Frank Atanacio

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?



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.



Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”



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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.



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.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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