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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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