what he says in front of other people.” said another suit as he helped Froggy to a seat. “They got to be put out of their misery. “I’m sure they have. “Please. “These guys can be tough. I smiled.bibliotastic. “Leave him alone. “He wasn’t remotely afraid. “Kicking my face wasn’t necessary. “Please. It would have been unproductive because the suits would have definitely saw right through him. Froggy nodded.” He grimaced as the Fairfield police rushed into the restaurant. speaking slowly. it kinda was. The police were headed for the main cruiser parked right outside the door.” I said as the police hauled me away.
but I heard many good things about this Nick PT Barnum. “He does what he does and I don’t ask questions. “Am I correct in my assumption?” He asked.” O’Brien hadn’t been particularly fond of the captain. “Captain.” I said. but managed to snap himself out of it when a question was shot his way. It was something they wanted no part of. I just had a long night. He also remained alert enough to follow the conversation. The captain turned to O’Brien.” said the captain. and help you watch out for yours. He knew that the captain was speaking to him like an undisciplined child. “I don’t get into my captain’s business. “I have the prisoner. Mr. “I hope you put him in his cage.” said the Fairfield police captain. “Well.” O’Brien nodded. “I’m bringing the animal to you.” we must watch out for our own people.” O’Brien nodded.” he replied. “Hey Pete.” he said. but he had always hid his dislike for them.” An embarrassed silence descended over O’Brien’s face. They wanted to talk to him about my release. “Something I said?” asked the captain. O’Brien snored silently. I will release this animal to you without handcuffs. stroking his brown thin chin beard. This gave O’Brien the urge to just fall to sleep.” O’Brien sighed.” O’Brien replied as he leaned back in his chair.” O’Brien replied with a hint of sarcasm. The captain shrugged. he had watched captains come and captains go. and my actions at the restaurant. You’re right. “What a sight for sore eyes!” “Your friend too?” said the captain as he removed the handcuffs.Frank Atanacio Chapter 43 This was just the sort of meeting that usually put Detective Peter O’Brien to sleep. when the captain had his back toward him. polite tone. “What?” The captain silently groaned.” O’Brien added. They will handle the obvious and overlook the unobvious. “No wait.” O’Brien replied as he stood up. and I will make sure Captain Frank Roque takes care of him. He just respected the position. right?” The captain made no effort to match O’Brien’s soft. “Do you want him in cuffs or not?” “I’ll take the obvious. and he knew he poked fun at the Bridgeport Police Department. “He is an animal. “My men will never be put in the position you’re in. stroking his beard again. . Will that be to your satisfaction. In fact. I’m also sure you wouldn’t want your men to question your friends or what you do. “In many ways. This time. O’Brien?” “Yes sir. It was their way of sharing things with sister towns. he’d nearly dozed off on two separate occasions. I think he’s good friends with this Nick character. O’Brien sat at the head of the table as the captain was pacing in a command sort of way.” The captain cleared his throat in satisfaction. “Come.” the captain barked. but he didn’t have to like him. “With respect to your captain. They wanted to explain all of this to O’Brien. He knew he played O’Brien. He did it because he knew there would be no serious social repercussions O’Brien smiled as he cursed under his breath. A thin female police officer knocked at the door. he was obvious. not bothering to hide it. In his uniform days. “It will be.” she said. “The last thing I wanted to do was come here to pick up Nick Barnum. he’s an animal.” “I hear your captain is tough. and I was a Bridgeport citizen causing havoc in their town.
bibliotastic. “Just get him out of here. “Come on Nick.” said O’Brien.” I said. www.Case File: Dog Eats Dog O’Brien felt a chill.” I nodded. “Let’s get out of here. The captain grimaced.com 111 .” “You have clean holding cells.
