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Chapter 1 ................................................................................................................................... 1 Chapter 2 ................................................................................................................................... 3 Chapter 3 ................................................................................................................................... 5 Chapter 4 ................................................................................................................................... 9 Chapter 5 ................................................................................................................................. 12 Chapter 6 ................................................................................................................................. 14 Chapter 7 ................................................................................................................................. 16 Chapter 8 ................................................................................................................................. 19 Chapter 9 ................................................................................................................................. 22 Chapter 10 ............................................................................................................................... 26 Chapter 11 ............................................................................................................................... 28 Chapter 12 ............................................................................................................................... 32 Chapter 13 ............................................................................................................................... 35 Chapter 14 ............................................................................................................................... 38 Chapter 15 ............................................................................................................................... 41 Chapter 16 ............................................................................................................................... 42 Chapter 17 ............................................................................................................................... 45 Chapter 18 ............................................................................................................................... 48 Chapter 19 ............................................................................................................................... 50 Chapter 20 ............................................................................................................................... 53 Chapter 21 ............................................................................................................................... 55 Chapter 22 ............................................................................................................................... 58 Chapter 23 ............................................................................................................................... 60 Chapter 24 ............................................................................................................................... 62 Chapter 25 ............................................................................................................................... 64 Chapter 26 ............................................................................................................................... 67 Chapter 27 ............................................................................................................................... 69 Chapter 28 ............................................................................................................................... 72 Chapter 29 ............................................................................................................................... 74 Chapter 30 ............................................................................................................................... 77 Chapter 31 ............................................................................................................................... 79 Chapter 32 ............................................................................................................................... 82 Chapter 33 ............................................................................................................................... 86 Chapter 34 ............................................................................................................................... 88 Chapter 35 ............................................................................................................................... 91 Chapter 36 ............................................................................................................................... 93 Chapter 37 ............................................................................................................................... 96 Chapter 38 ............................................................................................................................... 98 Chapter 39 ............................................................................................................................... 99 Chapter 40 ............................................................................................................................. 101 Chapter 41 ............................................................................................................................. 104 Chapter 42 ............................................................................................................................. 107 Chapter 43 ............................................................................................................................. 110 Chapter 44 ............................................................................................................................. 112 Chapter 45 ............................................................................................................................. 114 Chapter 46 ............................................................................................................................. 117
Case File: Dog Eats Dog
She was wearing a light blue night cap, pulled back covering her weave that covered her forehead. Her night gown had a flowery pattern, and she was wearing no bra. Her face was dark and filled with black botches. She had thin skin, and lots of wrinkles. It appeared that she has had a rough life. Nevertheless she was Deacon Mike Brandon’s love. She was married to him for almost forty years. She was a devoted wife, and a dedicated Christian. She was tossing and turning in her queen size bed wondering why her husband wasn’t home yet. She glanced at the alarm clock, but really couldn’t tell the time. Her vision wasn’t as good as it use to be. Besides, she wasn’t wearing her glasses. She wasn’t the worrying type, but the deacon really gave her no reason to be the worrying type. It was late, she knew it, and he never stayed out before. It wasn’t his character, and it certainly wasn’t his nature. He liked being home with her. She knew it. “Baby, where in the world are you?” She whispered. Brenda Brandon sat up and moved closer to the foot of the bed. She kissed her wedding ring and held it against her lips for a few moments. The ring was almost embedded into her dark skin. It looked as if it was cutting off her circulation. She put that ring on 39 years ago, and she never took it off since. She loved her husband, and keeping that ring on through everything they went through was her testimony to that. “Why don’t you call me,” she whispered as she rubbed her eyes. “Tell me you’re okay, baby.” She never had to worry about him before. However, that night, she felt worried. She felt uneasy. She felt something she had never felt before. She felt something was wrong. “Oh my god,” she said as she adjusted her night gown.. Brenda was quiet for a moment as she reached for the lamp. Her huge breasts knocked over a water glass that was sitting on the night stand next to the telephone, and a box of tissues. “Oh dear,” she said as she stood the glass up immediately. “How clumsy can I be?” She had forgotten that she rested the glass there and she knocked it over reaching for the telephone. She grabbed some tissues and tried her best to wipe up the spill. “This spill is going to have to wait until tomorrow morning,” she said as she picked up the phone. She took a deep breath. “Baby, where you at?” she said softly as she dialed her husband’s cell number. It rang three times and then came the voice mail message. You’ve reached the deacon, I’m praying for you, so while I do that, leave me a message. “Baby, it’s Brenda, where you at honey? It’s late and I’m worried sick.” She hung up, and dialed the number again. You’ve reached the deacon, I’m praying for you, so while I do that, leave me a message. She was quiet again for a moment, as if she wasn’t quite sure what to say next. Her big brown eyes looked sadden as she hung up the phone. Her dark circles were almost black as she rubbed them with the back of her hands. She knew it was the worrying that was taken its toll on her. Brenda Brandon picked up the phone again and dialed my number. Nick Barnum here, at your service. “Nicky, pick up the phone!” she half shouted. Hello? “Nicky?” Who the hell is this at 3 in the morning? Shit better be good! “You just watch your mouth when you’re talking to me,” she said. B B? “Yeah, it’s me Nicky.” Is everything okay?
I’ll call you when I have something.” she said. “You’ll do that for me. “I’ll just wait by the phone. Why don’t you just get some rest. She smiled. “I’m afraid something has happened to him. “Well. Brenda Brandon closed her eyes and hung up the phone all in one motion. baby?” Of course. I’m really worried.” Of course. “But he still never did anything like this before. I’ll get up and I’ll look for him. Nicky.” she started. “If it’s all the same. Nicky. .” B B.” Anytime B B.Frank Atanacio “Mike isn’t home yet. he hasn’t been the same ever since his niece was murdered.” Did you call his cell? “Twice. “Thank you Nicky.” she said.” It’s almost 3AM? “That’s why I called you.” That’s not like him.
just yet. big guy. “She called here tonight. “How did he die?” I asked. I won over three hundred dollars. It was a good night for me. “Hello?” Nick! “Mike?” Nick. I had to regain my composure and settle myself. “You need to go back out and do what you have to do for B B. she’s worried sick.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 2 I sat at the foot of my bed with the phone still in my hand. I need you to meet me at Frankie’s diner off of Barnum Avenue.” I suggested. A promise is a promise. and drank a whole bottle of Southern Comfort.” I can’t do that. I didn’t know why I did that. and I just wanted to sleep. Bouncers threw me out of the joint. you gotta help me! “What’s up?” You gotta help me. and I caught the end of the bed to regain my balance.” I said to myself. “Holy fuck!” That’s what I said. and someone ran outside and told me that the guy I hit was dead. I was barefoot. and now you’re going to put her through the ringer. I killed a man tonight.” “So you pick on me?” You’re suppose to be at my service. Can you do that? “Now?” It has to be now. it happen too fast. I punched a guy out.” I said. “You what?” I dropped the bottle.com 3 . “What do you mean. I knew it was the booze telling me not to go out and look for the deacon. No cops for now! “Okay deacon.bibliotastic.” www. I had forgotten I still had it in my hand. and I got no one to run too either. I had taken off my clothes just a few minutes ago. and I don’t like going back on my word. “Why?” Because I told you. My footing slipped a bit from under me.” I said. “Settle yourself.” I said. “You killed a man!” It happened so fast! “It still happened. She’s worried. “But you’re gonna have to call your wife. wearing my boxers and a T-shirt. but I just did. and he fell over some tables. “With just one punch?” That’s why I can’t turn myself in. I just wanted another shot. I saw the empty bottle of Southern Comfort on my night stand and I picked it up and looked in. you don’t know?” I asked. I killed a man tonight. My head wanted to explode.” My phone rang and it startled me for a moment. Perhaps. Perhaps it was just to embrace me for something unexpected. “And you’re wife is looking for you. just yet. “Why don’t I call Vic and Alfredo to meet us there. and Alfredo Fuentes. “You’re going to have to turn yourself in. I had just finished a night of playing cards with Victor Cruz. but I promised B B that I would look for her husband. What the hell happened?” I don’t’ know. I got nowhere else to go.
I will hang up on you.” I dreaded every step I had to make that night. “Are you going to call B B when we hang up?” Nick.” I started. I’m sure they’ll be willing to help you out. “Get focused. right? “Are you close to the diner?” I asked.” I said. and killing someone would not be on his list at all. but a friend in need comes first.” I said. and that’s what I had planned to do. “Call her from this damn pay phone!” I shouted. “Ok. I am Bridgeport’s finest private investigator. “Just trying to lighten things up. and I wanted to get some sleep.” Right now I need you. Nick. It just seemed so uncharacteristic of him. A thousand lies raced through my mind. “I’m coming now.” You know I ain’t no murderer! “I know Mike. No matter what happened. I’m sure there was a dead man. so I really shouldn’t be complaining about the condition. “I’m just wondering why you don’t want to get Vic. his safe haven. and you better have a good reason why you’re not calling the police. He didn’t even sound to convincing when he said he killed a man. So you’re coming. Drinking so much was my idea. or Alfredo involved. “I’m not so sure you believe that. and one of Bridgeport’s finest man need my help. but none of them came out of my mouth.” I said. Very.” I tried to calm myself. He would never speak to anyone on his duck’s list until he cleared it with B B. that man can’t call me when I’m sober.” Thanks Nick. She was his anchor. I don’t feel right tonight. He wanted me to meet him at Frankie’s diner.” I said. He had a strange way of putting all his little ducks in a row. I’m the one who killed a man.” . The pleasure I received from the bottle was about to cash in its chips.” I said. You’ve known them for several years. You know me man. now you call her!” Don’t get so nasty.Frank Atanacio I lost my cell phone. “Stay up Nick. I was certain that the police would realize it as well. But stranger things have happened. “Damn. Calling me first was so not like the deacon. “You better call your wife. Not calling her was simply not the way he handled things. It was certainly a no brainer. “Damn. I could have told him that I was busy with a girl or just made something up. He was a good Christian. “Just don’t jerk my chain. “You called me. “Hey Mike. you there?” He had already hung up the phone. I don’t want to get involved with a murderer.” He did not respond. “I do. but I can’t be too sure if he was killed by the deacon. even though I had a rough night. I knew that and. That’s why I wanna meet you at Frankie’s diner. don’t be getting on my nerves.
“There’s nothing like the service they had. “In the morning?” I nodded. The deacon walked into the diner wearing a baseball cap with the brim very low as if he was trying to conceal his identity.” “Peaceful.” “I’m sure it was.” “Maybe that’s why you’re not getting any. I thought he was going to ask for change. “Got the time?” asked another seated three seats down. but he didn’t. I smiled. However. His boot thudded softly on the diner floor and he stood about a foot in front of me.com 5 .” he continued.” I nodded.” he grimaced. “What’s your name?” asked the toothless man. “Nick. “They just think I’m a bum. I didn’t see the deacon. www.” he smiled again flashing only gums. where does the time go?” I nodded again.” he said.” He looked away annoyed.” I replied. “Not really. “Mike. “No. He also had on a heavy jacket.bibliotastic. so I didn’t understand why he was overly dressed. Oh. “4-am .” I answered. There was a man coming toward me wearing rain boots. “They think I’m a bum.” he said. There was a older man seated three seats down. and a small overweight truck driver seated in a booth behind me.” I nodded. and he was using socks for gloves. “I use to come to this diner years ago.” “The area was much nicer then. but I don’t get no free refills. “Was he bothering you?” the manager asked. “Can you believe that?” “Did you ask for a free refill?” “No. The overly dressed man turned and walked away when he saw the on duty manager walk out of the back room. He smiled and I noticed he was missing all his front teeth.” “No free refills. “That’s why I’d come over here for breakfast.” He smiled and walked back into the kitchen.” I called.” “Hey Nick.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. It was warm outside. “Damn. “Not at all.” “Nice. of course they’ll sell me coffee. didn’t think I had to.” “They treat you poorly now?” I asked. “I’m Terry.” he continued as he tried to strike up a conversation.” “I heard you the first time. “Back in the 70's. or anything like that.
” he said.” “Business man?” “Wants to be.. and his tee-shirt torn and covered with dried blood.” “One-Eye Froggy?” “Club owner. She poured him a cup and left him four creamers. “At that time One-Eye Froggy’s bouncers threw me out of the club. “Thanks. He played the part of a guilty man on the run.” “I did. I punched back and busted his nose.” he continued. The waitress came over wearing a black hair net and a stained uniform. “You’re going to have to be straight. In fact.” “Never heard of him. Nick.” “I was at this dog-fighting event. and I couldn’t picture him at a dog-fighting match.” . His sweats were wrinkled. and his face seemed gloom. and big arms. “Someone came out and told me that the bookie broke his neck and died. He was dark skinned and had a clean shaven face.” he replied. “But how did you kill him?” “He came at me again and I kicked him over some tables.” “So you killed him?” “No.” “So you don’t really know?” He shook his head from side to side indicating no. The look on his face was that of confusion. and clear with me on this one. Nothing matched. he was the best in that department.” replied the deacon.” he said as he sipped his coffee. The deacon was not much of a gambler.” “Dog-fighting?” “Let me finish. He was always good for setting a good example.” I said.” he started again. “Coffee?” “Black.” The waitress had poured us another cup of coffee. and that was so obvious that it made a chill ride up my spine.” “That’s the blood on your shirt?” He nodded. I never expected the deacon to be in this much trouble. His dark eyes were darker. “I guess when they threw me out.. “I’m trying.” “So tell me what’s going on. We drank it together without really saying another word. “Hey Nick.” I nodded.Frank Atanacio The deacon had a barrel chest. I hit the big one. “They told me I broke his neck. “I was placing bets and winning all night. He took a swing at me and missed. He wasn’t dressed as your typical deacon. He looked like he was running a marathon. “I grabbed him and pushed him a little. and sorrow.” he said as he sat on the stool next to me.” “So it was an accident?” “No. “So this Froggy is a bad man? “Big time. and the bookie didn’t have enough to pay me.
“Tell her what happened too.” “Nobody expects it. “Let me look into this and we’ll get to the bottom of this. I’ll pay this One-Eye Froggy a visit.” he said.” “Tougher than me?” The deacon nodded.” “Did you call your wife?” He nodded.com 7 .” I said.bibliotastic. “I smell something rotten.” “I hit the guy.” “He’s a mean son of a bitch. I need to walk down some alley ways and come up with something tangible.” He grimaced.” he said. “I didn’t expect to be in the wrong places with the wrong people.” “I am. “He’s really tough. Nick. “Murder? I don’t know what to say. “So this Froggy is now in town. “If it really was a murder?” “I don’t know.” www.” He looked confused. “I’m not hungry. It rattled as if he was stuck in a freezer for about an hour. “And with the wrong people. “That’s why I called you first.” “Why don’t you talk to Captain Frank Roque.” “I understand. and I can’t live without her.” he replied.” I said. “But it feels more like an accident. Whose going take care of my baby.” “I do. I’ll see what really happened after you clocked the bookie. one way or another.” he said.” “He can come at you hard Nicky. but. “Let’s just call it an accident.” He nodded again.” his voice was scarcely a croak.” “How much trouble am I in?” he asked quietly.” I said. He nodded slowly as if he wasn’t really sure if I had asked him a genuine question.” I said.” I said.” I suggested. “Tell him that I’m looking into things. and you’ll turn yourself in as soon as I find something concrete.” “I learned to duck years ago. “Do you want something to eat?” I asked.” I started.. “I just can’t. I won’t tell you everything is going to be alright. and tell him what happened.” “Can’t go to jail. “Just worried.Case File: Dog Eats Dog I smiled. right?” “He is. “Just tell the captain everything you told me.” “You’re getting caught up in the wrong places. You gotta trust me.” “You think he’ll keep me out of jail?” “Talk to him. “I broke his nose. How much more concrete evidence do you need?” “For now.” “So am I. “Go to her.” I said. That’s just the way it is. She can’t live without me. “Trying to make extra money for the church?” I asked. “I’m not going to lie to you.
” “Go to your wife.” “She’s a big girl. and I watched. One-Eye Froggy? .” “I disappointed her. you know.” he repeated softly. He had so many questions.” I said. Mike.” “Thanks Nick.” He smiled. “I’m going to do my best.” “Yeah. and didn’t know how to ask.” I said again. I better.Frank Atanacio The deacon had his eyes solely on me. He drank some more coffee. He just wanted answers. The rattling of plates didn’t cause him to look away. “You always do.” “She can be the comfort you seek.” “She always was. He looked at me as if I had all the answers.” “Thank me when I’m done. “She always was.” I smiled. “Really. “Go home to your wife.
He was a visionary. “I need you to keep the police away from the deacon until I check into this.com 9 . that drinks fits you like a glove. and they respected him. “But it has secrets. “And you have to remember that they left out so much detail. “Is that what I am to understand?” I nodded. It was a large building with two floors.” “So the papers got it wrong?” “No. “I think I’m going to order one too when I get off. O’Brien was a big man with a strong upper body. He was purposely bald and kept his head shiny.” “They never mentioned the dog-fighting. with a nice early morning breeze. “I just need a little time. “Yes!” www. I’m not asking for much. not too hot.” I said smiling with my drink. “The deacon killed a man. I served so many of them this past month. They were all surprised about the reports. and O’Brien ordered a beer. They left out a lot of details.” O’Brien huffed ever so slightly.” “They did say it was at the Frogger Club. but fail to pop them into his mouth.” I said. but it has been removed and replaced with strong glass doors. “I don’t think Roque will be down for that. “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. Pete” I said as I picked up a few of his opened peanuts and tossed them into my mouth.” I said. “I don’t think he did. O’Brien had a lot of peanuts on his plate.” “Papers got the news. They couldn’t believe that Mike Brandon was capable of murder. He was God’s soldier. “They were fed the wrong information. “Yeah. and so much more.” said O’Brien. but he wasn’t eating any of them. I ordered a Mango Splash with a hint of rum.” “But that’s my point. “It’s my first time trying it. and eye-witnesses.”I said. I smiled. The Police headquarters located on Congress Street was buzzing. I knew this wasn’t going to sit to well with the men on Congress Street. “No. “It doesn’t get any better than this. “Damn.” he replied. He was a pillar of the community. “Looks even better on the menu cover. I had to think it was because of the deacon. but murder was murder nevertheless.” “And we do owe you. There use to be a large plate glass window at the entrance.” he said.” said the waiter. really. the news ran with the story that the deacon had killed a man. Detective Peter O’Brien and I met for lunch on the patio at Danny O’s in Shelton.bibliotastic. and now he was a hunted man.” “I need to speak to those so-called eye-witnesses. And those secrets are going to reveal itself to me.” I added. By removing the large plate glass window.” “That club is known for Salsa Dancing. His appearance meant a great deal to him because he wanted the public to experience his professionalism. He was a man everyone trusted. that police command center lost its panoramic view of the City of Bridgeport’s Westside. He would occasionally break open a few. and they wanted to launch their own investigation.” I smiled. It was early afternoon.” I said.” he said softly. He was fair skinned and always clean shaven.” The waiter smiled as he left to help other customers. that Mango Splash looks good. They liked the deacon.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 4 The next morning. and the late night gambling.
“Don’t push it,” said O’Brien. “It’s still not my call.” “But you’re the man.” O’Brien huffed again. There was a thin young lady sitting two tables down from us. She was looking at us the whole time, and it was probably the first time I noticed her. She had white skin, and matted brown hair that seemed to be pressed to the top of her head. Her face was lusterless, and her eyebrows bushy. She was a very unattractive woman, but she seemed to be noticing us. I opened my jacket to check to see if my gun was loaded. It was comforting to know that it was. Not because of the unattractive woman. It just made me feel free. “You see that woman looking at you,” said O’Brien. “Why me?” O’Brien smiled. The woman stood up and walked toward us with a hopeful expression. I looked down at her and didn’t realize I was staring at her extremely tight jeans that accentuated her crotch area. She had a sexual gait, but there was nothing sexual about her appearance. “Excuse me sir,” she said smiling. I smiled back. “I couldn’t help to notice you ordered that Mango Splash,” she said as she pointed to my drink. “Yes I did.” “I was thinking about ordering it,” she said still smiling. “But I wanted to ask you about the taste. Is it worth ordering, and does it have enough booze in it?” “Not worth the money,” I honestly replied. “And a little too fruity.” “Really?” “Sadly yes,” I said. “Pictured it looked good, but tasting it, I don’t know.” “Not enough booze for the price?” “Not enough anything for the price.” “Just order a beer,” O’Brien added. “You can’t go wrong ordering a beer.” “I think I’ll have my usual,” she said with a continuing smile. “Beer is not for me.” “Have a nice day,” I said returning the smile. “Thank you,” she said. “You saved my seven dollars.” “That’s the only reason why I’m drinking it,” I said. “I don’t want to lose my money.” She smiled, turned, and walked away. “What?” O’Brien said curiously as I titled my head. “She has a nice ass,” I replied. O’Brien smiled. “So you’re going to speak to the captain?” “He’s not going to agree,” O’Brien replied. “But I’ll talk to him.” “I’m sure you can convince him,” I said. “You talked me into buying this drink.” “You did that all on your own buddy.” I smiled. “I’ll give him good conversation,” said O’Brien as he cracked opened some more peanuts and failed to pop them into his mouth. “I will.” “That’s all I want you to do.”
Case File: Dog Eats Dog
“But you gotta tell the deacon to keep in touch with us,” He added.” I don’t want him running a little too far. You know, it’s for his own safety.” “He’s afraid.” “He’s needs to stay where we can get to him.” “Okay,” I said. “I’ll talk to him. I’ll get him to stay put. Just you make sure you speak to the captain. Get him to back down until I finish.” “I hope he can do this for you,” said O’Brien as he finished his beer. “You’re his friend,” I said. “Try a little convincing.” “He’s the captain.” “I need some time, Pete.” “I’ll see what I can do.” “That’s all I ask.” He smiled.
There were five witnesses on the list that O’Brien gave me and each one of the witnesses didn’t seem to credible. I decided to call on each one of them. The first one on my list was Margie Sanchez. She lived on Gregory Street off of Park Avenue and near the University of Bridgeport. She lived on the bottom floor of a six family wooden frame house that was in dire need of repair. I rang the door bell several times before a young woman opened it up. “I’m looking for Margie Sanchez,” I said as the young woman just stared at me. She was wearing tight Seven jeans and a white tank top with a black bra. She was a little darker than an olive skin. She had full lips, and dark eyes. Her face was slightly angelic, and her attitude was worn on her sleeve. It appeared as if she had a chip on her shoulder. “Whatcha you want her for?” “Just going to ask her a few questions,” I replied. “Police been here.” “I’m sure they were,” I said. “But I’m not the police.” “Then who the fuck are you?” “A private investigator,” I replied. “What the fuck is that?” “I don’t know,” I replied. “It’s just a summer job I took because I knew I could handle it.” “I’m Margie,” she said. “The witness,” I said softly. “What?” “I need to ask you about the murder, and about the deacon that was accused.” “Fuck man,” she said as she stepped out of the house. “Whatcha you wanna know?” There is not really a way to force that young woman to stop swearing so much. It’s such a shame, because her mouth takes away from her beauty. “How did you see this whole thing play out?” “What the fuck do you mean?” “What happened?” “This fat bishop...” “Deacon,” I corrected. “Whatever,” she was annoyed. “He came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. He threw the first punch and missed. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the bis... deacon and that set him off.” “Mike threw the first punch?” “Yep,” she replied. “The bis... deacon came at him with all he got. He punched Carlos in the mouth, and then kept punching him until he broke Carlos’ nose. Carlos didn’t fight back, he just fell over some tables.” “The deacon did all this?” “Hell yeah man,” she continued. “The bouncers threw out the deacon...” “Aww, you got it right.” She rolled her eyes. “And then the bartender checked Carlos and said he was dead.” “Neck broken?” She nodded. “Did you know why they were fighting?” “I don’t know, don’t care.”
“Difficult question?” “Too much for you to afford.” she said. “Yeah.” She turned around slowly.” I said. “I think I got what I need.” “What can I get for twenty bucks?” “A kick in the nuts. but didn’t turn to face me.bibliotastic. “Is that all the questions?” she asked.” She entered her apartment and slammed the door.” she replied. mother fucker!” “Only God judges.com 13 . “I do my business there.” “Police know?” “Told them.” “You give him some money for soliciting there?” “I got three kids to feed. www. “How much you charge?” She stopped.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Why were you at the club?” “I’m a fucking whore.” “Ouch.” she said. I gotta do what I gotta do!” I nodded.” “Club owner know?” “He didn’t throw me out yet. “Don’t judge me.” I replied. “Cash up front. “That would be?” “Five hundred dollars for three hours.
“Carlos Rivera’s death?” he asked. He was bald on top.” I said. He threw the first punch and missed. He also had a thick gray moustache. “Hi. “She’s only the messenger. Her hair was dark brown with light highlights. “No. I nodded. Mrs. “He’s a deacon.” She smiled.. “What do you want to know?” “I wanna know what happened.” .” “Deacon. but when I asked for him he immediately stopped what he was doing and came over.” Where did I hear this before? I said to myself jokingly. He scratched the top of his head as if he was thinking about what to say. and he’s a deacon. “Get back to work.” “What does she want?” “Credit. but I had to speak with him because he was next on my list. “I said to her.” Mr. Lopez wanted to ask something. “I don’t understand why you guys can’t get that right.” he continued.” “I know him.Frank Atanacio Chapter 6 The next witness on my list was Roberto Guzman. but a black guy. I don’t think Carlos wanted to fight this man. Guzman was probably in his late sixties. “You the police?” he asked.” I corrected.” I replied. “Whatever he was. Guzman’s cashier was standing behind the counter. He owned Guzman’s Bodega over on the Eastside of town. “Like you.” “I see. “I want to ask you some questions about the deacon at Froggy’s nightclub. I didn’t think he’d have time for me. at your service.” “That Bishop is a big guy. “No credit!” he shouted with a vein sticking out of his neck. I stood there with my arms crossed waiting for him to reply.” I corrected him again. “What do you want?” Mr. “I can’t give anyone credit this week. The light highlights gave her face such a wonderful glow. not a bishop.” I said. His glasses were thick and he walked with a limp. When it came to lists I’d often follow the same pattern. I don’t pay you to stand around and flirt with all the guys that come in here!” “I’m sorry. The place was busy. Mr. Guzman. She wore small black-rimmed glasses low on her nose so that she could check the prices better on the product she rung up.. a private investigator.” she said. and thick gray eye brows. He punched Carlos in the mouth. The small store had lots of stock and lots of customers. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the bishop and that set him off. and then kept punching him until he broke Carlos’ nose. “I’m Nick Barnum. “But I wasn’t flirting. tell them I said no!” “Relax Mr. Guzman turned around with angry eyes and shouted. He was clearly not thinking right. but had lots of gray hair on the sides. “Well anyways.” she replied almost quietly. Carlos didn’t fight back. but he didn’t see her. he just fell over some tables. She was trying to get his attention.” I replied. “he said “He came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. He actually did a bang up business. “The bishop. the deacon came at him with all he had.” I corrected. It was located on a small dead end street off of East Main Street. I need cash paying customers! If anyone asks for credit.
“I’m really busy today and I got to get back to work. “Just ask.” “Good.” I said as I tossed a few of my business cards on the floor.” I added. I’m sure that’s something you wouldn’t understand. “She’s doing her job. He stopped but didn’t turn around. “Yeah I think I got what I need from you. “I do know a little about running a business.” I smiled. and I need to stay ahead of the game. “If you need my help.” I continued. and Carlos Rivera?” “Dea.” He rushed away. “Are you done asking me questions about the bishop.” I paused.Case File: Dog Eats Dog He grunted. “It’s my business. You’re not a business man. “Mr.. very well too. He turned around and walked toward the cashier..” he stopped abruptly. That’s all. Guzman. “I’ll leave you some of my cards. and I’ll be at your service if you need me.” He still didn’t reply. “What don’t I understand?” “Nothing.” “You don’t under. Forget it. Lots of bills to pay.” he half shouted. My name is Nick PT Barnum.bibliotastic.” he said. “And if you ask me. www. that I don’t understand?” He did not reply..” “Nobody’s asking you. “What is it exactly. “All I’m saying is that you should relax.” He was still silent. “Business?” He said nothing.” he shot back.com 15 .” I said.” I called.
” “So this guy is clever. “You know I never need to do that.” “No gambling.” “That’s why Captain Roque is not taking in the deacon yet. “Did they say anything about gambling?” “You didn’t ask?” “I thought I’d ask you. maybe counseling would help her through this. “It’s got to be the only way.” he paused. He wanted to meet at Seaside Park so he could get his jogging in. that captain.” he said. I hope I’m right. I thought.” “But he doesn’t. “I really don’t want anything to happen to her.” “But that dog fighting club doesn’t exist.” O’Brien replied. “There was only Salsa and Merenge. But we can arrest people if we have witnesses.” “You checked everything?” “Top to bottom.” he continued.” he paused as he caught his second wind. If he could fit in an activity.” he replied. “I guess you don’t run much. The guilty always do.” “Has the deacon been home?” “She told me that he comes and goes. “He should be home with B B. “What do you mean?” “We pulled a surprise shake down at the club that Froggy owns.” I replied. “Can’t arrest people on hunches. if he’s guilty. That woman is staying up late. I think the captain is going out on a limb for the deacon. but we haven’t seen anything yet.” he said. “I had to take Mike’s wife to do some counseling.” he continued. “I got the same bull-shit story line you guys did. it really doesn’t exist. I started jogging with him as he poured bottled water over his bald head to keep him cool.” I said. But he understands the situation and he’s giving you the chance to square him.” “Good to hear.” “I’ve known her for a long time.” “You’re all heart.” “I understand. “She’s really not taking this too well.” I smiled as I kept up my pace with him. he would. “If we don’t see one.” “So do you think there is a dog-fighting ring going on?” “I can’t say no. “So what did you find out?” he asked.” O’Brien shot back.” I continued as I too had to catch my breath.” .” “That’s a terrible way of looking at things.” I said. “There was nothing but Salsa and Merenge.” “Bad witnesses. “They were coached. and she’s not eating too well either. He wasn’t the type to just sit around and waste time.Frank Atanacio Chapter 7 I met Detective Peter O’Brien at the end of my work day.” he said.” I smiled.” “Good guy. “He doesn’t stay because he’s afraid that the captain is going to change his mind and arrest him for the murder of Carlos Rivera. “He’ll slip up.” I said. “Those witnesses. You know that.
“What?” “You really loved her.” O’Brien warned. “What are you going to do next.bibliotastic. There was never a question about that. “She’s taking just a little too much. maybe.” He laughed again.” “I know that too.” “Do you think she’s weak because of it?” “No.” he said as he stopped and bent over with his hands on his knees.” I nodded and didn’t say anything.” O’Brien laughed.” “And Zoraida was the one for you?” “I thought.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Me too.” “My list goes on. I miss that. www. I remember you telling me that you think you found the one. and you laugh?” “You’re a funny guy. She had all the reasons to dump me.” How good?” “I don’t want to talk about it.” I said as I stopped next to him.” I smiled.” “God saved him.” I said. the guy that makes your heart stop.” he continued.” “So it wasn’t just sexual?” “At first. you son of a bitch!” “I’m not going to lie. “Yeah I did.” “I know.” “She was always a strong woman.” he explained. “You know. I was pretty sure that Detective Peter O’Brien really didn’t mean to say it that way.” “She was good in bed. “I’m telling you the truth. Like the girl you use to date. the one that you really can’t live without..” “I think over the years. say it. “I’m going to pay Larry Bonilla a visit. and your feet sweat. “And there was no mistake about it.” I replied. He was probably motivated by the events that played up to that statement.. “Because she loves him and she has always loved him. “I put her and her son in harm’s way.. her strength was weakened by Mike Brandon.” “But Brenda was always on the up and up.” I paused briefly as I caught my breath.” “Okay.com 17 .” I replied. “I think over the years.” “She puts up with it.” I said. You know Mike wasn’t always on the up and up.” he continued. “She was a true Christian woman.” “So he was always the one for her?” “The one?” “Yeah. “And. “Damn. “So?” “Mike is the one for her.” “He’s going to be a tough one.” “Go ahead.” O’Brien paused as he drank some warm bottle water. I don’t.
Frank Atanacio “Look at me. Janet.” I lied. and it’s solid muscle. not your secretary. . He winced. you’ll get it with him.” He nodded. “I could have gone all day.” “Tired of running?” I asked.” “Leave her out of this. I can take care of my myself. I waved my hand above my head without turning around.” He smiled. I didn’t want him to see that I was almost out of breath. “Good-luck!” he shouted. Pete.” “Don’t worry. “So bring tough on. “I’m done.” he said as he stood up. “Really!” “I’m Pete. “I’m 6'2 I weigh 245 pounds. not fat.” I said as I began sprinting back to my truck.” I said. “Thanks for the run.
“What does that mean?” “My boss will see you. but who was I to judge? The door was covered with Spanish cock fight promotions. At the check-out.” I said. She ignored me. which normally means gang violence. and passed winners.bibliotastic. “That’s not very nice to say.com 19 .” she said as she attitude her way toward the backroom. He wasn’t so eager to speak with me like the other two.” I smiled. The store had junk tossed into baskets that lined the walls. and the price was terrific. Maybe he had a change of heart.” “Wait here.” She turned around and slapped her cell phone shut. www. The third witness kept me waiting longer than I expected.” I called. “Dollar shit?” I smiled.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 8 Larry Bonilla did business out of a store front located downtown Bridgeport. I kept looking at all the dollar items. with long dark hair and wearing looping gold earrings was a very attractive Asian young woman. “Hello. It was June in Bridgeport. Maybe his story might be different. “And don’t steal nothing.” she replied.” I paused. The first hint of attitude gone bad was Margie Sanchez. and beautiful women developing bad attitudes. It was so patterned. 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. She was talking on her cell phone and turned around when she saw me. and will probably tell me the truth. “You know.” she replied. “It’s Linh Le! Asshole. and there were several things that I would have purchased.” she said as she walked passed me.” I answered. at your service. She stuck her head out of the backroom and shouted. “Too busy for customers?” “People that buy this dollar shit ain’t customers. I could steal. “I was just going to by a tooth brush. “What do you want?” “Am I bothering you?” “I was busy. “Nick PT Barnum. “Hey Ming Lee!” I called. “Thank you. The second sign was the attractive Asian woman.” “Well. I went in. “In there?” She nodded. “And I know you’re not him.” “What do you want?” she shot back. Get it known!” “Get it known?” I whispered. “I’m looking for Larry Bonilla.” “You must be a fucking genius to figure that out.” “Whose asking for him?” she asked ignoring my statement. They were solid. “I am a private eye.” She did not reply.
and snapped his neck. “Truth?” “I told you the truth. Bonilla was a tall thin man.” he replied. it was as if he knew telling me the truth was out of the question. “Came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing.” I said.” “So the deacon went to town on him?” I asked sarcastically. “So that man wasn’t a bishop?” “Nope.” He grimaced.” he replied. There was a sadness to the man’s eyes.” I said.” he said slowly as if he was trying to think of the correct words. “Nobody that hangs out there at the club is an innocent man. but I have to ask anyways. “Just want to hear your side of the story. tell me the truth. I may already know what you might say.” He hesitated for a long time.” I said “I figure that. Bonilla?” “No.” I added. “The bouncers threw him out and later the bartender said that Carlos was dead. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the deacon and that set him off. I have a family. “Broke his nose. He nodded.” He smiled. with an honest face. and I really don’t want to get involved.” “Are you sure?” .” “I can help you.” “Is there dog fighting?” “No.” He tossed the cigarette to the floor and stepped on it.Frank Atanacio I walked into the back stock area and Mr. Bonilla was leaning against some boxes smoking a cigarette.” I said. “Well?” “The deacon. Bonilla. He threw the first punch and missed.” he said as he took out another cigarette and lit it up. “That’s all I got. He had no facial hair. but he rubbed the bottom of his chin as if he were massaging a beard. “I thought he was a bishop.” “You’re helping to send an innocent man to jail. “I don’t think so. something a little different. “It’s about the deacon and Carlos Rivera.” “Okay. “Listen man.” “You saw the deacon snap his neck?” He hesitated. “Did you say deacon?” I nodded.” “Then don’t. “Mr. “Mr. Mr.” “Everyone thought that. I have questions.
“Think about it. I’ll always be at your service.” He smiled. and for a good cause. and I can get Bridgeport Police to help.bibliotastic.Case File: Dog Eats Dog He breathed in.” “You know I really can help you. “Yeah.com 21 . “I know something is bothering you.” His head fell to his chest.” I said. I know a few of those guys and they will stick their necks out for the right reasons. “Remember one thing. www.” I said as I walked over to him and placed some business cards into his shirt pocket.
“It hurts. He had his left hand on his hip and pushed his right hand into the breast pocket of the suit. His suit fit him like a glove. “Drop the gun!” He shouted. He smiled. “I’m warning you.” I said with a hint of smugness.” I replied. “I shot you.” I continued stalling. It started as an all day tail.” I smiled.” “I’ll drop you. “Is that you don’t mind if I put a bullet into your fat associate?” “Be my guest.” I replied. “It should. it hurts!” he screamed. The driver did not hesitate as he quickly opened his door and pointed his gun at me from over the top of the car. just semantics.Frank Atanacio Chapter 9 The next day I had my first encounter with Froggy’s boys. “Who cares. “Oops. I fired a shot through the inside of their car hitting the driver in the left thigh. “Last warning. They followed me everywhere I went. “What the?” I smiled. “Girl eats girl. “It’s not my style. “Just an expendable associate.” “Warms my heart to see such a loving family. “I can’t. and I do follow my list religiously.” “Froggy is not going to like this. “Can’t do that.” I smiled.” he continued. so I decided to find out why the tail.” I said.” said the driver.” I said. A heavy set Hispanic suit opened up the passenger side and stood behind the opened door visually combing the area. He was a well dressed Hispanic male in his mid thirties. He dropped to the ground in pain as he held his bloody leg. I hid behind a dumpster that was covered in graffiti as I waited for my tail to pull in. They come a dime a dozen. Just the shells were still in place. Perhaps they wanted to follow me to the fourth person on my list.” “Damn. “Hello.” he issued. He was the fourth person I had penciled in. Jackie Reeves. punk!” “Not before I drop him. The bartender at Froggy’s club.” the driver quickly replied. 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. “So you don’t care about your buddy?” I asked. “He’s a fat piece of shit anyways. “Like I said the first time. dog eats dog world. I had to make my move so I quickly jumped behind him and put my gun to his head. “Let him go!” he demanded. I drove down Lee Avenue and parked at a corner gas station that closed several years back. He had a thin moustache and he wore stylish sunglasses. . The building was boarded up and the pumps were stripped clean.” I said as I cocked the gun. it’s all the same to me. The tailing has become more obvious.” I said. “What you’re telling me. “He’s not my buddy. fat boy.” said the fat guy.” I said.” The driver looked agitated.
you’re going to know it. I’m sick and tired of it.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “I don’t really care what Froggy likes or dislikes. When the end comes closer.” I said.” “You know blood can easily drain out of two bullet holes very quickly” I said as I tried frightening him. “So. I had to think about it.” “Froggy will hear about this!” “I’m sure he will.” “Once?” He nodded. He just had a lot of fat in him. www. “Or.” 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. “Damn!” “Better?” “You’re crazy!” “And you’re going to bleed to death. because It was something I wouldn’t have done. I never realized how weak the big guy was. It’s that simple. “Damn you’re weak.” I walked around the car toward the driver. He was still on the ground holding his thigh wincing in pain.” I started. “I need help!” “Mental or physical?” “Damn you!” “Well. and then die.” he sobbed. but I was wrong.” “Of course you can. I’m going to let you bleed to death.” I said.” I started as I kicked his gun away.” He looked confused.” “Really. I thought he had a little more fight in him. “Frankly. “Now fat boy.” “Two bullet holes?” He looked confused. but he didn’t. It was a beautiful sight. “I know for a fact that you’re fat buddy there will tell me what I need to know. It was something so out of the ordinary. bleeding to death isn’t going to be pretty. “If you don’t tell me why you were following me. and he gets off Scott free. “I can see that from here.” I smiled devilishly.bibliotastic. Kill him. why were you following me?” “I can’t say anything. I waited for a few seconds to see if the fat guy would come to.” “I can’t.” I said. why were you following me?” “Fuck you!” “I’ve been hearing too much swearing these passed few days. my friend. you tell me. I really wanted to know why they were following me. so I thought really hard about my next statement. “You’ll die.” I said as I stepped on his designer sun glasses.” “So you’d rather bleed to death?” “Froggy will kill me anyways. “You’re going to go into a deep sleep. I can’t. He’ll tell your boss that you told me. I smiled.com 23 . “You know. that thinking about it first was my only option. and then tell your boss that you had to kill him because you overheard him telling me. “You only shot me once. Get it?” The driver thought about it. And trust me. “I’m bleeding badly!” he shouted. I shot him in the other leg.
