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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
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?
I’ll call you when I have something.” It’s almost 3AM? “That’s why I called you.” she said. Nicky. “Well. “But he still never did anything like this before.” Anytime B B. “Thank you Nicky.” B B.” That’s not like him. She smiled. Brenda Brandon closed her eyes and hung up the phone all in one motion.” she said. baby?” Of course.” Of course. “You’ll do that for me. Why don’t you just get some rest. I’m really worried.” she started. I’ll get up and I’ll look for him. Nicky. “I’ll just wait by the phone.Frank Atanacio “Mike isn’t home yet.” Did you call his cell? “Twice. . “If it’s all the same. “I’m afraid something has happened to him. he hasn’t been the same ever since his niece was murdered.
and drank a whole bottle of Southern Comfort. “You killed a man!” It happened so fast! “It still happened. “What do you mean. I killed a man tonight. I didn’t know why I did that. “Why don’t I call Vic and Alfredo to meet us there.com 3 . “Why?” Because I told you. just yet. “You’re going to have to turn yourself in. “She called here tonight. I was barefoot.” I suggested. it happen too fast.” “So you pick on me?” You’re suppose to be at my service. Bouncers threw me out of the joint.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 2 I sat at the foot of my bed with the phone still in my hand. and someone ran outside and told me that the guy I hit was dead. I punched a guy out.” I said. My head wanted to explode. and I just wanted to sleep. A promise is a promise. My footing slipped a bit from under me. “How did he die?” I asked.” I said. I saw the empty bottle of Southern Comfort on my night stand and I picked it up and looked in. I had just finished a night of playing cards with Victor Cruz.” I said. and I got no one to run too either. “You what?” I dropped the bottle.” I can’t do that. “Settle yourself. No cops for now! “Okay deacon.” My phone rang and it startled me for a moment. you don’t know?” I asked. What the hell happened?” I don’t’ know. just yet. “Holy fuck!” That’s what I said. and Alfredo Fuentes.bibliotastic. and now you’re going to put her through the ringer. big guy. “With just one punch?” That’s why I can’t turn myself in. but I just did. and he fell over some tables. It was a good night for me. I got nowhere else to go. I knew it was the booze telling me not to go out and look for the deacon. I just wanted another shot. I had forgotten I still had it in my hand. but I promised B B that I would look for her husband. and I don’t like going back on my word. I need you to meet me at Frankie’s diner off of Barnum Avenue. She’s worried. Can you do that? “Now?” It has to be now. “And you’re wife is looking for you. Perhaps. she’s worried sick. “But you’re gonna have to call your wife. you gotta help me! “What’s up?” You gotta help me. I had taken off my clothes just a few minutes ago. “Hello?” Nick! “Mike?” Nick.” I said to myself. “You need to go back out and do what you have to do for B B. Perhaps it was just to embrace me for something unexpected. I had to regain my composure and settle myself. wearing my boxers and a T-shirt. and I caught the end of the bed to regain my balance. I killed a man tonight.” www. I won over three hundred dollars.
Very.” I tried to calm myself.” I said. “Are you going to call B B when we hang up?” Nick. It just seemed so uncharacteristic of him. and one of Bridgeport’s finest man need my help. but I can’t be too sure if he was killed by the deacon. I could have told him that I was busy with a girl or just made something up. I was certain that the police would realize it as well. That’s why I wanna meet you at Frankie’s diner. “You better call your wife. Calling me first was so not like the deacon. A thousand lies raced through my mind. and I wanted to get some sleep. now you call her!” Don’t get so nasty. don’t be getting on my nerves. I’m sure there was a dead man. right? “Are you close to the diner?” I asked. “I’m not so sure you believe that. Not calling her was simply not the way he handled things. “Just don’t jerk my chain. The pleasure I received from the bottle was about to cash in its chips.Frank Atanacio I lost my cell phone. his safe haven. “You called me. “Damn. He had a strange way of putting all his little ducks in a row. So you’re coming.” I said. “I’m coming now. He was a good Christian. It was certainly a no brainer. or Alfredo involved. and you better have a good reason why you’re not calling the police. I’m the one who killed a man.” I started. “Stay up Nick. so I really shouldn’t be complaining about the condition. He wanted me to meet him at Frankie’s diner. Drinking so much was my idea.” He did not respond. You know me man. but a friend in need comes first. I knew that and. “Damn. But stranger things have happened. No matter what happened. “Just trying to lighten things up. Nick.” . He didn’t even sound to convincing when he said he killed a man. but none of them came out of my mouth. “Ok. “Get focused. “I do. I don’t want to get involved with a murderer. I am Bridgeport’s finest private investigator.” You know I ain’t no murderer! “I know Mike.” Thanks Nick. I will hang up on you. He would never speak to anyone on his duck’s list until he cleared it with B B. even though I had a rough night. you there?” He had already hung up the phone. and killing someone would not be on his list at all.” I dreaded every step I had to make that night. “Hey Mike.” I said.” I said. I’m sure they’ll be willing to help you out. She was his anchor. that man can’t call me when I’m sober. You’ve known them for several years. “Call her from this damn pay phone!” I shouted. and that’s what I had planned to do. I don’t feel right tonight.” I said.” Right now I need you. “I’m just wondering why you don’t want to get Vic.
” “They treat you poorly now?” I asked.” he grimaced. or anything like that. “I’m Terry. I smiled.” “Nice. “Mike. “In the morning?” I nodded. He also had on a heavy jacket.” “No free refills. I thought he was going to ask for change.” He looked away annoyed. His boot thudded softly on the diner floor and he stood about a foot in front of me.” “Peaceful.” “I’m sure it was.” he said. “Was he bothering you?” the manager asked.” I answered. but he didn’t. “They just think I’m a bum. The overly dressed man turned and walked away when he saw the on duty manager walk out of the back room. of course they’ll sell me coffee. “Got the time?” asked another seated three seats down.” I nodded.” I replied.com 5 .bibliotastic. However.” he continued as he tried to strike up a conversation. “They think I’m a bum. “Not really.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. didn’t think I had to. “Nick. www.” “Maybe that’s why you’re not getting any. but I don’t get no free refills. “That’s why I’d come over here for breakfast.” he smiled again flashing only gums. “What’s your name?” asked the toothless man.” He smiled and walked back into the kitchen. and a small overweight truck driver seated in a booth behind me. “Can you believe that?” “Did you ask for a free refill?” “No. so I didn’t understand why he was overly dressed. The deacon walked into the diner wearing a baseball cap with the brim very low as if he was trying to conceal his identity.” he continued. “I use to come to this diner years ago. “No.” “The area was much nicer then.” “I heard you the first time. “4-am . where does the time go?” I nodded again.” I called. It was warm outside.” he said. There was a man coming toward me wearing rain boots. “Not at all. “There’s nothing like the service they had. “Damn. and he was using socks for gloves. I didn’t see the deacon. There was a older man seated three seats down. Oh.” “Hey Nick. He smiled and I noticed he was missing all his front teeth.” I nodded. “Back in the 70's.
The look on his face was that of confusion..” he replied. He played the part of a guilty man on the run. His sweats were wrinkled. and I couldn’t picture him at a dog-fighting match. “So this Froggy is a bad man? “Big time. and the bookie didn’t have enough to pay me. and clear with me on this one.” he said. “I’m trying. “Thanks.” “Dog-fighting?” “Let me finish.” he started again.” “That’s the blood on your shirt?” He nodded. We drank it together without really saying another word.” he said as he sat on the stool next to me. Nick. “At that time One-Eye Froggy’s bouncers threw me out of the club. Nothing matched. I hit the big one.” “One-Eye Froggy?” “Club owner.” I said. “I guess when they threw me out. She poured him a cup and left him four creamers.. and big arms.” I nodded.” “Never heard of him. In fact. The waitress came over wearing a black hair net and a stained uniform. “Coffee?” “Black. “You’re going to have to be straight. He was always good for setting a good example. “They told me I broke his neck.” “So it was an accident?” “No. He was dark skinned and had a clean shaven face. and sorrow. I punched back and busted his nose. “I grabbed him and pushed him a little. he was the best in that department. “Someone came out and told me that the bookie broke his neck and died.” replied the deacon. and his tee-shirt torn and covered with dried blood.” .” “So you don’t really know?” He shook his head from side to side indicating no. He looked like he was running a marathon.” “I was at this dog-fighting event.” The waitress had poured us another cup of coffee. He took a swing at me and missed. “I was placing bets and winning all night. and his face seemed gloom.” he said as he sipped his coffee.” “I did. I never expected the deacon to be in this much trouble.Frank Atanacio The deacon had a barrel chest. The deacon was not much of a gambler. He wasn’t dressed as your typical deacon. and that was so obvious that it made a chill ride up my spine. “But how did you kill him?” “He came at me again and I kicked him over some tables.” “So you killed him?” “No. His dark eyes were darker.” he continued. “Hey Nick.” “Business man?” “Wants to be.” “So tell me what’s going on.
Nick.” “How much trouble am I in?” he asked quietly. “That’s why I called you first.” I said. “I broke his nose. “I’m not going to lie to you. and you’ll turn yourself in as soon as I find something concrete.” he said.” He grimaced. “I smell something rotten. “Tell him that I’m looking into things. and tell him what happened. “Just worried. “Let’s just call it an accident.” “I hit the guy. That’s just the way it is. He nodded slowly as if he wasn’t really sure if I had asked him a genuine question.” “You’re getting caught up in the wrong places. right?” “He is. “I didn’t expect to be in the wrong places with the wrong people.” he replied.” He nodded again.” “Why don’t you talk to Captain Frank Roque. “Tell her what happened too.” “He’s a mean son of a bitch. but.” “I understand. I’ll see what really happened after you clocked the bookie.” “You think he’ll keep me out of jail?” “Talk to him.” his voice was scarcely a croak.” I said. “I just can’t.” “Tougher than me?” The deacon nodded.” he said. It rattled as if he was stuck in a freezer for about an hour.” I said. “I’m not hungry.” “I am. I need to walk down some alley ways and come up with something tangible.” “Did you call your wife?” He nodded.” he said. “He’s really tough. “But it feels more like an accident.” “I do.” I started. How much more concrete evidence do you need?” “For now. I’ll pay this One-Eye Froggy a visit. “Do you want something to eat?” I asked.bibliotastic.” He looked confused. “Trying to make extra money for the church?” I asked. I won’t tell you everything is going to be alright. “Let me look into this and we’ll get to the bottom of this. “Just tell the captain everything you told me.” www. “If it really was a murder?” “I don’t know. and I can’t live without her. “And with the wrong people..” I said. one way or another. “Go to her.” “Nobody expects it. Whose going take care of my baby. “Murder? I don’t know what to say. “So this Froggy is now in town.Case File: Dog Eats Dog I smiled.” “I learned to duck years ago. She can’t live without me.” “He can come at you hard Nicky.” I suggested.” “Can’t go to jail.com 7 . You gotta trust me.” “So am I.” I said.” I said.
you know.” “Thanks Nick.” “She can be the comfort you seek.” He smiled. Mike.” “Thank me when I’m done. “She always was. “You always do. The rattling of plates didn’t cause him to look away. “Go home to your wife. He drank some more coffee. and I watched. One-Eye Froggy? . “Really.Frank Atanacio The deacon had his eyes solely on me. He just wanted answers. I better.” I said.” “Yeah.” I said again.” “She’s a big girl. He looked at me as if I had all the answers. “I’m going to do my best.” “She always was.” “Go to your wife. and didn’t know how to ask. He had so many questions.” he repeated softly.” I smiled.” “I disappointed her.
” “That club is known for Salsa Dancing. And those secrets are going to reveal itself to me. It was a large building with two floors. with a nice early morning breeze. His appearance meant a great deal to him because he wanted the public to experience his professionalism. “Is that what I am to understand?” I nodded. “But it has secrets. but fail to pop them into his mouth. They left out a lot of details. “Looks even better on the menu cover. and so much more. and O’Brien ordered a beer. “I don’t think Roque will be down for that. “And you have to remember that they left out so much detail.” “They never mentioned the dog-fighting. and eye-witnesses. “It’s my first time trying it. He would occasionally break open a few. “So you’re asking me to ask Captain Roque to not pick up the deacon until you’ve completed your investigation?” asked O’Brien.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 4 The next morning. I had to think it was because of the deacon. but it has been removed and replaced with strong glass doors. O’Brien was a big man with a strong upper body. He was a pillar of the community. that police command center lost its panoramic view of the City of Bridgeport’s Westside. “The deacon killed a man. but he wasn’t eating any of them.” “I need to speak to those so-called eye-witnesses. I smiled. and the late night gambling. “I just need a little time. 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.” he said. and they respected him.” I said. The Police headquarters located on Congress Street was buzzing. O’Brien had a lot of peanuts on his plate.” “They did say it was at the Frogger Club.” “I don’t get it.” “So the papers got it wrong?” “No. the news ran with the story that the deacon had killed a man. “Yes!” www. “It doesn’t get any better than this.” said O’Brien.” “Papers got the news. Pete” I said as I picked up a few of his opened peanuts and tossed them into my mouth. I’m not asking for much. and now he was a hunted man. It was early afternoon.” he replied. He was God’s soldier. I served so many of them this past month.” I said.” said the waiter.” O’Brien huffed ever so slightly.com 9 .” “But that’s my point. really.” “And we do owe you.” I added.” I said smiling with my drink. There use to be a large plate glass window at the entrance. that drinks fits you like a glove.bibliotastic. that Mango Splash looks good. but murder was murder nevertheless. He was fair skinned and always clean shaven.” I smiled.” he said softly. “Damn. They liked the deacon.”I said. not too hot. “No. He was purposely bald and kept his head shiny. By removing the large plate glass window. “I don’t think he did. “Yeah. They couldn’t believe that Mike Brandon was capable of murder.” I said.” The waiter smiled as he left to help other customers. He was a visionary. and they wanted to launch their own investigation. “I think I’m going to order one too when I get off. They were all surprised about the reports. “I need you to keep the police away from the deacon until I check into this. “They were fed the wrong information. He was a man everyone trusted. I knew this wasn’t going to sit to well with the men on Congress Street.
“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.
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.”
www.” she replied. “Cash up front.” she said.” “Ouch.” She turned around slowly. “Yeah.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Why were you at the club?” “I’m a fucking whore.” “Club owner know?” “He didn’t throw me out yet. “How much you charge?” She stopped. “Is that all the questions?” she asked. “Difficult question?” “Too much for you to afford. I gotta do what I gotta do!” I nodded. “Don’t judge me. “I think I got what I need. “That would be?” “Five hundred dollars for three hours.” “You give him some money for soliciting there?” “I got three kids to feed. mother fucker!” “Only God judges. but didn’t turn to face me.” she said.” “Police know?” “Told them.” “What can I get for twenty bucks?” “A kick in the nuts.” She entered her apartment and slammed the door. “I do my business there.bibliotastic.com 13 .” I said.” I replied.
“Well anyways. “Hi. When it came to lists I’d often follow the same pattern. “She’s only the messenger. Lopez wanted to ask something. “Carlos Rivera’s death?” he asked.Frank Atanacio Chapter 6 The next witness on my list was Roberto Guzman. “No credit!” he shouted with a vein sticking out of his neck. a private investigator.. but a black guy. Guzman turned around with angry eyes and shouted. “Like you. He scratched the top of his head as if he was thinking about what to say. not a bishop.” “That Bishop is a big guy. It was located on a small dead end street off of East Main Street.” “I see. “he said “He came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. at your service.” “Deacon. The small store had lots of stock and lots of customers. She was trying to get his attention.” . “I’m Nick Barnum. I nodded. Carlos didn’t fight back. He also had a thick gray moustache. and thick gray eye brows. “I want to ask you some questions about the deacon at Froggy’s nightclub. He punched Carlos in the mouth. but I had to speak with him because he was next on my list. She wore small black-rimmed glasses low on her nose so that she could check the prices better on the product she rung up. He actually did a bang up business. I need cash paying customers! If anyone asks for credit. the deacon came at him with all he had. and then kept punching him until he broke Carlos’ nose. “Get back to work. “What do you want to know?” “I wanna know what happened. Guzman. Guzman’s cashier was standing behind the counter.” I corrected.” I replied. The place was busy.” he continued. Her hair was dark brown with light highlights. He was clearly not thinking right. The light highlights gave her face such a wonderful glow.” I corrected.” “I know him. Mr. “No. Guzman was probably in his late sixties. I don’t pay you to stand around and flirt with all the guys that come in here!” “I’m sorry. “The bishop. “Whatever he was. “I can’t give anyone credit this week. but had lots of gray hair on the sides. “He’s a deacon. Mrs.” I said. he just fell over some tables. “You the police?” he asked.” I corrected him again.” I said. I stood there with my arms crossed waiting for him to reply.” Where did I hear this before? I said to myself jokingly. “But I wasn’t flirting. but when I asked for him he immediately stopped what he was doing and came over.” “What does she want?” “Credit.. and he’s a deacon. “What do you want?” Mr. I didn’t think he’d have time for me.” She smiled.” she said.” she replied almost quietly. I don’t think Carlos wanted to fight this man. His glasses were thick and he walked with a limp.” I replied. He threw the first punch and missed. “I said to her. He owned Guzman’s Bodega over on the Eastside of town.” Mr. “I don’t understand why you guys can’t get that right. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the bishop and that set him off. He was bald on top. tell them I said no!” “Relax Mr. but he didn’t see her.
” He rushed away.bibliotastic. You’re not a business man. I’m sure that’s something you wouldn’t understand.Case File: Dog Eats Dog He grunted.” I said. Guzman. and I’ll be at your service if you need me. and Carlos Rivera?” “Dea. very well too..” He was still silent. My name is Nick PT Barnum.” He still didn’t reply.” he stopped abruptly. Forget it. www. He turned around and walked toward the cashier.” “You don’t under.” he said.” I paused.” “Good. “She’s doing her job.com 15 . “What don’t I understand?” “Nothing.” I continued.” I said as I tossed a few of my business cards on the floor.. Lots of bills to pay. “What is it exactly.. “And if you ask me.” “Nobody’s asking you. That’s all. “I do know a little about running a business. “I’m really busy today and I got to get back to work. “It’s my business. “Just ask. that I don’t understand?” He did not reply.” I added.” he shot back. “Yeah I think I got what I need from you. “Mr. “Business?” He said nothing.” he half shouted. and I need to stay ahead of the game. “I’ll leave you some of my cards. “If you need my help. “All I’m saying is that you should relax.” I smiled. He stopped but didn’t turn around. “Are you done asking me questions about the bishop.” I called.
” “You checked everything?” “Top to bottom. But we can arrest people if we have witnesses.” “That’s a terrible way of looking at things.” he said.” he paused as he caught his second wind. “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. If he could fit in an activity. “I got the same bull-shit story line you guys did.” “I’ve known her for a long time. he would. “She’s really not taking this too well.” I smiled.” he continued. But he understands the situation and he’s giving you the chance to square him.” I smiled as I kept up my pace with him. it really doesn’t exist. I started jogging with him as he poured bottled water over his bald head to keep him cool.” I said. “He should be home with B B.” O’Brien shot back. “I guess you don’t run much. “You know I never need to do that. He wanted to meet at Seaside Park so he could get his jogging in.” “So this guy is clever.” “Good to hear.” he said.” “No gambling. maybe counseling would help her through this.” “Bad witnesses.” “You’re all heart.” O’Brien replied.” “Good guy. “They were coached. if he’s guilty. “What do you mean?” “We pulled a surprise shake down at the club that Froggy owns.” he said. “It’s got to be the only way. I hope I’m right. “If we don’t see one.Frank Atanacio Chapter 7 I met Detective Peter O’Brien at the end of my work day. The guilty always do. “There was nothing but Salsa and Merenge.” “I understand.” he replied. that captain.” he continued. He wasn’t the type to just sit around and waste time.” “Has the deacon been home?” “She told me that he comes and goes.” he paused. You know that. I think the captain is going out on a limb for the deacon. but we haven’t seen anything yet. “I really don’t want anything to happen to her.” . “Did they say anything about gambling?” “You didn’t ask?” “I thought I’d ask you.” I said. “I had to take Mike’s wife to do some counseling.” I continued as I too had to catch my breath. I thought.” “That’s why Captain Roque is not taking in the deacon yet. “So what did you find out?” he asked. That woman is staying up late. “Can’t arrest people on hunches. “Those witnesses. “He’ll slip up. and she’s not eating too well either.” “But he doesn’t.” I said.” “So do you think there is a dog-fighting ring going on?” “I can’t say no. “There was only Salsa and Merenge.” “But that dog fighting club doesn’t exist.” I replied.
” “So he was always the one for her?” “The one?” “Yeah.” he continued..” O’Brien laughed.” How good?” “I don’t want to talk about it.” “She was good in bed..” “But Brenda was always on the up and up. Like the girl you use to date. “So?” “Mike is the one for her.” “My list goes on. “I put her and her son in harm’s way. “What are you going to do next. I miss that. I was pretty sure that Detective Peter O’Brien really didn’t mean to say it that way.” I nodded and didn’t say anything.” he explained. “And there was no mistake about it. I remember you telling me that you think you found the one..” “So it wasn’t just sexual?” “At first.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Me too.” I smiled.” “God saved him. her strength was weakened by Mike Brandon. “Damn.” I replied. She had all the reasons to dump me. I don’t.bibliotastic.” I said as I stopped next to him.” I paused briefly as I caught my breath.com 17 . “I’m telling you the truth. the one that you really can’t live without. He was probably motivated by the events that played up to that statement. “She was a true Christian woman.” I said. “I think over the years.” “I think over the years. and your feet sweat. You know Mike wasn’t always on the up and up.” “I know that too.” I replied. maybe. you son of a bitch!” “I’m not going to lie.” O’Brien paused as he drank some warm bottle water. “Because she loves him and she has always loved him.” “He’s going to be a tough one. “She’s taking just a little too much.” “She puts up with it.” he continued.” He laughed again. “I’m going to pay Larry Bonilla a visit.” “And Zoraida was the one for you?” “I thought.” O’Brien warned. www. There was never a question about that. “And. “Yeah I did. say it. and you laugh?” “You’re a funny guy. the guy that makes your heart stop.” I said.” he said as he stopped and bent over with his hands on his knees.” “Okay.” “I know. “You know.” “She was always a strong woman. “What?” “You really loved her.” “Go ahead.” “Do you think she’s weak because of it?” “No.
