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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In response to some sort of private investigator’s instincts. “Of course we can become friends. but I knew it moved on its own because I wasn’t touching the bag at the time. I looked into his bloody eyes. that one-eyed punk the money if he would have guaranteed me the life of that poor dog.” The dog whimpered again.” I said. what hit me?” I said softly. I opened the bag up and at first I couldn’t recognize the stench. the smell from the bag was so strong I almost threw up. He was stabbed twice in the throat. “You rest. “You with me buddy?” . He crawled closer to me and fell into my lap. but I knew they were bleeding. Something that wasn’t going into the garbage can. lying on his side with his paw frozen with rigomortise was the dog that made me lose ten thousand dollars.” The dog’s purr was quieter. I noticed the dog had a very difficult time trying to keep its head up.” I said. It took some doing. However. Or perhaps it was just the beating I got that made everything difficult. The dog too was looking for comfort. “Don’t tell me it’s the other dog?” I whispered. my friend. He tried to clench his teeth and growl.” I said as the dog crawled closer to me.” I said. “I know what you’re thinking. They were next to each other side by side. and the dog looked into mine. In the bag was the dog with the missing ear. “I know how you feel dog. I just knew that the duffle bags had something in them. The winner of that contest. Maybe you should have gambled too. “You like baseball?” The dog didn’t answer. I didn’t realize it at first. “What the hell did these animals do to this poor dog?” On the ground next to my feet. The dog was almost purring. and then stopped almost as I put my hand on his head. The dog licked my arm. “You’re thinking that this is a Yankee town. “Should I?” I pulled the other bag toward me and it moved. they wouldn’t have tried to kill you.” The dog continued purring. so that became a task in itself. “We better talk about something to keep us awake. and this was his reward. but couldn’t. I looked for the zipper and it was dark outside. “I like the Mets. I would have given Froggy. right?” The dog was quiet. and the other duffle bag next to it. He put his bloody head on my lap and closed his eyes. There were two canvas duffle bags laying about three feet away from me. but I managed to crawl toward the first one. It appeared that he had his throat cut. and my face was covered in cuts. I couldn’t feel my lips. It looked like they took turns punching me around while I was unconscious because my entire body ached. and I knew the bags weren’t garbage. “But if you owed them money. “I wonder what these monkey’s left behind?” I said as I pulled the first one toward me. He went into a whimpering frenzy.Frank Atanacio Chapter 18 When I came to I realized I was sitting in a dark alley way covered in garbage and smelling my own blood. I mustered enough strength to zip open the bag and out fell the other pit-bull. We may never get up.” I said. “It really is a dog eats dog world. His bloodied head motionless on the ground. “I don’t think we should fall asleep. Perhaps it was because my nose was full of dried blood. because I really couldn’t feel my legs. “Damn.” I said. but somehow survived it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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