There’s been a shooting and two people have been shot. but the other can be saved if you come right away.” I nodded.” He nodded as I retrieved his gun.Frank Atanacio The driver thought about it some more. I smiled some more. thank you my friend. the deed.” he begged. “But the deacon did get into a fight with that bookie.” “When and where is the next fight?” “Chico on Wordin Avenue.” “When?” “Sunday after mid-night.” I replied.” “Damn. The driver smiled.” “My gun.” I said. He wanted to. “Is there dog fighting at his club?” “That moves around. “But Froggy wants them to use his words. I took out my cell phone and dialed 911. right?” “I always keep my promises. . “We just had to make sure you got what he wanted you to get.” he replied. “I see. we had to kill the witness.” I said.. “Mike Brandon didn’t kill that man?” “That I can’t tell you. I need you to send an ambulance right away. If anyone told you something different. “I wasn’t there.” he replied. I’m calling from a closed down gas station on the corner of State Street and Lee Avenue.” “O’Brien.” said the driver. “Hi. 911 emergency. that late?” He 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 said. “You’ve been a wealth of information.” “So the witnesses were coached?” He nodded.. “So there is dog fighting?” “All the time.” “I see. “It wasn’t anything against you. “You’re going to call for help.” “But why the cover up?” “I don’t know.” Your name? I hung up. I think one is dead. It wasn’t just you we followed. it was written across his face.” I pursed my lips a bit.” he continued. We followed that fat cop. “There must be some truth to what these witnesses are saying. “Well.
com 25 . I jumped into my truck and turned right onto State Street and left onto Yale Street and then I heard two shots ring out.bibliotastic. I didn’t turn around nor did I look through my rear view mirror. www.Case File: Dog Eats Dog I smiled. Their family problems are their own business.
“Your policies?” I asked as I pointed to one of them. I didn’t care. but that night there weren’t too many patrons. He had the olive skin with the black facial features.” “You heard right. It was at that time. “Hey bar keep. In fact you couldn’t really get a good checker game going with the patrons there.” I nodded. “The crowd don’t kick in until 11pm. “You’re Jackie?” He nodded.” he said as he grinned sheepishly. “Why not?” “Because of my insurance policies. I gave the bartender a ten and he walked toward the register and rung me up.” he said. “I already spoke to the real police.” I threatened. . My job was to question witness number four. I realized that there was a security button beneath the counter.” I said as I backed off just a little.” “Five dollars. He leaned directly in front of me as if he was going to kiss me or smell me. “Old folks like you don’t need to come. “Can I ask you some questions?” “I don’t think so.” “What kind?” “Becks.” “Insurance policies?” He grinned sheepishly again. “I’m looking for Jackie Reeves. “I hear he was one of the witnesses. He walked away. Jackie Reeves. He was a thin Latino and African American mixed. “Not so close.” he replied. I turned around and saw two mountain men standing on each side of me.Frank Atanacio Chapter 10 Later that evening I walked into Froggy’s bar on Fairfield Avenue.” he said as he placed the open beer in front of me.” he said as he walked back toward me. The bartender was no more than 23 years old as he stood behind the bar wiping glasses. I heard it was a jumping place. Perhaps it was early. “Slow tonight?” I asked. Seuss character. I didn’t know and Frankly. “Yes?” “Beer. and he was simply reaching for it. or perhaps the murder of Carlos Rivera had something to do with it. “I started. “So. He looked like a Dr.” I smiled. He came back with five singles and slapped it directly in front of me. “It’s early.” I called and he turned around. “I don’t think so. but it was pulled upward and held together with a rubber band. I sat directly in front of him. “Now you need to speak to me. They were big and stacked with muscles.” I replied.” he said.” “Why?” “Questions about the murder that happened here. He had an Afro.
“You know he’s going to get you for this. “You have been a gracious bartender.” said the bartender. And I grabbed the man on my left and slammed his face against the bar not once. “I don’t think it’ll be that easy to cancel his. I grimaced.” “But he comes with more insurance policies than me. “Would you speak to me if I had your policies cancelled?” “What?” “If I cancel your policy. and there is no one left to fight with.” “The coached story?” He nodded.” I nodded and walked out. not once. I just said that to say it. except you. I was proud as hell. but he was nowhere to be found. “You will be too. He fell back and was out cold. “I’m not looking for easy.” I said slowly. It was the quickest fight I have ever been in. In fact. “Would you speak to me?” He looked confused. and make this a real fist fight. The pain really didn’t register with him. “Unfortunately.” “Remember who cancelled yours. I hadn’t planned on fighting that evening. 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. but twice.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Jackie nodded. “I can’t tell you the truth. Or perhaps to scare the bartender. I was proud of myself. The man with the broken nose ran out of the bar. Well.” he replied. I just cancelled his insurance policies. The big guy stood up with his face covered in blood and looked at me with vengeful eyes. and he had to deal with me. www.” “I’m not a fighter!” he shouted. I was expecting him to attack me. I elbowed the man on my right in the nose breaking it instantly.” I turned around to walk out. I nodded. “It’s a simple question.” “Then you’re screwing with the right guy. It was unintelligible. “I’m a lover!” “So what do I do about my need to control my juices?” “I’ll tell you what happened that night. but I understood the reason for his incoherence. and witness. I didn’t come here to fight.” “The truth?” “No. He didn’t answer. You see.” I said. but twice. “Will he fight me?” “No. given the position and circumstances you put me in. but a man had to do what a man had to do.com 27 . I have this need to break some bones.” “I figure that. I had no juices in me. but you got my juices flowing.bibliotastic. I heard Jackie Reeves mutter something from behind the bar. so I banged it against the bar again. and the fight is over. I may simple just beat what I want out of you.” I said. “Are you that afraid of Froggy?” I asked.” I said.” he said honestly.” “Well.
“I’m not a good liar. “Thank God. She was dressed very tastefully.” I took a breath. “Go right ahead. “Is that what the others were saying?” she asked. I smiled. She laughed. 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. Plus. I felt sort of out of her league.” she said. “I feel bad that I have to put you through this. . and opened the bottle of champagne. O’Brien had warned me earlier.” she said as she sipped her water.” She looked down at the table cloth. “I’m not sure where to start. and I fully understand why.” she said.” I said.” I said.” I laughed.” “It’s your job. “Came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. She smiled and I nodded. “So. “Thanks for meeting me. because she was extremely hot.” she said slowly as if she was trying to remember the correct words to say. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the deacon and that set him off. so we got a nice table. “This is professional. Her eyes were rich brown. I nodded.” I nodded in agreement.” She smiled.” I said. and a body that made every man look. “You were coached. spacious place with excellent service. Carolyn knew the owner. He threw the first punch and missed.” I said.” she replied. right?” “And the deacon. “The deacon. I smiled. right?” “Yes. I tried to look my best for her.Frank Atanacio Chapter 11 Carolyn Lopez was the final name on my list. Her black hair was so thick and curly. “So this is about Carlos Rivera. “Thanks for lunch.” I said as the waiter placed our food in front of us. “I know what you’re going to say. “Love your confidence. but that didn’t stop me from trying to enjoy her company.” She frowned still looking terrific. “Why do men always say that when they’re talking to a pretty woman?” “So you think you’re pretty?” “Damn right.” “Everyone does. Carolyn and I had dinner in Ralph and Richie’s next to the Barnum museum. It was easy on my eyes. I ordered antipasto for two and a bottle of their best champagne. It was a big. and he certainly wasn’t kidding. She had thin perfect lips. She was wearing tight slacks and a pretty pink blouse. and her face a gentle light complexion. and the food was fantastic.
” she said. and I don’t get paid.” “Perjury?” “Big time. plus this. “But I had to.” I said.” She smiled. everyone going to tell that you’ve been coached.” I slowly bit my lower lip. “I’m here for you Carolyn. It’s so childish. a little too late.” “I wasn’t.” “Then I need to get to the bottom of this. “So there is more to this story?” “There is. her ass in a sling.Case File: Dog Eats Dog She smiled with a hint of flirtation.” “I didn’t want to do it. “You’ll be in hot water. “I really shouldn’t be telling you any of this.bibliotastic. “You know.” she replied. “I can’t really tell you if they were friends.?” I said.” “Staged?” She nodded.” “Froggy says the deacon was too pushy.” “But if you go to court. That argument looked staged. “Did the deacon start the fight. “Why couldn’t Froggy just give you guys a different set of things to say.” www.” “Froggy says this may not go to court.” “So now you do favors for him?” “I’m his waitress.com 29 .” “If it does.” “You don’t strike me as a gambler. And that’s when I doubt your good looks could bail you out. “It was weird though.” “So they were friends?” “I guess they had dealings before.” “Why?” “We have problems. and we might say the wrong things.” “How so?” “They were talking all nice and nice. really?” “He did argue with the bookie. and I couldn’t shake it loose.” “Problems?” “I owe Froggy a lot of money.” she replied. “How?” “Gambling debts.” “Yeah.” she paused briefly. but my ex-husband turned me on. I know because I delivered it to him. yeah. Or at least from Carlos Rivera’s side.” she said. and the bookie even bought the deacon a drink.” “There’s help for that. “The police already know that you guys were coached. He would have my ass in a sling.” What a beautiful picture.
“Why do you keep smiling at me.” she said. “If I know he definitely knows. you know him?” “He tried picking me up.” “Paulie.” she warned.” “Why?” “My line of work. “I had a girl.” I smiled.” She smiled.” she replied. but she broke up with me.” she said.” she said.” “Puerto Rican?” I nodded. “Me too. “What?” “How did you know about the dog fight this Sunday?” “I got it from someone in the driver’s seat. her ass in a sling. no. “I heard about the fight at the bar too.” “Private investigations?” I nodded. “Ah.” I said. “I know.” I smiled. “Good girl?” “Hot. “Are you going to be at the dog fight this Sunday?” I asked. “He’s really nasty. but you put a stop to that. “Do you have a girlfriend?” she asked. what a beautiful picture.” “Why the hesitation?” she asked. “Oh. right?” She nodded.” I smiled. “Honestly?” .Frank Atanacio She ate some food and I watched her chew.” “What’s her name?” “Zoraida Saez. Again. I heard. “I guess he and Tito were hired to follow you. “I’m sure Froggy knows about it too. “Of course silly. “He’s the one whose going to put your ass in a sling. She glared at me. like you.” she said.
” “And I’m going to give you mine.bibliotastic. And the afternoon went well. “Too bad we’re not meeting under different circumstances. “Honestly?” I nodded. many ways.” she said. baby. “Was wondering how you’d handle my ass in a sling.” “Oh?” I nodded.” “You can still get to know me. www.” She laughed. We ate and drank champagne. “You have my number.” She smiled. I laughed.” “Many ways.com 31 . “I think you’d be a delight to get to know.” She laughed. “I’m trying to picture your ass in a sling.Case File: Dog Eats Dog She nodded. I laughed. “Now why are you always smiling?” I asked.
He was a fighter. shoot. “So what really happened?” “I told you the truth.” “Beat you up and took the money?” “Beat me up like this.” he started. I found him hiding in the basement of his church. A kick ass kind of guy.” “Why were you really arguing with Carlos Rivera?” “Money. “Sometimes bookies can’t cover the bets that same night. I walked in from the backside and he was sitting at his desk with his head down.” he replied. and dried blood on his shirt. and I know she’s worried sick. He had lost his cell phone so I had to track him down the hard way. “Did you ever change your clothes?” He nodded.” “He covered everyone’s bet. “I won a lot of money and he refused to pay me. He said he didn’t have it.” He smiled.” he said. but mine. but these past few days were really hard on me. “You don’t believe me?” “No.” “Then can I ask you a few questions?” “Do you have to?” I nodded. it’s me. “Mike.” I didn’t believe the deacon because he wasn’t the type to just let anyone grab him. “What happened Mike?” “Some punks came in here and tried to rob the church. And the police are ready to jump on me as soon as you finish your investigation. He had a black eye on top of a black eye. “Okay. Why should I fight back?” “Because you’re Deacon Mike Brandon. I looked around and I noticed everything was in order. “I’ll give you that.” I said. and he was good at it. and he was very difficult to find. come on. I can’t run my church. “They came in here?” “Yeah. “You fight back?” “Two of them grabbed me and the third punched the shit out of me.” “I know you think I can take care of myself.” he said pointing to his face. “You okay Mike?” I asked. He lifted his head up and I noticed it was covered with bruises. I can’t go home to my wife. and nothing was thrown to the floor.” “But you didn’t give him enough time to get it?” I asked. “A new fight?” He nodded again.Frank Atanacio Chapter 12 I had to meet with Mike Brandon. and I know those people need me.” I nodded.” . “I got no more fight left in me.
” he said.” “I know. dog eats dog.” “You. “Are you reporting this to the police?” he asked.bibliotastic. “I just don’t want to go to jail. give me something to hang my hat on. I could cleaned up the floor with his scrawny ass. “I hit the dog fights big. “Didn’t he buy you a drink?” “That cat never bought anyone a drink!” he shouted.com 33 . “I understand the ramifications of death.” I said. you almost lost Zoraida.” “I’m just so sorry all of this started.” he started.” he confessed. it’s all semantics.” “You may not have even killed him. He swung at me and missed. I can take!” I smiled.” “Yeah. That just triggered something in me so I called his mama a name. I told him I needed the money and he told me tough shit.” “A waitress said she delivered a drink to you that was purchased by Carlos. I’m sorry for what I did. girl eats girl. “But it was to get me to make bets with him. “Not until I get all my little ducks in a row. He said he wasn’t going to pay.” “The loss of your niece kind of put you out there. and I didn’t mean to punch that guy in the nose.” He smiled.” he said as he looked directly at me. but I didn’t. It wasn’t a fair fight. “Just want to make sure you’re on the up and up with me.” I said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Were you friends?” “I don’t know him too well. You see everyone has a motive! It’s a dog eats dog world!” “Yeah. “Really?” “Just hang in a little longer and let me get to the bottom of this. “I’m sorry Nick.” “Okay.” I said knowing that if he lied to stay out of jail would only come back to bite him in the ass. “I went over to Carlos Rivera and asked him for my money.” “You’re going to kick my ass?” “I’ll do more than that. “Come on Mike. and I swung at him and punched the shit out of him.” “I know him from the gambling only. www.” I said using the driver’s line.” I nodded.” “So you do have a little fight left in you. “And you know that because?” “He’s a cheap ass!” “But you don’t know him that well.” I said. and he didn’t carry that much on him.” “Everyone lies!” “Even you?” He glared at me. that Latina waitress did bring me a drink purchased by that cheap ass. “Don’t play with me. Nick.
” The deacon nodded. “He’s not a punk gang member. “I thought I liked dancing too. Mike. “Why don’t you go wash up. Wishing I had stayed home. “Just want to see if his bark is worth than his bite.” I said sincerely.” I suggested. He smiled.” I said.” I said. The reason I knew that he was lying to me was when he told the truth.” “Be careful Nick. . “You told me that once. “Yeah. “I just want to find out if killing Carlos Rivera and the dog fights go hand and hand. Not just yet. but I didn’t push it.Frank Atanacio He nodded. “Call the police and let them know you were robbed. you could hear the conviction.” “I like dancing.” the deacon warned. I’m sure he felt the walls closing in. Nick. I need to find out if there’s a correlation. and that would soon come out like dirty little secrets.” “But dealing with Froggy is an over boil.” I said.” “Robbed?” I nodded.” “I’m going to start keeping a close leash on One Eye Froggy. I knew that there was more to his story. yeah robbed. He was hiding something.” he continued. Maybe you were just a scape goat.” I grimaced.” “This guy is tough. “Keep in touch with your wife. “You’re going to be dancing cheek to cheek with the devil. “I know. Mike Brandon was filled with adrenaline. There was no conviction.” he added. and now look at me.” “Everything comes down to a boil for a reason. I left.
” “You thought I’d be a fancy girl?” I laughed. Everything has a place. “So. What really turned me on was the fact that she seemed a bit frisky over the phone. Perhaps she was waiting by the window. I can’t be fancy?” I laughed again and she pushed me. sit down.com 35 . “You can rip my clothes off and take advantage of me right here. Nick PT Barnum.” “Most of it. Every stain can come out of dirty laundry. “My kind of girl. She was a pretty girl caught up in bad things. I’ve elected to simply allow the chips to fall where they may. and there’s a place for everything. Or at least pile them high on the bedroom floor. I was planning to give her a thorough background check. I realized she could have had her choice of any guy she wanted.” www. but why couldn’t she get her finances straightened out? “How do we start?” I nervously asked. “I am.” “I make certain of that.bibliotastic.” I said. “You’re going to be the lucky one. How so?” “Let’s just say I can play hockey without a stick. “I started as I looked around at her neat apartment.” She smiled.” She turned and smiled.” I smiled.” I said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 13 I was pleased that Carolyn Lopez called me over to her apartment for a drink.” she said. I started those rumors. “Something funny?” “Yeah you.” she grinned.” I joked.” “I heard so much about you. “Are you Nick PT Barnum?” she asked jokingly. “Well.” She was so organized. I had all the plans to get the stains out of her dirty laundry. She was wearing a New York Mets baseball cap.” “Good. I knocked on the light oak wood door and Carolyn opened it up immediately. She quickly made a dash for the kitchen and came back with two cold bottled beers.” She laughed. It was out of the blue and certainly unexpectedly. Damn. “Nice place you have here. “What. “Come in. but decided against it. “I wanted to make sure it found its way to your front steps. she was hot.” “Beer would be fine. but she chose me. “Then I choose to rip your clothes off and take advantage of you right here. “A beer drinker. and we’ll take it slow. or you can simply ask for a drink.” “Is that a choice?” She nodded. “You keep teasing me and I bet you won’t get lucky.” “All bad I hope. and a number 15 Mets black jersey with tight white shorts. It was as if she was expecting me right at that moment.
” she said.” “Oh you are a pig!” “Carolyn. everything goes flying.” “When was the last time you had hair on your face?” she asked.” I started. “No.” “Is that dirty talk?” “You want more?” “At least better than that. . even morals. and take me.” “I am. “About two weeks ago.” she said. “I understand.Frank Atanacio “I get that a lot.” she said.” I replied. “You’re laughing at me?” I asked. but I had to block that out of my mind.” I smiled. “No business. “And who wants to keep on your good side so I’d be in your pants by the night’s end.” “Really?” “I would know that. “Did you have a moustache once?” “No. “Right here?” “Problem with that?” she asked. not Zoraida. “It’s the best I got. “Now get undressed. “It was a terrific date.” “That’s business?” “For me it is.” she said softly as she began to undress.” “I’ll be the judge of that.” “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.” I said.” She laughed. I wanted to sleep with Carolyn that night.” She smiled.” “I’m not that easy.” she replied. “I just didn’t want to break any of your furniture as I make wild and passionate love to you. “How did you start gambling?” She looked puzzled.” she replied. “With you. She sort of reminded me of Zoraida. When you’re with Nick.” “Just make me your bitch. “I’m asking as a friend who wants to help.” I answered.” “Is there a need to laugh?” “None.” I said. “I thought I saw you in the newspapers once or twice before. “Or you’d rather not talk about it?” “I just want to spend some good times with a regular guy.” “I bet you do.
I really had to pinch myself. It’s just that she was so attractive. because I couldn’t believe I was really here with her. so take notes!” She smiled. and certainly no Viagra. www. Nick PT Barnum needed no comparison.com 37 . and I’m not a stock-broker type. I’m a great looking guy. I bet I’d pale in comparison to the men she’d usually date. Nevertheless. It wasn’t that I wasn’t good looking.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “I’m sure you will. Hell.bibliotastic.
” she said as she continued examining the body. Dr.” I whispered. his neck was snapped. Personal computers were not allowed.” . “Information gave me directions to this haunting room. “So it could be ruled out as an accident.” “A broken nose couldn’t have killed him. “Sure. She was here to answer some questions.” “He neck was napped?” She stared disdainfully at me. but I’m a simple guy. “Mr. “Yes.” I started. There were programs that only their computers supported.” The doctor smiled.” “Yes. “Jenny doesn’t lie. “She’s a good captain. “Listen.” She smiled. and there was access to the internet with medical ties.” she agreed.” “Of course not.” “She nodded.” she said not looking up. “Captain Camacho wanted me to give you my complete cooperation. right?” “True. “The deacon punched him in the nose. She wore designer glasses.” “So a punch in the nose could have caused him to fall backwards.” “Sure he did. Keep it simple. “And that could have killed him.” I started. Nevertheless. “I know you want to use medical terminology on me. “But there simply was no traffic to get stuck in.” In her office was one of the few personal computers allowed by hospital administrators. “Can we talk away from the dead?” I asked. “Right on time. I was not to surprised that she was touching a dead body on a table in front of her.” she replied as we walked to a small corner office.” I replied. She nodded as I walked closer to her.” “Someone is telling you lies. but cute.” I said. She seemed well rested. and the fact that she hasn’t any make-up on didn’t help either. and my job was to find out how they got dead.” I said.” She smiled. Her nose was long. “I hear that you cause a lot of these dead bodies. The hospital wanted to make sure their patients were never ignored.” “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. “But he didn’t have a broken nose.” I said mostly to myself. and checking personal information or email wasn’t permitted either. and her blonde hair had sprinkles of gray. she wasn’t here to attract me. She grabbed an old doughnut from the coffee counter and bit into it slowly. Even he admitted to that.Frank Atanacio Chapter 14 The next morning I had to visit Dr. “So you wanted some information on Carlos Rivera?” she asked. “We’ve determined the cause of death to be a broken neck. Marcia Freeman at the Bridgeport Hospital Morgue. “Got her trained. I nodded. Freeman was a tall slender woman. with a fit body structure. but her slight bags under her eyes told a different story. Barnum.” “I was trying to be fashionable late. and I’ll be out of your hair very quickly. It appeared that her job kept her from keeping up with her appearance. Her job was to examine the dead.
and when the deacon swung.” she answered. “Yes?” “This Froggy guy.” she started. and homosexuals.” “Do you know his business?” I asked.com 39 . “He did break his nose and he wasn’t holding the Bloody Mary.” “So you have evidence that could help free an innocent man. I hear you’re a show off. “But why?” I asked myself as I turned away from the doctor.” she said. How did you ever become Bridgeport’s greatest private eye? Carlos was holding the drink. “You know.” “But when you found it had something to do with Froggy.” “So he could have been framed?” She nodded. “I’m not really the greatest.” she started as I turned back to face her.” I asked.” I started.” “Was Carlos drunk?” “His alcohol levels were very high.” “How do you know this?” She looked levelly at me. “How do you know this. “If I did. He hates black people. “Didn’t the police tell you this?” “They kept it from me. Lots of it. “And the deacon drinking a Bloody Mary?” “I’m kidding.” I nodded.” “Yeah. It’s that play on words. He has this controversial way of handling these groups of people. “I see his work come through this hospital often.” “You know Carlos?” “No. “I was on duty when Carlos Rivera came in. and the only thing found in his stomach were the ingredients to a Bloody Mary.” “I’m sorry. “People like that man avoid scenarios that will have him come into contact with these groups of people. “The police knows it.” she smiled.” I said. I had to have something great because I’m certainly no showman.” I nodded. “They’re going to have another examiner supply them with the same information. “Not really sure. and then they’ll take it from there.bibliotastic. He’d rather have others do the work for him.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “He was holding a Bloody Mary in his hand. “So he did bust Carlos in the nose?” “Clocked him good.” I Paused as she bit into the doughnut again. “Why?” “My connections. PT Barnum is the greatest showman. women. and missed the drink shot up and splattered all over him.” I paused. damn you’re slow.” “Well. and me Nick Barnum.” “Again. he would have changed that. She grinned. but they’re not using it?” She nodded.” “My ex-husband worked for him.” she answered. “You decided to tell the captain of police your history?” www.” “Me too.