.” “Leave her out of this. “I could have gone all day.Frank Atanacio “Look at me.” “Tired of running?” I asked. not fat. I can take care of my myself. and it’s solid muscle. not your secretary.” I said.” I said as I began sprinting back to my truck. you’ll get it with him.” I lied.” “Don’t worry.” He smiled. I didn’t want him to see that I was almost out of breath.” He nodded. I waved my hand above my head without turning around. “Good-luck!” he shouted. Janet. Pete. “Thanks for the run. “I’m done. He winced. “Really!” “I’m Pete. “I’m 6'2 I weigh 245 pounds.” he said as he stood up. “So bring tough on.
I went in. At the check-out. and will probably tell me the truth. The second sign was the attractive Asian woman. It was June in Bridgeport. The store had junk tossed into baskets that lined the walls.” “Whose asking for him?” she asked ignoring my statement. at your service.” I said. and the price was terrific.com 19 .bibliotastic. “Dollar shit?” I smiled.” She turned around and slapped her cell phone shut. “And don’t steal nothing.” she said as she walked passed me. “It’s Linh Le! Asshole. She ignored me. with long dark hair and wearing looping gold earrings was a very attractive Asian young woman.” she replied.” I called.” I paused. “In there?” She nodded.” “Well. which normally means gang violence. The third witness kept me waiting longer than I expected.” I smiled. “Too busy for customers?” “People that buy this dollar shit ain’t customers. They were solid. Get it known!” “Get it known?” I whispered.” She did not reply. “I am a private eye. “I was just going to by a tooth brush. and there were several things that I would have purchased. “What do you want?” “Am I bothering you?” “I was busy.” “What do you want?” she shot back.” she replied. I could steal. She was talking on her cell phone and turned around when she saw me. “And I know you’re not him.” “You must be a fucking genius to figure that out. Maybe his story might be different. “You know. I kept looking at all the dollar items.” she said as she attitude her way toward the backroom. “I’m looking for Larry Bonilla. www. She stuck her head out of the backroom and shouted.” I answered. Maybe he had a change of heart. Didn’t understand why he didn’t call it a dollar store or something of that nature.” “Wait here. “What does that mean?” “My boss will see you. and passed winners. “Hey Ming Lee!” I called. The first hint of attitude gone bad was Margie Sanchez. “That’s not very nice to say.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 8 Larry Bonilla did business out of a store front located downtown Bridgeport. but who was I to judge? The door was covered with Spanish cock fight promotions. He wasn’t so eager to speak with me like the other two. and beautiful women developing bad attitudes. It was so patterned. He sells dollar items in a 99 cent store. “Nick PT Barnum. “Thank you. “Hello.
Bonilla?” “No. I may already know what you might say. I have a family. with an honest face. and snapped his neck.” I said.” I said. “So that man wasn’t a bishop?” “Nope.” I said “I figure that.” “Everyone thought that. Bonilla was leaning against some boxes smoking a cigarette. “Broke his nose.” “I can help you. “I don’t think so.” he said slowly as if he was trying to think of the correct words. “It’s about the deacon and Carlos Rivera.” “Okay.” “You’re helping to send an innocent man to jail. I have questions.” “You saw the deacon snap his neck?” He hesitated. “Mr. “Truth?” “I told you the truth. “Well?” “The deacon.” He tossed the cigarette to the floor and stepped on it.Frank Atanacio I walked into the back stock area and Mr.” I added.” he replied. There was a sadness to the man’s eyes.” “Are you sure?” . it was as if he knew telling me the truth was out of the question. Mr.” “Then don’t. “Did you say deacon?” I nodded. but I have to ask anyways.” I said.” He hesitated for a long time. “Came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. tell me the truth. He threw the first punch and missed.” he said as he took out another cigarette and lit it up.” he replied.” He grimaced. “Listen man.” He smiled. He nodded. “Just want to hear your side of the story. but he rubbed the bottom of his chin as if he were massaging a beard. Bonilla was a tall thin man. “That’s all I got. Bonilla.” “So the deacon went to town on him?” I asked sarcastically. and I really don’t want to get involved. “Nobody that hangs out there at the club is an innocent man. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the deacon and that set him off. something a little different. “Mr. “I thought he was a bishop. He had no facial hair.” “Is there dog fighting?” “No. “The bouncers threw him out and later the bartender said that Carlos was dead.
www. and for a good cause.bibliotastic.” I said as I walked over to him and placed some business cards into his shirt pocket.” His head fell to his chest.” “You know I really can help you. and I can get Bridgeport Police to help. I know a few of those guys and they will stick their necks out for the right reasons. “Remember one thing. “I know something is bothering you. “Yeah. “Think about it. I’ll always be at your service.Case File: Dog Eats Dog He breathed in.” He smiled.” I said.com 21 .
” “Damn. “Oops. He dropped to the ground in pain as he held his bloody leg. 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 continued stalling. The tailing has become more obvious.” I said.” said the driver. His suit fit him like a glove. “He’s not my buddy. “So you don’t care about your buddy?” I asked. “Just an expendable associate.” The driver looked agitated.” I smiled.” I replied.” the driver quickly replied. He was the fourth person I had penciled in. “I can’t. “He’s a fat piece of shit anyways.” “I’ll drop you.Frank Atanacio Chapter 9 The next day I had my first encounter with Froggy’s boys. “It’s not my style. I fired a shot through the inside of their car hitting the driver in the left thigh. “I shot you. He smiled. “Who cares. The bartender at Froggy’s club. A heavy set Hispanic suit opened up the passenger side and stood behind the opened door visually combing the area. it hurts!” he screamed.” I said. I drove down Lee Avenue and parked at a corner gas station that closed several years back. fat boy.” “Froggy is not going to like this.” said the fat guy. He had a thin moustache and he wore stylish sunglasses. I hid behind a dumpster that was covered in graffiti as I waited for my tail to pull in. The building was boarded up and the pumps were stripped clean. It started as an all day tail. He had his left hand on his hip and pushed his right hand into the breast pocket of the suit.” he continued. “Can’t do that.” I smiled. so I decided to find out why the tail. and I do follow my list religiously. it’s all the same to me. just semantics. “It hurts. “I’m warning you. “Hello. The driver did not hesitate as he quickly opened his door and pointed his gun at me from over the top of the car. They followed me everywhere I went.” I said. “Drop the gun!” He shouted. dog eats dog world. Jackie Reeves. “Let him go!” he demanded. “Like I said the first time. .” I said as I cocked the gun. Perhaps they wanted to follow me to the fourth person on my list. He was a well dressed Hispanic male in his mid thirties. “What the?” I smiled. “Girl eats girl. Just the shells were still in place. “Last warning. I had to make my move so I quickly jumped behind him and put my gun to his head.” I said. punk!” “Not before I drop him. They come a dime a dozen.” “Warms my heart to see such a loving family. “What you’re telling me.” I said with a hint of smugness. “Is that you don’t mind if I put a bullet into your fat associate?” “Be my guest.” I replied.” he issued. “It should.
I shot him in the other leg.” “Really.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “I don’t really care what Froggy likes or dislikes. bleeding to death isn’t going to be pretty. I’m going to let you bleed to death. “You only shot me once. “I know for a fact that you’re fat buddy there will tell me what I need to know. “I’m bleeding badly!” he shouted. I thought he had a little more fight in him. “Or. www.” I said. I had to think about it. my friend.” I smiled devilishly. so I thought really hard about my next statement. He was still on the ground holding his thigh wincing in pain.” he sobbed.” I said. And trust me. “You’re going to go into a deep sleep.” “Froggy will hear about this!” “I’m sure he will. why were you following me?” “Fuck you!” “I’ve been hearing too much swearing these passed few days. I’m sick and tired of it.” He looked confused.” “Once?” He nodded. I smiled. you’re going to know it. Get it?” The driver thought about it. but he didn’t.com 23 . why were you following me?” “I can’t say anything.” I said as I stepped on his designer sun glasses. Kill him. It was something so out of the ordinary. “Now fat boy. you tell me. “I can see that from here. and he gets off Scott free. I can’t.” “So you’d rather bleed to death?” “Froggy will kill me anyways. but I was wrong.” “Two bullet holes?” He looked confused.” I started. “You know. “Damn!” “Better?” “You’re crazy!” “And you’re going to bleed to death. “Damn you’re weak. and then die.” “Of course you can.” I started as I kicked his gun away. “I need help!” “Mental or physical?” “Damn you!” “Well.” “I can’t.” I walked around the car toward the driver. and then tell your boss that you had to kill him because you overheard him telling me. He just had a lot of fat in him. “If you don’t tell me why you were following me. It’s that simple. that thinking about it first was my only option. “You’ll die. I waited for a few seconds to see if the fat guy would come to. It was a beautiful sight.bibliotastic.” I said. When the end comes closer. “So. He’ll tell your boss that you told me. “Frankly.” I hit the fat guy in the back of his head with the butt of my gun and he dropped to the ground like a stone.” “You know blood can easily drain out of two bullet holes very quickly” I said as I tried frightening him. I never realized how weak the big guy was. I really wanted to know why they were following me. because It was something I wouldn’t have done.
that late?” He nodded. If anyone told you something different.” “Damn. “So there is dog fighting?” “All the time.” “My gun.” he replied.” said the driver. “Mike Brandon didn’t kill that man?” “That I can’t tell you. “Well. I’m calling from a closed down gas station on the corner of State Street and Lee Avenue. “You’ve been a wealth of information. He wanted to.” I pursed my lips a bit. the deed. “Well?” “One Eye Froggy wanted us to follow you because he needed to know that you got the information he wanted you to get. “I wasn’t there.” “But why the cover up?” “I don’t know. I smiled some more.” I nodded. “I see. thank you my friend.” he said.” “I see.” he begged. “There must be some truth to what these witnesses are saying.” “When?” “Sunday after mid-night.. but the other can be saved if you come right away. .” he replied.” He nodded as I retrieved his gun. We followed that fat cop. I think one is dead.” I said.” Your name? I hung up.” “When and where is the next fight?” “Chico on Wordin Avenue. “But the deacon did get into a fight with that bookie. The driver smiled. “You’re going to call for help. “But Froggy wants them to use his words.. right?” “I always keep my promises. it was written across his face.Frank Atanacio The driver thought about it 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. There’s been a shooting and two people have been shot.” I replied. we had to kill the witness.” he continued. 911 emergency. “Is there dog fighting at his club?” “That moves around.” “O’Brien.” “So the witnesses were coached?” He nodded. It wasn’t just you we followed. I need you to send an ambulance right away. “It wasn’t anything against you. “Hi.” I said.
bibliotastic. www.Case File: Dog Eats Dog I smiled. I didn’t turn around nor did I look through my rear view mirror. I jumped into my truck and turned right onto State Street and left onto Yale Street and then I heard two shots ring out. Their family problems are their own business.com 25 .
” he said. I gave the bartender a ten and he walked toward the register and rung me up.” I smiled. It was at that time. “Why not?” “Because of my insurance policies. “I’m looking for Jackie Reeves. “I started. Perhaps it was early.” he said as he placed the open beer in front of me. He had an Afro. “You’re Jackie?” He nodded. or perhaps the murder of Carlos Rivera had something to do with it. They were big and stacked with muscles. He looked like a Dr. He was a thin Latino and African American mixed.” he replied. “So. Jackie Reeves. “Not so close. My job was to question witness number four. “I don’t think so. “I hear he was one of the witnesses. He came back with five singles and slapped it directly in front of me.” “What kind?” “Becks.” I nodded.” he said as he walked back toward me. “Slow tonight?” I asked.” I replied. In fact you couldn’t really get a good checker game going with the patrons there.” I said as I backed off just a little. He had the olive skin with the black facial features. I didn’t care. “Old folks like you don’t need to come. “Can I ask you some questions?” “I don’t think so. but that night there weren’t too many patrons. I realized that there was a security button beneath the counter. and he was simply reaching for it. “Your policies?” I asked as I pointed to one of them. “Now you need to speak to me.” “You heard right. I turned around and saw two mountain men standing on each side of me.” I called and he turned around. “It’s early.Frank Atanacio Chapter 10 Later that evening I walked into Froggy’s bar on Fairfield Avenue. “Yes?” “Beer. The bartender was no more than 23 years old as he stood behind the bar wiping glasses. I didn’t know and Frankly. “I already spoke to the real police. I heard it was a jumping place. .” “Why?” “Questions about the murder that happened here.” “Insurance policies?” He grinned sheepishly again. but it was pulled upward and held together with a rubber band. He leaned directly in front of me as if he was going to kiss me or smell me.” “Five dollars. “Hey bar keep. “The crowd don’t kick in until 11pm.” I threatened.” he said as he grinned sheepishly. He walked away.” he said. I sat directly in front of him. Seuss character.
I just cancelled his insurance policies. so I banged it against the bar again. I elbowed the man on my right in the nose breaking it instantly. I had to hit him again because I knew it was only a matter of time before he regained his full composure and was able to offer me a real fight. I just said that to say it. “I can’t tell you the truth.com 27 . You see.” I nodded and walked out.” I said. but twice. I may simple just beat what I want out of you. Or perhaps to scare the bartender.” said the bartender. Well. I heard Jackie Reeves mutter something from behind the bar. I was proud of myself. but a man had to do what a man had to do. and there is no one left to fight with. “It’s a simple question.” “I figure that. except you. “You have been a gracious bartender.” “Well. In fact. The big guy stood up with his face covered in blood and looked at me with vengeful eyes. It was unintelligible.” he replied.” “But he comes with more insurance policies than me.” “Remember who cancelled yours.” I turned around to walk out. and make this a real fist fight. I didn’t come here to fight.” he said honestly. I had no juices in me. but I understood the reason for his incoherence. I was proud as hell. given the position and circumstances you put me in. I grimaced. It was the quickest fight I have ever been in. and the fight is over.” “I’m not a fighter!” he shouted. He fell back and was out cold. “I’m a lover!” “So what do I do about my need to control my juices?” “I’ll tell you what happened that night. but he was nowhere to be found. and he had to deal with me.” I said. He didn’t answer.” “The coached story?” He nodded.bibliotastic. And I grabbed the man on my left and slammed his face against the bar not once. “Will he fight me?” “No. I have this need to break some bones. The pain really didn’t register with him. I hadn’t planned on fighting that evening.” I said. www. The man with the broken nose ran out of the bar.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Jackie nodded. “Unfortunately. “Would you speak to me if I had your policies cancelled?” “What?” “If I cancel your policy. I nodded. “Are you that afraid of Froggy?” I asked. but twice. and witness. “I’m not looking for easy. “I don’t think it’ll be that easy to cancel his. but you got my juices flowing. I was expecting him to attack me. “Would you speak to me?” He looked confused.” “Then you’re screwing with the right guy.” I said slowly. “You know he’s going to get you for this. “You will be too.” “The truth?” “No. not once.
and a body that made every man look.” “It’s your job. “Is that what the others were saying?” she asked. but that didn’t stop me from trying to enjoy her company. She laughed. “Go right ahead. She smiled and I nodded. She was wearing tight slacks and a pretty pink blouse. right?” “Yes. and opened the bottle of champagne.” I said. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the deacon and that set him off. and the food was fantastic. “So. “Thank God.” she replied. I smiled. “The deacon. Plus. I nodded. It was a big. right?” “And the deacon. I tried to look my best for her.” I said.” I nodded in agreement. . and her face a gentle light complexion. I felt sort of out of her league.” she said as she sipped her water. She had thin perfect lips.” I took a breath. so we got a nice table. “So this is about Carlos Rivera. “Thanks for lunch.” she said.” She frowned still looking terrific. “Why do men always say that when they’re talking to a pretty woman?” “So you think you’re pretty?” “Damn right.” I said as the waiter placed our food in front of us. O’Brien had warned me earlier.” she said. She was dressed very tastefully. It was easy on my eyes.” she said slowly as if she was trying to remember the correct words to say. Carolyn knew the owner. “I’m not a good liar. She was the only one to supply a phone number to the police and I had called her and she agreed to meet me at a local restaurant located near my office in downtown Bridgeport.” I laughed. and he certainly wasn’t kidding. because she was extremely hot. I ordered antipasto for two and a bottle of their best champagne. and I fully understand why.” I said.Frank Atanacio Chapter 11 Carolyn Lopez was the final name on my list.” She looked down at the table cloth. “This is professional. “I know what you’re going to say.” She smiled. “You were coached. Carolyn and I had dinner in Ralph and Richie’s next to the Barnum museum. spacious place with excellent service. “Love your confidence. “Thanks for meeting me. He threw the first punch and missed. Her eyes were rich brown. “I feel bad that I have to put you through this.” I said. I smiled. Her black hair was so thick and curly.” “Everyone does. “Came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. “I’m not sure where to start.
” “I didn’t want to do it.?” I said.” “If it does.” “You don’t strike me as a gambler.” “Why?” “We have problems. but my ex-husband turned me on. “The police already know that you guys were coached. really?” “He did argue with the bookie.” “There’s help for that.” I said. and the bookie even bought the deacon a drink.” “Froggy says the deacon was too pushy.” “Perjury?” “Big time. “Why couldn’t Froggy just give you guys a different set of things to say.” “I wasn’t.” “Froggy says this may not go to court.” “So they were friends?” “I guess they had dealings before. a little too late. “Did the deacon start the fight. “You know. and we might say the wrong things.” “So now you do favors for him?” “I’m his waitress. “But I had to. and I couldn’t shake it loose. “I can’t really tell you if they were friends.Case File: Dog Eats Dog She smiled with a hint of flirtation.” “Then I need to get to the bottom of this. yeah. It’s so childish.” she paused briefly. “I’m here for you Carolyn. “It was weird though.” she replied. That argument looked staged.” I slowly bit my lower lip.bibliotastic. “How?” “Gambling debts. everyone going to tell that you’ve been coached.” “Problems?” “I owe Froggy a lot of money.” “Yeah. And that’s when I doubt your good looks could bail you out.com 29 . He would have my ass in a sling. plus this.” she said. her ass in a sling.” What a beautiful picture. “So there is more to this story?” “There is.” www. and I don’t get paid. “You’ll be in hot water.” “But if you go to court.” she said.” she replied.” She smiled. “I really shouldn’t be telling you any of this. Or at least from Carlos Rivera’s side.” “Staged?” She nodded.” “How so?” “They were talking all nice and nice. I know because I delivered it to him.
“Of course silly.” she replied.” She smiled. but you put a stop to that.” “Paulie. like you.” “Why?” “My line of work.Frank Atanacio She ate some food and I watched her chew. right?” She nodded. “Are you going to be at the dog fight this Sunday?” I asked.” she warned. “If I know he definitely knows.” “What’s her name?” “Zoraida Saez. “What?” “How did you know about the dog fight this Sunday?” “I got it from someone in the driver’s seat. you know him?” “He tried picking me up. “I heard about the fight at the bar too. “Honestly?” . I heard. “I know. “Me too.” I said. “Ah.” I smiled.” I smiled. She glared at me. “Oh. “He’s really nasty. “Why do you keep smiling at me. Again.” “Puerto Rican?” I nodded.” “Why the hesitation?” she asked. what a beautiful picture. her ass in a sling. but she broke up with me.” “Private investigations?” I nodded.” she said. no. “I guess he and Tito were hired to follow you.” she said. “Do you have a girlfriend?” she asked.” I smiled. “He’s the one whose going to put your ass in a sling. “I’m sure Froggy knows about it too.” she said.” she said. “I had a girl. “Good girl?” “Hot.
“Too bad we’re not meeting under different circumstances.com 31 . I laughed.” She smiled. And the afternoon went well. “Was wondering how you’d handle my ass in a sling. I laughed. www. many ways. baby. “Now why are you always smiling?” I asked. “I’m trying to picture your ass in a sling. “I think you’d be a delight to get to know.” She laughed. We ate and drank champagne.Case File: Dog Eats Dog She nodded. “Honestly?” I nodded.” “Many ways.” She laughed. “You have my number.bibliotastic.” “And I’m going to give you mine.” she said.” “Oh?” I nodded.” “You can still get to know me.
” I nodded.” he replied.” he said. “They came in here?” “Yeah. come on. “Mike.” “He covered everyone’s bet. shoot. “You fight back?” “Two of them grabbed me and the third punched the shit out of me. “Okay. “So what really happened?” “I told you the truth. He lifted his head up and I noticed it was covered with bruises. “Did you ever change your clothes?” He nodded. He was a fighter.” “Then can I ask you a few questions?” “Do you have to?” I nodded. “You okay Mike?” I asked. and nothing was thrown to the floor. and I know those people need me. but mine. and I know she’s worried sick. “I’ll give you that.” “But you didn’t give him enough time to get it?” I asked. “Sometimes bookies can’t cover the bets that same night.” he started. it’s me. He had a black eye on top of a black eye.” .” “Beat you up and took the money?” “Beat me up like this. “I got no more fight left in me. And the police are ready to jump on me as soon as you finish your investigation. I can’t run my church. I found him hiding in the basement of his church.” He smiled.” he said pointing to his face. I looked around and I noticed everything was in order.” I said.” I didn’t believe the deacon because he wasn’t the type to just let anyone grab him. A kick ass kind of guy.Frank Atanacio Chapter 12 I had to meet with Mike Brandon. and he was good at it. “A new fight?” He nodded again. and he was very difficult to find. I can’t go home to my wife. “You don’t believe me?” “No. “What happened Mike?” “Some punks came in here and tried to rob the church.” “Why were you really arguing with Carlos Rivera?” “Money. He had lost his cell phone so I had to track him down the hard way. I walked in from the backside and he was sitting at his desk with his head down. Why should I fight back?” “Because you’re Deacon Mike Brandon.” “I know you think I can take care of myself. “I won a lot of money and he refused to pay me. but these past few days were really hard on me. He said he didn’t have it. and dried blood on his shirt.
It wasn’t a fair fight.” “I know.” I said. and I swung at him and punched the shit out of him.” “I’m just so sorry all of this started. “I hit the dog fights big. and I didn’t mean to punch that guy in the nose. www. “I went over to Carlos Rivera and asked him for my money. I told him I needed the money and he told me tough shit.com 33 .” He smiled. “But it was to get me to make bets with him. He swung at me and missed.” “You.” I nodded. He said he wasn’t going to pay.” “So you do have a little fight left in you.” I said using the driver’s line. you almost lost Zoraida.” “Everyone lies!” “Even you?” He glared at me.” I said.” “I know him from the gambling only. but I didn’t.” I said.” “Yeah.” he confessed. it’s all semantics.” “The loss of your niece kind of put you out there.” he said. give me something to hang my hat on.bibliotastic. “I understand the ramifications of death. I can take!” I smiled. “Don’t play with me. “Are you reporting this to the police?” he asked. Nick.” “You may not have even killed him. “I just don’t want to go to jail. That just triggered something in me so I called his mama a name. and he didn’t carry that much on him.” “Okay. that Latina waitress did bring me a drink purchased by that cheap ass.” he said as he looked directly at me.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Were you friends?” “I don’t know him too well. girl eats girl. “I’m sorry Nick. “Just want to make sure you’re on the up and up with me. “Come on Mike.” “You’re going to kick my ass?” “I’ll do more than that. You see everyone has a motive! It’s a dog eats dog world!” “Yeah. “Really?” “Just hang in a little longer and let me get to the bottom of this.” I said knowing that if he lied to stay out of jail would only come back to bite him in the ass. “Not until I get all my little ducks in a row.” he started. “And you know that because?” “He’s a cheap ass!” “But you don’t know him that well. dog eats dog.” “A waitress said she delivered a drink to you that was purchased by Carlos. I could cleaned up the floor with his scrawny ass. I’m sorry for what I did. “Didn’t he buy you a drink?” “That cat never bought anyone a drink!” he shouted.