We have written statements. O’Brien looked straight into my eyes and said to me.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. “As you may recall from past incidences.” I laughed again. what can I do about it. there is no exceptions!” “One. “His bark is worse than his bite. Willie the Greek produced some Patsies.” O’Brien continued. and he simply lost his train of thought.” said O’Brien. Besides.” I said.” he huffed. “How can you say that?” I said as I sipped on my soda. and the cruelty to those animals.” I said as I took a small bite of my club.” O’Brien smiled.” I said.” “We got our man. It’s all right there with no exceptions. “It’s okay.” O’Brien replied.” said O’Brien.” he paused. but he didn’t place them down. nine times out of ten I’d agree with you. “I just don’t like the way this played out. and the men he sold down the river is doing time for everything that has happened. “The captain told him if he had to put a leash on you he’d tie you up at his office.” “I’m the one who should be angry. Not like this. I can feel it. he killed Carolyn.” “Pete.” I shouted almost abstractedly. I know deep down inside you agree with me. O’Brien began tapping the counter with his fingers and he realized that I was annoyed. and he almost killed Janet. We hurried in and ordered a turkey club and two diet colas. I’m not even including the dogs he killed. The waiter stopped in front of us with our meals. “And the captain called him a fly eater. we have confessions to everything.” Damn. The deacon is back home.” “It’s still not him. “What?” “He called the captain and asked the captain to put a leash on you. Including murder!” “He’ll pack up in leave.” he growled. The men will serve a great deal of time. “Froggy called the captain a pig. I guess I made him nervous.” I laughed. “It has to be enough.” I continued. “It can’t just end here. “But I think you should just let things be for now. “No exceptions. “Coming into Fairfield to bail your stank ass out of jail because you couldn’t leave Froggy alone!” “I shook him good.” said O’Brien.” The waiter smiled and continued doing his job. I know he’s getting away with too much. confessions. “Yeah you did rattle his cage.” O’Brien said. “Even if I do. “It shouldn’t end this way. So again. Why is this so different?” . That man is getting away with everything. That has to be good enough.” “Even if I do.” he said as he finished off his soda and ordered another one without speaking. But not this time. “What?” “Do you have to keep tapping the freaking counter?” “Are you angry?” “Damn straight. “Besides. “He got the deacon tied up in knots. It was okay with you then. “That Frog managed to produce Patsies!” I half shouted. everything the court needs to make the charges stick. “Leave it alone.
more innocent people are going to die. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly..” “Now you’re talking murder.com 113 .” I fought the urge to raise my voice. A spectator in life. I realized we were just arguing in circles. “I don’t win!” he shouted. He knew I was right. You’re not making any kind of sense. Froggy wins!” “But he doesn’t have to win!” “Don’t go there Nick.” I whispered.” I said.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.” O’Brien continued. for doing what you think is right.. but I also knew he didn’t really share in that belief. Let’s just change the subject. “I’m just telling you that there is nothing we can do about this situation. it just had to be done. but I just had to say my say. www.” said O’Brien. so I spoke slowly and calmly and hoped the effort did not offend O’Brien. “You’re talking murder and I want no part of it. O’Brien smiled.” I sighed.” I said softly.” he spoke. “Nick. I’m just like you. “Yep.” His face was tight.bibliotastic.” “Dog eats dog world.” I said.” “You know I’m right. and nothing was being accomplished. “We have the chance to stop him. “We need to kill him. “Two wrongs.” “Don’t even say it. I knew where he was coming from. “Regardless of what you believe my intentions are.” “How?” “Kill him. Froggy had to die. “You can do some serious jail time Nicky boy. and as cruel as my intentions were. “Innocent people die because of it!” “And because we’re turning a blind eye on Froggy.” I grimaced. “You win.” I interrupted. “I can’t do anything about it.” “What?” “You heard me Pete. his eyes hard with restrained emotion. listen to what you’re saying.