“I have a great deal of work to do. “I’m here and I believe the police wanted you to speak to me.” she said.” “Here’s a print out of the autopsy report. “I would never jeopardize my job for anyone! I report the truth. her eyes shifting away from me.” She said softly.” “So you think. but I studied it like a medical student would. “I’ve known him for a number of years through his wife. I walked out of her workplace and looked at the autopsy report. “Call the police.” she said warmly. “For now. She nodded.” She smiled. “Too bad your audience consists of dead people.Frank Atanacio She shrugged. “Captain Jenny Camacho and I go a long way back. “So the reports have no prejudices. right?” “Even still.” I Nodded.” “B B?” She nodded.” “I also know the deacon. “If you need anything else. “I was the first to handle his corpse.” she paused. I handed the doctor my business card and she accepted it.” I said. . and because of the ties you have?” She pondered those questions for a moment and then answered. That’s all. call me.” “After the reports?” “When I completed the reports is when all this came to light. I was the ideal person to speak to.” she said as she handed me the paper.” she half shouted.” I nodded again.” “Damn you’re a funny girl.” “Sometimes it’s better that way.” “I wish it were under different circumstances. She slipped it into her pocket and smiled at me. “So the other doctor who handed everything over to te police.” she said she took out a pair of surgical gloves from a box on the counter. “Is that all the questions you have?” she asked. glancing at the empty coffee pot.” I said. No matter what!” “Just checking. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for.” she replied.” “You’ve been a great help.” I nodded. “I could never have a bad night. “If you think of anything else I need to know. She smiled. and I stick with it. “I think Detective O’Brien wanted me to make sure you get everything they got. is she on duty?” “He. and no. I called her immediately and explained. “Me too.” “Good.” “Because of what you found.
but a rule nevertheless.bibliotastic. Because if you do. and getting the upper hand is what I always strived for. but I never got around to doing it. there has to be no room for being challenged. O’Brien had hit it on the head when he called her the one. In my line a work. She wanted me to quit what I was doing once. I couldn’t remember a case ever being so delicate. Delicate? My house came with a farm porch that stretched from one side of the house to the other. I thought about it. Again they talked amongst themselves. When you allow something to challenge you. They complained amongst themselves. She told me to try an office job. It’s difficult rule to follow. Without being delicate. he lacked conviction. her laughs. They were always talking about the way I live. and knew that I wasn’t trained to do anything else. I lay there thinking and my thoughts kept coming around to Zoraida Saez. and how I was never home. I remembered her kisses. I guess they thought I was much too delicate to hear the truth. I knew my neighbors complained about it. when O’Brien spoke to me. I couldn’t get some much needed rest. I remembered everything we did together. and I had mine. She once said she didn’t want to let fear in the door. Delicate again? Tired and bothered as I was. and it’s all I knew. even a little fear. She was afraid of what my job was going to do to her family. Everything we did together developed into a pattern that inked itself permanently in my consciousness. and the thoughts of that beautiful girl intensified. I kept thinking about that word. Everything has to be hit head on. www. While the ripples were still spreading. I fell asleep. I’d had a few sweethearts since Zoraida. I liked it. Pushing her skirt way up high so that I could be teased unmercifully. She was only trying to protect her son. but they never approached me. Again with the delicate. Funny how relationship works. I took off my gun and laid down on the sofa that I had stored there for dumping purposes. Zoraida was a whole package deal. and I fully understood. and the way she drove her sports car. When the deacon spoke to me. B B had her one. it’ll end up staying over like an unwanted family member who has nothing better to do than to sponge off of you. he seemed challenged. it may cause you to lose your life.com 41 . but she was the one I didn’t want to let go.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 15 Everything didn’t seem to be going the way I expected it. but that was far too delicate for me. It lets me be me.
ask yourself. “Why are you glowing?” “Glowing?” “Yeah. It was upsetting and she wanted to know what I was doing about it. I’m all over this. She couldn’t continue to enjoy herself until she knew what was going on. “Yeah.” Janet said.” I said. She had a nose piercing and a tongue ring.” Janet was visiting her favorite vacation spot when she first heard the news. you pimp!” . It has put him in a bad spot.Frank Atanacio Chapter 16 Janet returned from vacation. and I would always look out for her. She was oddly my right hand man. I got use to her and she got use to me. Her favorite deacon was accused of murder.” she said giving me a curious look. I nodded. “Can’t have my favorite deacon locked up. but had planned to reach her goals. “When did you ever know me to play around about a serious situation?” Janet worked for me for about five years.” “Don’t be an ass. It was frightening and unsettling. and drag us down with you. glowing. pretty Latin woman with dark short hair.” she said. you are. frantic. “You haven’t glowed like that since Zoraida. She set the bar high for herself.” “Maybe I’m pregnant. and she stormed in like a woman on a mission. but she wasn’t at all wild.” she said. and knew how to handle people.” “Don’t play with me Nick. She didn’t realize that the deacon lost his cell. but she served her purpose. She was always looking out for me.” “Poor mama. what the hell is going on?” she asked as she stood directly in front of me with her hands on her hips. She was finishing up college.” “I’m not glowing. She was steady. Knowing her. My door opened.” “Janet. “I hope you’re doing something about it.” she continued. So I decided to hire her as my secretary.” “Yeah. She had left over seven messages on Mike Brandon cell phone. Things would certainly not be the same. “Okay Nick. She was intelligent. that wasn’t going to be much of a problem. That was a big plus in this business. but he has failed to return her calls.” “You got a new girl. She had olive skin and big brown eyes that often displayed a puppy expression. “What’s up with Mike Brandon?” “Looks like the deacon is in serious trouble. “He got caught up in places he shouldn’t be in. “Damn you men know how to screw life up. as if she owned the joint. “You know I’m right. and she heard the news all the way down in Florida. It was a fashion statement for her. She had a sour look on her face and her expression was clear. and I wouldn’t know what to do without her if she decided to leave.” I replied without holding back any punches.” I smiled. She wasn’t very efficient.” “What is B B doing about this?” “She’s worried.” “I am. She was a thin. and had lots of dreams. and he hung around people he shouldn’t be seen with. I’m going to pay her a visit.” I said. I bet. “Janet. Maybe try and give her some comfort. She started when she was in high school just doing some light filing. “Hey.” “What are you talking about?” “You got a girl!” “Don’t be crazy.
Let her stand on her own two feet and be her own person. and you just admitted it.” “Carolyn Lopez.” “Do what?” “You shouldn’t compare girls like that. “So you’re telling me that this nothing.” “Damn.” She gave me the middle finger. I smiled. Reminding you of Zoraida is only telling me that you wish she was Zoraida. “Come on pimp daddy.” she said.com 43 .” I said.” “No. Zoraida’s body isn’t even cold yet. “What’s her name?” “I’m telling you Janet.” she chuckled. is just a booty call?” “Booty call?” “Yeah.” Janet laughed.” I tried to explain. “That means you are seeing someone knew.” She smiled.” “It’s been two years!” “Aha!” “What?” “You said It’s been two years. “I just can’t picture you a booty call type of person. it’s nothing. “I’m a pimp daddy.” I said. “You are college educated.” I said.” she started.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “You can’t tell that by just looking into my face. “But she reminds me a little of her though. “Carolyn Lopez? Hmm.” she said. spill the beans. “Don’t do that. Don’t live with Zoraida through her.” I said. really.” I smiled. “Let’s just leave it at that.” she put her fingers on her chin.” I laughed. But hey.” “You had sex with her?” “You said it.” I said.” “Come on. “What?” “I’ll find out who she is. “I don’t think I know her. “But damn Nick.” “Good.” “Better looking than Zoraida?” “I don’t compare girls. people change.” “It’s nothing.” I smiled.” “It really isn’t nothing.” “You see Nick. “That hurts. Nicky boy. “Why?” “Got to watch my old man’s back.” www. and it went a little too far.” “Nothing? Strange name. “We just met.bibliotastic.
“Just leave things alone. “I think she will too. “Damn.” She smiled.” I said.” .” I whispered. She continued laughing as she walked out of my office and slammed the door behind her.Frank Atanacio I gave her my middle finger.
Damn. There was a small arena at the center of the room and two pit-bulls tied on each side of the arena. Oh baby! “What are you doing later tonight?” I asked. The one on the right side of the arena had a missing ear. I found myself drifting in and out of reality. I sipped. and I had to keep digging. “Here!” I knew where she was. He was a bear of a man. I walked toward the light and noticed a sign beneath it pointing to the rear of the building.” “A beer?” “Scotch and water.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 17 Sunday came rather quickly as I hustled over to Chico for the dog fighting contest. 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.bibliotastic. He did not ask me for identification. “I don’t pay for beers. but you know the deal. “Working tonight?” I asked as I kissed her cheek. He simply just let me in. It was partially covered.com 45 . I smiled.” I nodded. I slept with that! It wasn’t that hard to admit. Both the dogs looked like they just came out of a war zone.” I repeated. I saw Carolyn Lopez standing at the corner of the bar taking drink orders. The smell of urine was strong as it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was held at the Chico Social Club in a blue collar community. My eyes went into puppy mode. There was a strip of stores on that side of the road next to Chico. He had a thick beard and a full moustache. “Yeah. “You want a drink?” “Scotch and water. The pit-bull on the left side had dried blood on his face that completely covered scars. They had anger in their eyes. “Probably making love to you. The trailer was obviously used to transport animals. Everything you wanted in a girl with the exception of the gambling debt.” she replied. I noticed that the gamblers were drawn to that particular spot because of her. but I played it off and looked surprised to see her. She was a very attractive woman and the men knew it. A wooden trailer was parked in the back. “Nick!” Carolyn called. okay. In fact. I knocked on the dirty gray metal door and a thin tall dark skinned Latino male opened it up. He wore farmer overalls and a wife beater tee-shirt. They were closed of course. They were like a well oiled machine. She was the complete package. I had to be there. He had lots of curly hair on his shoulder and upper arm. He also had exposed hair on his chest pushing up toward his neck. “Oh. www. to her natural beauty. She blew a kiss at me. but failed to see this happening in their own back yard. A beer would be great!” She smiled. In this case dogs used for fighting. Nevertheless.. She was handing the orders to the bartender and he was quickly handing her the drinks. It was my job. Behind her sat the bouncer. A community that had neighborhood watches.” she said. I followed the directions to the back of the shop and into a dark stairwell. exposing some dog crates. about a hundred yards from the stair-well. or he didn’t expect a password. but I too was drawn to her charm. and fighting clenched teeth. and Mike Brandon was my friend. but the flower shop at the end had a light on. I knew that the sign was meant for the would be gamblers. She handed me a draft. He gave me an up and down look and allowed me passage.
and what dog?” I looked at the dogs in the arena and really didn’t want to bet on either one of them. right?” “Only if you wanna meet me between the sheets. There was a man standing next to the bouncer who really looked like a frog.” “Your name?” “Nick. “Hey!” The bouncer shouted. He had a patch over one eye and his facial feature and popped out eye had reptilian features. but I had to be here. and my heart ached. The dogs in the arena were ripping at each other and all of a sudden there was a shriek. The bouncer walked up to me with Froggy in tow. It was show time. I saw it a million times. The excitement was just about to begin as the lights dimmed and everyone quickly ran toward the arena.” I said. It was a total disgrace. Perhaps he was attracted to my tall good-looking features. “How much? You asshole. He knew that the house had made a lot of money. I couldn’t believe people actually betted on these types of things. but gratification nevertheless. “Holy-shit!” Foggy turned toward the ring and then his eyes smiled in triumph. I quickly turned to face the dogs as they went at it in the ring.” said the bouncer. They stopped directly in front of me.” “Ten.Frank Atanacio I smiled. and this was probably their last night alive. “Yes?” “Pay-out time. He was so excited with the outcome of the dog fight. and how much I placed as a bet. He was staring sullenly at me. I was doing it for a friend. “Leave the lady alone. It was false gratification.” she smiled.” The bouncer growled.” “Last name too. I get it. Thank God I only put down ten bucks. I understood that I was violating his turf. She’s got work to do. “The lady has work to do.” “I know right where that is. “The missing ear dog. and the bouncer smiled. and horrible spectacle. but it probably did attract his attention. 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 know. I looked toward the arena and the dog with the missing ear was covered in blood and lifeless.” “I’m sorry. That ten dollars wasn’t going to make him any money. “Hey!” The bouncer called.” “Come back again. I knew that look. Glancing around the club.” “Damn. “After work. He turned and whispered something to the bouncer and returned his glare toward me again. and then a calm. “How much what?” “Are you betting. “I know. but did not get off his chair. “How much?” a man in a light gray suit and a pimp hat asked me. He was studying the aftermath briefly and muttered. . It was a dreadful.” I said. I’m leaving her alone. you asshole!” “Barnum. I couldn’t believe how ugly he looked. I noticed the excitement in the patrons’ eyes. There was a small heavy set man standing in front of the dogs holding cash in both hands. Perhaps he was wondering why I was here. Froggy looked curiously at me as I tried not to stare. They needed medical attention.” I said. yet I wanted to feed him a fly.
I’m giving you to the end of this week to pay. Normally it would have taken several hits to knock me out.” Froggy smiled.” said the bouncer. “It’s hard to collect money from a dead man.” There was a quick thump and I fell to my knees.. If not. “You placed ten!” “Holy-shit. The bouncer moved closer to me and his big belly was unpleasantly touching my arm.” I said.” “Can I plead my case?” “I can’t kill you. I saw men shoes in front of me before everything went dark. I saw the room spinning. but whatever they used was heavy and precise.bibliotastic. “What the fuck is this?” “I lost..” I gulped. “I don’t carry that much money on me.” “Everyone who came tonight knew about the minium.” I said as I handed him ten dollars.com 47 . “I su. I’m gonna have to kill you so the others can see that we don’t play around. of course.” he said. “Have our money!” he demanded as he pointed his finger into my chest. I didn’t know there was a minimum. www. But let me tell you this. “Barnum?” Froggy looked confused. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. “You’re that guy asking questions?” “That’ll be me. “Well?” he growled. I had to think about the bet I had just lost.” “You took out some of my men. but I had to think. I wanted to push him away. I saw Carolyn Lopez worrying and finally.” “Ten thousand dollars you asshole!” “Ten thousand what?” “Dollars!” “I didn’t bet that much!” “The minium bet on this fight was a thousand dollars!” shouted the bouncer. The winners won twenty times the amount they placed. but I just realized that someone had hit me in the back of the head with a blunt instrument. “Besides. and my body ached. well the losers just pay.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Oh. and the losers. A flash shot right before my eyes.
Perhaps it was because my nose was full of dried blood. He tried to clench his teeth and growl. and I knew the bags weren’t garbage. what hit me?” I said softly.” The dog continued purring. He crawled closer to me and fell into my lap. There were two canvas duffle bags laying about three feet away from me. “You with me buddy?” . “I don’t think we should fall asleep. In response to some sort of private investigator’s instincts. “Should I?” I pulled the other bag toward me and it moved. In the bag was the dog with the missing ear. The dog licked my arm. Or perhaps it was just the beating I got that made everything difficult. and then stopped almost as I put my hand on his head. because I really couldn’t feel my legs. so that became a task in itself. “Damn. Maybe you should have gambled too. It took some doing. “You rest. they wouldn’t have tried to kill you. and my face was covered in cuts.” I said.” I said. I would have given Froggy. “I wonder what these monkey’s left behind?” I said as I pulled the first one toward me. “I know how you feel dog. but couldn’t. “It really is a dog eats dog world. my friend. “Don’t tell me it’s the other dog?” I whispered. but I knew they were bleeding. Something that wasn’t going into the garbage can. I didn’t realize it at first. The winner of that contest. I opened the bag up and at first I couldn’t recognize the stench. “We better talk about something to keep us awake. It looked like they took turns punching me around while I was unconscious because my entire body ached. However. It appeared that he had his throat cut.” I said as the dog crawled closer to me. “I know what you’re thinking. “Of course we can become friends. the smell from the bag was so strong I almost threw up. I couldn’t feel my lips. I mustered enough strength to zip open the bag and out fell the other pit-bull.” I said. that one-eyed punk the money if he would have guaranteed me the life of that poor dog. I noticed the dog had a very difficult time trying to keep its head up. I just knew that the duffle bags had something in them. He went into a whimpering frenzy. but somehow survived it.” I said. “What the hell did these animals do to this poor dog?” On the ground next to my feet. and the other duffle bag next to it. “But if you owed them money. “I like the Mets. but I knew it moved on its own because I wasn’t touching the bag at the time. I looked for the zipper and it was dark outside. and this was his reward. right?” The dog was quiet.Frank Atanacio Chapter 18 When I came to I realized I was sitting in a dark alley way covered in garbage and smelling my own blood. and the dog looked into mine. We may never get up.” The dog’s purr was quieter. He put his bloody head on my lap and closed his eyes. He was stabbed twice in the throat. I looked into his bloody eyes. “You like baseball?” The dog didn’t answer. The dog was almost purring. lying on his side with his paw frozen with rigomortise was the dog that made me lose ten thousand dollars.” The dog whimpered again.” I said. but I managed to crawl toward the first one. The dog too was looking for comfort. They were next to each other side by side. His bloodied head motionless on the ground. “You’re thinking that this is a Yankee town.
Case File: Dog Eats Dog There was no sound coming from the dog at all. www.” But at least he didn’t die alone? That wasn’t even comforting! I kept patting the dog and my eyelids were getting to heavy.bibliotastic.com 49 . I hope I don’t die alone. “But at least he didn’t die alone.” I whispered. “Damn. I smelled the rotting dog next to me. and I kept petting the dog on my lap. “Buddy?” I pulled the dog’s head toward me and realized he had died. It was just too much for me to take as I drifted back into the unconsciousness.
” I replied. you didn’t want to pay. “Help!” I called. “I’m in here. “I wasn’t.” “What the hell are you doing in the garbage?” “Someone threw me away. “Come in. “Grab my hand.” I said. “It was really touch and go for a moment. and making a spectacle of yourself. we checked. Pete. It was darkness from within a garbage dumpster. “Yeah.Frank Atanacio Chapter 19 I heard a great deal of commotion. “Froggy must have cleaned up his act.” “Explain the beating.” I called.” “What?” “They’re given us a written statement. carrying on with a prostitute.” “Those old hens were put up to it!” . The plastic lid shot open.” “Those women standing next to my police officers tell something different.” I continued.” I tried to reach for the lid.” “What?” “They told them that you were here all night singing. “No dogs. I didn’t have the energy to stand.” “A whore Nick?” O’Brien looked disappointed. “Nick?” “God?” “No you idiot.” “Pete. until I realized that it wasn’t darkness from the lack of sun. but I was far too deep.” said O’Brien as he stuck his hand in for grabbing.” “I really want to tell you that you’re a sight for battered eyes. I was just about to make some coffee.” He said as he helped me stand to my feet.” I said as he helped me out of the dumpster. There was still a lot of commotion.” said O’Brien. “Someone threw me away. but I’m still good. It took several minutes before someone realized that I was in the trash.” I smiled faintly.” “You shouldn’t be drinking. “Hello. “Can you help me out?” “I should let you rot there!” “It stinks so bad in here. “It’s me. and someone peered in at me. Someone had picked me up and tossed me into a garbage dumpster like Tuesday’s trash. you too.” “The dog fight in Chico?” He shook his head from side to side. “Their pimp.” I said. and when I opened my eyes up it was still dark.” “What about the dead dogs in the alley?” I shouted as I pointed to the alley. I couldn’t believe it. “You know me!” “I thought I did.