The reason I knew that he was lying to me was when he told the truth. “I know.” “But dealing with Froggy is an over boil. He smiled.” the deacon warned. There was no conviction.” I grimaced. “Just want to see if his bark is worth than his bite. but I didn’t push it. “I thought I liked dancing too. “Call the police and let them know you were robbed. yeah robbed. you could hear the conviction.” “I’m going to start keeping a close leash on One Eye Froggy. Maybe you were just a scape goat. . Nick. He was hiding something.” I said sincerely.” he added.” I said.” I said. “He’s not a punk gang member. Wishing I had stayed home. Not just yet. “I just want to find out if killing Carlos Rivera and the dog fights go hand and hand. I need to find out if there’s a correlation.” I said.” “Everything comes down to a boil for a reason. “You told me that once.Frank Atanacio He nodded. Mike Brandon was filled with adrenaline. I left. “Why don’t you go wash up.” “Robbed?” I nodded.” The deacon nodded. and that would soon come out like dirty little secrets.” “This guy is tough.” “I like dancing.” he continued. “Yeah. I’m sure he felt the walls closing in. I knew that there was more to his story. and now look at me. Mike. “You’re going to be dancing cheek to cheek with the devil.” “Be careful Nick. “Keep in touch with your wife.” I suggested.
I knocked on the light oak wood door and Carolyn opened it up immediately. “I started as I looked around at her neat apartment. “My kind of girl. “Are you Nick PT Barnum?” she asked jokingly. “Then I choose to rip your clothes off and take advantage of you right here.” She laughed. sit down. or you can simply ask for a drink.” she said.” I joked. “You keep teasing me and I bet you won’t get lucky. “Well. She quickly made a dash for the kitchen and came back with two cold bottled beers.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 13 I was pleased that Carolyn Lopez called me over to her apartment for a drink. Nick PT Barnum.” She was so organized. “What. “A beer drinker. I was planning to give her a thorough background check. and there’s a place for everything.” “Most of it. Every stain can come out of dirty laundry.com 35 .” She smiled. “Something funny?” “Yeah you. Perhaps she was waiting by the window. but decided against it.” “Is that a choice?” She nodded. but why couldn’t she get her finances straightened out? “How do we start?” I nervously asked.” “All bad I hope. Everything has a place. How so?” “Let’s just say I can play hockey without a stick. “I am.” I said.” “Beer would be fine. I’ve elected to simply allow the chips to fall where they may.” she grinned. What really turned me on was the fact that she seemed a bit frisky over the phone.” “Good. she was hot.” I said. “You can rip my clothes off and take advantage of me right here. and a number 15 Mets black jersey with tight white shorts. She was wearing a New York Mets baseball cap. “Come in. “You’re going to be the lucky one. She was a pretty girl caught up in bad things.” “You thought I’d be a fancy girl?” I laughed. “I wanted to make sure it found its way to your front steps. It was out of the blue and certainly unexpectedly. Or at least pile them high on the bedroom floor. Damn. but she chose me. “So.” “I heard so much about you.” I smiled.” www. I realized she could have had her choice of any guy she wanted. I had all the plans to get the stains out of her dirty laundry. I can’t be fancy?” I laughed again and she pushed me.bibliotastic.” She turned and smiled.” “I make certain of that. I started those rumors. “Nice place you have here. It was as if she was expecting me right at that moment. and we’ll take it slow.
“I just didn’t want to break any of your furniture as I make wild and passionate love to you. She sort of reminded me of Zoraida. even morals. “Right here?” “Problem with that?” she asked.” I smiled.” She laughed.” “That’s business?” “For me it is.” “When was the last time you had hair on your face?” she asked. and take me.” I said.” “I’ll be the judge of that. . “And who wants to keep on your good side so I’d be in your pants by the night’s end.” I answered.Frank Atanacio “I get that a lot. “Now get undressed. “I’m asking as a friend who wants to help. “With you.” “Is that dirty talk?” “You want more?” “At least better than that.” I started.” “I am. “About two weeks ago. “It was a terrific date. “Did you have a moustache once?” “No.” I said. everything goes flying. “How did you start gambling?” She looked puzzled.” “I bet you do.” “Oh you are a pig!” “Carolyn. I wanted to sleep with Carolyn that night. “You’re laughing at me?” I asked.” She smiled. “I thought I saw you in the newspapers once or twice before.” she replied.” I replied.” she said.” “Is there a need to laugh?” “None.” “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. but I had to block that out of my mind. “No.” “Really?” “I would know that. “I understand.” she replied.” she said softly as she began to undress. “It’s the best I got.” “I’m not that easy. not Zoraida.” she said.” she said. When you’re with Nick.” “Just make me your bitch. “No business. “Or you’d rather not talk about it?” “I just want to spend some good times with a regular guy.
Nick PT Barnum needed no comparison. so take notes!” She smiled. because I couldn’t believe I was really here with her. It wasn’t that I wasn’t good looking.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “I’m sure you will. www. Nevertheless. It’s just that she was so attractive. Hell. and I’m not a stock-broker type.com 37 . I really had to pinch myself. I’m a great looking guy. I bet I’d pale in comparison to the men she’d usually date.bibliotastic. and certainly no Viagra.
There were programs that only their computers supported.” “So a punch in the nose could have caused him to fall backwards. with a fit body structure. and my job was to find out how they got dead. It appeared that her job kept her from keeping up with her appearance.” she agreed. Freeman was a tall slender woman. Marcia Freeman at the Bridgeport Hospital Morgue.” I started. “And that could have killed him. She wore designer glasses. “She’s a good captain. She was here to answer some questions. but her slight bags under her eyes told a different story. right?” “True.” In her office was one of the few personal computers allowed by hospital administrators. “So you wanted some information on Carlos Rivera?” she asked.” . “So it could be ruled out as an accident. “Yes. Even he admitted to that. “Can we talk away from the dead?” I asked. She nodded as I walked closer to her. “But he didn’t have a broken nose.” She smiled. “Right on time. Barnum. and I’ll be out of your hair very quickly. “But there simply was no traffic to get stuck in.” “Of course not. “Listen.Frank Atanacio Chapter 14 The next morning I had to visit Dr. she wasn’t here to attract me.” I said.” she said not looking up. but cute. Dr. “Sure. She seemed well rested.” “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.” “Yes.” The doctor smiled. “Mr. his neck was snapped.” “A broken nose couldn’t have killed him. Her nose was long. “Captain Camacho wanted me to give you my complete cooperation. and the fact that she hasn’t any make-up on didn’t help either. I nodded. “I hear that you cause a lot of these dead bodies. Her job was to examine the dead.” I said mostly to myself.” I said. and her blonde hair had sprinkles of gray. I was not to surprised that she was touching a dead body on a table in front of her. “We’ve determined the cause of death to be a broken neck. Keep it simple.” I whispered. and checking personal information or email wasn’t permitted either. The hospital wanted to make sure their patients were never ignored. “Information gave me directions to this haunting room. “The deacon punched him in the nose.” I started. but I’m a simple guy. Personal computers were not allowed.” I replied. “I know you want to use medical terminology on me. She grabbed an old doughnut from the coffee counter and bit into it slowly.” “Someone is telling you lies.” she said as she continued examining the body.” “She nodded.” she replied as we walked to a small corner office.” “He neck was napped?” She stared disdainfully at me.” She smiled. Nevertheless. “Got her trained. and there was access to the internet with medical ties.” “I was trying to be fashionable late.” “Sure he did. “Jenny doesn’t lie.
and me Nick Barnum.” “Was Carlos drunk?” “His alcohol levels were very high. and the only thing found in his stomach were the ingredients to a Bloody Mary. I had to have something great because I’m certainly no showman. “And the deacon drinking a Bloody Mary?” “I’m kidding. damn you’re slow.” “You know Carlos?” “No. “You decided to tell the captain of police your history?” www. “I see his work come through this hospital often. “You know.” “I’m sorry. but they’re not using it?” She nodded.” “Well.com 39 . “Not really sure.” I said. “They’re going to have another examiner supply them with the same information.” she answered.” she smiled. PT Barnum is the greatest showman. he would have changed that. She grinned. It’s that play on words. “Why?” “My connections. He hates black people.” she answered.” “Again. “The police knows it. “Yes?” “This Froggy guy.” I paused. Lots of it.” I nodded. I hear you’re a show off.” “My ex-husband worked for him.” she said. “Didn’t the police tell you this?” “They kept it from me. “So he did bust Carlos in the nose?” “Clocked him good.” she started. and when the deacon swung.” I started. and homosexuals. and missed the drink shot up and splattered all over him.” I nodded.” “How do you know this?” She looked levelly at me.” I Paused as she bit into the doughnut again.” “But when you found it had something to do with Froggy.bibliotastic. “People like that man avoid scenarios that will have him come into contact with these groups of people.” “Me too. How did you ever become Bridgeport’s greatest private eye? Carlos was holding the drink.” she started as I turned back to face her.” “Do you know his business?” I asked.” “Yeah.” I asked. “I was on duty when Carlos Rivera came in. He’d rather have others do the work for him. “He did break his nose and he wasn’t holding the Bloody Mary.” “So you have evidence that could help free an innocent man. “How do you know this. “If I did. women. He has this controversial way of handling these groups of people.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “He was holding a Bloody Mary in his hand. “But why?” I asked myself as I turned away from the doctor.” “So he could have been framed?” She nodded. and then they’ll take it from there. “I’m not really the greatest.
She smiled. but I studied it like a medical student would.” I nodded.” I said. “I would never jeopardize my job for anyone! I report the truth. “If you think of anything else I need to know. I walked out of her workplace and looked at the autopsy report. and because of the ties you have?” She pondered those questions for a moment and then answered. I called her immediately and explained.” “Damn you’re a funny girl. right?” “Even still. “I have a great deal of work to do. “I think Detective O’Brien wanted me to make sure you get everything they got. “For now.” she said she took out a pair of surgical gloves from a box on the counter. “So the other doctor who handed everything over to te police.” I said.” she said.” she replied.” “I also know the deacon. “Me too.” she said warmly. and no.” “So you think. “Call the police. I was the ideal person to speak to. .” “Sometimes it’s better that way. No matter what!” “Just checking.Frank Atanacio She shrugged. “If you need anything else. I handed the doctor my business card and she accepted it.” “Because of what you found. “So the reports have no prejudices. is she on duty?” “He.” “Here’s a print out of the autopsy report. “I’ve known him for a number of years through his wife. “I was the first to handle his corpse. She slipped it into her pocket and smiled at me. “Too bad your audience consists of dead people.” she half shouted. She nodded. That’s all.” She smiled. call me.” I Nodded. “Captain Jenny Camacho and I go a long way back.” “I wish it were under different circumstances. and I stick with it.” “B B?” She nodded. her eyes shifting away from me.” she paused. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for.” she said as she handed me the paper.” “You’ve been a great help.” I nodded again.” “After the reports?” “When I completed the reports is when all this came to light.” “Good. “Is that all the questions you have?” she asked. “I’m here and I believe the police wanted you to speak to me.” She said softly. “I could never have a bad night. glancing at the empty coffee pot.
and I had mine. She was only trying to protect her son. and how I was never home. I couldn’t remember a case ever being so delicate. he seemed challenged. In my line a work. Funny how relationship works. They complained amongst themselves. Again with the delicate. I took off my gun and laid down on the sofa that I had stored there for dumping purposes. When you allow something to challenge you.com 41 . Again they talked amongst themselves. She once said she didn’t want to let fear in the door. there has to be no room for being challenged. B B had her one. She told me to try an office job. I remembered her kisses. I knew my neighbors complained about it. I thought about it. It’s difficult rule to follow. and it’s all I knew. Pushing her skirt way up high so that I could be teased unmercifully. but that was far too delicate for me. While the ripples were still spreading. I’d had a few sweethearts since Zoraida. Everything has to be hit head on. but she was the one I didn’t want to let go.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 15 Everything didn’t seem to be going the way I expected it. Delicate? My house came with a farm porch that stretched from one side of the house to the other. I lay there thinking and my thoughts kept coming around to Zoraida Saez. and the thoughts of that beautiful girl intensified. I liked it. and I fully understood. and getting the upper hand is what I always strived for. I remembered everything we did together. It lets me be me. Everything we did together developed into a pattern that inked itself permanently in my consciousness.bibliotastic. O’Brien had hit it on the head when he called her the one. it may cause you to lose your life. I couldn’t get some much needed rest. and knew that I wasn’t trained to do anything else. I guess they thought I was much too delicate to hear the truth. he lacked conviction. it’ll end up staying over like an unwanted family member who has nothing better to do than to sponge off of you. I kept thinking about that word. and the way she drove her sports car. Delicate again? Tired and bothered as I was. when O’Brien spoke to me. but a rule nevertheless. www. When the deacon spoke to me. She wanted me to quit what I was doing once. even a little fear. She was afraid of what my job was going to do to her family. I fell asleep. but they never approached me. but I never got around to doing it. Zoraida was a whole package deal. They were always talking about the way I live. her laughs. Because if you do. Without being delicate.
It was upsetting and she wanted to know what I was doing about it. and knew how to handle people.” I said.” “Janet. She was finishing up college. “You know I’m right. “Hey. She had a sour look on her face and her expression was clear. She was always looking out for me.” Janet said. “You haven’t glowed like that since Zoraida.” Janet was visiting her favorite vacation spot when she first heard the news.” she said.” “Yeah. She was intelligent.” she said giving me a curious look.” “What is B B doing about this?” “She’s worried. My door opened.” I smiled. I’m going to pay her a visit. So I decided to hire her as my secretary. but she served her purpose. It was a fashion statement for her. and I would always look out for her. ask yourself.” “Don’t be an ass.” “I am.” “Maybe I’m pregnant. what the hell is going on?” she asked as she stood directly in front of me with her hands on her hips. “I hope you’re doing something about it. but she wasn’t at all wild. She was steady. Things would certainly not be the same. “What’s up with Mike Brandon?” “Looks like the deacon is in serious trouble. and I wouldn’t know what to do without her if she decided to leave.” I said. as if she owned the joint. She had left over seven messages on Mike Brandon cell phone.” “You got a new girl. “Janet. She didn’t realize that the deacon lost his cell.” “Poor mama.” “What are you talking about?” “You got a girl!” “Don’t be crazy. pretty Latin woman with dark short hair. and drag us down with you. She wasn’t very efficient. She set the bar high for herself. and she stormed in like a woman on a mission. frantic. and had lots of dreams.” I replied without holding back any punches. She was oddly my right hand man. She started when she was in high school just doing some light filing. but he has failed to return her calls. She couldn’t continue to enjoy herself until she knew what was going on. It has put him in a bad spot. Maybe try and give her some comfort. but had planned to reach her goals. She was a thin.” “Don’t play with me Nick. I bet.” she said. I got use to her and she got use to me. “Damn you men know how to screw life up. I nodded.Frank Atanacio Chapter 16 Janet returned from vacation. and he hung around people he shouldn’t be seen with. “He got caught up in places he shouldn’t be in. glowing. “Yeah. and she heard the news all the way down in Florida. She had olive skin and big brown eyes that often displayed a puppy expression. you are. She had a nose piercing and a tongue ring. Knowing her. you pimp!” . that wasn’t going to be much of a problem.” she continued.” “I’m not glowing. “Okay Nick. “Can’t have my favorite deacon locked up. That was a big plus in this business. “When did you ever know me to play around about a serious situation?” Janet worked for me for about five years. Her favorite deacon was accused of murder. “Why are you glowing?” “Glowing?” “Yeah. I’m all over this. It was frightening and unsettling.
“What’s her name?” “I’m telling you Janet. it’s nothing. Nicky boy.” www.” she started.” “Come on.com 43 .” she said.” “Nothing? Strange name. “Don’t do that.” I smiled.” “You had sex with her?” “You said it.” “It really isn’t nothing. Reminding you of Zoraida is only telling me that you wish she was Zoraida.” “You see Nick.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “You can’t tell that by just looking into my face. “Why?” “Got to watch my old man’s back. is just a booty call?” “Booty call?” “Yeah. people change. But hey. really. “So you’re telling me that this nothing. “But damn Nick. Zoraida’s body isn’t even cold yet. “What?” “I’ll find out who she is.” I smiled.” I said.” Janet laughed.” she chuckled. Let her stand on her own two feet and be her own person. “You are college educated. “I just can’t picture you a booty call type of person. “I don’t think I know her.” she put her fingers on her chin. “Let’s just leave it at that. “But she reminds me a little of her though.” I laughed. “That means you are seeing someone knew.” “Good. “I’m a pimp daddy.” She smiled.” “Better looking than Zoraida?” “I don’t compare girls. “Come on pimp daddy. “That hurts.” She gave me the middle finger. and you just admitted it.” I said. and it went a little too far.” she said.” I tried to explain.” “Damn. “We just met.” I said. I smiled.bibliotastic.” “No.” “It’s nothing.” I said.” “It’s been two years!” “Aha!” “What?” “You said It’s been two years.” “Carolyn Lopez. spill the beans. Don’t live with Zoraida through her.” I said. “Carolyn Lopez? Hmm.” “Do what?” “You shouldn’t compare girls like that.
” I whispered.Frank Atanacio I gave her my middle finger. “Just leave things alone.” She smiled. “I think she will too. She continued laughing as she walked out of my office and slammed the door behind her.” . “Damn.” I said.
to her natural beauty. “Oh. In fact. exposing some dog crates.” I nodded. “Here!” I knew where she was. I walked toward the light and noticed a sign beneath it pointing to the rear of the building. A wooden trailer was parked in the back. The smell of urine was strong as it hit me like a ton of bricks. He was a bear of a man. She was the complete package. “Nick!” Carolyn called. A beer would be great!” She smiled.. Nevertheless. There was a strip of stores on that side of the road next to Chico. I found myself drifting in and out of reality. 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. I had to be there. He also had exposed hair on his chest pushing up toward his neck. and Mike Brandon was my friend. There was a small arena at the center of the room and two pit-bulls tied on each side of the arena. She was handing the orders to the bartender and he was quickly handing her the drinks. They had anger in their eyes. In this case dogs used for fighting. It was partially covered.com 45 . The trailer was obviously used to transport animals. Oh baby! “What are you doing later tonight?” I asked. She blew a kiss at me. but the flower shop at the end had a light on. www. and I had to keep digging. I noticed that the gamblers were drawn to that particular spot because of her. She was a very attractive woman and the men knew it. I sipped. “Probably making love to you. He wore farmer overalls and a wife beater tee-shirt. okay.bibliotastic. I saw Carolyn Lopez standing at the corner of the bar taking drink orders. Damn.” I repeated. He simply just let me in. He had lots of curly hair on his shoulder and upper arm. The pit-bull on the left side had dried blood on his face that completely covered scars. He gave me an up and down look and allowed me passage. but failed to see this happening in their own back yard. Both the dogs looked like they just came out of a war zone. My eyes went into puppy mode. about a hundred yards from the stair-well. “I don’t pay for beers. It was held at the Chico Social Club in a blue collar community. A community that had neighborhood watches.” “A beer?” “Scotch and water. He had a thick beard and a full moustache. I smiled. I followed the directions to the back of the shop and into a dark stairwell. I knew that the sign was meant for the would be gamblers. She handed me a draft. “You want a drink?” “Scotch and water.” she replied. It was my job. but I played it off and looked surprised to see her. Everything you wanted in a girl with the exception of the gambling debt. or he didn’t expect a password. The one on the right side of the arena had a missing ear. but I too was drawn to her charm. They were closed of course. “Working tonight?” I asked as I kissed her cheek. I slept with that! It wasn’t that hard to admit. “Yeah. Behind her sat the bouncer.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 17 Sunday came rather quickly as I hustled over to Chico for the dog fighting contest. They were like a well oiled machine. and fighting clenched teeth. but you know the deal.” she said. I knocked on the dirty gray metal door and a thin tall dark skinned Latino male opened it up. He did not ask me for identification.
” “Damn. “Hey!” The bouncer called. The bouncer walked up to me with Froggy in tow. Glancing around the club. I understood that I was violating his turf. It was a dreadful. “Hey!” The bouncer shouted.” I said. “Yes?” “Pay-out time. Perhaps he was wondering why I was here. and my heart ached. you asshole!” “Barnum. The excitement was just about to begin as the lights dimmed and everyone quickly ran toward the arena. right?” “Only if you wanna meet me between the sheets. I couldn’t believe how ugly he looked. “How much?” a man in a light gray suit and a pimp hat asked me. but it probably did attract his attention. but did not get off his chair. “I know. I noticed the excitement in the patrons’ eyes. He was so excited with the outcome of the dog fight. He had a patch over one eye and his facial feature and popped out eye had reptilian features. “How much what?” “Are you betting. He was staring sullenly at me.” said the bouncer.” “Your name?” “Nick.Frank Atanacio I smiled.” “I’m sorry. but gratification nevertheless.” “Come back again. They needed medical attention. It was a total disgrace. and horrible spectacle. “Leave the lady alone. There was a small heavy set man standing in front of the dogs holding cash in both hands. The dogs in the arena were ripping at each other and all of a sudden there was a shriek. I know.” The bouncer growled. and what dog?” I looked at the dogs in the arena and really didn’t want to bet on either one of them. Froggy looked curiously at me as I tried not to stare. but I had to be here. “The missing ear dog.” she smiled. I looked toward the arena and the dog with the missing ear was covered in blood and lifeless. I quickly turned to face the dogs as they went at it in the ring. “The lady has work to do. It was false gratification. why do you bitches have to make this shit so difficult?” he said as he wrote my name in the book and walked away. That ten dollars wasn’t going to make him any money. He turned and whispered something to the bouncer and returned his glare toward me again. It was show time. He knew that the house had made a lot of money. I’m leaving her alone. “After work.” I said. yet I wanted to feed him a fly.” I said. and then a calm. Thank God I only put down ten bucks. There was a man standing next to the bouncer who really looked like a frog. “Holy-shit!” Foggy turned toward the ring and then his eyes smiled in triumph. . I get it. Perhaps he was attracted to my tall good-looking features.” “Last name too.” “Ten. I couldn’t believe people actually betted on these types of things. I saw it a million times.” “I know right where that is. and the bouncer smiled. I was doing it for a friend. He was studying the aftermath briefly and muttered. “How much? You asshole. and this was probably their last night alive. She’s got work to do. I knew that look. and how much I placed as a bet. They stopped directly in front of me.
” There was a quick thump and I fell to my knees. I didn’t know there was a minimum. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. Normally it would have taken several hits to knock me out. “Besides. well the losers just pay. But let me tell you this. I wanted to push him away. “You’re that guy asking questions?” “That’ll be me.” said the bouncer. “I don’t carry that much money on me. I saw Carolyn Lopez worrying and finally.” I said as I handed him ten dollars.” he said.” “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. but whatever they used was heavy and precise.” “You took out some of my men. “Have our money!” he demanded as he pointed his finger into my chest. “You placed ten!” “Holy-shit.” Froggy smiled. If not. “I su. www. but I had to think. I’m giving you to the end of this week to pay. The bouncer moved closer to me and his big belly was unpleasantly touching my arm. “Barnum?” Froggy looked confused.com 47 ..” “Everyone who came tonight knew about the minium.” “Can I plead my case?” “I can’t kill you.bibliotastic. I’m gonna have to kill you so the others can see that we don’t play around. and the losers. of course. The winners won twenty times the amount they placed. A flash shot right before my eyes.. “It’s hard to collect money from a dead man. I saw the room spinning. but I just realized that someone had hit me in the back of the head with a blunt instrument. and my body ached. I saw men shoes in front of me before everything went dark.” I said. I had to think about the bet I had just lost.” I gulped.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Oh. “What the fuck is this?” “I lost. “Well?” he growled.
I didn’t realize it at first.” The dog whimpered again. and I knew the bags weren’t garbage. In response to some sort of private investigator’s instincts. I mustered enough strength to zip open the bag and out fell the other pit-bull. Maybe you should have gambled too. He crawled closer to me and fell into my lap.” I said. He was stabbed twice in the throat. but I managed to crawl toward the first one.” I said. “Damn. my friend. and the other duffle bag next to it.” I said. “You rest. and my face was covered in cuts. “What the hell did these animals do to this poor dog?” On the ground next to my feet.” The dog’s purr was quieter. and the dog looked into mine. There were two canvas duffle bags laying about three feet away from me. lying on his side with his paw frozen with rigomortise was the dog that made me lose ten thousand dollars. “But if you owed them money. The dog too was looking for comfort. “Should I?” I pulled the other bag toward me and it moved. “Of course we can become friends. I looked into his bloody eyes. “I don’t think we should fall asleep. It looked like they took turns punching me around while I was unconscious because my entire body ached. but I knew they were bleeding. The winner of that contest. I noticed the dog had a very difficult time trying to keep its head up.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 said. It took some doing. His bloodied head motionless on the ground. I couldn’t feel my lips. However. but somehow survived it. I would have given Froggy. Or perhaps it was just the beating I got that made everything difficult. Perhaps it was because my nose was full of dried blood. It appeared that he had his throat cut. “You like baseball?” The dog didn’t answer. “I know how you feel dog. The dog licked my arm. the smell from the bag was so strong I almost threw up. and then stopped almost as I put my hand on his head. because I really couldn’t feel my legs. but couldn’t. He tried to clench his teeth and growl. “I know what you’re thinking. Something that wasn’t going into the garbage can. He went into a whimpering frenzy. They were next to each other side by side. We may never get up. “Don’t tell me it’s the other dog?” I whispered. “I like the Mets. and this was his reward.” I said as the dog crawled closer to me.” The dog continued purring. that one-eyed punk the money if he would have guaranteed me the life of that poor dog. “I wonder what these monkey’s left behind?” I said as I pulled the first one toward me. The dog was almost purring. “It really is a dog eats dog world. they wouldn’t have tried to kill you. “We better talk about something to keep us awake. He put his bloody head on my lap and closed his eyes. but I knew it moved on its own because I wasn’t touching the bag at the time. so that became a task in itself. right?” The dog was quiet. I just knew that the duffle bags had something in them. what hit me?” I said softly. I looked for the zipper and it was dark outside. I opened the bag up and at first I couldn’t recognize the stench. In the bag was the dog with the missing ear.” I said. “You with me buddy?” . “You’re thinking that this is a Yankee town.
” I whispered. “But at least he didn’t die alone. “Buddy?” I pulled the dog’s head toward me and realized he had died.com 49 .bibliotastic. and I kept petting the dog on my lap. It was just too much for me to take as I drifted back into the unconsciousness. I hope I don’t die alone. “Damn. I smelled the rotting dog next to me. www.” But at least he didn’t die alone? That wasn’t even comforting! I kept patting the dog and my eyelids were getting to heavy.Case File: Dog Eats Dog There was no sound coming from the dog at all.
” “What?” “They’re given us a written statement. Pete. “It was really touch and go for a moment. until I realized that it wasn’t darkness from the lack of sun. “It’s me. “Can you help me out?” “I should let you rot there!” “It stinks so bad in here. “Yeah. “No dogs.” “Those women standing next to my police officers tell something different. “I wasn’t. “I’m in here.” I said.” I said.” I called. I didn’t have the energy to stand. The plastic lid shot open.” “What the hell are you doing in the garbage?” “Someone threw me away. There was still a lot of commotion. but I was far too deep.” “Pete.Frank Atanacio Chapter 19 I heard a great deal of commotion. “Nick?” “God?” “No you idiot.” said O’Brien. we checked.” “Those old hens were put up to it!” .” “You shouldn’t be drinking.” “What about the dead dogs in the alley?” I shouted as I pointed to the alley.” I said as he helped me out of the dumpster.” “I really want to tell you that you’re a sight for battered eyes. you didn’t want to pay. I couldn’t believe it. and making a spectacle of yourself.” I replied. It was darkness from within a garbage dumpster. “Froggy must have cleaned up his act. “Help!” I called. I was just about to make some coffee. It took several minutes before someone realized that I was in the trash.” “Explain the beating. but I’m still good. “Grab my hand. “Their pimp. and someone peered in at me.” I tried to reach for the lid.” I continued. “You know me!” “I thought I did. you too. “Hello. carrying on with a prostitute.” 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.” I smiled faintly.” “A whore Nick?” O’Brien looked disappointed. “Come in. and when I opened my eyes up it was still dark.” He said as he helped me stand to my feet.” “The dog fight in Chico?” He shook his head from side to side.” “What?” “They told them that you were here all night singing. “Someone threw me away.
they were put up to it. They killed two pit bulls last night and must have taken them away. “It came up empty.” I said as he helped me into the car.” “Pete.” “That didn’t answer my question. I came here for the dog-fight!” I pleaded. We’ll work on something to help the deacon out.” he said. This would never fly if I really had to arrest you. and they took it out on me and the dogs.” “You just had one too many. but I should for being a stupid ass.” “That makes him honest?” “I didn’t say that.” “Then lie.” “Listen. They said you were out here with a woman and she demanded payment for the sex you’ve had. it’s not what it looks like.” “Can’t say what isn’t true.” “So you’re not making any progress?” “We’re doing th best that we could. Or at least I couldn’t pay. You know that. “Are given us statements.” www.” “Again Nick. “You got caught up with booze and a prostitute.com 51 .” he said pointing toward some police officers and several woman standing next to them. “I’m telling you.” he said as he entered the car. you know it’s a game he’s playing.” “You didn’t have to.bibliotastic.” He grimaced.” “You were out here doing whatever. those woman over there.” “That hurts.” “Let’s just get you home. “I lost a lot of money and I didn’t pay.” “But you love me. He does have a great deal of money. “Let’s go. “Don’t worry. I’m not going to arrest you.” “No. and that the deacon will be okay. and then there is just you. and he knows some important people. check out the club!” “Let’s just go so I can let these people go back to their homes.” “Pete.” It just accord to me as O’Brien was helping me to his police cruiser. I’m telling you. thanks for getting me out of that can. Nick.” “Does that remotely sound like something I would do?” I asked. but he can account for every penny.” “I should have left your stank ass there. you stink. “You’re really stinking up my cruiser.” he started as he turned to face me. “It’s you. “Let’s just leave this alone for now.” He nodded.” “Can I bribe you?” “Don’t get cute or I’ll throw your ass back into the dumpster.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Let me take you home. “We have increased our investigation. we have to do something about Froggy. He’s the highest tax payer this city has. I can’t take your side on this. How can I believe you over them? There are several of them. Just like he’s doing to Mike Brandon.” “Pete.” he said. He was a genuine threat to the citizens of this city.” he said.” “Well.” “Must be the lack of evidence.” “What do you want me to say?” “That you’re getting leads. “Pete. I was just wondering if O’Brien knew it. Froggy was a much more human presence than the mayor.
” he said. “And the deacon continues to squirm.” “For now.Frank Atanacio He smiled.” I grimaced. “For now. Nick. .
” He nodded. www.bibliotastic. She’s no dummy. He is a well tight man.” “That place wasn’t just no dog-fighting backyard type. “Not with B B standing over him. “The place had walnut paneling. “I can’t see Mike betting on those fights and she not knowing where the money is going. “Can’t make you promises though.” I replied. “I’ve known her for a long time.” he said.” “Deacon Brandon wouldn’t stoop that low. “I just got to bet on the main event. If anything.” “I guess.” “From his parishioners. “How many dog fights?” he asked. He would never actually say it.” he said as he tossed me a dry towel. He had been doing it for over 30 years.” said O’Brien.” I said. He would always look for ways to raise money. “Can I offer you a drink?” “Enough with the booze. I should have realized that when the bets were a thousand dollar minium. I think. “And the deacon had his hands dirty. “What?” “Gets the money from his church. “There were several scheduled.” he said. I don’t know how he could have waged a thousand dollars a fight. but he didn’t have to.” “Don’t put anything over on that woman. “I’d like to loosen him a bit with my fist for having those dogs killed.” “I don’t know.” I restated.” “We’re going to continue checking on that.” I said. “Mostly poor.” “Okay.” “Froggy?” He nodded.” “He has a great deal of followers. “Maybe she didn’t want to know.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 20 Detective Peter O’Brien lived his whole life as a bachelor.” He nodded. “I’m glad. He helped me into my house and made sure I was cleaned up. “What? I couldn’t. and the hours were just too long. However. His never being married had something to do with being a police officer.” I said.” “She would have stopped it.” he said.” “If all this comes out. I think the deacon thought he was helping the church.” he said. he was a good friend and he really cared about me and the deacon.” “A thousand?” “Something I couldn’t afford.” O’Brien started. I smiled.” “Maybe she didn’t know. “So you do believe there is dog fighting?” “I believe you.com 53 .” O’Brien gave me a side-ways glance. and high ceilings that totally whispered privilege.
. Gamble in the name of God.” “So we got to help him out of this mess. Certainly not for personal gain. Mike doesn’t want anyone going without.Frank Atanacio “And Mike still manages to send needed kids to summer camps. I’m sure he’s gambling for his flock. “These days?” “Right. He still finds money to send needy kids to baseball games..” “Of course. “Which is what?” I asked. He always comes through when basketball camps come around.” he said. Maybe he had to do what he had to do.” I said. “It makes sense in a way.” “And put him back on the straight and narrow.” O’Brien smiled.
but his nose big. “Rusty Miller. “What do you mean?” “People find it too difficult to talk about what happened to Mike Brandon. are you okay to talk?” I asked.bibliotastic.” I started explaining.com 55 . I wasn’t really in the mood or the mind set to take on any new clients.” he said. You don’t have that fear?” “I don’t have any enemies.” “So he made payment arrangements with you?” Mr. “Wife know you have no job?” “She knows what I do. but not a lot. He wore oval shaped glasses with black rims.” Janet said. Nick PT Barnum. “Mr. “I’m paying on time.” he said. and a Malcolm-X tee-shirt. but we’re good.” “Mr. “Are you married?” He nodded. “I’m sorry for what has happened to the deacon.” he said.” “How do you do?” I said as I stood up quickly and shook his hand. “I do owe him a little money.” “Professionally?” He nodded.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. He looked at me quizzically. He smiled. Miller.” “Yeah.” said Janet almost too professionally.” Janet started. not behind on any gambling debts?” “I told you. that he is. Miller.” I said as I pointed to one of my client’s chairs.” www. “They have this fear brought on by Froggy. “And you’re debt free?” He nodded again. “Was gambling with the deacon that night. His eyes were tiny. My face was still aching. “He is a good man. Miller nodded.” “Sit down.” “So you have no financial problems with him?” I continued. but I didn’t want Janet to look bad. His hair was dark color with beads of gray. “I’ll let you guys talk.” I said. “No big debts. “We all are. “Do you owe Froggy money?” “Yes.” “Salt of the earth. “This is my boss.” “Are you behind?” “No. “What do you do for a living?” “I gamble. but my body seemed to have accepted the beating I sustained when Janet came in with an overweight black man wearing baggy shorts. “he said.
dogs. we make enough money to take a vacation every year around Christmas time. I came here to talk about the deacon. “To help.” I smiled again.” “But you don’t fear him?” “Why should I?” “Because you’re here. I could hear him taking a deep breath.” He was quiet. “It’s a mystery to me.” he half stood and then sat back down. The deacon doesn’t really hang around with such bad elements. “Hell.” “I don’t think so. trust me. I’m a professional gambler. “Why are you really here?” I asked. “What does Froggy want with me?” “Nothing. “There is no need to grill me like that. That’s how I make my money. The man shook his head slowly from side to side. jai-alai. He wanted some information from me. “And if you don’t tell me.” “Which buddy?” I asked again. “Which buddy?” “Mike.” he said. “Whether you believe me or not. “I told you.” “I’m a God loving man.” “You like taking decent men to these places too?” “I don’t understand. He really didn’t expect me to believe he came here to help the deacon. he is. “I didn’t find him.Frank Atanacio I smiled. Nothing at all. Mike.” he said bravely.” “He found me. right?” “I came to help you.” “That’s just a fact. scratch offs. ponies. What do you mean?” “I’m just wondering what attracted the deacon to something like this.” he said. . That’s how I roll. And forgive me for saying this. “If the odds are in your favor.” he snorted.” I smirked.” he said. is all.” I reworded. It’s beneath him. He wanted to pick my brain for Froggy.” “How much are you really in debt?” “What the hell?” Rusty Miller was struggling with his confidence. but it was clearly written across his face. the so called deacon is not as honest as you think. “But I didn’t come here to talk about my profession. but you’re beneath him too. He didn’t say it. debt will be the last thing you’re going to worry about. trying to steady himself. “Tell me?” “I came here to help my buddy out.” “Just trying to find out where you found Mike Brandon.” he replied. “Whether it be the lottery.” “Yeah. He doesn’t want anything from you.” I added.” “He wanted to know how you found out about the dog-fighting contest. I do it all!” “Dog fighting?” “Cock fighting too.
“When was the last time you saw her?” I asked. 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.” I said.bibliotastic.” He nodded. “But otherwise. “But she told him you already knew. Do I make myself clear?” “Definitely understand you. www.” he continued.” “How was she?” I nervously asked.. “One other thing?” “Yeah?” “Don’t you ever come by my office pretending you’re the deacon’s friend to pry information out of me.” He nodded.com 57 .” he said as he forced himself off my client’s chair using my desk as a brace.” I said.” “Good. she was okay. He walked out. she was fine. She was in good spirits. I’m going to put a bullet into your fat ass. “He suspected Carolyn Lopez.” I nodded.” “What?” “All that until she saw you get your ass kicked..” I smiled. You make sure he gets this information.” “She’s telling the truth. “Last night.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “He told me he’d knock my debt down if I got the information for him. laughing. “I spoke with her last night.” I nodded. “You will never see me again. “I already knew. If I ever see you again.
tips touching my chin and thought about Carolyn Lopez briefly.” I whispered.” she said. “It’s not like that. and countless other stores. Janet. “You look like it more than you could ever feel like it.” I smiled. “A man without a mission.” I followed Janet’s lean figure toward the door. “You should go home and rest. but now he’s experiencing it firsthand.” “Mike had always dealt with difficult hands. “The deacon is out there alone. “You really look like shit. I didn’t have to be a mind-reader to know what she was thinking. and now it’s gone giving way to another pharmacy. “Yeah. and she made me laugh. I knew she wasn’t Zoraida.” “Then maybe he’ll come out of this on top.” “I’m just stating a fact. “Could my intelligence be rubbing off on you?” Janet tried to recall the lessons I’ve given her.” “With pay?” “Of course. Rite Aid Pharmacy was on the corner for almost twenty years.” I crossed my fingers. Some of my teachings were clear. Maybe he preached paths like this. Furniture stores opened and closed.Frank Atanacio Chapter 22 I stood up from my desk and turned to face the window that over looked downtown Main Street. “It’s the path he didn’t want to go down. “Thanks. . I told him where I got my information from. others were just bad experiences.” “Trust me. and it’s going to remain here until my last breath. “Let’s go.” I replied. So many different stores opened and closed on this street over the past few years. and I think that will satisfy Froggy. She knew we weren’t a couple.” “I guess you’re right.” “The deacon without a church. “But if I’m going home. “Getting smarter?” She nodded.” She smiled. “You okay.” “Why you thanking me?” “For being here. Some were here for the long haul.” she suggested. Nick?” Janet asked.” “You think something’s going to happen to your new friend?” “Carolyn?” “Yeah.” She smiled at that. My office has been here through all that. You’re intelligence is a farce. but she was sweet. you’re taking the rest of the day off.” said Janet.” “I feel like it.” “I don’t think so.” “I’m too tired to argue.” I glanced at my secretary. It was like trying to remember good dreams.” she spread her hands in a helpless gesture.” I said. “I’ve given that fat-ass what he wanted to know.” I said. “I spoke to B B and she tells me that he is worried. The last thing she felt when she closed the door behind her was my worried expression over Carolyn Lopez. “And he always came out of it on top. I guess.
It was clearly written across her face.com 59 . She wanted me to be happy. www.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.
” his eyes softened. “I know.” he explained. I’d certainly lose.” “Murdered?” He nodded. O’Brien and I faced each other on my drive way. “We trust you.Frank Atanacio Chapter 23 I pulled into my driveway.” “What?” He nodded. right?” He nodded slowly again. I was almost in a clear state of shock.” “Can’t you just tell them I looked at it already?” I asked. Nick. We had a conversation about Mr. I didn’t hear him walking toward me. Rusty Miller earlier. “Are you sure?” “Of course.” Guilt seeped through my numbed body. “Her face sort of stripped away. “I don’t like bringing bad news. but nevertheless I was glad it was him. “Been bad. and I had filled him in on what that man tried to do.” O’Brien said. I looked toward the street and saw Detective Peter O’Brien’s unmarked police cruiser parked at the curb.” I bowed my tired head. I didn’t remember leaving it that way. Or was it me? Was she excited to see me at the club? . Pete?” “They beat her up so badly. He looked at me and knew exactly what I meant.” “I came to pick you up. The one I told you to leave alone.” “But you know it’s Carolyn. “So why do you need to pick me up?” “You were the last person we know who saw her alive. He was arrested several times before in different cities for laundering money through his church. O’Brien did a little research on him and told me that he was also a deacon.” said O’Brien. Nick. “Carolyn Lopez?” He nodded again. because I was too tired to think of anything else. “Those animals!” “We need you just to take a small look. “You need to identify the body for us. but everything that happened to me over the past week could have left me a bit absent-minded.” I said.” “Damn. It was unbelievable that this could have happened to her. but this one I had to bring to you. It had to be the only explanation. “It’s what you gotta do. and I was relieved to see him standing behind me. “How’s your day going?” I asked right off the bat.” he paused as if to catch his breath. “She won’t be a witness for us anymore.” “She changed her story?” I asked. That witness you’ve been seeing on the side. I didn’t have the energy for another round of fighting. Looks like she was punch inside out. “She was murdered. She looked like she was fitting right into that small group.” “That guy Rusty saw her last. “Then I’ll bring you back.” he said. I wanted it to be the only explanation. “We need you to identify the body for us. His engine was still running. and I noticed that my front door was opened.” “Why.
“What can make men so cruel?” The stillness in my heart was almost contained. I sipped again as I permitted the scotch to ease my mind. I shut my eyes for a moment and sipped. and a good man. and my mind began relaxing the best way it knew how. He was a caring person. and the extra rooms were tedicously large. Nick.” “You mean you won’t say?” “I’ll say if I knew. Leaning against the bar. and actually making love to her.” I smiled. I didn’t know what I would do when I saw the mutilated body of Carolyn Lopez. you just met her. Pete. The houses were built larger these days. “You did leave the front door unlocked. I walked into my front door feeling terrible about what happened to Carolyn Lopez. I took another deep breath and another sip of scotch. and slowly back up into my driveway. “I’ll bring you back home.” I said. The last time I saw her was when I was on the social club floor. I felt a little easier. It was only that time you’d see a police car.” I whispered. but Pete. The neighbors were so quiet. so I can’t say if it’s Froggy.” I nodded. I began to dread going to bed. I know she was cute. That wasn’t a smart thing to do. I walked toward my bar and poured a tall glass of Johnnie Walker Black.” I said. O’Brien blew the horn. I took a deep breath as Carolyn Lopez’s face washed across my mind. she was so different in so many ways. Tonight was going to be a difficult night to deal with. I was ready to see Carolyn Lopez for the last time. I knew it wasn’t going to happen. The scotch was doing its job.” He continued. “I saw a light on in your house so I thought you were home. but now she’s been murdered. break-ins and robberies were so rare. Her smiled would certainly invade my sleep. “You can leave your truck here. Lord knows I need one. She was murdered. I had so many things on my mind that I was already fearing it. I gean to dread meeting her.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Nick?” “Was it Froggy?” “Can’t say. “Damn. www. and they were always off duty. She adored me. and I knew it. “I’ll be with you. and her death would certainly invade my dreams.” O’Brien broke my train of thought. I watched O’Brien make his way to the car.bibliotastic.” I nodded. Taking a bigger sip. “Maybe I could have had a chance in getting to know her better. “Just let me get a quick drink. Officers Victor Cruz and Alfredo Fuentes would stop by for a card game or a sporting event. Every now and again. I really couldn’t recall the last time I had seen a police car cruise through.com 61 . “Why was she killed?” I asked myself as I took a longer sip. perhaps for no reason. dreading the times Carolyn and I had. “I know it’s killing you. I waited for the absolute quiet to begin easy my snarled nerves and hopes it washes away my worries. or at least take control of it for a moment.” “I’ll wait in the car.” My house was in a new sub-division in the North End of the city. It wasn’t planned. But remember.” O’Brien grimaced. but it happened.” “That’s true. Her eyes would light up in my presence. There will be no problem with that. And everyone knows how much you were into that girl. I finished my drink. but scotch whiskey usually helps.” O’Brien started explaining about the opened door. “Janet told me that this girl reminded you of Zoraida.