Although North Main Street has many buildings dating back over a hundred years. but then I remembered that Stacey was expecting me. I wasn’t going to give it too much consideration because I knew O’Brien would just talk me out of it. I couldn’t believe my luck.” I said as I knelt down before her and removed the choker from her lifeless body.” I said. it’s me. Route Eight consisted of a catalogue of highways. I knew that Stacey would have been relieved if she knew I was outside. It wasn’t a step up. It was either going to be him or me. A woman was dead. She was strangled to death with that choker. “Pete.” I said under my breath. I still had all my wits. but really didn’t care. I couldn’t let Froggy move on. I wasn’t ready to enter. I knew I had tossed it on the passenger side of my truck. “I’m coming down now. “Please don’t be Stacey. Age hasn’t caught up to me yet. I didn’t have my head piece on so I picked up the phone and place it to my ear. O’Brien. I walked over to the body and noticed a choker collar around her neck. It connected to I95 North and South. I can’t make him out. and Froggy struck again.Frank Atanacio Chapter 45 I stopped for a light on Boston Avenue and East Main Street when my cell phone buzzed. it connected to Fairfield Avenue which became the Old Post Road. He had to be stopped. and it was what I took. sacrifices had to be made. and I wanted to avoid The entrance side to Beardsley Park. I was going to see Stacey. but that didn’t happen. “Didn’t he already hurt you?” This time he sounds crazy. It was one of the old fashioned gold knobs. and I didn’t even care if I was being baited. However. and I had my chance to put an end to Froggy. which broke into several different avenues. The man is not thinking like he use to. He would have urged me to mind my own business. but I had no choice. In order to take down the beast. It wasn’t my normal way of thinking. “Stacey?” Nick. it’s me. “Should I call Pete?” I whispered. It was newly built with the permanent paint siding. I wanted to make sure I didn’t get caught on the ever lasting construction on Boston Avenue. I thought about Stacey for a moment. Or did. I had to let him know what was going on. It was built on the spot were an old building once stood. but I didn’t forget to bring it with me. she genuinely needed my help. I didn’t really have the time to think it over. I wanted someone to peek out the window. I think Froggy is going to hurt me.” Nicky. Shadows that didn’t expect me. In a flash I had realized that I had just stumbled upon my first substantial opportunity to get at Froggy. Maybe I’m dead this time. Froggy’s office was not one of them. It was Exit 7 that I wanted.” I said as I slapped the cell phone shut and tossed it into the passenger’s side. “Damn Stacey. It was something I couldn’t do. “Nick here. He’s on his way to the office and he told me not to leave. and he even smelled like one. Froggy was a maggot in my book. 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. However. I took out my cell phone and called O’Brien. I wanted to avoid the build-up on East Main Street. I think he’s gone off the edge. Be careful. the door was unlocked. I just wanted to make sure she wasn’t setting me up. Out of a window in front of the office I could see silhouettes pacing. I walked to the front of the office and slowly turned the door knob. It gave the new building character. I touched my back pocket to see if I had my cell phone with me. Fate was stepping in. the only exit I wanted was exit 7. I was trying to find out what was going on in the office. To my surprise. “You be careful. I thought about it as I turned onto Route eight and was heading for the Trumbull Mall.” Don’t tell me you’re locked up again? . Thank goodness for that. and it connected to Route 25 and the Merritt Parkway.