We’ll work on something to help the deacon out.” “I should have left your stank ass there.” “That hurts.” www.” “Again Nick.” “You just had one too many. but I should for being a stupid ass. “You got caught up with booze and a prostitute.” “Pete. I’m telling you. “I lost a lot of money and I didn’t pay.” “Let’s just get you home.” “Can’t say what isn’t true.” “You didn’t have to.” I said as he helped me into the car. “Let’s go. Nick. we have to do something about Froggy. “You’re really stinking up my cruiser. Just like he’s doing to Mike Brandon. He does have a great deal of money. I was just wondering if O’Brien knew it.” He nodded.” “Listen. “Are given us statements. they were put up to it. He’s the highest tax payer this city has.” “No. They said you were out here with a woman and she demanded payment for the sex you’ve had.” he said pointing toward some police officers and several woman standing next to them. you know it’s a game he’s playing.com 51 . and that the deacon will be okay.” he started as he turned to face me.” “Pete.” “Can I bribe you?” “Don’t get cute or I’ll throw your ass back into the dumpster. “It came up empty.” he said as he entered the car.bibliotastic. “I’m telling you.” he said. He was a genuine threat to the citizens of this city. “Don’t worry.” he said. “We have increased our investigation.” “What do you want me to say?” “That you’re getting leads. you stink. “Pete.” “Well. it’s not what it looks like.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Let me take you home. Or at least I couldn’t pay.” He grimaced.” “Pete. those woman over there.” “That makes him honest?” “I didn’t say that.” “But you love me. I can’t take your side on this.” “Must be the lack of evidence.” he said.” “So you’re not making any progress?” “We’re doing th best that we could. and then there is just you. thanks for getting me out of that can. but he can account for every penny. “Let’s just leave this alone for now. I’m not going to arrest you.” “Does that remotely sound like something I would do?” I asked. check out the club!” “Let’s just go so I can let these people go back to their homes.” It just accord to me as O’Brien was helping me to his police cruiser. “It’s you. You know that. This would never fly if I really had to arrest you.” “Then lie. Froggy was a much more human presence than the mayor. and he knows some important people.” “You were out here doing whatever. and they took it out on me and the dogs. They killed two pit bulls last night and must have taken them away. How can I believe you over them? There are several of them.” “That didn’t answer my question. I came here for the dog-fight!” I pleaded.
. “And the deacon continues to squirm. “For now.” “For now. Nick.” I grimaced.” he said.Frank Atanacio He smiled.
” I said. “Not with B B standing over him.” I restated.” “I don’t know. “I’ve known her for a long time. and the hours were just too long.” “I guess.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 20 Detective Peter O’Brien lived his whole life as a bachelor. “So you do believe there is dog fighting?” “I believe you.” “Don’t put anything over on that woman.” “Okay. His never being married had something to do with being a police officer. “I’d like to loosen him a bit with my fist for having those dogs killed. I don’t know how he could have waged a thousand dollars a fight. She’s no dummy.” O’Brien started.” “That place wasn’t just no dog-fighting backyard type. If anything. I smiled. “Can’t make you promises though. but he didn’t have to.” he said as he tossed me a dry towel.” I said.” he said.” “Maybe she didn’t know.” He nodded. www. I think the deacon thought he was helping the church. “Can I offer you a drink?” “Enough with the booze. “Maybe she didn’t want to know. “There were several scheduled.bibliotastic. “What?” “Gets the money from his church.” “If all this comes out. He helped me into my house and made sure I was cleaned up.” I replied.” He nodded.com 53 . “What? I couldn’t.” he said. He is a well tight man.” O’Brien gave me a side-ways glance. “And the deacon had his hands dirty.” “He has a great deal of followers. I think. and high ceilings that totally whispered privilege. “I just got to bet on the main event. He would always look for ways to raise money. “Mostly poor. He had been doing it for over 30 years. I should have realized that when the bets were a thousand dollar minium.” “From his parishioners.” he said.” “We’re going to continue checking on that.” said O’Brien.” I said. However. “The place had walnut paneling.” “She would have stopped it. “How many dog fights?” he asked. he was a good friend and he really cared about me and the deacon.” “A thousand?” “Something I couldn’t afford. “I can’t see Mike betting on those fights and she not knowing where the money is going.” he said. “I’m glad.” “Deacon Brandon wouldn’t stoop that low.” “Froggy?” He nodded. He would never actually say it.
” O’Brien smiled.” I said.Frank Atanacio “And Mike still manages to send needed kids to summer camps. Gamble in the name of God. He still finds money to send needy kids to baseball games.” “And put him back on the straight and narrow.” “So we got to help him out of this mess. Certainly not for personal gain. “It makes sense in a way. Maybe he had to do what he had to do.. “Which is what?” I asked. “These days?” “Right. I’m sure he’s gambling for his flock. He always comes through when basketball camps come around. Mike doesn’t want anyone going without. .” “Of course.” he said.
He smiled.” he said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 21 I was in my office with my feet up on my desk taking in a few moments of much needed rest.” “Yeah. “And you’re debt free?” He nodded again.” “How do you do?” I said as I stood up quickly and shook his hand.” “So you have no financial problems with him?” I continued. His hair was dark color with beads of gray. “I’m sorry for what has happened to the deacon. You don’t have that fear?” “I don’t have any enemies. Miller. “Mr. that he is.” he said. I wasn’t really in the mood or the mind set to take on any new clients.bibliotastic.” I started explaining.” www.” “Salt of the earth.” “Mr. “They have this fear brought on by Froggy. “I’ll let you guys talk.” “So he made payment arrangements with you?” Mr. “Was gambling with the deacon that night.” “Sit down.” “Professionally?” He nodded. “Wife know you have no job?” “She knows what I do. “Rusty Miller. His eyes were tiny.” I said. but I didn’t want Janet to look bad. but not a lot.com 55 . “We all are. “What do you mean?” “People find it too difficult to talk about what happened to Mike Brandon. “He is a good man. “he said. “Do you owe Froggy money?” “Yes. Miller nodded. “I’m paying on time. He wore oval shaped glasses with black rims. “No big debts. “This is my boss.” Janet said. “What do you do for a living?” “I gamble. My face was still aching. Nick PT Barnum.” “Are you behind?” “No. “I do owe him a little money.” said Janet almost too professionally. are you okay to talk?” I asked. but we’re good.” I said as I pointed to one of my client’s chairs. not behind on any gambling debts?” “I told you.” he said. Miller. “Are you married?” He nodded. He looked at me quizzically. and a Malcolm-X tee-shirt. but my body seemed to have accepted the beating I sustained when Janet came in with an overweight black man wearing baggy shorts.” Janet started. but his nose big.
but it was clearly written across his face. “And if you don’t tell me.” “I don’t think so. right?” “I came to help you. “What does Froggy want with me?” “Nothing. “But I didn’t come here to talk about my profession. “Whether you believe me or not.” I smiled again. And forgive me for saying this.Frank Atanacio I smiled. dogs. He didn’t say it.” he snorted.” “How much are you really in debt?” “What the hell?” Rusty Miller was struggling with his confidence. “Hell.” he said. Mike. we make enough money to take a vacation every year around Christmas time. The man shook his head slowly from side to side. It’s beneath him. He really didn’t expect me to believe he came here to help the deacon. I came here to talk about the deacon. but you’re beneath him too. trying to steady himself.” he half stood and then sat back down.” “He found me.” “Just trying to find out where you found Mike Brandon.” he said. That’s how I make my money. He wanted to pick my brain for Froggy.” he said. scratch offs.” I added. Nothing at all. jai-alai. “To help. “Whether it be the lottery. The deacon doesn’t really hang around with such bad elements.” “I’m a God loving man. “It’s a mystery to me. I’m a professional gambler. What do you mean?” “I’m just wondering what attracted the deacon to something like this. I could hear him taking a deep breath. the so called deacon is not as honest as you think. “Why are you really here?” I asked. .” “But you don’t fear him?” “Why should I?” “Because you’re here. “I didn’t find him. He doesn’t want anything from you.” “He wanted to know how you found out about the dog-fighting contest.” “Yeah.” “Which buddy?” I asked again.” “That’s just a fact. ponies. “If the odds are in your favor. “I told you. “There is no need to grill me like that. “Tell me?” “I came here to help my buddy out.” I smirked.” “You like taking decent men to these places too?” “I don’t understand. “Which buddy?” “Mike. He wanted some information from me. he is.” I reworded.” he replied. is all.” He was quiet. debt will be the last thing you’re going to worry about. I do it all!” “Dog fighting?” “Cock fighting too. That’s how I roll.” he said bravely. trust me.
laughing.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “He told me he’d knock my debt down if I got the information for him. “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 suspected Carolyn Lopez. “I already knew. www.” “What?” “All that until she saw you get your ass kicked.bibliotastic.” “She’s telling the truth. You make sure he gets this information. He walked out. She was in good spirits.” I nodded.com 57 .” he said as he forced himself off my client’s chair using my desk as a brace. “But otherwise. she was fine.” he continued.” He nodded..” I said.” I said. “But she told him you already knew.” I smiled.” “Good. Do I make myself clear?” “Definitely understand you.” I nodded. “Last night.” He nodded. It had nothing to do with Carolyn Lopez. “I want you to go back to Froggy and tell him that his goons he had tailing me told me where the dog fight was being held.” “How was she?” I nervously asked.. “You will never see me again. “When was the last time you saw her?” I asked. she was okay. If I ever see you again. I’m going to put a bullet into your fat ass. “I spoke with her last night.
It was like trying to remember good dreams.” She smiled. “A man without a mission.” “The deacon without a church.” she said. “Could my intelligence be rubbing off on you?” Janet tried to recall the lessons I’ve given her.Frank Atanacio Chapter 22 I stood up from my desk and turned to face the window that over looked downtown Main Street. You’re intelligence is a farce.” “I don’t think so.” “With pay?” “Of course. “Yeah. “The deacon is out there alone. I guess. Some of my teachings were clear.” “Then maybe he’ll come out of this on top. The last thing she felt when she closed the door behind her was my worried expression over Carolyn Lopez. and countless other stores. “Getting smarter?” She nodded. “I’ve given that fat-ass what he wanted to know. Furniture stores opened and closed. She knew we weren’t a couple. Maybe he preached paths like this. I didn’t have to be a mind-reader to know what she was thinking. “It’s not like that. but she was sweet. others were just bad experiences. “I spoke to B B and she tells me that he is worried. “It’s the path he didn’t want to go down. “Let’s go. So many different stores opened and closed on this street over the past few years. Nick?” Janet asked. “You really look like shit.” “Trust me. I knew she wasn’t Zoraida. but now he’s experiencing it firsthand.” “I feel like it. “You okay. and now it’s gone giving way to another pharmacy. tips touching my chin and thought about Carolyn Lopez briefly. and I think that will satisfy Froggy. “And he always came out of it on top.” I whispered.” I smiled.” I followed Janet’s lean figure toward the door.” said Janet.” she suggested. My office has been here through all that. Janet. you’re taking the rest of the day off.” “I’m too tired to argue. and she made me laugh.” I said. . I told him where I got my information from.” I said. “But if I’m going home.” “You think something’s going to happen to your new friend?” “Carolyn?” “Yeah. and it’s going to remain here until my last breath.” I glanced at my secretary. Some were here for the long haul.” I replied.” I crossed my fingers.” She smiled at that. “Thanks.” “I guess you’re right. “You should go home and rest. Rite Aid Pharmacy was on the corner for almost twenty years.” she spread her hands in a helpless gesture.” “Why you thanking me?” “For being here.” “I’m just stating a fact. “You look like it more than you could ever feel like it.” “Mike had always dealt with difficult hands.
com 59 .bibliotastic. and this wasn’t making me happy at all. It was clearly written across her face.Case File: Dog Eats Dog but the thought of her in danger troubled her a great deal. www. She wanted me to be happy.
but this one I had to bring to you. “How’s your day going?” I asked right off the bat.” “Why. I didn’t hear him walking toward me. “We trust you. He was arrested several times before in different cities for laundering money through his church. Nick. because I was too tired to think of anything else.” “Damn.” “Murdered?” He nodded. right?” He nodded slowly again. “I don’t like bringing bad news. “You need to identify the body for us. “So why do you need to pick me up?” “You were the last person we know who saw her alive. Or was it me? Was she excited to see me at the club? . “Those animals!” “We need you just to take a small look. O’Brien did a little research on him and told me that he was also a deacon. but nevertheless I was glad it was him. but everything that happened to me over the past week could have left me a bit absent-minded. That witness you’ve been seeing on the side. I didn’t remember leaving it that way.” his eyes softened. “I know.” he said. “Are you sure?” “Of course.Frank Atanacio Chapter 23 I pulled into my driveway.” “But you know it’s Carolyn.” I said. “Carolyn Lopez?” He nodded again. It had to be the only explanation. The one I told you to leave alone.” “What?” He nodded.” “That guy Rusty saw her last.” “She changed her story?” I asked.” “I came to pick you up.” said O’Brien.” he explained. and I noticed that my front door was opened. Rusty Miller earlier. I’d certainly lose. I didn’t have the energy for another round of fighting.” O’Brien said. Pete?” “They beat her up so badly. “We need you to identify the body for us. It was unbelievable that this could have happened to her. and I had filled him in on what that man tried to do. “Her face sort of stripped away. “It’s what you gotta do. She looked like she was fitting right into that small group. His engine was still running. I wanted it to be the only explanation. Looks like she was punch inside out.” I bowed my tired head.” Guilt seeped through my numbed body. “Been bad. He looked at me and knew exactly what I meant.” “Can’t you just tell them I looked at it already?” I asked. I looked toward the street and saw Detective Peter O’Brien’s unmarked police cruiser parked at the curb. “She was murdered.” he paused as if to catch his breath. I was almost in a clear state of shock. O’Brien and I faced each other on my drive way. “Then I’ll bring you back. “She won’t be a witness for us anymore. and I was relieved to see him standing behind me. We had a conversation about Mr. Nick.
“What can make men so cruel?” The stillness in my heart was almost contained.bibliotastic. I was ready to see Carolyn Lopez for the last time.” “That’s true. but scotch whiskey usually helps. The last time I saw her was when I was on the social club floor. Tonight was going to be a difficult night to deal with. I waited for the absolute quiet to begin easy my snarled nerves and hopes it washes away my worries. I shut my eyes for a moment and sipped. Pete. But remember.” I said. you just met her. “I saw a light on in your house so I thought you were home. I took another deep breath and another sip of scotch. I know she was cute. I walked toward my bar and poured a tall glass of Johnnie Walker Black. and slowly back up into my driveway. “You did leave the front door unlocked. “I know it’s killing you. The neighbors were so quiet. or at least take control of it for a moment.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Nick?” “Was it Froggy?” “Can’t say. Her eyes would light up in my presence. That wasn’t a smart thing to do. www. And everyone knows how much you were into that girl.” I whispered. I had so many things on my mind that I was already fearing it. I walked into my front door feeling terrible about what happened to Carolyn Lopez.” O’Brien broke my train of thought. and a good man.” My house was in a new sub-division in the North End of the city. and my mind began relaxing the best way it knew how. Taking a bigger sip. It was only that time you’d see a police car. perhaps for no reason. “I’ll bring you back home. She adored me. I gean to dread meeting her. I sipped again as I permitted the scotch to ease my mind.” “I’ll wait in the car.” He continued. She was murdered. It wasn’t planned. The houses were built larger these days. “Maybe I could have had a chance in getting to know her better. “Why was she killed?” I asked myself as I took a longer sip. I began to dread going to bed. “You can leave your truck here. “Damn. He was a caring person.” “You mean you won’t say?” “I’ll say if I knew.” O’Brien grimaced.com 61 . so I can’t say if it’s Froggy.” O’Brien started explaining about the opened door. but Pete. she was so different in so many ways. and actually making love to her. There will be no problem with that. The scotch was doing its job. I felt a little easier. I didn’t know what I would do when I saw the mutilated body of Carolyn Lopez. O’Brien blew the horn. Lord knows I need one.” I said. and the extra rooms were tedicously large. Leaning against the bar. break-ins and robberies were so rare. “Just let me get a quick drink. Her smiled would certainly invade my sleep. I knew it wasn’t going to happen. Nick. I really couldn’t recall the last time I had seen a police car cruise through. and I knew it. and her death would certainly invade my dreams.” I nodded. dreading the times Carolyn and I had. I took a deep breath as Carolyn Lopez’s face washed across my mind. Every now and again. I finished my drink. I watched O’Brien make his way to the car. but it happened. Officers Victor Cruz and Alfredo Fuentes would stop by for a card game or a sporting event. and they were always off duty. “I’ll be with you.” I nodded.” I smiled. “Janet told me that this girl reminded you of Zoraida. but now she’s been murdered.
“She’s already dead!” O’Brien waved me over as the man moved the body bag from the Gurney to the center table. “The girl was hit by a train. “Killing Carolyn?” “Not killing me when they had their chance. The stretcher bumped into the door way onto a white tile floor almost spilling the black body bag. That woman who really liked me. and this is this. “You got that right. And part of that stench came from Carolyn Lopez.” he started as he unzipped the body bag.” said O’Brien.” O’Brien nodded. “Hey watch it!” Shouted O’Brien as he stood next to a metal table in the center of the room.” I said. and we will find out who did this. Took several family members to identify her. that’s her. Hell.” I nodded. No meaning. He wasn’t very careful in doing it.” “That’s that. Just identify her. “She owed him a gambling debt.” O’Brien said in an almost whisper. 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.” O’Brien corrected.” O’Brien ordered. “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. I turned away and closed my eyes. “They made their first mistake. “It’s okay to look.” “She worked for Froggy for no money.” I said. . “Ye sir. “Now I’m going to fester and then make them wish they had killed me. “What?” said the man in the white jump-suit. it was that stale stench of death.” “That’s Carolyn Lopez. only death. It was that stale air that came from death that invaded my nostrils. “It’s okay Nick. some even left this place not sure if it was their family member. and he took it out in trade.” I said. I needed to look away because the body in front of me was indeed Carolyn Lopez. “They kept pounding away at her until she stopped breathing.” “Zip her up.” he said as he stepped to one side so I could get a good look at the body. and that made O’Brien angry. “She was beaten to death. no direction. She was a waitress at those dog-fighting contests.” “Allege. She’s dead. Damn there were pieces everywhere.Frank Atanacio Chapter 24 The morgue had a distinctive odor.” I said.” O’Brien nodded.” “They still can. It was odd to see her on the stretcher lifeless.” “Are you sure?” “Yep. and we’ll be on our way. That woman that I made love to. “No. and I really liked her. I waited by the entrance until a small thin man wearing a white jump-suit rattled in a Gurney. “Listen you punk son of a bitch!” “What?” the man shouted as he pulled away from O’Brien’s reaching hand.” O’Brien tried to comfort. she was drinking and fell right onto the tracks. Damn thing was a freaking mess. “Cowards.” “They can try. “I’ll prove that they do exist.” said the attendant.
I was also really not interested. I was scanning the walls.Case File: Dog Eats Dog The attendant was having a difficult time zipping up Carolyn’s body.” said O’Brien. “Looks that way. I nodded. I really didn’t want to see her again so I started looking around the room.” I nodded. and slowly closed my eyes. He nodded. and I wondered why. “Ready to go?” O’Brien asked.” “I’m not a cop. “Is that all?” asked the attendant. “Don’t you think?” “Don’t get nasty. but I wasn’t a doctor. I glanced at the stretcher for the last time. www. “I was just trying to help you cops.com 63 . He kept pushing her torso forward and her hand kept slipping out. He did. I didn’t see dirt or smudges of any kind. Nick.” he said. It couldn’t have been for contamination. O’Brien was holding the door with his foot until the attendant was able to push the Gurney forward and out the room. It was a room for the dead who were violently murdered. I just wanted my mind to drift until the attendant was able to secure the body into the bag. “Let’s go. I just wondered why anyone would go through a lot of trouble to keep a room like this clean. They kept the room spotless. the sink. the top of the counters.” I said. and I was happy.bibliotastic.
and drop me from the window.Frank Atanacio Chapter 25 I walked into my downtown office and I couldn’t believe my eyes. and bruises.” “Hey. and barked out demands. That’s the only reason they kept me alive. sat down.” she replied through clenched teeth. “Nick!” Relief! I looked back to my private office and Janet was standing by the door.” “Sick. sat down. right?” “You’re brave Janet. “They’re going to kick my ass again. “They’re on my shit list!” “Those bastards followed me into your office. “It comes with the job. Man stunk like dog shit.” “I’m sorry Janet. They’ll wait until all the blood seeps out of my body. Damn they punched me around like I was a man. She took out the petty cash lock box and showed me that it was empty. and her face covered with welts. crossed her long legs.” . Her clothes were torn a bit.” Janet stood up and walked toward the filing cabinet. My eyes fell into a curious rhythm as I scanned the area.” I half whispered. “Came here collecting.” she said with her eyes closing just a bit. you need a doctor?” “I need some Southern Comfort. but I was to warn you. like O’Brien with front missing teeth. Nick. “What the hell happened?” “Damn bill collector. I noticed her rolling her head. tried to take it out of my skin. and huffed. I steered toward Janet’s desk and noticed blood stains on a place mat. “Those bastards worked me over and then they hung me out of your window and threatened to drop me. She was extremely tensed. “Greedy punks even took my lunch!” Janet walked back to her desk.” “A bill collector?” “Yeah. “One was a big guy.. They ransacked the entire place and left everything like a disaster area.” she said as she limped toward me. “Straight!” I smiled. I nodded.” she said. They wanted to. “Came in looking for money you owe them. and long dirty hair tied back into a pony-tail.” “They beat you up?” I asked. Everything was turned over as if someone was frantically looking for something.” she continued. “Janet. I couldn’t stop looking until I.” she replied. “I managed to get a few licks in before they got to me. “Or did you try to stop them?” She glared at me for a moment.. “I know. so I stood behind her and gave her a shoulder rub.” “Did you get a good look at them?” “Yeah. “I was caught off guard.” “What?” She nodded.” she said as she sat down at her desk. “What?” I asked.” she winced a bit. Damn. “Those punks told me that the next time they come here.