” “They still can.” said O’Brien.” “Allege.” “That’s Carolyn Lopez. and that made O’Brien angry. He wasn’t very careful in doing it. no direction. That woman that I made love to.” he started as he unzipped the body bag.” “She worked for Froggy for no money. “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. Just identify her.” said the attendant. She’s dead.” O’Brien said in an almost whisper. and we will find out who did this. “She’s already dead!” O’Brien waved me over as the man moved the body bag from the Gurney to the center table.” I nodded. 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 needed to look away because the body in front of me was indeed Carolyn Lopez.” O’Brien nodded. I turned away and closed my eyes.” “They can try. “The girl was hit by a train. Damn thing was a freaking mess. and he took it out in trade. “She owed him a gambling debt.” he said as he stepped to one side so I could get a good look at the body. I waited by the entrance until a small thin man wearing a white jump-suit rattled in a Gurney. “Now I’m going to fester and then make them wish they had killed me.” I said. . “Hey watch it!” Shouted O’Brien as he stood next to a metal table in the center of the room. “No. “Ye sir. It was odd to see her on the stretcher lifeless. and I really liked her.” I said. “It’s okay Nick. That woman who really liked me.” I said. She was a waitress at those dog-fighting contests.” “That’s that. No meaning. Damn there were pieces everywhere.” “Zip her up. Took several family members to identify her. “It’s okay to look. And part of that stench came from Carolyn Lopez. Hell. “Listen you punk son of a bitch!” “What?” the man shouted as he pulled away from O’Brien’s reaching hand. and we’ll be on our way. “They kept pounding away at her until she stopped breathing. “What?” said the man in the white jump-suit. “Killing Carolyn?” “Not killing me when they had their chance. it was that stale stench of death. “Cowards. that’s her. It was that stale air that came from death that invaded my nostrils.” “Are you sure?” “Yep.” O’Brien corrected. “I’ll prove that they do exist. “They made their first mistake. “You got that right. The stretcher bumped into the door way onto a white tile floor almost spilling the black body bag.” I said.Frank Atanacio Chapter 24 The morgue had a distinctive odor. some even left this place not sure if it was their family member.” O’Brien ordered. only death.” O’Brien nodded. she was drinking and fell right onto the tracks.” O’Brien tried to comfort. “She was beaten to death. and this is this.
and slowly closed my eyes.” “I’m not a cop. “Looks that way. and I was happy. I really didn’t want to see her again so I started looking around the room.” I said. They kept the room spotless. but I wasn’t a doctor. the sink.” he said.” said O’Brien.” I nodded. O’Brien was holding the door with his foot until the attendant was able to push the Gurney forward and out the room. “I was just trying to help you cops. “Is that all?” asked the attendant. It couldn’t have been for contamination. I nodded. I was scanning the walls. He kept pushing her torso forward and her hand kept slipping out.bibliotastic. It was a room for the dead who were violently murdered. and I wondered why.Case File: Dog Eats Dog The attendant was having a difficult time zipping up Carolyn’s body. “Ready to go?” O’Brien asked. I didn’t see dirt or smudges of any kind. I just wondered why anyone would go through a lot of trouble to keep a room like this clean.com 63 . “Don’t you think?” “Don’t get nasty. “Let’s go. He nodded. the top of the counters. Nick. I just wanted my mind to drift until the attendant was able to secure the body into the bag. I glanced at the stretcher for the last time. www. I was also really not interested. He did.
Man stunk like dog shit. “Greedy punks even took my lunch!” Janet walked back to her desk. so I stood behind her and gave her a shoulder rub. sat down. “Janet. “What?” I asked. and her face covered with welts.” she said as she limped toward me. “They’re going to kick my ass again.” “Sick. and barked out demands.” I half whispered. I couldn’t stop looking until I. “Straight!” I smiled. “Came in looking for money you owe them.” she replied through clenched teeth. “Nick!” Relief! I looked back to my private office and Janet was standing by the door. Her clothes were torn a bit. I steered toward Janet’s desk and noticed blood stains on a place mat. and long dirty hair tied back into a pony-tail. and huffed.” she winced a bit.” she said.” “Hey. She was extremely tensed.” “A bill collector?” “Yeah.” “I’m sorry Janet. “What the hell happened?” “Damn bill collector. “Or did you try to stop them?” She glared at me for a moment..Frank Atanacio Chapter 25 I walked into my downtown office and I couldn’t believe my eyes. “I managed to get a few licks in before they got to me.” “What?” She nodded. Nick. Everything was turned over as if someone was frantically looking for something. and drop me from the window. “Those punks told me that the next time they come here. That’s the only reason they kept me alive. you need a doctor?” “I need some Southern Comfort. My eyes fell into a curious rhythm as I scanned the area. “They’re on my shit list!” “Those bastards followed me into your office. “One was a big guy. “I know.” .” she replied. tried to take it out of my skin. I nodded. and bruises. They wanted to.” she said as she sat down at her desk.” “Did you get a good look at them?” “Yeah. “It comes with the job.” she said with her eyes closing just a bit. “I was caught off guard. They’ll wait until all the blood seeps out of my body.” “They beat you up?” I asked. sat down. She took out the petty cash lock box and showed me that it was empty.” Janet stood up and walked toward the filing cabinet. Damn they punched me around like I was a man. “Those bastards worked me over and then they hung me out of your window and threatened to drop me. like O’Brien with front missing teeth.” she continued. “Came here collecting. but I was to warn you. They ransacked the entire place and left everything like a disaster area.. crossed her long legs. Damn. I noticed her rolling her head. right?” “You’re brave Janet.
and looked at me.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Yeah. “How in the hell can you owe someone that much money?” “They tricked me into owing them that much. He even begged. “It’s not my life that I’m worried about. “I gotta straighten their ass out.” “You should stay home until all of this is over.” “Now you playing with the big boys.” “I’m serious. I was caught so off guard.” I said.” “Dollars?” I nodded.” “Carolyn?” “Yeah. “I thought they were paying clients and I completely turned my back on them.” I said. and began to cry. a pity cash. I was scared as shit.” I said.” “You go boy!” “They’re pushing me too hard. now you. Remember they took our petty cash. about a hundred and seventy eight. stopped crying. “I feel better now pimp.” “How much do you owe those suckers?” “Ten thousand.com 65 . www. I sat down beside her and patted her gingerly on her shoulder. looks like they’re going to get a pity ass-kicking.” I started. covered her mouth with her palm. and bam! I owe them ten thousand dollars.” “Hey pimp. Maybe if I knew what they wanted I would have thrown one of them out the window. but they twisted the lingo. “I didn’t mean for you to get involved in this.” I said.” “Kiss my ass. “Thought I had a ten dollar bet.” “Then. “You really only owe them Nine thousand eight hundred and twenty two dollars.” I smiled. I like the adventure.” “Nick. and you’ve been threatened. looked around the office. “Well.” She jammed her fist against her lips. “Don’t want to come to work one morning and find me useless secretary splattered all over Main Street.” “Not on your life!” she shouted.” She smiled. I guess I really must have pissed them off because the skinny guy wanted the fat guy to drop me. “I’m sorry. “But to be honest with you. it’s a promise.bibliotastic.” “I don’t know what to say.” she started. for sure. maybe you should just stay home.” “Yeah. “Let it out. Janet looked at me.” she said.” I said almost quietly. she’s a corpse now. “But they still pocketed it.” “Just don’t want you to end up like Carolyn Lopez.” “How much did we have in petty cash?” “After I did my nails. Janet. “They also had the nerve to call our petty cash.” she said. not maybe.” she sobbed. They told me that it’s not a warning for me.” she said. “First Carolyn.” she insisted. pimp.
Frank Atanacio “They got me once. She was the main switch that kept everything running. I looked at her and she smiled. but I really didn’t want to be the cause of her leaving. I had to react with force. I’m staying.” “I understand.” she replied. She was much to valuable to me and my office.” “Besides. I knew it. One Eyed Froggy was playing too close to my candle flame. pimp.” “It’s dropped that I’m worried about. and she knew it. the punches hurt. “Those tears?” I nodded.” “I bet. I realized that someday she would move on and begin her own life. “They won’t get me again.” “They really worked me over like I was a man. “Me too. It was hard to imagine this office without Janet.” she said.” “That’s true.” “I’m glad you are okay.” She smiled.” she said. He struck a nerve with Carolyn. and he struck a bigger nerve with Janet.” I said. “First time I ever saw you cry.” “Funny pimp got jokes.” I said honestly.” I said. and I won’t be pushed around. “Damn straight.” she said as she rubbed her knuckles. “It just filled me up and had nowhere to go but through tears. “I’m too pretty to be scattered all over Main Street. and that was my next move. “I had to release my anger. Those bitches!” “But you took it like a man. .
” shouted the bartender. and rationality had no place in it. you have to do your job.” he snarled.” I replied. It was almost an art form as they danced to the Latin rhythms. I wanted to explore my rational way of thinking. “Hey. His face was flushed and his eyes angry. “You’re not going to beat us done easily this time. “Janet was tight. but it wasn’t the right time.bibliotastic. “Get rid of this joke. “You’re not allowed in here!” He shouted. or at least to be recognized. The club was crowded and there was Salsa music beaming out of the speakers on the walls and ceiling. but I had to make a statement. my friend.” I said.” I said. I needed to express myself differently. my co-worker.” “Then you should be reading the Bible. The odor was that clear.” I said. “I’m a paying customer. It felt nice to be popular. I do what I do.” “It is in my book.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 26 I found myself hurrying to the club that night in spite of the warning.” I smiled.” “Well. I smiled at that. “You want something from me?” I asked.” “Hey.” “We are ready for you.” “Just come in to buy a beer. Jackie Reeves recognized me right away as he turned to the seated bouncer and whispered something into his ear.” I tried snarling back.” I whispered. and maybe I will get it. I came to make a statement.” shouted the bouncer. “You said it’s closed.” he said as he turned to the bouncer again. “And death. The bouncer was a big burly man with no facial hair. “She said you smelled like shit when you were dangling her from my office window. “I’m telling you.” “You don’t belong here?” “I guess I don’t. The disc jockey was sitting high above the dance floor looking down at the dancers who were moving in sequence.” “It’s all part of living Jackie.” “The skinny bitch?” “My secretary.” I said. I knew that Froggy wasn’t going to like it.com 67 . “What for?” “The eye for an eye. I knew it had to be about me because the bouncer quickly glanced my way. But I want you to open the bar up. I was almost shocked when I realized he smelled just like shit.” “Bar’s closed for you.” “Open it up. “But I’m here anyways.” “You!” shouted the bouncer. “You don’t belong here.” I said. The ape stood directly in front of me. He had long hair tied into a pony tail and he had missing front teeth. “You don’t get it!” “Of course I don’t.” “We refuse to serve you!” “You smell like shit. The message had to be loud and clear. I had to send him a message. I don’t think that’s the right way to treat a lady.” “And we do what we do. The bartender. www. “Looking for trouble?” “Not really.
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
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.”
“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.
com 71 . www.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Now finish up your wings before I take them.” I smiled.bibliotastic.
How lifeless and thin her skin felt as tears started to blossom as they streamed slowly down her face. “I know. “Hey Janet. She looked frail and I could see it in her eyes that she felt like her knees were going to collapse. “They arrested Mike this morning.” “I know that too.” B B said. “When she’s a sleep.” I nodded as my eyes fell on her worried face. She put everything back in it’s place and didn’t change a thing. B B?” I asked.” I said.” “Collection money?” “Oh yeah. You know he’s a good man.” Janet walked in with a cup of coffee for B B.” B B nodded slowly. I opened my top drawer with my other hand and handed her a box of tissues.” I tried to comfort her. “You wait until all this is cleared up. I felt my stomach curdle. but I know I’ve rattled some cages. “What?” I asked.” “You can’t mean that. She looked like she hasn’t slept for days.” I said. I liked that about her. “Thank you. I think she needs some time with me alone.” “But he’s not guilty. She steadied herself as she reached to brace herself with one of my client’s chairs.” “You will help him.” . “She’s a good girl. right?” “I want to help where I can.” “What do I do baby?” “You wait.” Janet replied as she winked at the deacon’s wife and walked out of my office. B B forced a smile.” “He’ll always be the love of my life. “He says it’s for horse racing. “But things will come out in the wash for the better.” I took hold of B Bes hand. “Mike has been taking money out of the collections to pay for his gambling debt.” She said.” she said softly. She sat down and looked around my office. “It’s going to take some time.” “I know it’s not going to be easy for you.” She looked at me intently.” she sobbed. like I was going to hear some unwanted news. “I know. She placed it down in front of her and stood next to me with her arms folded. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly as if she was trying to catch her breath. baby. The deacon will bounce back and continue his good work. “No problem.Frank Atanacio Chapter 28 B B approached me as I sat at my desk. “Can you excuse me and B B for a moment. Janet had done a wonderful job cleaning up the mess. I smiled. I ain’t stupid. “Yeah baby. but I know he’s been going to those dog fighting events. “Are you okay. You wait until we find out why One Eye Froggy has it out for your husband.” I said. he’s going right to hell.
” “Of course.” She forced another smile. It was like watching a trapped animal in a cage. www. “I don’t know if God will forgive you for that.” I said. “And you know I will.” She smiled. a sadness that went beyond the loss of her husband’s good name.” I said. “I understand.” “I got his back.” “They’ve been punished.” “Me too. “I know my way out.” she sniffled.” “I’m sorry I took up your time.” she said. “I believe in an eye for an eye.” she said. “I don’t want to worry about your health.” “Should have just turned the other cheek.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Some witnesses have died.” “Your lips to God’s ear.” she said.” I said. “Try and get some rest. I came here probably to get some reassurance.” she said.bibliotastic.” “I mean it B B. “I had to punish one of them myself. There was no pretense about my promises.” I nodded. “Don’t bother that poor child. “I’ll do my best for Mike. There was a sadness to B B’s eyes.” “There are so many things I know God wouldn’t forgive me for. It was a sadness that of nowhere to turn. “I will B B.” she said. “He has too many good points.” “Janet will see you out. “Be very careful Nick. “But I’m sure this is the exception to the rule.” “Revenge?” she asked.” she said as she stood slowly from the chair.” she said. “And I think God will forgive Mike. It really outweighs the bad.” “I believe you.com 73 . I know. “That’s a shame.” “Don’t worry about it. and with Mike. I didn’t mean to make a spectacle out of myself by crying. He got a little carried away.” She walked out. “O’Brien told me that you were very fond of one of the witnesses.” I added. “Is that true?” “Carolyn Lopez.” “Thanks Nicky.” I said. “I just wanted to know that you’re still helping out my Mike. there had to be an extra push. I had always tried to fulfill my promises. Regardless of the circumstances it puts me in.” I said.” “I’m sorry baby.” I agreed.” The response put B B at ease. “Yeah.
” the middle man replied. “You had your chance.” I said as I stepped back a bit.” . “I guess a pick-up game is out then?” One of the three swung his bat in my direction.” “Don’t get cute!” “Cute is my middle name. I was here bright and early. “I’d prefer an ass-kicking. I think.” he continued. but that was it.” “You have no idea who he is. Three young Latino males came out of the car wearing baseball caps. “Looking for a pick-up game?” I nervously asked. “Fist fight going to become a shoot-out?” I asked.” he said. They were carrying baseball bats. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t tell me over the phone.” smiled the middle man.” “We come here to beat it out of you.” “Willie. It would have been a perfect day for a double header. “And I think I’m going to enjoy it.” The middle thug grunted.” replied the middle man. They looked at each other only for a brief moment and then dropped their bats. “Froggy can kiss my ass. Where was he? I looked over toward a flashing billboard and noticed that the Power-ball Jackpot has reached seventy five million dollars. I like watching people squirm. Neither one of them had baseballs or gloves. and the white lines that marked off the foul-lines were untouched. Baseball was invented in this country. The colors were black and white. They stopped five feet in front of me and three feet apart from each other.” I started. “Looks like that. “You know.” “But not from me. “He was ordered to ask you to meet us here. It was pretty early for any baseball to be played.” He smiled. It was at that moment that I reached for my revolver and pointed it at the bat swinging thugs. and it’s considered America’s favorite past-time. The Park was lined with small freshly planted trees running toward the bathhouses. “Froggy wants his money. Willie the Greek had asked me to meet him here because he had some information he wanted to share with me. The grass was cut recently. It was at that time when a late model four door sedan pulled up slowly and parked behind my truck.Frank Atanacio Chapter 29 The next morning I drove down to Seaside Park near the diamond six area off of Iranistan Avenue. so I suspected the worst. but it wasn’t a major league team. but nevertheless. but the day was going to be a terrific one.” said the middle man. and team logo jerseys. “He will get his money. ordered?” The middle man nodded slowly.” “Me too. I suddenly realized that they too were holding their guns at me. Do you guys mind picking up the bats again?” “Too late for that. “I’m serious!” “We are here to do just that?” “Did Willie the Greek send you?” “Nope. “You could have hit me with that thing. “And we out gun you.” I felt an imaginary noose around my neck as they pointed their guns directly at my head. “Hey.
com 75 . Do you hear me? You and I will die. A frown wrinkled his forehead.” “Don’t point that gun at me!” www.” “There’s always turning back.” “Sure. “We have to stop this.” “Sammy. and the way things look now. He realized that they had made a mistake in trying to approach me. He was afraid. “We can’t turn back now. “It’s never too late.” started the middle thug. It was clearly written across his face. “Sammy. “Too late!” shouted the thug to my left. He wanted no deaths today.” I said.” I continued.” said the middle thug. In fact two of us will be dead. “Don’t listen to him!” shouted the middle thug. I have no intentions of going alone. “He won’t have a chance to get a bullet off. go ahead.” he said.” he nervously replied. They have me pinned to the wall. “But Sammy. “I will take you with me. He believed that I would shoot him instantly. So lets do this.” said the middle thug.” The thug on my left stared at me. It’s probably a promise I wouldn’t be able to keep.” “I don’t want to do this!” “Sammy!” Sammy pointed his gun toward the man in the middle. “Two people will die here today. “Sammy. “I don’t want to hurt anyone. and he wanted no part of death. He wasn’t ready to die and he wanted his partners to understand that. The thought of him being shot in the head tormented him. I will not die alone today. “I’m going to tell you this.” I felt the imaginary noose around my neck getting tighter. “I do like to know who is going to die with me today. “Let’s put down our guns. and it had better be quick. He’s just bluffing. “Not this time. but you took it to another level. I think it’s going to be you and me. I’m not going alone. “What’s your name?” I asked. He wanted to end this without him losing his life. We have the upper hand. “He didn’t want this!” “Don’t be stupid.” I continued.” Sammy shouted. Oh yeah. “He’s trying to get into your head.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’s not going to shoot you. I had to think of something. they’ll kill me. shock and bewilderment riddled his eyes.” I said as I pointed my gun to the thug on my right. and it showed in his eyes.” “But I am.” “I don’t want to die!” He shouted as he turned toward the middle man. Don’t be stupid and don’t let him get to your head!” “No Sammy. “Sammy. “Let’s just take him out. He wanted all of us to put down our guns and walk away. “Two will die today.bibliotastic. “Just shut up!” demanded the thug in the middle. It’s three against one.” I continued grinning sheepishly. “Okay. I will get a bullet off and there’s nothing you can do about it.” I said. He wanted all of this to end without bloodshed. and it looks like it’s going to be me and you. Understand that.” he said.” I said. but I won’t die alone.” “You see?” I smiled. you’re coming with me. “We came here to just work you over and try to collect the money you owe our boss.” Sammy peered at the middle thug.” “Froggy just wanted us to beat him up. it’s me and you. You took it to a level you can’t turn back from. I will. Take me out.” I smiled. “We’ve changed our position now.” Sammy knew that there was truth in what I was saying. “He won’t kill you!” “Yeah. I’m taking you with me.
It was a great deal of money. I looked back at the billboard and briefly began to dream about what else I would do with that windfall. relentless winters. That’s when I made my move. and he did so without realizing it as the middle thug fell quickly to the ground. We don’t need to do this. or getting into gun fights. “I am a man of my word.” Sammy was willing to shoot one of his own in order to save his own life. and I want to scratch it so bad. I laughed. He looked confused. now!” “I’m telling you. So what’s it going to be?” Vengeful eyes stared back at Sammy. I looked briefly at the billboard flashing the seventy-five million dollar lottery prize.Frank Atanacio “I don’t want to die. He didn’t do it on purpose as blood splattered all over him.” I said. I turned and shot the man on my left in the head and Sammy shot the middle thug.” he continued. “We just leave him alone and come back another time.” “I don’t want to die. An epiphany unfolded. He kept it pointed toward the middle thug and he had no intentions of dropping it. It was just what I had planned. It would really mean a new life for me.” “We can’t shoot each other!” “We don’t have to. If I had it I wouldn’t have to be chasing down cheating spouses. “What the hell do you think you’re doing? Put that gun down.” he half whispered. Go some where warm.” “Froggy’s not going to like this. “I told you that only two of us was going to die. It was working like a charm. “I don’t want to die. but that didn’t make him put down the gun. . and dancing with women half my age. “I have a very itchy finger. I’d be playing cards every night.” “You’ll shoot me in the back.” “Make up your minds fast.” “What do I do?” “Run back to your car and drive away. the odds were even. Escape this city and its cold. Sammy leaned forward as he tried to get a bit closer to the middle thug. I’d be on the beach in Florida sipping all kinds of exotic drinks with brown skin females. “Don’t shoot me!” Sammy shouted as it snapped me out of my day dream. Seventy-five million flashing above me as I saw it through my peripheral vision. My shot made him react. “Go before I do change my mind!” He ran.” said the thug in the middle.” “You’re not going to kill me?” “Nope. “You know he’ll come down on us.” he sobbed.” He looked confused. “I don’t want to die!” “What did I say when all this first began?” I asked. Two against two. I’ve always longed for the sun and the glistening sand off any beaches in the Carribean. The thug on my left swung to the left to face Sammy.
