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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I didn’t turn around nor did I look through my rear view mirror.Case File: Dog Eats Dog I smiled. www.com 25 . 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Just watch Janet. I hope. She’ll be fine.” “Just stay clear of him. trust me. but I bet something will fall in my lap. right?” “Not yet.” “He’s making me a cut throat too.” I replied. “He’s got you turned every which way.” “He’s a cut throat.” He nodded.” “Too much confidence in that skinny girl.bibliotastic.” I said.com 85 . I nodded.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “I guess he wanted you to give him some money with your prints on the envelopes so that he could set you up.” He nodded. “I got until Friday to pay him back.” “She can take care of herself. www.” “She’ll be fine. “You got something planned.” warned the deacon. The deacon nodded again.

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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