” “How much did we have in petty cash?” “After I did my nails.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Yeah. looks like they’re going to get a pity ass-kicking. www. and you’ve been threatened.” she insisted.” “Carolyn?” “Yeah. I was caught so off guard.” “Just don’t want you to end up like Carolyn Lopez. for sure. I sat down beside her and patted her gingerly on her shoulder. “I feel better now pimp. “I gotta straighten their ass out.” I said. stopped crying. I was scared as shit. “I’m sorry.” “Hey pimp.” I said.” “How much do you owe those suckers?” “Ten thousand. “But they still pocketed it. but they twisted the lingo.” “Now you playing with the big boys. Janet.” she said.” I started. “Thought I had a ten dollar bet. she’s a corpse now.” she started.” “I’m serious. I like the adventure. Remember they took our petty cash. looked around the office. pimp. I guess I really must have pissed them off because the skinny guy wanted the fat guy to drop me. “You really only owe them Nine thousand eight hundred and twenty two dollars.” She jammed her fist against her lips. now you. “Well.” she said. maybe you should just stay home. “I thought they were paying clients and I completely turned my back on them.” “Nick. He even begged. and bam! I owe them ten thousand dollars. “How in the hell can you owe someone that much money?” “They tricked me into owing them that much.” “You go boy!” “They’re pushing me too hard. “Let it out. They told me that it’s not a warning for me.” I said almost quietly.” “I don’t know what to say. about a hundred and seventy eight. Janet looked at me.” “Dollars?” I nodded. “They also had the nerve to call our petty cash.” “Not on your life!” she shouted. not maybe. “I didn’t mean for you to get involved in this. “Don’t want to come to work one morning and find me useless secretary splattered all over Main Street.” “Then. it’s a promise. covered her mouth with her palm.bibliotastic.” I smiled. “First Carolyn. and began to cry.” I said. a pity cash. Maybe if I knew what they wanted I would have thrown one of them out the window.” she said. and looked at me.” She smiled. “But to be honest with you.” “You should stay home until all of this is over. “It’s not my life that I’m worried about.com 65 .” “Yeah.” “Kiss my ass.” she sobbed.” I said.
“I’m too pretty to be scattered all over Main Street. pimp. “First time I ever saw you cry. but I really didn’t want to be the cause of her leaving.” “I bet.” she said as she rubbed her knuckles. and I won’t be pushed around. She was much to valuable to me and my office. I realized that someday she would move on and begin her own life. and she knew it. and he struck a bigger nerve with Janet.” I said. I knew it. “I had to release my anger. She was the main switch that kept everything running. He struck a nerve with Carolyn.” “That’s true. .” I said honestly. One Eyed Froggy was playing too close to my candle flame. “Damn straight. I had to react with force.” She smiled. “Those tears?” I nodded.” “It’s dropped that I’m worried about.” I said. Those bitches!” “But you took it like a man.” “Funny pimp got jokes. “Me too. the punches hurt.Frank Atanacio “They got me once.” “I understand.” she replied. and that was my next move. It was hard to imagine this office without Janet. “It just filled me up and had nowhere to go but through tears. I’m staying.” she said. I looked at her and she smiled. “They won’t get me again.” “They really worked me over like I was a man.” “Besides.” “I’m glad you are okay.” she said.
I came to make a statement.” “Then you should be reading the Bible.” I tried snarling back.” “And we do what we do. and maybe I will get it.com 67 . I had to send him a message. “You said it’s closed.” “It’s all part of living Jackie. “Janet was tight. “And death. and rationality had no place in it. “I’m a paying customer. The odor was that clear.” he snarled. The bouncer was a big burly man with no facial hair.” I replied. I smiled at that.” “Just come in to buy a beer.” “Well.” “You don’t belong here?” “I guess I don’t. or at least to be recognized.” I whispered. The bartender. but I had to make a statement.” I said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 26 I found myself hurrying to the club that night in spite of the warning. It felt nice to be popular. “But I’m here anyways. “You’re not allowed in here!” He shouted. “She said you smelled like shit when you were dangling her from my office window. “I’m telling you. The club was crowded and there was Salsa music beaming out of the speakers on the walls and ceiling. I was almost shocked when I realized he smelled just like shit. The ape stood directly in front of me.” “It is in my book.” “You!” shouted the bouncer.” I smiled. I needed to express myself differently. I knew that Froggy wasn’t going to like it. I knew it had to be about me because the bouncer quickly glanced my way. The message had to be loud and clear. but it wasn’t the right time.” he said as he turned to the bouncer again. I wanted to explore my rational way of thinking. www.” I said.” “Bar’s closed for you. “Looking for trouble?” “Not really. Jackie Reeves recognized me right away as he turned to the seated bouncer and whispered something into his ear. I don’t think that’s the right way to treat a lady.” shouted the bouncer.” “We are ready for you. It was almost an art form as they danced to the Latin rhythms. “You don’t get it!” “Of course I don’t. you have to do your job.” I said.” “Hey.bibliotastic. “Hey. “You don’t belong here. “What for?” “The eye for an eye.” I said. “You’re not going to beat us done easily this time.” “Open it up. He had long hair tied into a pony tail and he had missing front teeth. The disc jockey was sitting high above the dance floor looking down at the dancers who were moving in sequence. But I want you to open the bar up. I do what I do. His face was flushed and his eyes angry. “Get rid of this joke.” I said.” “The skinny bitch?” “My secretary.” shouted the bartender. my co-worker.” “We refuse to serve you!” “You smell like shit. my friend. “You want something from me?” I asked.
The bouncer cracked his knuckles and moved closer to me. “Maybe I should have dropped her ass out of the window,” he said. “Jackie over there was begging me to do so. He wanted to see her splat.” “Why, Janet kicked his ass?” “She made it tough for him,” he replied. “And I’m going to make it tough for you.” I looked toward the bartender and he smirked. “Don’t you turn away from me!” shouted the bouncer. “It isn’t him you should be worried about, it’s me. I’m the one whose gonna break every bone in your body. Yet keep you alive so you can pay off your debt. It’s going to be painful for you, but a whole lot of fun for me.” “I’m not worried about him,” I said. “I’m not even worried about you. I just want to see his expression when I kill you.” The bouncer laughed. “You find something funny?” “Your empty threats!” I hit the bouncer in the neck with my fist and he quickly fell to his knees. There was a tile missing on the floor and the bouncer’s blood filled the void. The floor was measured nicely with blood. It covered all the nooks and crannies. “Froggy’s not going to like that!” Shouted the bartender. “You are already on his to do list!” “I want you to tell him what I did,” I said. “You’re going to pay!” I took my gun out and shot the bartender in the chest. “You know what, Jackie? I think I’ll tell him myself.” The bouncer reached for me as he bloody hand touched my shirt. “I can’t breathe,” he gargled. I put my hand on his head and pushed it down facing the floor. I put my gun to the back of his head and shot him twice. I knew after the first bullet entered, it had killed him instantly. The second bullet was simply an insult. The crowd of Latin dancers quickly rushed toward the exits like cockroaches do when someone turns on the lights. They scurried and scuffled as the music continued to play. Dog Eats Dog, I thought.
Case File: Dog Eats Dog
O’Brien wanted to meet me at the Flyer Diner on the corner State Street and Fairfield Avenue. There had to be some explaining to do, and he wanted to hear it from the horse’s mouth. The Flyer Diner was great during the afternoons, when there weren’t so many people there and it was quiet. They had Becks in bottles, and the hottest wings in the city. I ordered some and it arrived just in time. My beer was still cold and my craving for the wings have just expanded. Explaining what happened just got easier. I took a bite of one of the wings and looked around the diner. It had paneled walls in a light oak. A throw back to the late 1970s. There were some old pictures of the City of Bridgeport’s old Landmarks. There was the Barnum Museum, Casco Factory, Harvey Hubbell, and several old department stores that use to grace the downtown portion of the city. Stores like Gimbles, Reads, Sears, and Woolworth. The diner was also still using the 1970 style register. Behind the counter mirror, with wines stored in front of it, back lit, gave it a classy look for a truck stop. The diner was around for more than forty years, and it survived the city’s many changes. O’Brien ordered a coffee and a piece of Boston Creme pie. “Pete, these wings are off the hook,” I smiled using one of the lines Janet would use. “My pie is fine,” he said as he took a sip of coffee. “Your loss.” “So, what happened at Froggy’s place?” “Bartender attacked me,” I replied biting into another wing. “He came at me with a knife, so I had to put him down.” “Are you telling me a lie?” “Now why would I do that?” “How about Douglas Fowler?” “Who?” “The bouncer.” “He got cute,” I said. “You know how much I hate cute.” “I’m being serious Nick.” “I’m being serious.” “Damn it Nick!” he slammed his fist on the counter top. “There are witnesses saying that you just came in and shot up the place! They saying you walked in looking for a fight.” “Froggy put them up to it,” I said. “Nick, it’s getting hot,” O’Brien warned. “Things are hitting the fan left and right. Captain Roque is getting on everybody’s back, and I don’t like to deal with him when he’s pissed.” “You know all this is a set up,” I said. “Just like with Mike Brandon.” “Don’t bring him up,” he said. “Why?” “We got to bring him in for murder,” he replied. “I’m still trying to prove he didn’t do it,” I said. “Another person.” “What?” “A witness.” “A witness?” “He tried to get one of the witnesses to change their story,” he explained. “He offered him a great deal of money, and when he refused, he killed him.”
“How do you know.” “The prostitute witness.” “Margie Sanchez?” He nodded. “She works for Froggy.” “She gave us a written statement,” O’Brien said. “We match the finger prints on the money envelope that came straight from his church. He’s guilty.” “You believe that 500 hundred dollar whore?” “500 dollars?” “Yeah, I asked how much.” “Of course we don’t,” he replied. “But I think the captain is bringing him in for protection. He didn’t say it, but I know that’s what he’s doing. I know the captain. He’s not going to let the deacon fry.” “So how did this all happen?” I asked. “Mike went to Margie Sanchez first,” he started explaining. “She declined to change her story, so he went to Mr. Roberto Guzman. He gave him a hard time and they fought. He then beat him to death.” “Mr. Guzman?” O’Brien nodded. “He’s an old man.” “Now he’s a dead old man,” O’Brien said. “We gotta stop this mess,” I said. “The Frog is getting a little too violent.” “And the witnesses are slowly falling off.” O’Brien added. “First Carolyn Lopez, then you took care of Jackie Reeves, and now Roberto Guzman.” “Two left,” I whispered. “Yep.” The waitress came over and poured O’Brien another cup of coffee, and she slapped down another beer for me. I smiled, she smiled, and O’Brien stared. “So what do we do now?” I asked. “Stop killing Froggy’s men,” he said. “Let us do our job.” “They’re looking for it,” I replied. “The captain think it’s for revenge.” “Revenge?” He nodded. “For Carolyn?” “For Janet.” “What?” “Janet called Fuentes, and Cruz down to your office and gave them a full statement. She told them how they came looking for you and how they threatened to throw her out of your window. She told me that made you a little upset,” O’Brien started. “Don’t think that the captain is stupid, Nick. He knows how you think, and he knows you’ll protect your people with your own life. I’m just asking you to let us do our job. Stop killing his men.” “I’m working to clear the deacon, is all.” “Do that,” he said. “Don’t pull the trigger on your gun anymore.” I nodded.
com 71 . www.bibliotastic.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Now finish up your wings before I take them.” I smiled.
” I said. “You wait until all this is cleared up.” I said. B B forced a smile. B B?” I asked.” I said. I liked that about her.” I nodded as my eyes fell on her worried face. I felt my stomach curdle. “But things will come out in the wash for the better. She looked frail and I could see it in her eyes that she felt like her knees were going to collapse. She placed it down in front of her and stood next to me with her arms folded. “It’s going to take some time. She steadied herself as she reached to brace herself with one of my client’s chairs. You wait until we find out why One Eye Froggy has it out for your husband. I opened my top drawer with my other hand and handed her a box of tissues. but I know I’ve rattled some cages.” B B nodded slowly. “Thank you.” she said softly. “I know. The deacon will bounce back and continue his good work. “Hey Janet.” I tried to comfort her.” Janet replied as she winked at the deacon’s wife and walked out of my office. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly as if she was trying to catch her breath.” “What do I do baby?” “You wait.” she sobbed. “Mike has been taking money out of the collections to pay for his gambling debt.” “But he’s not guilty.” B B said.” . “What?” I asked. She looked like she hasn’t slept for days.” She said. She put everything back in it’s place and didn’t change a thing.” “Collection money?” “Oh yeah.” I took hold of B Bes hand. “Are you okay.” “You will help him. You know he’s a good man.” She looked at me intently. “Can you excuse me and B B for a moment. “She’s a good girl.” Janet walked in with a cup of coffee for B B. I smiled. “He says it’s for horse racing.” “You can’t mean that. How lifeless and thin her skin felt as tears started to blossom as they streamed slowly down her face. “I know. baby. I ain’t stupid. he’s going right to hell.” “He’ll always be the love of my life. “They arrested Mike this morning. right?” “I want to help where I can. like I was going to hear some unwanted news. She sat down and looked around my office.” “I know it’s not going to be easy for you.” “I know that too.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. “No problem. Janet had done a wonderful job cleaning up the mess. “Yeah baby. “When she’s a sleep. I think she needs some time with me alone.
I came here probably to get some reassurance. “Is that true?” “Carolyn Lopez. a sadness that went beyond the loss of her husband’s good name.” “There are so many things I know God wouldn’t forgive me for. “Don’t bother that poor child. “Try and get some rest. “I don’t want to worry about your health. There was a sadness to B B’s eyes.” “I got his back.” She walked out.” I agreed. “But I’m sure this is the exception to the rule.” “Janet will see you out. I know.” “Thanks Nicky.” she said as she stood slowly from the chair. www. I didn’t mean to make a spectacle out of myself by crying. “I don’t know if God will forgive you for that.” “They’ve been punished.” “I believe you.” she said.” I said.” I said. “I know my way out.” “Revenge?” she asked. It really outweighs the bad.” She forced another smile. “Be very careful Nick. “And you know I will. I had always tried to fulfill my promises.” “I’m sorry I took up your time.” The response put B B at ease.com 73 . “I will B B. Regardless of the circumstances it puts me in. “Yeah.” I added. It was a sadness that of nowhere to turn. There was no pretense about my promises.” “I’m sorry baby. “That’s a shame.” I said.” “Of course.” she said.” I said.” she sniffled.” she said. “I just wanted to know that you’re still helping out my Mike. “O’Brien told me that you were very fond of one of the witnesses. “I had to punish one of them myself. and with Mike.” she said. there had to be an extra push.” I said. He got a little carried away. It was like watching a trapped animal in a cage.” She smiled.” “I mean it B B. “He has too many good points.” “Your lips to God’s ear.” I nodded.” she said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Some witnesses have died. “I understand.” “Don’t worry about it.bibliotastic. “And I think God will forgive Mike.” “Me too.” she said.” “Should have just turned the other cheek. “I believe in an eye for an eye. “I’ll do my best for Mike.
” “But not from me. “Looking for a pick-up game?” I nervously asked. 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. but that was it.” “Me too. “Looks like that. “He will get his money. Do you guys mind picking up the bats again?” “Too late for that. so I suspected the worst. Neither one of them had baseballs or gloves. It would have been a perfect day for a double header.Frank Atanacio Chapter 29 The next morning I drove down to Seaside Park near the diamond six area off of Iranistan Avenue. “You know. “And we out gun you.” I started.” the middle man replied.” “We come here to beat it out of you. Willie the Greek had asked me to meet him here because he had some information he wanted to share with me. “Froggy wants his money. I was here bright and early. “He was ordered to ask you to meet us here. I think. The grass was cut recently. “You had your chance. “Hey.” The middle thug grunted. “Froggy can kiss my ass.” smiled the middle man. “I’m serious!” “We are here to do just that?” “Did Willie the Greek send you?” “Nope. “You could have hit me with that thing. They stopped five feet in front of me and three feet apart from each other. It was at that moment that I reached for my revolver and pointed it at the bat swinging thugs.” He smiled.” he continued. and it’s considered America’s favorite past-time.” replied the middle man.” “Don’t get cute!” “Cute is my middle name. The colors were black and white. but the day was going to be a terrific one. It was pretty early for any baseball to be played.” “You have no idea who he is. The Park was lined with small freshly planted trees running toward the bathhouses. “I’d prefer an ass-kicking. ordered?” The middle man nodded slowly. They were carrying baseball bats. Three young Latino males came out of the car wearing baseball caps. and the white lines that marked off the foul-lines were untouched. Where was he? I looked over toward a flashing billboard and noticed that the Power-ball Jackpot has reached seventy five million dollars. I suddenly realized that they too were holding their guns at me.” he said. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t tell me over the phone. “Fist fight going to become a shoot-out?” I asked. Baseball was invented in this country. “I guess a pick-up game is out then?” One of the three swung his bat in my direction. but nevertheless. and team logo jerseys. I like watching people squirm. They looked at each other only for a brief moment and then dropped their bats. but it wasn’t a major league team.” .” I felt an imaginary noose around my neck as they pointed their guns directly at my head.” I said as I stepped back a bit.
He’s not going to shoot you. The thought of him being shot in the head tormented him. He believed that I would shoot him instantly.com 75 . “Sammy. and the way things look now. “But Sammy. Understand that. “He won’t have a chance to get a bullet off. “Sammy.” I continued grinning sheepishly. and he wanted no part of death. We have the upper hand.” he nervously replied. I will not die alone today. “We came here to just work you over and try to collect the money you owe our boss. it’s me and you.” “I don’t want to do this!” “Sammy!” Sammy pointed his gun toward the man in the middle. “I do like to know who is going to die with me today. “Let’s just take him out. They have me pinned to the wall. “We have to stop this. It was clearly written across his face. He realized that they had made a mistake in trying to approach me. “I’m going to tell you this. “What’s your name?” I asked.” “Froggy just wanted us to beat him up.” Sammy knew that there was truth in what I was saying. “I don’t want to hurt anyone. “He won’t kill you!” “Yeah.” “Sure. “Okay. He wanted all of this to end without bloodshed. “Don’t listen to him!” shouted the middle thug. but you took it to another level.” The thug on my left stared at me.” I continued. and it looks like it’s going to be me and you. and it showed in his eyes. Oh yeah. Don’t be stupid and don’t let him get to your head!” “No Sammy.” “But I am. It’s probably a promise I wouldn’t be able to keep. He was afraid.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. “Not this time. In fact two of us will be dead.” “Don’t point that gun at me!” www.” I continued. I will. I’m not going alone. “It’s never too late.” said the middle thug.” he said.” I said as I pointed my gun to the thug on my right. “Sammy.” “There’s always turning back. I will get a bullet off and there’s nothing you can do about it.” I said. Do you hear me? You and I will die. “I will take you with me.” “You see?” I smiled.” Sammy peered at the middle thug. He wasn’t ready to die and he wanted his partners to understand that.bibliotastic. “We’ve changed our position now.” “Sammy. “Too late!” shouted the thug to my left. shock and bewilderment riddled his eyes. “He’s trying to get into your head. I had to think of something.” I smiled.” “I don’t want to die!” He shouted as he turned toward the middle man. He wanted no deaths today.” said the middle thug.” started the middle thug. you’re coming with me.” he said. “Just shut up!” demanded the thug in the middle. “Let’s put down our guns.” I felt the imaginary noose around my neck getting tighter. and it had better be quick. “Two people will die here today.” I said.” I said. You took it to a level you can’t turn back from. So lets do this.” Sammy shouted. but I won’t die alone. go ahead. I think it’s going to be you and me. He wanted all of us to put down our guns and walk away. He wanted to end this without him losing his life. He’s just bluffing. they’ll kill me. It’s three against one. “He didn’t want this!” “Don’t be stupid. “Two will die today. “We can’t turn back now. I’m taking you with me. I have no intentions of going alone. A frown wrinkled his forehead. Take me out.