thanks to you. “Now shut the fuck up before I plant you next to my whore of a wife. but I was the one in pain. “She was choked to death with a choke collar.com 115 . I’m coming down!” O’Brien hung up the phone. “Why did you kill your own wife?” I asked. “Sure thing. the kick to the stomach?” “Making love to my wife. We wanted each other dead. Stacey had a condo at the old Warner Cost Factory off of Myrtle Avenue and close to Seaside Park. because it was the first step she made toward leaving her twisted husband. and I knew he wanted to pull the trigger. She was proud of that purchase. Then he looked for a moment as if he were going to pat my shoulder. Mr.” I started. She wanted me to see it. and a big living room with a fireplace and a picture window that looked out to the Long Island Sound.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Stacey’s dead.” “You’re sick. I may need your help.” he said. and she was proud that it went unnoticed.” Stay put. “You ass. “Mr.” came a voice from behind me. “An accomplice. “Well?” “You’re something. His fingers were twitching.” he paused briefly.” “Enjoy it?” “She showed me up. There he stood with a chrome 38 special beaming down on me. or a fall guy?” I asked. She told me it had a modern captain’s galley kitchen. Instead. “And then paid for it. and I hated him. but was brutally helped by Froggy as he kicked me in the stomach.” I said. “Stay on your knees. you’re not going to hurt her. There was no mistake about it. “You would have made it a fine home. “Damn that hurt.” “What are you talking about?” www. “Stacey.” Froggy replied.” I whispered in her ear as I kissed her cheek.” I said loudly.” he said.” He grimaced. “Punk!” he growled. “Is this your handy work?” He smiled as I turned and looked up to face him. Barnum.” “Touching. I’m sorry I didn’t get to see your new condo. He hated me. “I enjoy it. Why don’t you head down to Froggy’s office.” Froggy paused and stared at his office for a moment. I tried to gingerly remove myself off of Stacey.” “How did it feel?” he asked. “She’s already dead!” “Yeah. “What. Newsom?” “Of course.” I smiled. He stood closer and then just smiled at me. “Anything for a murderer.bibliotastic. 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.” he growled. But he didn’t.
Nick.” “Punk. “You’re not the only one.” “Get up!” Froggy demanded.” he replied. “Do as I say. “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.Frank Atanacio “I have cameras everywhere. . you keep calling me that and I’m going to show you my punk.” he said. She was a whore and she got what she deserved.” “And murder her?” “Damn you!” From the office.” I nodded. “There were many. a security guard poked his head out.” “She was trying to keep your stench off her body!” I shouted. “You don’t get to say that!” he shouted. “Some she didn’t even know about. I did as I winced with pain. and just maybe I’ll kill you without making you suffer. “Bring him in boss.” “You’re all heart. “Only I can judge my wife.” he said as he pushed me toward the office.” Froggy wasn’t impressed as he pushed me forward. “Yeah.
He thinks he’s mister tough guy. You’ll also get to shoot Nick PT Barnum.” He smiled even harder. She was killed because she walked in on me robbing the place. “Arnold!” he screamed. but was he going to leave me dead or alive? The office was made up to look like a robbery. “In time. sure. Carefully. and blame this all on me?” He smiled.” Froggy instructed.” “He’s getting on my nerves!” “Arnold.” “I won’t.” Froggy started explaining.” he said sarcastically.” “Oh yeah.” Froggy smiled.” I said.bibliotastic.” Froggy said. “I didn’t like him when he first came in to speak to you. “Boss. I know you’re angry and worried about this whole thing. I noticed that the office was completely a mess. “He catches you with this bag of money and he shoots you dead.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 46 The security guard grabbed me and pushed me face first into the wall. It happened too fast as I snapped his neck and threw him toward One Eyed Froggy. It crossed my mind that he was planning on setting me up. I was also assuming that Stacey was caught in the cross-fire. “Boss?” “Wait. “Okay. www. He stuck the gun in my face giving me the chance to knock it away. “I need to make sure this all goes as planned. The guard walked over toward me and made one mistake. Froggy was taking money out of his safe and stuffing it in a duffel bag. and all the draws to the file cabinets were tossed onto the floor as if someone was looking for something. “It’s not a good thing to do when you’re going to die. “Don’t smile. Everything was turned over.” “I can kick your ass any day of the week. “Nick.” said the guard as he took his gun out of his holster.” I threatened.” “This guard?” “Yes!” “I’m going to snap his neck before all of this is over.” The guard smiled. I shook my head slightly from side to side. “Stay put! Don’t give me a reason to knife you. do it.” “I’m so glad.” I replied. “It was very nice knowing you.” said Froggy. He had left it on the desk when he was filling the duffel bag with money. I can’t have anything go wrong. but trust me. just a few more minutes.” The guard nodded. “Let me shoot this idiot. “How do I get shot?” “The guard walks in on you after he discovers the body of my dear wife. Froggy didn’t know what was happening as he scurried toward his gun. let me at him!” “In time.” Froggy continued. I grabbed his neck and forced him up against the wall.” I said. One big mistake. “You will get your reward.com 117 . “You’re going to shoot me.
