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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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