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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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1

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

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

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

” he grimaced.bibliotastic.” “Nice.” I called. “There’s nothing like the service they had. or anything like that.” he continued as he tried to strike up a conversation.” “Peaceful. He also had on a heavy jacket. and a small overweight truck driver seated in a booth behind me. but I don’t get no free refills. “Not at all. The deacon walked into the diner wearing a baseball cap with the brim very low as if he was trying to conceal his identity. “Not really. I smiled. The overly dressed man turned and walked away when he saw the on duty manager walk out of the back room. “I’m Terry.” he said.” he said.” I nodded.” “Hey Nick. I didn’t see the deacon. “Can you believe that?” “Did you ask for a free refill?” “No.” I answered. There was a man coming toward me wearing rain boots. www. “Back in the 70's. so I didn’t understand why he was overly dressed.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 3 I sat and drank coffee and ate pie waiting for Mike Brandon to show up at the diner. “Nick.” he continued. “That’s why I’d come over here for breakfast.” He looked away annoyed. “Was he bothering you?” the manager asked.” “The area was much nicer then. didn’t think I had to.” “I’m sure it was. He smiled and I noticed he was missing all his front teeth. “I use to come to this diner years ago.” I replied. I thought he was going to ask for change. “They think I’m a bum. “Got the time?” asked another seated three seats down.” I nodded. “4-am .” He smiled and walked back into the kitchen.” “Maybe that’s why you’re not getting any. and he was using socks for gloves. “What’s your name?” asked the toothless man. “No. “They just think I’m a bum. It was warm outside. There was a older man seated three seats down. His boot thudded softly on the diner floor and he stood about a foot in front of me.” “I heard you the first time. but he didn’t. “In the morning?” I nodded. Oh.” he smiled again flashing only gums. “Damn.” “They treat you poorly now?” I asked. “Mike. However. of course they’ll sell me coffee.com 5 .” “No free refills. where does the time go?” I nodded again.

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

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

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

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

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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” he replied. I can’t believe they would do something like this.Frank Atanacio Chapter 38 I couldn’t bear to sit at my desk. “Even the murder of Carolyn Lopez.” “You’re going after him for this too. She was struck several times and it was the first blow that fractured her ribs.” he said.” “How about B B?” “I have Eggy watching her. This time I mean it. “Good. It was my turn to send him a message.” “I hope so.” “Okay. looking hard at O’Brien. “We’re going to try and get everything in. He had heard about what happened to Janet and he too was enraged. I had to move around so I could distract myself before I lost my composure. They beat her up and almost left her for dead.” “He’s pushing me.” “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.” he replied. By the time Janet punched in 911. “So let him start pushing us. “Too many people are getting hurt because you’re sticking your nose in way too deep. I heard.” “I hope so. “Everything is going to go down well. but I had to pay Froggy a visit.” “I know. “Did you hear what I said?” he asked.” How is she doing?” “She’ll live. and he was most certainly going to receive it just as loud and clear. You can trust me on that. I’m sure she wants to know that you’re okay. she was calling my name. okay Nick?” “Deacon?” “We’re going to release him when this is all finalized.” I nodded.” he said.” “He’s gotten my attention. and I received it loud and clear.”He said.” he said. “But they took her down a notch. I told you at that coffee shop to stay away from Froggy. “Consider your investigation closed. and as she cowered in stunned pain.” I sat tensely. “We’ll handle it Nick.” I said knowing damn well that she was probably caught off guard. “I heard.” “Because we arrested him. I knew he meant well. but you have to let us handle this.” I nodded. O’Brien came to my office and looked around.” I said. “Now clean up this mess and go visit your secretary in the hospital.” “Leave this one too us. the thugs had gotten to her. Do you understand me?” “Pete.” “He keeps touching my spots. look around you. now let him start touching ours. That Froggy wanted to send me a message.” “I can’t believe Janet would just lay down without a fight. My mouth was so dry that I had to take several sips of coffee before I was able to ask. It’s what Janet would have wanted me to do. . right?” I asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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