“Too many people owe him money.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 30 I parked outside a small club near Ogden Street off of Noble Avenue on the Eastside.” “Okay.” “You shouldn’t be afraid of me.” he continued. When he recognized me his eyebrows crashed down. I know you ain’t watching him. I had to let him know that I really didn’t owe him a dime. “What?” He didn’t say anything.” I said.” Someone said as they knocked on my window.” “I don’t want any trouble from you. He also had to pay for shaking up Janet.” he added. He was getting on my nerves and we really never met face to face. He thinks they’re spying on him.” “My boss isn’t a murderer.” he admitted. He didn’t know what to do. and he doesn’t like to be watched. “I’m sorry. like Carolyn Lopez. “Still can’t sit in the car. That man has done so much to piss me off. It was a complete misunderstanding. “Hey buddy. “You know damn well that your boss had her killed. he always managed to make money from it.” I smiled. “You owe froggy money?” “It seems everyone does. “Then why are you so afraid. He wanted to collect money from me that I really never owed.” I said. or come into the club and wait for your date there. and it did hit a soft spot. It’s a pattern that would soon get me killed if I don’t stay on my toes. and keeping Mike Brandon on the tip of an iceberg. “I’m waiting for a date. He looked at me.” “I understand.” I warned. I had to confront him. He keeps sending thugs my way.” “Your boss is insecure. “No. you’re going to have to take your date elsewhere. and I keep knocking them off. Of course I saw him at the club. “You might end up dead. “But your boss better. I looked and noticed that it was one of the bouncers from the club. Killing Carolyn Lopez hurt. he really isn’t. and he threatened people who owed.” He nodded quickly. but it looks like it. and I think he was waiting for me to make the first move. but he wouldn’t back down.” I lied.” I replied. “You better go before your boss sees you talking tome. “Can’t park here unless you’re going into the club. He collected bad debts.” “You can’t come into the club. I could smell liquor on his breath as he stood up-right very quickly. confused. He just likes everything to stay neat and clean. He had to pay for that. “I’m afraid of you.” he said looking worried. but his goons clocked me before I really made myself known. “Do me a favor and move on.” “I said I wasn’t going to hurt you.com 77 . “I’m not going to hurt you.” He looked at me with suspicious eyes.” he said. 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. They were gearing up for some late night Salsa dancing. “The boss doesn’t like anyone sitting in their cars. An enthusiastic crowd had packed the entrance before the bouncers permitted them to enter.bibliotastic.” he half shouted.” I said.” www. No matter what Froggy’s been doing.” “Of you. I was told that Froggy owned that club too.
.” “Be careful buddy. “Idiot.” he blurted out.” I continued. “What?” “Nothing.” “You killed Carolyn. just go. “I owe him.Frank Atanacio He didn’t answer.” I warned. “Your boss is no angel.” I whispered. “But he owes me too.” He nodded and ran back across the street.
“I’m Nick.” www. The woman’s hair fell unconstrained around her oval face. and I had ignored that rule long enough. “I’m here to see One Eye Froggy. but I do understand you hire nothing but cowards. and the guards walked away. floral scent that invaded my nostrils. Her eyes were slightly slanted. I just wanted to clear the entire matter up once and for all. “But you didn’t. “Cowards hit me from behind. I was hoping this time someone wouldn’t hit me from behind.” “Like your dog-fighting business?” “I have no such business.bibliotastic. and fake frogs sitting on the edges. “Willie the Greek arranged this meeting for us. It was like two kittens and a sack trying to get out. but they all end up dead. He keeps sending thugs to kick me around. “I’m Stacey. “I’ll tell him that you’re here.” “You come to make a payment?” I smiled.” she corrected. “I see that the swollen bump on your neck went down. “I deal in everything.” I nodded. There was a spicy. but it made her look so hot. “Can I help you?” I walked up to her with a puppy expression. The office was clean and had a graceful selection of colors on the walls. She walked slowly away and I couldn’t keep my eyes off the beauty of her backside. I simply had to try to convince him that the money I owed him was all a misunderstanding.” she said in a soft sweet voice. He walked over to me and the two guards followed suit. prostitutes?” “This is a legitimate business.” She smiled. Nick?” “Just Nick.” “At your service. A tall thin man came out of a corner office wearing a black eye patch over his left eye.” I replied. “Welcome. “How can I help you.” I replied. There was a miniature waterfall fountain in the center of the spacious waiting area. Mr. I had to meet with Froggy face to face again. He was sharply dressed in a light tan suit.” “Mr.” he said. and a welcomed sight. but he waved them away with his free hand.” “It has a real name?” Repressing a smile at my question. I walked into an ground floor office near the Trumbull Mall. on the Bridgeport side. It was in the center of a brand new plaza on the left-side of Main Street. “Mr. but she wasn’t of an Asian decent. “Well?” “What do you do here?” I asked. Newsom does have a real name. “Big mistake.” she smiled.” I said. “Nick Barnum?” he asked. I sniffed the air appreciatively. Newsom. It had fake lilies floating in the well. and had a walking cane with a gold tip.” “Drugs. Near the fountain at the center of the office stood two security guards and a thin woman dressed in a long silver dress. It was a welcomed invasion. she escorted me to a chair.com 79 . It looked like one of those offices you see on HGTV.” She stuck her hand out for shaking and her perfume was so nice.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 31 Confronting your enemy had to be a top priority. That was something that O’Brien wanted me to avoid. It was a form-fitting tube dress.” “We could have killed you that night.
“It was all a misunderstanding.” I said.” “I’m tired of killing your men!” I shouted.” I started. Barnum. So lets do each other a favor and call this whole thing off.” “You don’t get to tell me what I should or should not do.” “When?’ “Tomorrow night. I’m tired of killing your men who come after me looking for money.” “Minimum bet is a thousand dollars. “If not. “Because I’m no deadbeat.” “One Eye Froggy. 1AM. “My husband wouldn’t want me to fraternize with deadbeats.” They nodded.” I said.” “How so?” “When I made that bet.” he growled.” I said.” .” “And I didn’t make wages I couldn’t pay.” “That’s what I like to hear.” “Then I’ll be there. “Mr.” she warned. “If you want to try and win your money back.” “Oh good. I’m going to kill them and then come after you and shove that cane up your ass!” He smiled. You shouldn’t make wages that you can’t pay.” he said as he slowly turned around.” he said firmly. “I’m sure a great detective like you could have deduced that. and you will pay me my money. like you did.” “You don’t really know who I am.” “I’m not planning to give you any excuses. Nick PT Barnum will be murdered on Saturday.” “I don’t need excuses.” “My money will be paid to me by this Friday. “Lightens my payroll. Newsom is a dangerous man. I’m sure you’re tired of sending men. She wrapped her hands around my upper arm and again her perfume almost had me in a trance. “I should leave. then that means I don’t owe you any money.” “I came to tell you that we have a misunderstanding. “But if you keep sending men my way.” she said. I had no intentions to bet way over my head.” “Are you going to be there?” “Yes. “I am in charge of this situation. “So. The tall thin woman in the silver dress walked over to me.” he shouted back as he walked into his office and slammed the door. did you come here to pay off your debt?” “Yeah. “I know. There will be a dog-fight at the old glue factory behind Wentfield Park on Railroad Avenue.Frank Atanacio “So.” “Just to let you know.” he said with a thin smile. “I said I don’t own it. “I’m glad you think I’m funny. Mr.” I smiled. about that.” “Whether I could or can’t.” I said. The two security guards walked toward me and stopped in front of me. I thought your bookie understood that all I wanted to bet was ten dollars. “I just participate.
” she said as she escorted me to the front door.com 81 .” I smiled and walked out. www.” she said as she stood at the front door with her hands on her hips.” “That’s not your opinion. “That’s a fucking fact.bibliotastic. “My opinion also thinks you have a nice ass.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Your opinion.
I sat down across from him and folded my hands on top of the table. “It’s me. and his rational mind wasn’t biting. “I don’t know. It wanted me to pound the whole truth out of him. He’s a tough son of a bitch. and I don’t think he’s afraid of anyone.” “I’m not a criminal.” “He’s right. you better know. He was a respected deacon that slipped through an evil crack. but his greeting was cold. “She was cute. and I liked her.” he said somberly. “I understand things didn’t go right for you while you were gambling on the dogs. “Well.” “What the.” “I heard.” He finally looked up. “Mad at me?” “Look where I am!” he half shouted. He was sitting at a long conference table shackled like an animal. “You’re not a murderer. He had turned himself in. It took him down some serious dead end streets. “Hell. “I also heard you were tapping one of the witnesses. He knew I was coming. I owe Froggy some big time money.” I said. “Captain Roque says this is best for my safety. Independent. I shot more men in the passed few days then I have ever done in my whole life. I knew Mike Brandon’s case was a tough one to crack. “It’s a damn dog eats dog world. “Mike?” He nodded. and the police got him a safe jail cell at the North Avenue Correctional Center. they didn’t go right for me either. He’s always been Mr.” “I know. He was hard at the core. You know Willie. The serious voice in my head wanted to shout and take apart the deacon for withholding information.” he mumbled. He had a little something extra that he didn’t want me to know.” I raised my hand. “Or Frog eats Frog.Frank Atanacio Chapter 32 I found myself hurrying to the holding cell in spite of the fact that Mike Brandon wasn’t going anywhere. either.” “So what we going to do?” “I want you to stop telling me lies. He had on prison rags.” I said. only because he made it a mystery. I need to hear it right from your mouth..” I nodded.” “How can you do that to me?” “What?” I looked confused. that just didn’t look right on him. and unreceptive. I hear he’s got Willie the Greek running errands for him.” he whispered.” .” I said trying to comfort him. He did not look up at me. Hell.” I smiled. this whole situation made him soft.. but for some strange reason. “I don’t think that’s funny.” “Me neither. I nodded.
” I nodded.” he said.” I replied. “Death isn’t what people deserves.” “And what’s the girl’s name again that you were tapping?” “Carolyn. They were hurting.” I said. His eyes were rimmed with red. All this was not going to stop until I paid them.” “Hey!” I started.” “Why did you pick her?” He asked.bibliotastic. I was horny. me too. The deacon looked at me again.” Mike added. I didn’t know the minium bet was a grand.” “I’m going to another dog-fight. “Yeah.” He shrugged his shoulders as his shackles made a clinging noise.” I nodded. I didn’t get the chance to smile back. There was a rough edged wind blowing raindrops around.” “I don’t like it in here. I know you didn’t mean that. “She got what she deserved. She peeked into the conference room and smiled at me. “Getting Froggy for everything. Then I returned my attention back to Mike Brandon.” I replied. For a second my gaze connected with a female correction officer making her rounds. I knew it was late and I hoped Brenda wasn’t waiting up for me.” “That’s messed up.” he said. “I’m going to rattled cages even harder now that I know you’re in here safe.” “She’s no Zoraida.” I said.” “Damn Froggy got everybody by the balls. “The truth.” he replied. “I walked in betting above my head. and I couldn’t pay. she’s a woman and I’m a man.” I said. “It was that night that really stirred me up. “And she couldn’t do anything about it. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. I wasn’t going to pay. “But when you’re cleared of all this shit.” “Brenda told you?” I nodded.” “What. “So what are you up to next?” he asked. so she had to work it off.” he said. She hated when I came home late. They caught me off guard. “Why is that?” “You taking advantage of her too.” “Me too. Every www. I nodded. I fought through it and made it to the dog-fight.com 83 . “It’s been difficult.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “They killed her. “She was hot. but they started beating up on my congregation. she owed Froggy money too?” “She did.” “So what really happened that night?” He looked at me with sunken eyes. “I’m sorry about Carolyn. “I liked her. and mugging my friends.” I replied.” “No. “I’m serious Mike. “I know you don’t. you have a reputation to mend.
“Why you smiling?” “Because this makes more sense to me then that made up crap you told me when all this started. “There was no robbery. I didn’t care about the dog’s condition. As many times as I’ve been there I really haven’t seen a familiar face. That was odd. Well. “This time I believe you because I can see the conviction in your eyes. but some bar backs held him back. but I wouldn’t have recognized them out of the club. but he had signaled to Carlos not to pay me the winnings. that hit me like a ton of bricks. I had won and I wanted to collect my money. It was me.” He smiled. Don’t get me wrong.” I smiled. kicking her around the room.” “So you didn’t call his mama names. but then I realized that she was doing it all for my own good. Sometimes I felt like making love to her. I couldn’t let that settle.” “I was scared. The other Mike Brandon would have needed some strong drinks in order to turn his back on the darkness.” “So you hit him?” “I deck that son of a bitch!” “Did he get up?” He paused. and that image would have tangled with his heart until it hurt. Carlos told me that the other dog was disqualified and no one was getting any winnings. The dog just died! The sad part about that. “There is something delicate about how you’re telling me what happened. alone. There were so many people there.Frank Atanacio time I did. and greed in my heart.” “Wow. He would have needed it to wipe away the image of that dead dog. Well.” he replied. and then making a cutting motion. and I couldn’t walk away.” .” “I got your back. I wouldn’t be here in jail.” “How much was your take?” I asked.” he paused briefly. or making death noises.” “And are you sure you saw him standing back up?” “Now that I think of it. “And you knew that. I stood in the raised entryway of the club looking down at the dogs fighting.” I said. The other Mike Brandon wasn’t there. I pushed across to the bar and tried to settle my face in front of Carlos Rivera. I saw Froggy in that mirror putting his fingers to his neck. “Ten thousand dollars. Nick. I didn’t realized it then. “I am certain of it. running orders to the bar. I remember that night clearly as the mirror behind the ranks of bottles of booze stood at such attention. and he didn’t throw the first swing?” He shook his head back and forth indicating no. strangling her. I even saw Carolyn Lopez there wearing a tight skirt. the dogs were going at it and my dog took a bite out of the other dog’s throat.” “I was so excited and nervous.” He nodded. and ripped it apart. I met some people there. and she wouldn’t be home. Nick. Well. hunger in my eyes. anyways. She was the rock in my heart that kept me stable. “Well?” “He got up. Or at least my mind wouldn’t allow me to recognize them. It was odd that I remembered that. laughing and having a good time. and that he wasn’t going to pay you?” “No. smiling. I never seen a dog just die without whimpering. “He didn’t say he didn’t carry that much money on him. “What about the robbery at your church?” I asked. she would read me the riot act. If I had gotten her involved before all of this started.
“You got something planned. The deacon nodded again.” I replied. “I got until Friday to pay him back. right?” “Not yet.” “Too much confidence in that skinny girl. She’ll be fine.” “Just stay clear of him.bibliotastic. I nodded.” He nodded.com 85 .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.” warned the deacon.” “He’s a cut throat.” “She’ll be fine.” “He’s making me a cut throat too. but I bet something will fall in my lap.” I said. www. I hope. trust me.” “She can take care of herself.” He nodded. “He’s got you turned every which way. “Just watch Janet.
They saw a man down and came rushing over. “I don’t want to fight. He just looked at us. “Really?” “I’m going to take you down!” “Oh boy. but the people reacted differently.” The man took a swing at me and I expected pain. as if he didn’t understand my reply. “That’s my seat. Just because you’re bigger than me. He clung on to one of the women and forced his way toward me. “But I was here first.” I stood closer to him. Two bar maids helped him up to his feet and he shot me a side ways glance. He hit like a child.” He stared at me for a second. and I’m here to give you one. “You were looking for a fight. and I wanted to let him know that there was another dog-fighting contest brewing. and pity. I pushed him and he immediately fell to the floor. He came toward me moving slowly.” “No! I’m in a fighting mood. It almost made me regret my chivalry. you’re not going to start with me again.” someone said from behind me. body guards. “Here we go again. “Becks.” I called out to a bartender. scores of patrons all wanting to be witnesses to a bar room scuffle. “You think it’s funny?” he said flatly.” I sighed. “I don’t want to fight. expecting a bar room brawl. I sat at the bar and it was the first time I ever got one of the cushioned stools. and I’m not giving it up to anyone.Frank Atanacio Chapter 33 I had called Detective Peter O’Brien to meet me at Corners Bar and Grill on Boston Avenue. “Bottle only. you win. his knees occasionally buckling. “Hey. will you?” “No.” He nodded.” he said.” He snarled. There was no pain. attempted to throw a punch.” “I’m sorry. The man had soft hands.” I replied. I watched his progress with a mixture of confusion for taking my shove like a man. but the bartender didn’t grab it right away. So please take your sorry ass out of my face. It was a rare treat for me. “I didn’t even hit you.” “Go lie down. It wasn’t much of a scuffle. I’m not going to lie down.” . I had gallantly offered to help the man up. I do. “What?” “You’re sitting in my seat. “Get off my stool?” I laughed.” I said. “Listen. and bar backs.” I said The crowd surrounded the man on the floor.” “Tough guy?” “Very tough. you think you’re tougher?” “Yeah. I wanted to tell him what Brandon told me. are you?” “I still think I can take you. but he pushed my hand away. so I basked in the pleasures.” I started. “I think you’re funny. “Listen. I wanted simple to keep him in the mix. for trying to take my shove like a man. You can have it. and failed. You want the stool.” he shuddered. I put down twenty dollars. The bartender caught my attention and pointed to the beer he placed in front of me.
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.
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.
You figure he’ll deduct what you owe him. She smiled as she stood there completely nude.” “Just pick a dog. “What makes my dog the winner?” “The amount of money you’re betting on.” I replied.” she said.” “You know he is not an honest man. I just wanna make sure the gambling information I give you goes our way. but he’ll have to pay.” she continued. I smiled.” she replied. “He can’t afford not to pay you. I have a dummy bet on the dog you don’t chose. the fix is in. “My dog will win.” “Just do your part.” “Crowded room. and give you the difference. “Do you think you can handle me?” “With flying colors. and I don’t want to talk about it.” “How do I know you’re not doing this so I could owe him more money?” “You can tell him what I had planned. . right?” “It’s not the dog that will win.” “What about you?” “I get to watch him squirm.” “So you’re giving me a hot tip?” She nodded.” She smiled with the urge to laugh at my stupidity. “Big house. repeat it all over again. He will then place a bet on the other dog for half as much. he’ll believe you.” “Then let my actions speak for me.” she explained. “I hope you can handle this because all I hear from you is a lot of talk. okay.” she said as she began removing her clothes. “When you tell him of the drugged dog.” “He’ll figure a way. getting me all hot and bothered.” I said. and the deacon. someone will hear the dog you choose and they will bring it to the dummy bettor.” she answered. “He wouldn’t know the amount because I’m not going to include it until everything’s counted.” “Take off your clothes.” she replied. “He won’t like it.” she ordered.“I said.” “Okay. I can handle it. So you see. “Long story.” “Are you sure you can handle it?” “With flying colors. and obeyed. Then you take that money and pay off Carolyn’s share.” I continued.” “Now.Frank Atanacio “I had no choice. “Good. you understand?” “I’m just picturing you naked. “Trust me Stacey.” “I like your style. “It’s the prize.
bibliotastic.” “Just making sure. but it didn’t matter.” She giggled. I pushed the door out her hand and walked out first.” “Not if you’re just getting my. fifty. “Well?” “Dingy. “I thought someone else was going to over hear my choice. I didn’t know which one to pick. but she didn’t. but they were all too busy gambling and getting drunk. “Bets. never mind. “Two heads are better than one.” I replied.” One of the bouncers laughed. “This is the main event. “I’ll take the one with the scar on the right side of his face.” someone called from behind me. Stacey walked over to me and stood there with her arms crossed.” “Yeah.” “Your name?” “Nick Barnum. She followed me right out the office. I turned to face Froggy and two bouncers. she didn’t even wish me luck. “Mr.” I said. www. Stacey said that the dog I picked was going to win. Frog with one eye.” he said.” “Dingy?” “I guess.” She smiled and walked away. Nick Barnum.” said a man as he stood in front of me. “Don’t get cute.” I said.. “Which dog?” I looked over to the two dogs in the fighting area. “Did you come to pay me my money?” “I did.” We got dressed and headed for the door. it’s time for the big show.” “Just give me your freaking name!” I smiled. “Damn. and Froggy looked embarrassed.com 91 . How much dangerous could it get? “Ready?” she asked. It was just too easy.. at your service. “Another round?” She laughed. She was calm and relaxed and I was tapping a married woman.” “I thought you were getting the big show.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 35 I knew there was no reason to hurry as we had sex for about an hour.” she said. you are?” I nodded. I expected a lot of eyes on us.” I whispered. “But first I’m going to try to win some of it back. “Mr. “What?” “The other big show. I thought she was going to stay behind. but I felt that I had to. “No.” “Oh. “Fifty?” I nodded.
” I said.” I said.” I said.” “Until you get killed. how much did you wager?” “I don’t gamble.” He looked confused.” I replied. can we shut him up for you?” asked a bouncer.” I replied.” he said. Barnum. “I just know I can back my shit up. to help you get use to them. “And Mr. and you don’t pay me. “Let him brag all he wants.” He smiled.” “Boss.” “You are aggressive. “Ass kicks.” “For your sake. “No.” “Good luck on your wager. “He looks like he can take a licking and keep on ticking. “If I win. “You better pay me.” he said. “Gamblers are losers.” he said.” “If you’d like. “I can give you a taste of things to come. “I hope you lose.” “And when I win.” “Is that so?” “Yes.” he replied as he turned and walked away. “How about you.” “Let’s see about that.” I started. You know.Frank Atanacio “What dog did you bet on?” “The black and white younger looking dog.” replied Froggy.” “Well.” I lied. Just to keep your body guards busy while I beat the shit out of you.” he grinned. “You’re a funny guy. “And I’m going to get a few bouncers and body guards of my own.” “I try to be.” “So is your momma!” So is your momma? I simply had nothing else to say to him. I’m going to turn the tables on you. “I’ll give you one now. . I’m going to kick your ass everyday until I get paid. It’s not going to be about the money anymore. The proof would be in that ring.” “Yeah whatever. it’ll be my pleasure to serve you. “Funny now.” “No?” “It’s going to be about how many ass-kicks you can take before you die.
