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