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