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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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