” Sammy was willing to shoot one of his own in order to save his own life. “What the hell do you think you’re doing? Put that gun down. and he did so without realizing it as the middle thug fell quickly to the ground.” “We can’t shoot each other!” “We don’t have to.” said the thug in the middle. Sammy leaned forward as he tried to get a bit closer to the middle thug. Go some where warm. That’s when I made my move. now!” “I’m telling you. I looked briefly at the billboard flashing the seventy-five million dollar lottery prize. He didn’t do it on purpose as blood splattered all over him. “I don’t want to die!” “What did I say when all this first began?” I asked. It was a great deal of money. If I had it I wouldn’t have to be chasing down cheating spouses. Seventy-five million flashing above me as I saw it through my peripheral vision. He kept it pointed toward the middle thug and he had no intentions of dropping it.” he continued. but that didn’t make him put down the gun. I’d be on the beach in Florida sipping all kinds of exotic drinks with brown skin females.” “I don’t want to die. “Go before I do change my mind!” He ran. I’ve always longed for the sun and the glistening sand off any beaches in the Carribean.” he sobbed. I laughed.” he half whispered.” “You’ll shoot me in the back.” I said.” “Froggy’s not going to like this.” “You’re not going to kill me?” “Nope. My shot made him react. The thug on my left swung to the left to face Sammy. Two against two.” “Make up your minds fast. An epiphany unfolded. “Don’t shoot me!” Sammy shouted as it snapped me out of my day dream. “We just leave him alone and come back another time.” “What do I do?” “Run back to your car and drive away. We don’t need to do this. It would really mean a new life for me. It was just what I had planned. So what’s it going to be?” Vengeful eyes stared back at Sammy.Frank Atanacio “I don’t want to die. relentless winters.” He looked confused. “I have a very itchy finger. “I am a man of my word. “You know he’ll come down on us. and I want to scratch it so bad. “I told you that only two of us was going to die. Escape this city and its cold. I’d be playing cards every night. It was working like a charm. “I don’t want to die. and dancing with women half my age. I looked back at the billboard and briefly began to dream about what else I would do with that windfall. I turned and shot the man on my left in the head and Sammy shot the middle thug. He looked confused. or getting into gun fights. . the odds were even.
“What?” He didn’t say anything. you’re going to have to take your date elsewhere. He thinks they’re spying on him. Killing Carolyn Lopez hurt. he really isn’t.” “You shouldn’t be afraid of me. and it did hit a soft spot. “No.com 77 .” he half shouted.” “You can’t come into the club. It’s a pattern that would soon get me killed if I don’t stay on my toes.” I said. but he wouldn’t back down.” he said. He also had to pay for shaking up Janet. “I’m sorry.” “My boss isn’t a murderer.” he said looking worried. They were gearing up for some late night Salsa dancing. but it looks like it. “But your boss better. “Still can’t sit in the car.” He nodded quickly. I know you ain’t watching him.” I said. He was getting on my nerves and we really never met face to face. “Do me a favor and move on. He collected bad debts.” “I don’t want any trouble from you.” Someone said as they knocked on my window. “I’m not going to hurt you. He wanted to collect money from me that I really never owed. When he recognized me his eyebrows crashed down.” I smiled. “I’m waiting for a date. or come into the club and wait for your date there.” www. “You might end up dead. “You owe froggy money?” “It seems everyone does. but his goons clocked me before I really made myself known. He just likes everything to stay neat and clean.” He looked at me with suspicious eyes. and he doesn’t like to be watched.” I said. “Can’t park here unless you’re going into the club.” he admitted.” “Your boss is insecure. “The boss doesn’t like anyone sitting in their cars. He didn’t know what to do. He had to pay for that.” “I said I wasn’t going to hurt you.” I warned. “Too many people owe him money. No matter what Froggy’s been doing. and keeping Mike Brandon on the tip of an iceberg. “You better go before your boss sees you talking tome. I had to confront him. I could smell liquor on his breath as he stood up-right very quickly. he always managed to make money from it. It was a complete misunderstanding. “Then why are you so afraid. like Carolyn Lopez. Of course I saw him at the club. He looked at me. confused. I looked and noticed that it was one of the bouncers from the club.” “Okay.” “Of you. “Hey buddy. That man has done so much to piss me off.” “I understand. I was told that Froggy owned that club too.” he added.” he continued.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 30 I parked outside a small club near Ogden Street off of Noble Avenue on the Eastside.bibliotastic.” I lied. He keeps sending thugs my way.” I replied. and I keep knocking them off. The music of Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe was being pumped out of the club and the crowd were dancing as they walked into the club. “I’m afraid of you. and I think he was waiting for me to make the first move. I had to let him know that I really didn’t owe him a dime. An enthusiastic crowd had packed the entrance before the bouncers permitted them to enter. and he threatened people who owed. “You know damn well that your boss had her killed.
“But he owes me too.” He nodded and ran back across the street.” I whispered. just go.” I warned. “What?” “Nothing.” “You killed Carolyn. “I owe him.” he blurted out. “Idiot.Frank Atanacio He didn’t answer. “Your boss is no angel.” “Be careful buddy.” I continued. .
The woman’s hair fell unconstrained around her oval face. “But you didn’t. but I do understand you hire nothing but cowards.” he said.com 79 . “Big mistake.” “Like your dog-fighting business?” “I have no such business. It was like two kittens and a sack trying to get out. She walked slowly away and I couldn’t keep my eyes off the beauty of her backside.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 31 Confronting your enemy had to be a top priority. but they all end up dead. He was sharply dressed in a light tan suit. “Willie the Greek arranged this meeting for us. “I’m Stacey.” “You come to make a payment?” I smiled. but she wasn’t of an Asian decent. and fake frogs sitting on the edges. “How can I help you. on the Bridgeport side.” She stuck her hand out for shaking and her perfume was so nice. There was a spicy.” she said in a soft sweet voice. Mr. It was in the center of a brand new plaza on the left-side of Main Street.” “We could have killed you that night. I simply had to try to convince him that the money I owed him was all a misunderstanding.” I replied.” I replied. It was a form-fitting tube dress.” I nodded. and the guards walked away. He keeps sending thugs to kick me around. but it made her look so hot. “I’m Nick. I walked into an ground floor office near the Trumbull Mall. It had fake lilies floating in the well.” I said. “I deal in everything. Newsom does have a real name. “Well?” “What do you do here?” I asked. “Can I help you?” I walked up to her with a puppy expression. The office was clean and had a graceful selection of colors on the walls.” www. but he waved them away with his free hand.” “It has a real name?” Repressing a smile at my question. I just wanted to clear the entire matter up once and for all. It was a welcomed invasion.bibliotastic. It looked like one of those offices you see on HGTV. and had a walking cane with a gold tip. Nick?” “Just Nick. He walked over to me and the two guards followed suit. “I’ll tell him that you’re here. There was a miniature waterfall fountain in the center of the spacious waiting area. I sniffed the air appreciatively. Newsom. and a welcomed sight. Her eyes were slightly slanted.” She smiled.” “At your service.” she smiled.” she corrected. I was hoping this time someone wouldn’t hit me from behind. “Welcome.” “Drugs. Near the fountain at the center of the office stood two security guards and a thin woman dressed in a long silver dress. she escorted me to a chair. “Mr. “I’m here to see One Eye Froggy.” “Mr. and I had ignored that rule long enough. “I see that the swollen bump on your neck went down. floral scent that invaded my nostrils. “Nick Barnum?” he asked. I had to meet with Froggy face to face again. A tall thin man came out of a corner office wearing a black eye patch over his left eye. “Cowards hit me from behind. That was something that O’Brien wanted me to avoid. prostitutes?” “This is a legitimate business.
” “Minimum bet is a thousand dollars.” I smiled.” he said as he slowly turned around.” “I’m tired of killing your men!” I shouted.Frank Atanacio “So. like you did.” They nodded.” “Whether I could or can’t. “Mr. She wrapped her hands around my upper arm and again her perfume almost had me in a trance. “So. “I should leave.” “When?’ “Tomorrow night. Barnum.” I said. So lets do each other a favor and call this whole thing off.” “You don’t get to tell me what I should or should not do. “But if you keep sending men my way. 1AM.” she warned. Nick PT Barnum will be murdered on Saturday. I’m sure you’re tired of sending men. “It was all a misunderstanding. The tall thin woman in the silver dress walked over to me.” . “I know. I’m tired of killing your men who come after me looking for money.” I said. and you will pay me my money.” “I came to tell you that we have a misunderstanding. “I’m sure a great detective like you could have deduced that.” I said. I had no intentions to bet way over my head.” “You don’t really know who I am.” “I’m not planning to give you any excuses. The two security guards walked toward me and stopped in front of me.” “Just to let you know. “Lightens my payroll. “I am in charge of this situation.” “Oh good.” “I don’t need excuses.” “Are you going to be there?” “Yes. Newsom is a dangerous man. did you come here to pay off your debt?” “Yeah. “I said I don’t own it.” “And I didn’t make wages I couldn’t pay. about that. “If you want to try and win your money back. then that means I don’t owe you any money. “Because I’m no deadbeat. “I just participate. “If not.” “One Eye Froggy.” I started.” “Then I’ll be there. You shouldn’t make wages that you can’t pay.” I said. “I’m glad you think I’m funny.” she said.” he said firmly. “My husband wouldn’t want me to fraternize with deadbeats.” “My money will be paid to me by this Friday. I thought your bookie understood that all I wanted to bet was ten dollars.” he growled.” he shouted back as he walked into his office and slammed the door. Mr. There will be a dog-fight at the old glue factory behind Wentfield Park on Railroad Avenue.” “That’s what I like to hear. I’m going to kill them and then come after you and shove that cane up your ass!” He smiled.” “How so?” “When I made that bet.” he said with a thin smile.
com 81 .Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Your opinion. “My opinion also thinks you have a nice ass. www. “That’s a fucking fact.” “That’s not your opinion.” she said as she stood at the front door with her hands on her hips.” I smiled and walked out.” she said as she escorted me to the front door.bibliotastic.
either. I knew Mike Brandon’s case was a tough one to crack. He’s always been Mr.” .” “He’s right. and I liked her.” he mumbled. and unreceptive. It took him down some serious dead end streets. I need to hear it right from your mouth. “Hell. He was a respected deacon that slipped through an evil crack. I sat down across from him and folded my hands on top of the table. “I also heard you were tapping one of the witnesses. and his rational mind wasn’t biting. “Well. “Mike?” He nodded.” “I know. I hear he’s got Willie the Greek running errands for him. It wanted me to pound the whole truth out of him. “It’s a damn dog eats dog world. He did not look up at me.” I raised my hand.” “How can you do that to me?” “What?” I looked confused. “I understand things didn’t go right for you while you were gambling on the dogs. He was hard at the core.” I said.” he whispered. “Captain Roque says this is best for my safety.. and I don’t think he’s afraid of anyone.” “I heard.” I said trying to comfort him. He was sitting at a long conference table shackled like an animal.” “So what we going to do?” “I want you to stop telling me lies.” “Me neither. and the police got him a safe jail cell at the North Avenue Correctional Center. but for some strange reason. “Mad at me?” “Look where I am!” he half shouted. you better know. this whole situation made him soft.” I said. He had a little something extra that he didn’t want me to know. Independent.” “What the. He had on prison rags.” he said somberly. He knew I was coming. You know Willie.” I smiled.” “I’m not a criminal. they didn’t go right for me either. I nodded.” I nodded. He had turned himself in. The serious voice in my head wanted to shout and take apart the deacon for withholding information. “I don’t know.Frank Atanacio Chapter 32 I found myself hurrying to the holding cell in spite of the fact that Mike Brandon wasn’t going anywhere. but his greeting was cold.” He finally looked up. “She was cute. “I don’t think that’s funny. I shot more men in the passed few days then I have ever done in my whole life. that just didn’t look right on him. “It’s me. Hell. He’s a tough son of a bitch. only because he made it a mystery. “Or Frog eats Frog. I owe Froggy some big time money. “You’re not a murderer..
They were hurting. For a second my gaze connected with a female correction officer making her rounds. “Getting Froggy for everything. “The truth. They caught me off guard. “I walked in betting above my head.bibliotastic. so she had to work it off. “I liked her. I didn’t get the chance to smile back.” I said. “It’s been difficult. She peeked into the conference room and smiled at me. “So what are you up to next?” he asked. Every www.” He shrugged his shoulders as his shackles made a clinging noise. “And she couldn’t do anything about it. Then I returned my attention back to Mike Brandon. All this was not going to stop until I paid them.” he said. “It was that night that really stirred me up. I didn’t know the minium bet was a grand. There was a rough edged wind blowing raindrops around. she owed Froggy money too?” “She did.” I said.” “Damn Froggy got everybody by the balls.” “Brenda told you?” I nodded. “I’m serious Mike. “Why is that?” “You taking advantage of her too.” “No.” “And what’s the girl’s name again that you were tapping?” “Carolyn. and I couldn’t pay. I knew it was late and I hoped Brenda wasn’t waiting up for me. but they started beating up on my congregation. and mugging my friends.com 83 .” I nodded. I nodded.” I said.” “Hey!” I started. “Yeah. I know you didn’t mean that.” “Me too.” I replied. “She was hot. “I’m going to rattled cages even harder now that I know you’re in here safe. she’s a woman and I’m a man.” I replied.” “So what really happened that night?” He looked at me with sunken eyes.” he replied.” he said. I was horny. “Death isn’t what people deserves.” he said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “They killed her.” “What. “I know you don’t. me too.” “I don’t like it in here. “She got what she deserved.” I nodded. The deacon looked at me again. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.” “She’s no Zoraida. you have a reputation to mend. She hated when I came home late.” Mike added.” “Why did you pick her?” He asked. I fought through it and made it to the dog-fight.” I replied. I wasn’t going to pay.” “I’m going to another dog-fight. His eyes were rimmed with red. “I’m sorry about Carolyn.” “That’s messed up. “But when you’re cleared of all this shit.
” “How much was your take?” I asked. or making death noises. Carlos told me that the other dog was disqualified and no one was getting any winnings. “There is something delicate about how you’re telling me what happened. I saw Froggy in that mirror putting his fingers to his neck.” I smiled.” He nodded.” “And are you sure you saw him standing back up?” “Now that I think of it. I wouldn’t be here in jail. but he had signaled to Carlos not to pay me the winnings. The other Mike Brandon would have needed some strong drinks in order to turn his back on the darkness.” “I was scared. “I am certain of it. and he didn’t throw the first swing?” He shook his head back and forth indicating no. “What about the robbery at your church?” I asked. and I couldn’t walk away. and that image would have tangled with his heart until it hurt. “Why you smiling?” “Because this makes more sense to me then that made up crap you told me when all this started.” “So you hit him?” “I deck that son of a bitch!” “Did he get up?” He paused. anyways. “This time I believe you because I can see the conviction in your eyes. kicking her around the room. The dog just died! The sad part about that. Don’t get me wrong. “Ten thousand dollars. and that he wasn’t going to pay you?” “No. running orders to the bar. and then making a cutting motion.” he paused briefly. alone.Frank Atanacio time I did. He would have needed it to wipe away the image of that dead dog. “And you knew that. That was odd. and she wouldn’t be home.” I said. “He didn’t say he didn’t carry that much money on him. I met some people there. Nick. smiling.” “So you didn’t call his mama names.” .” “I got your back. There were so many people there. she would read me the riot act.” “Wow. I had won and I wanted to collect my money. Well. laughing and having a good time. but then I realized that she was doing it all for my own good. but some bar backs held him back. As many times as I’ve been there I really haven’t seen a familiar face.” “I was so excited and nervous. Well. and greed in my heart. “There was no robbery. Nick. If I had gotten her involved before all of this started. Or at least my mind wouldn’t allow me to recognize them. Well. I stood in the raised entryway of the club looking down at the dogs fighting. I pushed across to the bar and tried to settle my face in front of Carlos Rivera. and ripped it apart.” He smiled. I didn’t realized it then. “Well?” “He got up. I never seen a dog just die without whimpering. that hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t care about the dog’s condition.” he replied. It was me. It was odd that I remembered that. strangling her. Sometimes I felt like making love to her. I remember that night clearly as the mirror behind the ranks of bottles of booze stood at such attention. I even saw Carolyn Lopez there wearing a tight skirt. I couldn’t let that settle. the dogs were going at it and my dog took a bite out of the other dog’s throat. The other Mike Brandon wasn’t there. hunger in my eyes. She was the rock in my heart that kept me stable. but I wouldn’t have recognized them out of the club.
” “She can take care of herself.” “He’s a cut throat.com 85 . trust me.” I said.” “Just stay clear of him.” warned the deacon. The deacon nodded again.bibliotastic. right?” “Not yet. but I bet something will fall in my lap.” He nodded.” I replied. I hope.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “I guess he wanted you to give him some money with your prints on the envelopes so that he could set you up.” He nodded. “I got until Friday to pay him back. “Just watch Janet. “He’s got you turned every which way. She’ll be fine.” “She’ll be fine. www. I nodded.” “He’s making me a cut throat too.” “Too much confidence in that skinny girl. “You got something planned.
I pushed him and he immediately fell to the floor. I sat at the bar and it was the first time I ever got one of the cushioned stools. “I don’t want to fight. for trying to take my shove like a man.” I sighed.” He stared at me for a second. scores of patrons all wanting to be witnesses to a bar room scuffle. “I think you’re funny.” The man took a swing at me and I expected pain. He clung on to one of the women and forced his way toward me.” I called out to a bartender. He hit like a child.” I said The crowd surrounded the man on the floor.” “No! I’m in a fighting mood. and I’m not giving it up to anyone. He came toward me moving slowly. “That’s my seat.” I said. “I didn’t even hit you. “Hey. attempted to throw a punch. you’re not going to start with me again. “Here we go again. You want the stool. I wanted simple to keep him in the mix. “Becks. So please take your sorry ass out of my face. expecting a bar room brawl. are you?” “I still think I can take you. It was a rare treat for me. and pity. I watched his progress with a mixture of confusion for taking my shove like a man. Two bar maids helped him up to his feet and he shot me a side ways glance. but the bartender didn’t grab it right away. and I wanted to let him know that there was another dog-fighting contest brewing. and bar backs. “I don’t want to fight. They saw a man down and came rushing over. The bartender caught my attention and pointed to the beer he placed in front of me. will you?” “No. so I basked in the pleasures. “But I was here first.” I started.” “Tough guy?” “Very tough.” someone said from behind me.” “I’m sorry. and failed. I’m not going to lie down.” “Go lie down.” He snarled. and I’m here to give you one.” he shuddered. The man had soft hands. “Bottle only. He just looked at us. “Get off my stool?” I laughed. “You think it’s funny?” he said flatly. you win. as if he didn’t understand my reply. There was no pain.” . you think you’re tougher?” “Yeah. “Listen.” I stood closer to him. It wasn’t much of a scuffle.” he said. “You were looking for a fight. I do. You can have it. It almost made me regret my chivalry. “Really?” “I’m going to take you down!” “Oh boy. I put down twenty dollars.Frank Atanacio Chapter 33 I had called Detective Peter O’Brien to meet me at Corners Bar and Grill on Boston Avenue. Just because you’re bigger than me. but he pushed my hand away. I had gallantly offered to help the man up.” I replied. his knees occasionally buckling. “Listen. but the people reacted differently.” He nodded. body guards. I wanted to tell him what Brandon told me. “What?” “You’re sitting in my seat.
Case File: Dog Eats Dog
The bar maid that helped him sighed, wondering if it was crueler to allow him to fight me. Or should she have left him on the floor. She nodded, looked down as the man throw up on her new sneakers. “Fuck!” she shouted. The body guards had seen enough. They walked over to the man and tossed him out of the bar. That’s when Peter O’Brien walked in. Always never around when you need one.
