www.bibliotastic.

com

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

www.bibliotastic.com

1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

www.bibliotastic.com

11

Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You don’t have that fear?” “I don’t have any enemies.” “Sit down. are you okay to talk?” I asked. and a Malcolm-X tee-shirt. “I do owe him a little money.” “Are you behind?” “No. “Was gambling with the deacon that night.” “So he made payment arrangements with you?” Mr.” said Janet almost too professionally. “Wife know you have no job?” “She knows what I do.” he said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 21 I was in my office with my feet up on my desk taking in a few moments of much needed rest.” I said as I pointed to one of my client’s chairs. “What do you do for a living?” “I gamble.” “Yeah.” “Mr. Nick PT Barnum. I wasn’t really in the mood or the mind set to take on any new clients. “I’m paying on time.” he said. “I’m sorry for what has happened to the deacon. My face was still aching. but his nose big. “Are you married?” He nodded. but I didn’t want Janet to look bad. Miller.” I said.” Janet said. “They have this fear brought on by Froggy. He smiled. “he said. but we’re good.” “Salt of the earth. “I’ll let you guys talk. “What do you mean?” “People find it too difficult to talk about what happened to Mike Brandon. not behind on any gambling debts?” “I told you.” he said.” “So you have no financial problems with him?” I continued. but my body seemed to have accepted the beating I sustained when Janet came in with an overweight black man wearing baggy shorts. “No big debts.” www. “Do you owe Froggy money?” “Yes.” Janet started.” I started explaining.com 55 . “We all are.” “How do you do?” I said as I stood up quickly and shook his hand. He wore oval shaped glasses with black rims. “This is my boss. Miller nodded. “He is a good man. but not a lot.bibliotastic. Miller. He looked at me quizzically. “And you’re debt free?” He nodded again.” “Professionally?” He nodded. His eyes were tiny. that he is. “Rusty Miller. “Mr. His hair was dark color with beads of gray.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

www.bibliotastic.com

69

Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

www.bibliotastic.com

87

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

www.bibliotastic.com

89

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful