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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Damn. and I kept petting the dog on my lap. “Buddy?” I pulled the dog’s head toward me and realized he had died. I hope I don’t die alone.” I whispered. 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. “But at least he didn’t die alone. I smelled the rotting dog next to me.” 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. www.com 49 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” He nodded. “I already knew.” he said as he forced himself off my client’s chair using my desk as a brace. “I want you to go back to Froggy and tell him that his goons he had tailing me told me where the dog fight was being held.” I said. “But otherwise.” I smiled.” I said.. “You will never see me again.com 57 .” He nodded.” “What?” “All that until she saw you get your ass kicked. “Last night.” “She’s telling the truth. “I spoke with her last night. she was okay. laughing. www.” “How was she?” I nervously asked. She was in good spirits.” he continued.” I nodded. If I ever see you again. “But she told him you already knew. “When was the last time you saw her?” I asked. It had nothing to do with Carolyn Lopez. “One other thing?” “Yeah?” “Don’t you ever come by my office pretending you’re the deacon’s friend to pry information out of me.” I nodded.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “He told me he’d knock my debt down if I got the information for him. “He suspected Carolyn Lopez.bibliotastic. You make sure he gets this information.. I’m going to put a bullet into your fat ass. she was fine.” “Good. Do I make myself clear?” “Definitely understand you. He walked out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” he growled. “He got the deacon tied up in knots. Willie the Greek produced some Patsies. That has to be good enough.Frank Atanacio Chapter 44 O’Brien was hungry so we stopped off at The Flyer Diner on State Street next to the truck stop area and McDonalds. “I just don’t like the way this played out.” “Pete. “What?” “He called the captain and asked the captain to put a leash on you.” I said.” “It’s still not him. “It can’t just end here. “Froggy called the captain a pig. what can I do about it.” I said as I took a small bite of my club.” said O’Brien.” Damn.” he said as he finished off his soda and ordered another one without speaking.” “We got our man. everything the court needs to make the charges stick. O’Brien began tapping the counter with his fingers and he realized that I was annoyed. “Leave it alone. there is no exceptions!” “One. I know deep down inside you agree with me. “As you may recall from past incidences. confessions. and he simply lost his train of thought. I know he’s getting away with too much. We hurried in and ordered a turkey club and two diet colas.” O’Brien said. “Even if I do. “How can you say that?” I said as I sipped on my soda. “But I think you should just let things be for now. Besides. Including murder!” “He’ll pack up in leave.” “I’m the one who should be angry. I can feel it. It’s all right there with no exceptions. The men will serve a great deal of time. “What?” “Do you have to keep tapping the freaking counter?” “Are you angry?” “Damn straight.” O’Brien smiled. nine times out of ten I’d agree with you. So again.” I laughed again. I’m not even including the dogs he killed. “It has to be enough. We have written statements. Not like this.” I laughed. and he almost killed Janet.” I said. The waiter stopped in front of us with our meals.” he paused. The deacon is back home. but he didn’t place them down. O’Brien looked straight into my eyes and said to me. and the cruelty to those animals. “Besides. “No exceptions.” said O’Brien. “It’s okay. we have confessions to everything.” The waiter smiled and continued doing his job. “His bark is worse than his bite. That man is getting away with everything.” “Even if I do. It was okay with you then. and the men he sold down the river is doing time for everything that has happened. I guess I made him nervous. “That Frog managed to produce Patsies!” I half shouted. “It shouldn’t end this way. But not this time.” said O’Brien. “Coming into Fairfield to bail your stank ass out of jail because you couldn’t leave Froggy alone!” “I shook him good. “The captain told him if he had to put a leash on you he’d tie you up at his office. “Yeah you did rattle his cage. Why is this so different?” .” O’Brien replied.” O’Brien continued. “And the captain called him a fly eater.” he huffed. he killed Carolyn.” I shouted almost abstractedly.” I continued.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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