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