I looked into the glowering face of Rusty Miller.” he said. “I just placed a bet on this main event.” “Congratulations. I got a look at Stacey as she turned away from the fight.bibliotastic.” “Big money.” he started. not people.” “I don’t give a shit about the dog. I had a difficult time wondering why humans were so savage like. the dog dies. not people. Rusty Miller said animals should rip each other apart. By animals. It was going to come down to this fight. Their was a hint of jubilee in his eyes.” I grimaced.” I said. “Even you. I’ll be out of the red. “I really don’t want to see this.” The fight began and I struggled with wave after wave of cruelty to animals being displayed right in front of me. pure and undiluted. “I see you got money on this fight.” I said softly. It feels so good.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 36 The pit-bulls dreaded every step into the center of the ring. “Doesn’t matter whose ear.” he smiled as the dogs continued fighting to the end. “Anyways.” he added. “Hey man. did you win?” He asked.” “It’s a life!” I half shouted. and felt very sick to my stomach. and he had a hard expression on his face. “Yes!” Rust Miller shouted.” said Rusty Miller.com 93 . There was no good life.” “Your words to god’s ear. She was sitting next to her husband.” I whispered. The fight was over and my dog won hands down. They were sad because they lost a great deal of money.” I pointed as Dingy put the final blows on his opponent. “It’s just an animal. I turned to face the crowd and there were so many sad faces. and no neutral life. It was misery for the dogs. I turned to look and noticed Rusty Miller breathing heavy behind me. We enjoy watching other species ripped a part and we bet money on it. no better life.” I couldn’t help but to notice all the blood.” he continued. and then their lives would be done. a lost gambler. “Damn look at all that blood. “Damn. “Yeah.” I whispered as I took a seat on a white plastic picnic chair. “My god I can’t believe I finally won. It was just a sickening sight. “I got five hundred bucks riding on this Dingy dog. “Look. To see violence the way it should be displayed. Where does anyone get off by making such a statement? “Cops should arrest everyone here.” “Not god’s ear. “Anyways. They weren’t sad because a dog died.” I nodded slowly in agreement.” I whispered. “I wonder what’s going through his sick little mind.” he continued.” “You’ll win my friend.” I smiled. “Winning?” Someone asked from behind me. “You will win. There was no chance of either one of them to live. “This is why I come here.” “Why aren’t you happy?” www.” I whispered.” he said as he sat down in an empty plastic seat beside me. “This is action. He nodded. He was actually enjoying the fight. “If my dog wins. “You win. “Never mind.
“It was taken properly.” I said. “I get it. “I don’t want to tell you again.” he said.” Froggy came racing over with his body guards in tow.” I said as I holstered my gun.” said Froggy. “I’m going to kill you and your two bouncers. I promise you that. “I don’t think this bet was legally taken.” I smirked as he was almost in my face.” He was angry. “I’ll give you one week to come up with the rest of my money.” I said.” “I don’t understand. he just moved to one side as the wounded man fell passed him.” “None of these bets are legal. The crowd was stirring around the bookie as they were paying their losses. plus the interest you require. I didn’t have to stand to close to smell it. Nick!” .” He was agitated. “Let that be a lesson. “What’s this?” “I come to collect.” he said.” replied the bookie. you must think I’m a push-over. “I think I found it.” I said. “It’s right. He reeked.” “Fuck them. “What seems to be the problem?” “I can’t pay this man. “As long as I get mine.” “Man you’re looking for ugly.” “Did everybody hear the threat?” he shouted. “Let him go for now. “And I want my winnings.” “You know what I’ll do. I pushed him toward the other one as he fell to the floor.” “You don’t get it.” I warned.” I said. In fact. Froggy looked at my slip and realized it was genuine.” he said as he stood up. “Or at least I better get it in one week.” I said. His partner failed to catch him. “Hey. “Call the police.” I said. The bookie was a small roundish man with red cheeks and balding jet black hair. “What do you want me to do?” one bouncer asked as he stepped in front of me. and I expect to get paid. and smelly breath. “That’s my warning. “Yeah.” I replied. “I”ll tear up the note you have with me and we’ll call it even.Frank Atanacio “A dog just got killed.” I said. He had tired eyes. I walked up to the bookie and handed him my slip. I saw it deep in his eyes. and What Carolyn Lopez owed.” I said.” “Someday you will.” he started feeling the pressure as a bigger crowd surrounded us.” he said as he looked toward Froggy. “Deduct what I owe you. “How dare you dictate!” he shouted. tell them to come down now and arrest me for threatening your life. you ass!” “I mean. “There’s some kind of mistake.” Froggy said. Froggy grinned mirthlessly. You think I’m the type to allow anyone to insult him like this? You’re barking up the wrong tree. I grabbed the bouncer in front of me and shot him twice in the foot.” “Don’t threaten me!” He shouted.” “Nope. “I want my money. “I mean this bet wasn’t factored in. I also want you to deduct what the deacon owes. “This can’t be tight. “If I don’t get my money.” he said as he pushed his way toward me.
” “Please. “One week. “Let’s go. She stood up and moved slowly toward the door.bibliotastic.” she said as she touched his upper arm. “You’ve never been caught up in such turmoil. It was probably a direct insult toward her husband. “One week!” I shouted. The blow knocked her on her ass. “Stay out of this. and blood shot out of her nose.” Froggy said to the other bouncer as he ignored the other one on the floor. stay out of it.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Let’s go home. “Never touch me again.” She smiled almost sheepishly. Froggy turned to her and punched her in the face as hard as he could.” I said as I just watched on helplessly. “I said one week!” He stormed out pushing everything and everyone out of his way. I wanted to jump on him. but that would have made him suspicious. I watched her progress with a mixture of admiration for standing up to her husband. She wiped the blood away with her hand. “Too many people. She didn’t even blink as she grinned.” she said.” “I said. knees occasionally buckling in several places. She was clinging to the bar as she forced her way toward the exit. but didn’t make a sound. He stopped. and again It looked like an insult. and pity.com 95 . for taking a punch like man. but did not turn around.” he growled. www. Little bitch.” Stacey said as she made her way through the crowd.
” “How?” “His wife.” I said.” “Good guys. “Nick?” “He rattled my cage for his payment. Do I make myself clear?” I just stared at him. “I hope you guys go to his office and pick his stank ass up.. he even has Willie the Greek on his payroll.” “What?” “His wife Stacey told me that he took care of Carolyn Lopez. “That man can be very dangerous.” “I hope you guys have someone watching him. We met at a coffee shop on Pennsylvania Avenue.” “We can’t prove that.” “He might hurt the people around you. “You know that’s illegal?” I nodded. “Why don’t you just let me rattle his cage for a little bit. I won’t take the money. “Who do you have watching him?” I asked. and they were best friends. “So you placed a big bet.” I said.” O’Brien nodded.Frank Atanacio Chapter 37 I wasn’t surprised that O’Brien knew about what I did last night at the club.” “Captain Roque says he’s going to overlook this.” said O’Brien.” “What?” “He was quickly released on bail. “Do you really think he’s going to pay me?” O’Brien smiled. We sat at the counter talking about what transpired last night. “But he owes me a great deal of money.” “I’m out.” “We did. because you were just trying to help out the deacon. “What?” “You’ll make him pay you.” I said.” he replied slowly.” said O’Brien.” “Come on Pete. “But we want you to keep out of this now.” I started. “But you did it anyways?” I nodded again.” “He’s not going to pay. I gave him one week to pay.” I said. It was a small coffee shop.” . “And that’s what I don’t want to happen. and I strongly advice you not to take the payment if he offers it to you. but it served good coffee and cake. “Yeah. broke into my office and stole my petty-cash. We can take it from here.” he replied. “He has already hurt the deacon.” he frowned. “I can. but I promised him I’ll give him a taste of his own medicine.” “Why would she go back on her husband?” “Because that marriage is a farce. He had received my photo text messages I sent to his computer and had now believed that there was dog-fighting was a reality. Hell.” “Good. He has murdered Carolyn Lopez. “The captain sent Victor Cruz and Wilfredo Fuentes to keep a tale on him.” I smiled.
bibliotastic.com 97 .” he warned.” “I said okay!” O’Brien was eating a doughnut and I looked at him with curious eyes.” “Just stay away from Froggy. “I’m serious Nick. He just had to say it. “I plan to.” he said.” I nodded.” “If she doesn’t. I knew he wanted to protect me. you need to talk to her.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “And she will testify?” “I don’t know. We got that all out of the way as I sipped my coffee. “We’ll take care of him. and I just had to agree. www. and I knew that he knew I wasn’t really going to stay away from Froggy.
” “I can’t believe Janet would just lay down without a fight.” I sat tensely. “Did you hear what I said?” he asked. It’s what Janet would have wanted me to do.” I nodded.” “Okay.” he replied. . “We’re going to try and get everything in. My mouth was so dry that I had to take several sips of coffee before I was able to ask.” “He’s pushing me.” “I hope so. O’Brien came to my office and looked around. By the time Janet punched in 911. looking hard at O’Brien. “But they took her down a notch.” he said. okay Nick?” “Deacon?” “We’re going to release him when this is all finalized. I told you at that coffee shop to stay away from Froggy.Frank Atanacio Chapter 38 I couldn’t bear to sit at my desk. now let him start touching ours. “This one will not slip through our fingers. “Good. I’m sure she wants to know that you’re okay.” he said.” he replied. but I had to pay Froggy a visit. right?” I asked. She was struck several times and it was the first blow that fractured her ribs. but you have to let us handle this.” I nodded. I can’t believe they would do something like this. They beat her up and almost left her for dead. “Too many people are getting hurt because you’re sticking your nose in way too deep.” How is she doing?” “She’ll live. the thugs had gotten to her. look around you.” “Have I ever lied to you?” I looked around my office again and shook my head from side to side indicating no.” “I know. Do you understand me?” “Pete. I heard. He had heard about what happened to Janet and he too was enraged. I knew he meant well. and he was most certainly going to receive it just as loud and clear. “Consider your investigation closed.” “How about B B?” “I have Eggy watching her.” I said knowing damn well that she was probably caught off guard.” “He’s gotten my attention. That Froggy wanted to send me a message. I had to move around so I could distract myself before I lost my composure.” “I hope so.” “Leave this one too us. and as she cowered in stunned pain. “Everything is going to go down well. and I received it loud and clear. “So let him start pushing us. “I heard. “Even the murder of Carolyn Lopez. This time I mean it. “We’ll handle it Nick.” I said. “Now clean up this mess and go visit your secretary in the hospital. You can trust me on that.”He said.” “Because we arrested him.” “You’re going after him for this too. she was calling my name. It was my turn to send him a message.” he said.” “He keeps touching my spots.
” “Mama–“ ” Nick. We just want to make sure everything goes smoothly.” he said. He didn’t have a worried look on his face. as though she was afraid of opening her mouth because the screams would just come pouring out.” I nodded. “Is there a problem with her organs?” I asked. “Why did they do this to her?” she asked while trying to catch her breath. right?” she said abruptly. It was obvious that she just ran out of her house as fast as she could. “Did you want to fill out paperwork for your eh wife?” “I let my dear old mother in-law do it. She was worried sick. “We’re going to keep her here a little longer than expected just watch some vital organs. That just wasn’t right. I looked over toward Janet’s mother and saw the look of pain washing over her face. “Hi.” I nodded. I just want you to pray for my baby. “I don’t want to know. are you the mom?” She nodded.” Janet’s mother blurted.com 99 .” she sobbed.” I replied softly.” “She’s my baby. “Nick. her boss.” he said. www. He looked at me with a sideways glance. and she had it pinned up.” I whispered. the tears running down her cheeks. “She’s a good girl. Janet’s mother seemed suddenly flustered. “But make sure all billing goes to Nick PT Barnum.. Her painted lips were clamped together tightly.” “Even near death. She had on her night gown and a blue knitted sweater covering her up.” I nodded.” she screamed.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 39 I found Janet’s mother in the waiting room outside the intensive care unit. She’s going to be just fine. and I was thinking about my checking account. “I heard.” he said as he tried looking into her eyes. Her hair was in a net. “But other than that.” “Her husband.” she laid a gentle hand on her lips.” she continued sobbing. She was weeping quietly.” “Thank God. “What?” “She said it while they wheeled her in here. “You are?” “Ahhh. “Mine too. “Nothing to worry yourself.” “That’s noted on her files. I didn’t want to answer that question. “Janet suffered some broken bones and same and muscle bruising. “It’s nothing you did. so I knew the news was going to be positive. The doctor came out and walked over to Janet’s mother. “You do work with dangerous people. I too felt relief entering my body. she tries to squeeze me.” I said.bibliotastic.
Frank Atanacio “Mama.” I said. I smiled. “I don’t care how much it cost. whatever it takes to get her back on her feet is okay with me. “I’ll check on her when they move her to recovery. She smiled. “Tell her I was here. She looked better. just do what you got to do.” she said.” I said.” “Okay Nick.” She smiled. .
He’s going to hire the best lawyers to defend them even if it takes a lifetime.” “But Mam.. and he will not harm you. I had noticed the sign in front stating that the office is closed. “You won’t be able to. and noticed that it was empty.” she replied. I went inside.” “I’m okay.” I said. “Trust me Arnold. I went by the security desk.” she replied.” “Oh. “He’s with me Arnold.” “Mam. I’m so surprised that he hasn’t had you killed yet. “And you know this?” I asked as a rhetorical question. “Why don’t you go to the police?” She didn’t answer. but that didn’t stop me..” she paused briefly. “Everything went as planned. and the lights were dim. “That’s an order. “I come here to pay Froggy back for what he did to my secretary.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 40 The evening was getting tougher to accept when I drove to Froggy’s office on Main Street. The water fountains were off. It was probably closed to the public.” he replied.” “No you don’t.” “What?” She nodded slowly. and pay them well.” she replied as she walked over to me and kissed my cheek.com 101 . but I saw a tall thin man walking out. Her face was covered in bruises.” she added. I gotta try.” “I’m suppose to harm him. “Isn’t that.” she said. “Froggy can have me killed in a minute. He will keep them out of jail. he’s with me. “What the hell happened to you?” “He had to put me in my place. “We’re closed. “Nick?” I turned and I saw Stacey standing behind me.bibliotastic. www. “Where is that little weasel?” “He’s out hiring the best lawyers the state has to offer. and she was wearing a tee-shirt and black jeans.” she said.” he continued. The security guard on duty emerged from the back door wiping his hangs on a paper towel. Nick. “Stacey?” “He has three men on his payroll that’s going to take the fall for everything that happened. I heard a toilet flush.” I nodded. “That bastard worked me over last night when he got home.” she said as she tried smiling.?” “I said.” he shouted. and I’m just saving your life. he’s tried.” He nodded and walked over to his security desk. “He’s trying to get off?” She didn’t answer. “I have orders. “Stacey?” “Look.” “And he’ll keep on trying.
“Hit me!” “I’m not going to hit you. “He didn’t pay me yet and I want to keep him honest. Diamonds.” “Did he clear the deacon. even if they’re dead. “You can’t keep making trouble. Consider yourself a winner. stop hitting me.” “Not because of my bet. and Carolyn Lopez?” She didn’t answer.” She grimaced.” “Funny guy. “I won’t let you do it. You beat him in his own game. Carolyn.” She slapped me again.” “Whose going to stop me?” She slapped my face and stood directly in front of me waiting for me to slap back.” she replied. “I meant Froggy.” “I don’t know the time or what day. “He is keeping me out of the loop now. and Janet?” “War causalities.” she said.” I said. “Stacey?” “No. “Then this war isn’t over!” “Nick you can’t mean that.” she said through clenched teeth.” “Nick. “Stacey. He’s going to kill you.” she replied.” “For him. “That’s all. but did not say a word. not me.” “You asked whose going to stop you!” “I didn’t mean you. “He said he wasn’t clearing deadbeats.” I said mostly to myself.” “I’m just going over there to ask for my money. The security guard stood from his desk. “I just want you to be safe. “I’ll find out the time and date. right?” “No. “That hurts!” I shouted. He just watched on as if he was awaiting instructions.” she said. I think.” she said.” “He’ll pay you.” She nodded slowly. Nick.” she said as she grabbed my hand. it’ll all be over. “I’m just saying that you’re pushing this just a little too far.Frank Atanacio “Where is he searching for these god sent attorneys?” “Fairfield. “Nick.” she said. he’ll pay you.” “I don’t believe you for one minute.” I replied. “When his men turned themselves in. “If it means keeping you off his back.” she said while holding me back.” “I know the place.” .” “What about the deacon. “He will clear their names.” “Poor sap is going to end up dead.” I said.” she held both my upper arms and looked directly into my face. “He blamed his bookie.” she replied.” “Just let it go.” she replied. “They’re going to meet at a restaurant on the Post Road. “Hit me.
“Listen Stacey.” “Please.” I started.bibliotastic.” she said as she pulled me into the nearest office..” “I know you want to.” Stacey said. “He’s just doing his job.com 103 .” “Be careful. “I don’t want your husband to get away with what he did. but I don’t want you to get hurt. “Arnold. He glanced at me. “Let me go take care of him.” “His debt was paid in full. “Is this monkey giving you a hard time. I kissed her bruised lips.” I nodded and walked out.” she said. He started this whole thing.” I added. www. “Look what he did to you. “And why did you marry him?” “To pay off.” I said.” she said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog She nodded and backed away slowly. but didn’t say another word.” she half whispered.. “Don’t call me a monkey if you can’t back it up. go back to your duties. “That was part of the agreement. and I plan to finish it.” “How do you know I can’t handle myself?” I said as I looked into her battered face. I smiled.” She nodded slowly.” “This is a gambling debt pay-off?” “I was loyal to him. Don’t you want some type of justice?” She looked down. “I will.” “Everything is fine. “Is everything alright?” asked the security guard. “You can’t put up with him anymore.
It was a place where families came in and enjoyed a very good meal at very low prices. “Something bothering you?” I asked. He didn’t even say hello. The waiter came to me and handed me a menu. “And Froggy isn’t one of them. I nodded. but at these prices. .” I replied. “BLT. “So you’re not going to ask me about Froggy?” “I already know. “They’ll do hard time.” I said. “I’m buying. “What do you know?” “You have confessions.” he said. “Right?” “They confessed to everything.” I nodded. “What’s good here?” he asked. I’d give him a pass. “Froggy’s people are going to issue a statement and they’re going to fire all of those involved. O’Brien walked in and sat across from me. we wouldn’t have taken those sworn statements. The waiter came over quickly and handed O’Brien a menu. “What we have will stick.” I smiled.” said O’Brien. “It is nothing!” “It’s going to satisfy the State.” I replied. I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining and take advantage of the bargains.” he said. He sighed heavily.” “It’s better than nothing. He half smiled. “If she would have come forward and gave us Froggy. “Froggy.” “Of course you know this is all bull shit. but she wasn’t going to spill the beans. but that doesn’t do anything for me. He didn’t stop to ask if I was ready to order. “What about Carolyn.” He shot a glance my way.Frank Atanacio Chapter 41 At noon the After Cafe on Edna Street roared with business. but didn’t speak. “Froggy still walks.” O’Brien added. I opened up the menu and notice almost everything on it was under five dollars. right?” “You said Stacey had different information.” “We would have protected her.” I said as I took a sip of my water.” “Ready to order?” asked the waiter as he stood by us waiting to jot down our order.” I said. “Come on Nick. and those dogs that died?” “It’s all on paper.” I smiled. I couldn’t believe that they’d still be in business charging these low prices. give us a break. “Sounds good.” “I’m sure it will.” he said.” “She’s afraid.” he replied.
“Too many people owe him.” “He’s going to be extra careful now. The waiter quickly picked up the menus and hurried off to place our order. “You know Willie. That can’t be good because Willie hates owing anyone anything. “You weren’t betting. remember?” I nodded. and he knows that.” I said.” “And he’ll remember that. The man will not stop until he gets what’s his.” “Just tell her this is all resolved.” I smiled.” O’Brien nodded as the waiter brought over our food and drinks. I nodded. “Better?” “Yeah.” “Including you. He knows that the dog fighting in this city is over.bibliotastic.” he added. “We just can’t roll over and look the other way.” “I’m telling you Pete. He’s watching over his shoulder now.” “A little too late. “But she’s pissed. “Better late than never.” I said. It’s not going to be easy for him.” “I don’t think it’s going to help.” I said. “Did you check up on Janet?” he asked. You did nothing illegal. Even Willie the Greek owes him money. He’s taken down the good deacon. “You gotta give me something better than that. And don’t you think he’s given up on me either. He always wants to be king of the hill.” “He’ll climb back on top. “Deal with it. and that we can prove that he’s been involved. and I plan on collecting. he’s taken down those poor witnesses.” said O’Brien. “He’s in it up to his eye balls.” “Orange soda.” “You don’t even mean that.” he said.” I said. “Froggy wins. Yet. “Just let it go.” “You do shake cages too hard.” I said.” I said.” said O’Brien as he took a bite out of his sandwich.” I said. “It’s a stat for us. “He owes me money. you shouldn’t stop right here. That’s going to take a big bite out of his gravy train.” I replied. “We have him right where we want him. “No. “But he’ll take more people down with him. He’s taken down some good people. www. I shook his cage. “Trust me on this.” “What do you want me to do?” “Tell the captain that the investigation is still incomplete. Nick.” said O’Brien. “Me too.” “Sure he’ll be careful.” “I told you before.” I said.” I nodded. It’s not going to be easy for him.” I said.” “Willie knows better. he’s not putting up a fight against Froggy. “Coke. Don’t let him get away with this. and it seems everybody owes him money.” O’Brien said.com 105 .” he said. “The city wins.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “BLT.” “Then that’s when we make our move. She wants me to get back at Froggy.” “How can we win when Froggy hasn’t got a mark on him?” I half shouted.
” “More like Frog eats dog. . “Eat.Frank Atanacio “You said it before Nick.” I lost my appetite. it’s a dog eats dog world.” I said. the sandwich it’s good.
” “Even the people that owe you?” “No. All I want is what you owe me.” he half mumbled.” www.” I said. “Who told you I was here?” he asked.” “Hey! You can’t say that!” shouted one of the suits..” I added.” he said without looking at me. “So.” “You don’t get it. “Just wanted to see how the criminals live. I don’t care if you put a foot in my ass. “I walked by and saw your pretty face from the window. how are you going to pay me?” “With my foot in your ass if you don’t get out of here.” he said with a smirk on his face. as long as you give me what you owe me. “What can I do for you. They were his salvation. Barnum?” “You can pay me the money you owe me.” Froggy said. It was a great chance to collect what you owe me. “No one else knew I was here..” I said. “You know the guys running the dog fights confessed. I nodded.” “A threat?” he looked annoyed.” he continued smiling. “Nick Barnum. “All debts are off.” He grimaced. “I’ll handle this one.” said another suit. “Yeah he does.” “I’m going to punch you in the face in a few minutes if I don’t see you writing a check. but I wanted to make sure I put a crimp in it. “Something would marry you?” “You don’t have to take this.” “I want my money. A thousand reasons for him to get up and walk out raced across his mind. He knew I knew it too.” I replied.” I snorted back. “I figure in public you wouldn’t sick your dogs after me. “It wasn’t your wife.” I smiled. “Shut up or I’ll kick the living shit out of you. “My wife is in hot water.” he said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 42 Froggy dreaded every step I took when I walked into the eatery.” I replied.com 107 . “It’s okay. Mr. “If I don’t get it. “What brings you into an expensive place like this?” he asked again without looking at me. I walked by and saw you. That’s what I do best. Do I make myself clear?” “Hey. He was having dinner with three suits.bibliotastic.” “Was it Stacey?” “Who?” “My damn wife!” he shouted. “At your service. “Just for the last fight. “I told you.” I said.