I don’t know why she married you.” “Let me do this.” “She wasn’t all upstairs!” he shouted as he pushed his index finger against his temple. lots of it!” I smiled.” I did and Froggy smiled. “Now I have the drop on you. O’Brien approached me and kicked the gun away. “I didn’t think so. trust me.” “But Stacey. He was trying to see if I was the type to kill a man in cold blood. “Damn you Nick!” He shouted as he crawled to his feet. and I’ll even pay off your winnings!” “Can you bring Stacey.” I said. I always tried to carry out my threats. He didn’t know me. “Freeze!” Shouted Detective Peter O’Brien as he stormed into the office with his aimed directly at me. That’s just the way I roll.” He nodded slowly. “She was a retarded whore. He had no strength. “There’s more. now. “In that duffel bag. “Get out of here. “See how nice this all played out for you. “Pete?” “Drop it Nick. She didn’t have to die like that. or Carolyn back?” He bowed his head.” We scuffled for the gun as I pushed him to the floor. “His neck is broken. That’s murder. He was simply a weakling with money. I will. but he knew I was a man of my word.” Froggy gazed into my eyes. .” “That’s not nice. “She was your wife.” I said as I aimed the gun at him. “Do you want a blind fold instead?” “Fuck you!” I smiled.” “I have money. The only sad thing is you killing your wife.” He closed his eyes. and he grabbed my arm. Carolyn. but she got the raw end of that deal.” I said. “Do it then!” He demanded. He steadied himself. “Can’t let you kill a man. take it!” “I can kill you and take the money.” he said. “Drop it or I’ll have to drop you.” I smiled. Nick. He felt like his knees were going to collapse. but he had to follow the rules.” “Pete?” “Drop the gun.” I said smiling. lots more. He knew what he was doing had no meaning. It was an easy win for me because Froggy was a weak man.” “You wouldn’t. “Oh.” “I know.Frank Atanacio “He can’t hear you.
“Don’t let him get away!” Froggy shouted.” O’Brien explained. “Cuff him!” “Nick. go ahead. Suddenly. Stacey’s body was on the floor and I looked around the office to find something to cover her. “That is Mike’s bag.” he said.” he said. I left. “I can produce many witnesses.” O’Brien just looked at Froggy. and get out of here. “Pete!” I ran back into the office and I saw Froggy on the floor with two bullet holes in his chest. O’Brien still had the smoking gun pointed upward. just wait for me in the other room.” O’Brien said. I blamed myself. She lost her life. I couldn’t believe he didn’t let me put that Frog out of his misery. “Just calm down.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Listen.com 119 . but I did not turn to face him.” he called. and people will testify that he threatened my life. “Back up is on their way.” he said. THE END www. detective. “He came at you?” “He came at me and I shot him once. Followed by another.bibliotastic. I nodded. “He came at me with a knife.” I grabbed the duffel bag and walked quickly toward the door. He just snapped their necks and then he came after me looking for his winnings. “See if you can cover up Stacey’s body or something.” “Froggy?” “That’s my story!” O’Brien shouted. “Tell me the whole story from the beginning. “You better go. “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 stopped. and the man who took it is getting away with it.” O’Brien smiled.” I nodded and walked out of the office. can I take Deacon Mike Brandon’s duffel bag?” “He had Mike’s bag?” I nodded.” O’Brien nodded. He won a great deal of money from me and I wasn’t going to pay.” “Hey. There was nothing.” Froggy started. a shot. I should have done it quickly. I looked to the floor and I saw a knife just two feet away from the body. “Nick. “Yeah. He killed them both. right?” “My word. “That man was caught in here by my wife and my guard.” O’Brien said as he finally holstered the weapon. “This will stick.
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