” One of the suits picked up his cell phone and dialed the police. If that’s okay with you.” he said.” said the third suit.” “Let me get rid of him.” I said. “And you won’t!” “You don’t think I’ll punch you in the face.” I said. The suits stood up but they all backed away.” “Someone stop this bully!” Froggy shouted. right?” He blinked. I slowly walked over to Froggy and punched him in the face knocking him off his chair. Froggy tried to stand. Barnum. “I’m going to count to five. or perhaps it was the urge to continue kicking the shit out of Froggy.” “Wait!” “Checkbook?” “I said I wasn’t going to pay anyone for that past fight. It was a cramp that shot through me. “I’m going to get all my licks in. “Sit down or I’ll beat you silly.” “I’ll sue!” “And I’ll shoot you dead. Blood spat everywhere. and fought to relax them.” I said as I kicked him in the face again. “Four. but I kicked him in the face. He touched his chin and growled.” “I called the police.” he said. you better know who I am!” “Two.” I said. “Then I’ll drive to your house and kill your family. “You’re just a thug. “No charge. Barnum.” “Mr. “Five.” “Mr.” “You’re in deep shit.” “In that case.” I said.” Froggy started.” “I don’t see a check book. .” “Those threats can land you in jail!” “But they will be carried out before I go to jail.Frank Atanacio “How dare you?” “I’m serious. A low-life. I flexed my arms. “You’re crazy!” “One. “Did you collect your winnings?” “Huh?” “Did they pay you?” He did not reply.” “I’m serious!” “Three. “The kick was extra.
I didn’t put up a fight. “That one!” shouted one of the suits.” “Maybe the cops will do that. for my money.” Always careful of what he says in front of other people. His eyes were red with anger as he waited for another kick.” Froggy said. This part was over.” “I don’t think they have dealt with people like Nick before. I smiled. “They got to be put out of their misery. The Fairfield police led me through the narrow. it kinda was. The Fairfield Police quickly tackled me to the ground and handcuffed me.” a waitress said softly. The suits sighed. Froggy took a breath. I didn’t let him down as I kicked him again. “I’ll see you later. Froggy just stared at me as he resisted the temptation to berate me for my actions.bibliotastic.” said the waiter. He was banking on it. “Leave him alone.” I said as the police hauled me away.” said another suit as he helped Froggy to a seat.” Froggy whispered. Now all he had to do was wait for me to try and get revenge.” he sighed. please. Nick. It was suppose to be his way or the highway. “Those type of guys don’t pay. cramped rows of dining tables of the very upscale eatery. “I’m sure they have. “These guys can be tough. “You’ll get your money. He was feeling the pain.” he began. “What an animal. “Please.” Froggy said quietly. Froggy watched me as the police did their job.” she begged. because they were just simply doing their job. speaking slowly.” I looked at her and winked. “Oh. He wanted to be in control. He wanted to bark out the orders. Froggy stood up and tried not to be so tall. “Bastard is going to pay for this. It would have been unproductive because the suits would have definitely saw right through him. He was particularly concerned that he had nothing to do with my capture. away from the waiters and waitresses as they tried to gear in closer for a look at me. “Kicking my face wasn’t necessary.” He grimaced as the Fairfield police rushed into the restaurant.” I’ll give you your damn money!” “You see how simple that was?” Froggy’s head dropped into one hand. you’re going to kill him.com 109 .” said a waiter as he stood next to the suits. “Please. www. “He wasn’t remotely afraid. Froggy nodded.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Froggy looked up at me.” “Yeah. The police were headed for the main cruiser parked right outside the door. “My money!” I shouted back.
” O’Brien nodded. “What?” The captain silently groaned. not bothering to hide it. They wanted to explain all of this to O’Brien.” the captain barked. He knew that the captain was speaking to him like an undisciplined child.” said the Fairfield police captain. and I will make sure Captain Frank Roque takes care of him. “I hope you put him in his cage. “Something I said?” asked the captain. when the captain had his back toward him. It was something they wanted no part of. I will release this animal to you without handcuffs. A thin female police officer knocked at the door. O’Brien?” “Yes sir. “He is an animal. They will handle the obvious and overlook the unobvious. and help you watch out for yours. This time. polite tone. I just had a long night. He did it because he knew there would be no serious social repercussions O’Brien smiled as he cursed under his breath. and my actions at the restaurant. “He does what he does and I don’t ask questions.” she said.” O’Brien replied as he stood up. and I was a Bridgeport citizen causing havoc in their town. He also remained alert enough to follow the conversation. “I don’t get into my captain’s business. but I heard many good things about this Nick PT Barnum. “I’m bringing the animal to you. “My men will never be put in the position you’re in. “What a sight for sore eyes!” “Your friend too?” said the captain as he removed the handcuffs. The captain shrugged. This gave O’Brien the urge to just fall to sleep. “Hey Pete. O’Brien snored silently. and he knew he poked fun at the Bridgeport Police Department.” he replied.” O’Brien replied with a hint of sarcasm.” “I hear your captain is tough. He knew he played O’Brien. stroking his brown thin chin beard.” The captain cleared his throat in satisfaction. The captain turned to O’Brien.” O’Brien added. O’Brien sat at the head of the table as the captain was pacing in a command sort of way. he’d nearly dozed off on two separate occasions. stroking his beard again. . he was obvious.” An embarrassed silence descended over O’Brien’s face. “No wait. “Come.” O’Brien replied as he leaned back in his chair. he’s an animal. Will that be to your satisfaction. He just respected the position. “I have the prisoner. “In many ways.” O’Brien hadn’t been particularly fond of the captain. “Well. “It will be. right?” The captain made no effort to match O’Brien’s soft. “With respect to your captain.” said the captain. Mr. In fact. he had watched captains come and captains go. but managed to snap himself out of it when a question was shot his way.” O’Brien sighed. “Do you want him in cuffs or not?” “I’ll take the obvious.” I said.” he said. but he didn’t have to like him. but he had always hid his dislike for them.Frank Atanacio Chapter 43 This was just the sort of meeting that usually put Detective Peter O’Brien to sleep.” we must watch out for our own people. It was their way of sharing things with sister towns.” O’Brien nodded. You’re right. In his uniform days. I think he’s good friends with this Nick character. “Captain. “Am I correct in my assumption?” He asked. “The last thing I wanted to do was come here to pick up Nick Barnum. I’m also sure you wouldn’t want your men to question your friends or what you do. They wanted to talk to him about my release.
” I said.com 111 . “Just get him out of here.” “You have clean holding cells.” I nodded. “Come on Nick.” said O’Brien. The captain grimaced.Case File: Dog Eats Dog O’Brien felt a chill. www. “Let’s get out of here.bibliotastic.
” I laughed.” O’Brien continued. O’Brien began tapping the counter with his fingers and he realized that I was annoyed. I know he’s getting away with too much.” “It’s still not him. “Even if I do. “The captain told him if he had to put a leash on you he’d tie you up at his office. It’s all right there with no exceptions.” The waiter smiled and continued doing his job. “It has to be enough.” said O’Brien. “Besides. That has to be good enough.” I continued.” I laughed again. Willie the Greek produced some Patsies. what can I do about it. The waiter stopped in front of us with our meals. Not like this. and the men he sold down the river is doing time for everything that has happened. he killed Carolyn.” I said.” I said.” “Even if I do. “Froggy called the captain a pig. “Leave it alone.” “Pete.” he said as he finished off his soda and ordered another one without speaking. I know deep down inside you agree with me. Besides. confessions. “It’s okay. Why is this so different?” .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. That man is getting away with everything. “Coming into Fairfield to bail your stank ass out of jail because you couldn’t leave Froggy alone!” “I shook him good. “Yeah you did rattle his cage.” O’Brien smiled. So again.” he growled. I can feel it. “It can’t just end here. everything the court needs to make the charges stick. The deacon is back home. We hurried in and ordered a turkey club and two diet colas. nine times out of ten I’d agree with you.” I said as I took a small bite of my club. but he didn’t place them down.” “I’m the one who should be angry. we have confessions to everything. “And the captain called him a fly eater. “I just don’t like the way this played out. and he almost killed Janet. We have written statements.” “We got our man. “That Frog managed to produce Patsies!” I half shouted. “His bark is worse than his bite. “What?” “He called the captain and asked the captain to put a leash on you.” O’Brien replied.” Damn. I guess I made him nervous. The men will serve a great deal of time. and the cruelty to those animals. “But I think you should just let things be for now. It was okay with you then. Including murder!” “He’ll pack up in leave. “What?” “Do you have to keep tapping the freaking counter?” “Are you angry?” “Damn straight.” O’Brien said.” said O’Brien. “He got the deacon tied up in knots.” he paused.” I shouted almost abstractedly. “As you may recall from past incidences. “No exceptions. O’Brien looked straight into my eyes and said to me. But not this time. I’m not even including the dogs he killed. “How can you say that?” I said as I sipped on my soda. there is no exceptions!” “One. “It shouldn’t end this way. and he simply lost his train of thought.” said O’Brien.” he huffed.
” I sighed. but I also knew he didn’t really share in that belief. it just had to be done.” I fought the urge to raise my voice. Froggy wins!” “But he doesn’t have to win!” “Don’t go there Nick. “Nick.” “How?” “Kill him. “Yep. and as cruel as my intentions were. Let’s just change the subject. “I don’t win!” he shouted.” “Dog eats dog world. for doing what you think is right.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “He’s a killer!” “Willie killed people too!” “Drug dealers! And other gang members!” “It’s all the same!” O’Brien shouted.” I interrupted.” said O’Brien. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly.. I realized we were just arguing in circles.” “You know I’m right. “I’m just telling you that there is nothing we can do about this situation.” O’Brien continued. A spectator in life.” “Now you’re talking murder. www. “Innocent people die because of it!” “And because we’re turning a blind eye on Froggy. “We need to kill him. “You can do some serious jail time Nicky boy. “I can’t do anything about it. and nothing was being accomplished. “You win. “Two wrongs. I knew where he was coming from. Froggy had to die.” His face was tight.” “What?” “You heard me Pete. “Regardless of what you believe my intentions are. O’Brien smiled.” I said softly. You’re not making any kind of sense. more innocent people are going to die. “We have the chance to stop him. his eyes hard with restrained emotion.” I said. “You’re talking murder and I want no part of it.” he spoke. so I spoke slowly and calmly and hoped the effort did not offend O’Brien.” I said. listen to what you’re saying.bibliotastic.” I whispered. but I just had to say my say. He knew I was right.” “Don’t even say it.” I grimaced.com 113 . I’m just like you..
and it was what I took. the only exit I wanted was exit 7. Thank goodness for that. it connected to Fairfield Avenue which became the Old Post Road. Shadows that didn’t expect me. I didn’t really have the time to think it over. She was strangled to death with that choker. I couldn’t believe my luck. Or did. O’Brien. It wasn’t a step up. but I had no choice. I can’t make him out. I took out my cell phone and called O’Brien. It was something I couldn’t do. I thought about it as I turned onto Route eight and was heading for the Trumbull Mall. It connected to I95 North and South. The man is not thinking like he use to. In a flash I had realized that I had just stumbled upon my first substantial opportunity to get at Froggy. It was one of the old fashioned gold knobs. “Pete. and I didn’t even care if I was being baited. It was Exit 7 that I wanted. the door was unlocked. He had to be stopped. It was either going to be him or me. I was trying to find out what was going on in the office. “I’m coming down now. I wanted to avoid the build-up on East Main Street. and Froggy struck again. It gave the new building character. and it connected to Route 25 and the Merritt Parkway.” I said under my breath. I think he’s gone off the edge. but I didn’t forget to bring it with me. Maybe I’m dead this time. I walked to the front of the office and slowly turned the door knob. It was built on the spot were an old building once stood. and I wanted to avoid The entrance side to Beardsley Park. but that didn’t happen. it’s me. sacrifices had to be made. It was newly built with the permanent paint siding. He’s on his way to the office and he told me not to leave. “Nick here. He would have urged me to mind my own business. I wanted someone to peek out the window. “Damn Stacey. I had to let him know what was going on. I still had all my wits. However. I couldn’t let Froggy move on. “Didn’t he already hurt you?” This time he sounds crazy. Out of a window in front of the office I could see silhouettes pacing.” Don’t tell me you’re locked up again? .” Nicky. Although North Main Street has many buildings dating back over a hundred years. I touched my back pocket to see if I had my cell phone with me. I wasn’t going to give it too much consideration because I knew O’Brien would just talk me out of it.” I said as I slapped the cell phone shut and tossed it into the passenger’s side. it’s me. However. Be careful. I think Froggy is going to hurt me. I wasn’t ready to enter. and he even smelled like one. Age hasn’t caught up to me yet. but then I remembered that Stacey was expecting me. she genuinely needed my help. I slowly walked into the office and was shocked to see a woman’s body on the floor next to the security guard’s desk.” I said. I was going to see Stacey. “You be careful. Froggy’s office was not one of them. In order to take down the beast. I didn’t have my head piece on so I picked up the phone and place it to my ear. It wasn’t my normal way of thinking. which broke into several different avenues. I walked over to the body and noticed a choker collar around her neck.Frank Atanacio Chapter 45 I stopped for a light on Boston Avenue and East Main Street when my cell phone buzzed. and I had my chance to put an end to Froggy. I knew I had tossed it on the passenger side of my truck. I wanted to make sure I didn’t get caught on the ever lasting construction on Boston Avenue. A woman was dead. Froggy was a maggot in my book. Fate was stepping in.” I said as I knelt down before her and removed the choker from her lifeless body. I just wanted to make sure she wasn’t setting me up. I knew that Stacey would have been relieved if she knew I was outside. Route Eight consisted of a catalogue of highways. “Stacey?” Nick. “Should I call Pete?” I whispered. I thought about Stacey for a moment. “Please don’t be Stacey. but really didn’t care. To my surprise.
His fingers were twitching. “Well?” “You’re something. Then he looked for a moment as if he were going to pat my shoulder.” Froggy replied. He hated me. “Sure thing.” Froggy paused and stared at his office for a moment.” I whispered in her ear as I kissed her cheek.” “You’re sick. I’m coming down!” O’Brien hung up the phone. 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. “And then paid for it. “Damn that hurt. “You ass. “Punk!” he growled. He stood closer and then just smiled at me.” He grimaced. “Stacey. “She was choked to death with a choke collar. We wanted each other dead.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Stacey’s dead.com 115 .bibliotastic. She was proud of that purchase.” “What are you talking about?” www. I tried to gingerly remove myself off of Stacey.” I smiled. I’m sorry I didn’t get to see your new condo.” “How did it feel?” he asked.” he said. or a fall guy?” I asked. thanks to you. “An accomplice.” he said.” Stay put. There he stood with a chrome 38 special beaming down on me. you’re not going to hurt her. but I was the one in pain. Instead. Why don’t you head down to Froggy’s office. She told me it had a modern captain’s galley kitchen. She wanted me to see it. because it was the first step she made toward leaving her twisted husband. and I knew he wanted to pull the trigger. the kick to the stomach?” “Making love to my wife. Barnum. and a big living room with a fireplace and a picture window that looked out to the Long Island Sound.” he growled.” I started. I may need your help. and she was proud that it went unnoticed. “She’s already dead!” “Yeah. “Stay on your knees. Newsom?” “Of course. “You would have made it a fine home. and I hated him.” he paused briefly. Mr. “Anything for a murderer.” “Touching.” came a voice from behind me. “Mr. “Is this your handy work?” He smiled as I turned and looked up to face him.” I said. “Why did you kill your own wife?” I asked. “I enjoy it. “Now shut the fuck up before I plant you next to my whore of a wife.” I said loudly. but was brutally helped by Froggy as he kicked me in the stomach. There was no mistake about it. But he didn’t.” “Enjoy it?” “She showed me up. “What. Stacey had a condo at the old Warner Cost Factory off of Myrtle Avenue and close to Seaside Park.
” he replied.” he said.” “You’re all heart. She was a whore and she got what she deserved. “There were many.” “And murder her?” “Damn you!” From the office. a security guard poked his head out. and just maybe I’ll kill you without making you suffer.” I nodded.” “Get up!” Froggy demanded.” Froggy wasn’t impressed as he pushed me forward. “Do as I say. I did as I winced with pain. “Yeah. .” “She was trying to keep your stench off her body!” I 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. you keep calling me that and I’m going to show you my punk. “Some she didn’t even know about. “You don’t get to say that!” he shouted. Nick.” “Punk. “Only I can judge my wife.Frank Atanacio “I have cameras everywhere. “Bring him in boss.” he said as he pushed me toward the office. “You’re not the only one.
One big mistake.” “I’m so glad. You’ll also get to shoot Nick PT Barnum.” Froggy said. She was killed because she walked in on me robbing the place. sure. “Nick. “Don’t smile. “It was very nice knowing you. do it. “In time. He thinks he’s mister tough guy. I was also assuming that Stacey was caught in the cross-fire. just a few more minutes. The guard walked over toward me and made one mistake.” said the guard as he took his gun out of his holster. “How do I get shot?” “The guard walks in on you after he discovers the body of my dear wife. Carefully. “He catches you with this bag of money and he shoots you dead. “Stay put! Don’t give me a reason to knife you. I can’t have anything go wrong.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 46 The security guard grabbed me and pushed me face first into the wall.” The guard nodded. “It’s not a good thing to do when you’re going to die.” “I won’t. He had left it on the desk when he was filling the duffel bag with money. “Boss?” “Wait. “I didn’t like him when he first came in to speak to you. I grabbed his neck and forced him up against the wall. Froggy was taking money out of his safe and stuffing it in a duffel bag.” “This guard?” “Yes!” “I’m going to snap his neck before all of this is over. “Arnold!” he screamed. I noticed that the office was completely a mess. Everything was turned over.” Froggy smiled. He stuck the gun in my face giving me the chance to knock it away. “I need to make sure this all goes as planned. “Okay. It happened too fast as I snapped his neck and threw him toward One Eyed Froggy.” I said. and all the draws to the file cabinets were tossed onto the floor as if someone was looking for something. “Boss.” said Froggy. Froggy didn’t know what was happening as he scurried toward his gun.” he said sarcastically. but trust me.” “I can kick your ass any day of the week.” He smiled even harder.” Froggy continued. “You will get your reward.com 117 .bibliotastic. let me at him!” “In time. “You’re going to shoot me. but was he going to leave me dead or alive? The office was made up to look like a robbery. www.” I threatened. “Let me shoot this idiot.” “Oh yeah. and blame this all on me?” He smiled. I know you’re angry and worried about this whole thing.” Froggy instructed.” The guard smiled. It crossed my mind that he was planning on setting me up. I shook my head slightly from side to side.” “He’s getting on my nerves!” “Arnold.” I said.” I replied.” Froggy started explaining.
That’s just the way I roll. “Drop it or I’ll have to drop you.” I said as I aimed the gun at him. “There’s more. “She was your wife. take it!” “I can kill you and take the money. but he had to follow the rules. O’Brien approached me and kicked the gun away.” I said smiling. The only sad thing is you killing your wife.” We scuffled for the gun as I pushed him to the floor. It was an easy win for me because Froggy was a weak man. He didn’t know me.” I said. “Freeze!” Shouted Detective Peter O’Brien as he stormed into the office with his aimed directly at me. “She was a retarded whore. “His neck is broken. “I didn’t think so.” “But Stacey. He had no strength.” “Let me do this.” “That’s not nice. “Now I have the drop on you.” He closed his eyes. Carolyn.Frank Atanacio “He can’t hear you. “Damn you Nick!” He shouted as he crawled to his feet. or Carolyn back?” He bowed his head.” “She wasn’t all upstairs!” he shouted as he pushed his index finger against his temple. She didn’t have to die like that. “Pete?” “Drop it Nick. Nick. I will. “Get out of here. .” I said.” He nodded slowly.” Froggy gazed into my eyes. trust me. He felt like his knees were going to collapse. He was simply a weakling with money. now. “Oh. and I’ll even pay off your winnings!” “Can you bring Stacey. I don’t know why she married you. He knew what he was doing had no meaning. “Do it then!” He demanded. lots more. He was trying to see if I was the type to kill a man in cold blood. That’s murder.” he said. “In that duffel bag. but he knew I was a man of my word.” “I know. “Do you want a blind fold instead?” “Fuck you!” I smiled. He steadied himself. “Can’t let you kill a man. lots of it!” I smiled.” I did and Froggy smiled. “See how nice this all played out for you.” I smiled.” “Pete?” “Drop the gun. but she got the raw end of that deal. and he grabbed my arm. I always tried to carry out my threats.” “I have money.” “You wouldn’t.
” O’Brien said. and the man who took it is getting away with it. detective.” he said. right?” “My word.” O’Brien said as he finally holstered the weapon. “I can produce many witnesses. “Back up is on their way. and get out of here. I stopped. Suddenly. go ahead. He killed them both. Stacey’s body was on the floor and I looked around the office to find something to cover her. “Pete!” I ran back into the office and I saw Froggy on the floor with two bullet holes in his chest.com 119 . He just snapped their necks and then he came after me looking for his winnings. “Don’t let him get away!” Froggy shouted. He won a great deal of money from me and I wasn’t going to pay. I left. There was nothing. “Yeah. “That man was caught in here by my wife and my guard. I looked to the floor and I saw a knife just two feet away from the body. just wait for me in the other room. “You better go.” I grabbed the duffel bag and walked quickly toward the door. but I did not turn to face him. She lost her life.” he said.” I couldn’t believe O’Brien was going to listen to that crazed killer.” Froggy started.” he called.” O’Brien explained. a shot. and people will testify that he threatened my life.” “Hey. Followed by another. “See if you can cover up Stacey’s body or something. “That is Mike’s bag. “Tell me the whole story from the beginning.” O’Brien nodded. “This will stick. “Just calm down. I should have done it quickly.bibliotastic.” O’Brien just looked at Froggy. I couldn’t believe he didn’t let me put that Frog out of his misery. “He came at you?” “He came at me and I shot him once. “Nick. O’Brien still had the smoking gun pointed upward. “He came at me with a knife. “Cuff him!” “Nick.” he said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Listen.” O’Brien smiled.” “Froggy?” “That’s my story!” O’Brien shouted. THE END www. I nodded. I blamed myself.” I nodded and walked out of the office. “That didn’t stop him so I had to shoot him again. can I take Deacon Mike Brandon’s duffel bag?” “He had Mike’s bag?” I nodded.