I managed to slip into the club without any of the bouncers seeing me. I must have cut my arm on some wire mesh they used to block the back entrance. My arm was bleeding, but I didn’t remember cutting it. Nevertheless I was in the club. It was well after 1: AM, but I promised Stacey I’d show up. I didn’t tell O’Brien about the dog-fighting contest, but I got my camera phone in my back pocket. I had plans to record what I can. It was my plan to take down the big frog. “Mr. Nick?” I turned and saw Stacey standing in front of me with a drink in her left hand. She wore a long shiny red dress that was clinging to her body, just right. “Stacey.” She smiled. “Are you setting me up?” She smiled again. “It doesn’t matter,” I said. “I would have come anyways.” “I’m setting someone up,” she smirked, “But it’s not you.” “Oh?” “My husband,” she added. “Oh, how so, and why?” “Let’s step into that back room,” she said as she grabbed my arm. “I’ll explain why.” “Where is your husband?” “He’s coming for the main event.” I nodded as I allowed her to escort me into a back room. I turned toward the fighting area and I saw two dogs getting ready to put on a display. The pit-bulls were damaged. One had an empty eye socket, chipped tooth, and the other had a torn ear that was sewn back together by a non-professional. The management were grooming the dogs for fighting as they were taunting the poor animals. I heard the bell ring and then Stacey closed the door behind me. “You’re going to miss the dog fight,” I said. “That’s not the main event,” she replied. “Those dogs look beat.” “They all are.” “Damn shame.” She nodded. “So,” I started. “How are you going to get back at your husband?” “He had Carolyn Lopez killed,” she said. I nodded. “She was my best friend.” “Mine too for a short while.” “Froggy treated her like a welcome mat,” she said softly. “Never gave a chance to pay him. He treated her ex-husband like shit too. I think that’s why he really never gave Carolyn what she deserved.” I nodded. “She liked you,” she said almost in an eerie calm. “She really liked you.”
Case File: Dog Eats Dog
The announcer’s voice from the next room filled the office. “Listen up, everybody. This is your chance to hit it big with the main event coming up early this morning. Minimum bet has been dropped to five hundred dollars, so everyone could get in on the action. Make sure you make your wagers early!” “Well,” she started as she sat down in a small sofa. “The main event will make him lots of money. I want to make sure he loses.” “How?” “He’s going to take heavy bets on the dogs, and when he looks at the odds he’s going to drug one of them so he’d be guaranteed to win. That’s where you come in.” I titled my head sideways. “I get all the betting slips and I calculate his winnings,” she continued. “I hand them over to Malone and he does his thing. Little will he know I’ll hand him your betting slip after he counts out the advantage. He will then wink at the dog handlers, and they’ll do their thing. You’re going to win, because I’ll make sure of it.” “What should I bet?” “Fifty thousand,” she smiled. “Dollars?” “Of course, ten times the amount.” “Wow, I’d have to sell my ass for cash if I should lose.” “Trust me,” she grinned sheepishly. “No one would buy that ass for cash. Not even in prison.” “And you know that how?” “Carolyn said you had a flat ass.” “Even the dead lie.” “Just bet that amount.” “And my dog will win?” “You’ll get ten times the amount.” “Ten times, boy that sounds pretty.” “That’s why people bet on the dogs,” she replied. “Damn, if I didn’t love animals so much, I’d be here every night. Now I understand what was going through the deacon’s mind. Or Carolyn’s mind. It seems like easy money, and ten times the amount is great.” She nodded. “But folks can get hooked.” “They all do.” I smiled. “That’s probably the reason the guards let you in,” she said. “I snuck in.” “We saw you on camera,” she smiled. “You voyeur you.” She smiled again. “All that for nothing,” I said. “I even cut my arm trying to come in undetected.” “Your fault,” she said. “Should have come in with everyone else. Trust me, you wouldn’t have been stopped.” “Says you.” “Of course,” she replied. “I’m Froggy’s wife.” “Bad taste you have,” I added.
” “So you’re giving me a hot tip?” She nodded. “Do you think you can handle me?” “With flying colors.” “Take off your clothes. She smiled as she stood there completely nude.” “Crowded room. but he’ll have to pay.” “How do I know you’re not doing this so I could owe him more money?” “You can tell him what I had planned.” “He’ll figure a way. I smiled. okay.” I replied.” “You know he is not an honest man.” I said. and obeyed. “He won’t like it. I can handle it.” she replied. “My dog will win. and give you the difference. “What makes my dog the winner?” “The amount of money you’re betting on.” she said as she began removing her clothes.“I said. I just wanna make sure the gambling information I give you goes our way. and I don’t want to talk about it. “It’s the prize.” “Then let my actions speak for me. He will then place a bet on the other dog for half as much. getting me all hot and bothered. Then you take that money and pay off Carolyn’s share. “Big house.” she continued.” “Okay. repeat it all over again. and the deacon.” “What about you?” “I get to watch him squirm. “He wouldn’t know the amount because I’m not going to include it until everything’s counted. So you see. “I hope you can handle this because all I hear from you is a lot of talk.” she said. “When you tell him of the drugged dog. the fix is in.” “Just pick a dog. “He can’t afford not to pay you.” “Just do your part.” she ordered.” she explained. “Good. right?” “It’s not the dog that will win. “Trust me Stacey. . you understand?” “I’m just picturing you naked. he’ll believe you.” I continued.” “Now.” “Are you sure you can handle it?” “With flying colors.Frank Atanacio “I had no choice.” “I like your style. I have a dummy bet on the dog you don’t chose. someone will hear the dog you choose and they will bring it to the dummy bettor. “Long story. You figure he’ll deduct what you owe him.” she replied.” She smiled with the urge to laugh at my stupidity.” she answered.
” I said. Nick Barnum.” I said.” She giggled. “Damn. Frog with one eye.. but it didn’t matter. she didn’t even wish me luck. but she didn’t. “Fifty?” I nodded.” We got dressed and headed for the door. “Bets. “Two heads are better than one.” “Not if you’re just getting my. I pushed the door out her hand and walked out first. “Well?” “Dingy. but they were all too busy gambling and getting drunk. it’s time for the big show. She followed me right out the office. “This is the main event. “I thought someone else was going to over hear my choice. www.” “Oh.” I whispered. How much dangerous could it get? “Ready?” she asked. you are?” I nodded. but I felt that I had to. “Don’t get cute. I didn’t know which one to pick. I thought she was going to stay behind.. never mind. “But first I’m going to try to win some of it back. Stacey said that the dog I picked was going to win. She was calm and relaxed and I was tapping a married woman. “Which dog?” I looked over to the two dogs in the fighting area. at your service.” “Yeah.bibliotastic.” “I thought you were getting the big show. It was just too easy.” I replied. “Mr.” said a man as he stood in front of me.” “Dingy?” “I guess.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 35 I knew there was no reason to hurry as we had sex for about an hour. fifty. I turned to face Froggy and two bouncers. “Did you come to pay me my money?” “I did.” she said. and Froggy looked embarrassed.” “Just give me your freaking name!” I smiled.” “Just making sure. “No.” “Your name?” “Nick Barnum.” someone called from behind me. Stacey walked over to me and stood there with her arms crossed.” She smiled and walked away. “Mr. I expected a lot of eyes on us.com 91 . “What?” “The other big show.” One of the bouncers laughed.” he said. “Another round?” She laughed. “I’ll take the one with the scar on the right side of his face.
“Let him brag all he wants.” “Is that so?” “Yes. how much did you wager?” “I don’t gamble. “You’re a funny guy. “I’ll give you one now.” “So is your momma!” So is your momma? I simply had nothing else to say to him. “I can give you a taste of things to come.” “For your sake. to help you get use to them.” I started. “Ass kicks.” I said. “How about you.” I lied.” “You are aggressive.” he said.Frank Atanacio “What dog did you bet on?” “The black and white younger looking dog. “If I win. Just to keep your body guards busy while I beat the shit out of you. “You better pay me. I’m going to turn the tables on you.” “Yeah whatever. The proof would be in that ring.” “Boss.” he grinned.” “I try to be. “And I’m going to get a few bouncers and body guards of my own.” He smiled. it’ll be my pleasure to serve you.” I said. I’m going to kick your ass everyday until I get paid. “Gamblers are losers.” “Let’s see about that. and you don’t pay me. It’s not going to be about the money anymore.” “No?” “It’s going to be about how many ass-kicks you can take before you die.” “Good luck on your wager.” he said. “He looks like he can take a licking and keep on ticking.” “Well. .” he replied as he turned and walked away. Barnum.” I said.” I replied.” replied Froggy. “Funny now.” he said.” He looked confused. “No.” “Until you get killed. “And Mr. “I just know I can back my shit up.” I replied. “I hope you lose.” “And when I win.” “If you’d like. can we shut him up for you?” asked a bouncer. You know.
“I really don’t want to see this. and no neutral life. There was no good life. “You win. “It’s just an animal.” “You’ll win my friend.” he said. I turned to face the crowd and there were so many sad faces. not people.com 93 .” I couldn’t help but to notice all the blood. “If my dog wins.” “It’s a life!” I half shouted.” “Your words to god’s ear. and felt very sick to my stomach. I’ll be out of the red.” “I don’t give a shit about the dog. It was misery for the dogs. It was just a sickening sight. He was actually enjoying the fight. “I got five hundred bucks riding on this Dingy dog. “Anyways. a lost gambler. did you win?” He asked.” I whispered.” he said as he sat down in an empty plastic seat beside me. We enjoy watching other species ripped a part and we bet money on it. “I see you got money on this fight.” he continued.” I nodded slowly in agreement.” “Why aren’t you happy?” www.” I whispered.” said Rusty Miller. I looked into the glowering face of Rusty Miller. “Damn look at all that blood. “Never mind. and then their lives would be done. “My god I can’t believe I finally won. There was no chance of either one of them to live. “Even you. “I just placed a bet on this main event.” “Congratulations. the dog dies. “Anyways. “I wonder what’s going through his sick little mind.” he added. “This is action. “Yeah. Rusty Miller said animals should rip each other apart. It was going to come down to this fight. “Yes!” Rust Miller shouted. Where does anyone get off by making such a statement? “Cops should arrest everyone here. no better life.” I said.” I whispered. Their was a hint of jubilee in his eyes.” I grimaced.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 36 The pit-bulls dreaded every step into the center of the ring. She was sitting next to her husband. “This is why I come here.” The fight began and I struggled with wave after wave of cruelty to animals being displayed right in front of me. They were sad because they lost a great deal of money. and he had a hard expression on his face. I got a look at Stacey as she turned away from the fight.” he smiled as the dogs continued fighting to the end.” I pointed as Dingy put the final blows on his opponent. By animals. “Hey man. He nodded. They weren’t sad because a dog died.” I said softly. pure and undiluted. “Look. “You will win.” I whispered as I took a seat on a white plastic picnic chair. I had a difficult time wondering why humans were so savage like. “Winning?” Someone asked from behind me. not people.” “Big money.bibliotastic.” “Not god’s ear. To see violence the way it should be displayed.” he continued.” he started. I turned to look and noticed Rusty Miller breathing heavy behind me. “Doesn’t matter whose ear.” I smiled. The fight was over and my dog won hands down. It feels so good. “Damn.
” replied the bookie. I pushed him toward the other one as he fell to the floor. and smelly breath.” He was agitated. “If I don’t get my money. “I”ll tear up the note you have with me and we’ll call it even.Frank Atanacio “A dog just got killed.” he said as he looked toward Froggy. “And I want my winnings.” “Man you’re looking for ugly.” he started feeling the pressure as a bigger crowd surrounded us. and What Carolyn Lopez owed. He had tired eyes.” “Did everybody hear the threat?” he shouted. “I get it. I also want you to deduct what the deacon owes. I grabbed the bouncer in front of me and shot him twice in the foot.” he said. “It’s right. you must think I’m a push-over. His partner failed to catch him. The crowd was stirring around the bookie as they were paying their losses. plus the interest you require. “I think I found it. He reeked. and I expect to get paid.” I said. In fact.” I smirked as he was almost in my face. “This can’t be tight. “Hey.” I said. Froggy grinned mirthlessly. “What do you want me to do?” one bouncer asked as he stepped in front of me.” “None of these bets are legal. “Deduct what I owe you. “I mean this bet wasn’t factored in.” Froggy said. “I’m going to kill you and your two bouncers. “That’s my warning.” “I don’t understand. “Or at least I better get it in one week.” I said. “As long as I get mine. “Let him go for now.” He was angry. “Let that be a lesson.” he said.” I said. tell them to come down now and arrest me for threatening your life.” I replied. “What seems to be the problem?” “I can’t pay this man. I walked up to the bookie and handed him my slip.” “Someday you will. The bookie was a small roundish man with red cheeks and balding jet black hair.” “You know what I’ll do. “Call the police.” I said.” “Nope. “It was taken properly. “I don’t want to tell you again.” I said.” Froggy came racing over with his body guards in tow. Froggy looked at my slip and realized it was genuine. “I don’t think this bet was legally taken. I didn’t have to stand to close to smell it. “What’s this?” “I come to collect.” I said as I holstered my gun. “Yeah.” he said as he stood up.” I said. you ass!” “I mean. “How dare you dictate!” he shouted.” said Froggy.” I said. he just moved to one side as the wounded man fell passed him.” “Don’t threaten me!” He shouted.” “You don’t get it.” he said as he pushed his way toward me. “I’ll give you one week to come up with the rest of my money.” “Fuck them. “I want my money. Nick!” . “There’s some kind of mistake. I promise you that. I saw it deep in his eyes.” I warned. You think I’m the type to allow anyone to insult him like this? You’re barking up the wrong tree.
She wiped the blood away with her hand. but that would have made him suspicious.” she said as she touched his upper arm. stay out of it. “I said one week!” He stormed out pushing everything and everyone out of his way. “One week!” I shouted. The blow knocked her on her ass.” he growled. and pity.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Let’s go home. She didn’t even blink as she grinned.” “I said. “Let’s go. Froggy turned to her and punched her in the face as hard as he could. I watched her progress with a mixture of admiration for standing up to her husband.bibliotastic. “You’ve never been caught up in such turmoil. She was clinging to the bar as she forced her way toward the exit. He stopped. She stood up and moved slowly toward the door. I wanted to jump on him. and blood shot out of her nose.” She smiled almost sheepishly.” I said as I just watched on helplessly. knees occasionally buckling in several places. “One week. “Too many people. “Never touch me again. www.” “Please. but did not turn around. for taking a punch like man.com 95 .” she said.” Stacey said as she made her way through the crowd. “Stay out of this. and again It looked like an insult.” Froggy said to the other bouncer as he ignored the other one on the floor. Little bitch. It was probably a direct insult toward her husband. but didn’t make a sound.
“Nick?” “He rattled my cage for his payment.” “I hope you guys have someone watching him. but it served good coffee and cake. “I can.” he replied slowly. “But he owes me a great deal of money. Do I make myself clear?” I just stared at him.” . “Who do you have watching him?” I asked. “That man can be very dangerous.” “He’s not going to pay.” I started.” I said. Hell.” O’Brien nodded. but I promised him I’ll give him a taste of his own medicine.” I said. “I hope you guys go to his office and pick his stank ass up.” “What?” “He was quickly released on bail. “Do you really think he’s going to pay me?” O’Brien smiled.” he replied.” I said.” “I’m out. “Yeah.. “The captain sent Victor Cruz and Wilfredo Fuentes to keep a tale on him.” I smiled.” he frowned.” I said. “What?” “You’ll make him pay you. and I strongly advice you not to take the payment if he offers it to you.” said O’Brien. He had received my photo text messages I sent to his computer and had now believed that there was dog-fighting was a reality. “But we want you to keep out of this now. broke into my office and stole my petty-cash. We sat at the counter talking about what transpired last night.” “Why would she go back on her husband?” “Because that marriage is a farce. “But you did it anyways?” I nodded again.” said O’Brien. he even has Willie the Greek on his payroll.” “Come on Pete.” “We did.” “How?” “His wife. We met at a coffee shop on Pennsylvania Avenue. and they were best friends. “Why don’t you just let me rattle his cage for a little bit. I won’t take the money.” “Good guys.” “We can’t prove that. We can take it from here. “And that’s what I don’t want to happen. because you were just trying to help out the deacon.” “Good. He has murdered Carolyn Lopez. I gave him one week to pay. “So you placed a big bet. It was a small coffee shop. “You know that’s illegal?” I nodded.” “What?” “His wife Stacey told me that he took care of Carolyn Lopez. “He has already hurt the deacon.” “Captain Roque says he’s going to overlook this.” “He might hurt the people around you.Frank Atanacio Chapter 37 I wasn’t surprised that O’Brien knew about what I did last night at the club.
“We’ll take care of him. “I’m serious Nick. We got that all out of the way as I sipped my coffee. “I plan to. He just had to say it. and I knew that he knew I wasn’t really going to stay away from Froggy.” “I said okay!” O’Brien was eating a doughnut and I looked at him with curious eyes. I knew he wanted to protect me. and I just had to agree.com 97 .” he warned.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “And she will testify?” “I don’t know.” “If she doesn’t. www. you need to talk to her.bibliotastic.” “Just stay away from Froggy.” he said.” I nodded.
” I said knowing damn well that she was probably caught off guard.” “Okay. You can trust me on that. right?” I asked. By the time Janet punched in 911. “Too many people are getting hurt because you’re sticking your nose in way too deep.Frank Atanacio Chapter 38 I couldn’t bear to sit at my desk. the thugs had gotten to her. It was my turn to send him a message.” “Because we arrested him. okay Nick?” “Deacon?” “We’re going to release him when this is all finalized. she was calling my name.” I said. “Everything is going to go down well. “So let him start pushing us. “Consider your investigation closed. “This one will not slip through our fingers.” “I know.” I sat tensely. She was struck several times and it was the first blow that fractured her ribs. now let him start touching ours. O’Brien came to my office and looked around.” “Leave this one too us. “Now clean up this mess and go visit your secretary in the hospital. My mouth was so dry that I had to take several sips of coffee before I was able to ask. This time I mean it. “But they took her down a notch. but you have to let us handle this. “We’ll handle it Nick.”He said.” “I hope so.” How is she doing?” “She’ll live.” “He’s gotten my attention.” I nodded.” he said. I had to move around so I could distract myself before I lost my composure. I told you at that coffee shop to stay away from Froggy. “We’re going to try and get everything in.” “How about B B?” “I have Eggy watching her. He had heard about what happened to Janet and he too was enraged.” “I can’t believe Janet would just lay down without a fight. . Do you understand me?” “Pete.” “Have I ever lied to you?” I looked around my office again and shook my head from side to side indicating no. That Froggy wanted to send me a message. It’s what Janet would have wanted me to do.” I nodded.” he replied.” “I hope so. I’m sure she wants to know that you’re okay.” he said. looking hard at O’Brien.” he replied.” “He’s pushing me.” “You’re going after him for this too. “I heard. “Good. and as she cowered in stunned pain. and I received it loud and clear.” he said. and he was most certainly going to receive it just as loud and clear. look around you. They beat her up and almost left her for dead. I can’t believe they would do something like this. “Even the murder of Carolyn Lopez. but I had to pay Froggy a visit.” “He keeps touching my spots. I knew he meant well. I heard. “Did you hear what I said?” he asked.
“Why did they do this to her?” she asked while trying to catch her breath. “We’re going to keep her here a little longer than expected just watch some vital organs. as though she was afraid of opening her mouth because the screams would just come pouring out.” “That’s noted on her files. “Did you want to fill out paperwork for your eh wife?” “I let my dear old mother in-law do it. Janet’s mother seemed suddenly flustered.bibliotastic. She’s going to be just fine. I looked over toward Janet’s mother and saw the look of pain washing over her face. She had on her night gown and a blue knitted sweater covering her up. www. We just want to make sure everything goes smoothly.” “She’s my baby.” she sobbed. “I don’t want to know.” she screamed. He looked at me with a sideways glance. right?” she said abruptly.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 39 I found Janet’s mother in the waiting room outside the intensive care unit. “What?” “She said it while they wheeled her in here. and she had it pinned up.” I replied softly.” Janet’s mother blurted.” “Her husband.” she laid a gentle hand on her lips.” I nodded. That just wasn’t right. “Is there a problem with her organs?” I asked.” he said.” I nodded. She was worried sick. “You do work with dangerous people.” “Even near death.” “Thank God. “Mine too. “She’s a good girl..” “Mama–“ ” Nick.” I whispered. “I heard. the tears running down her cheeks.” I said. so I knew the news was going to be positive. He didn’t have a worried look on his face. Her painted lips were clamped together tightly. “Janet suffered some broken bones and same and muscle bruising. “You are?” “Ahhh. and I was thinking about my checking account. “But make sure all billing goes to Nick PT Barnum. she tries to squeeze me. It was obvious that she just ran out of her house as fast as she could. The doctor came out and walked over to Janet’s mother. She was weeping quietly. “Hi. “Nothing to worry yourself.” he said. I too felt relief entering my body.” he said as he tried looking into her eyes. I just want you to pray for my baby. her boss.” I nodded. are you the mom?” She nodded. “Nick. “But other than that. Her hair was in a net.com 99 . I didn’t want to answer that question.” she continued sobbing. “It’s nothing you did.
“I’ll check on her when they move her to recovery. .Frank Atanacio “Mama. She looked better. just do what you got to do.” She smiled. whatever it takes to get her back on her feet is okay with me. “Tell her I was here. She smiled.” I said. “I don’t care how much it cost.” she said.” I said. I smiled.” “Okay Nick.
?” “I said. The security guard on duty emerged from the back door wiping his hangs on a paper towel. “Where is that little weasel?” “He’s out hiring the best lawyers the state has to offer.” “I’m suppose to harm him.bibliotastic. “Why don’t you go to the police?” She didn’t answer.” he replied.” “Oh.” I nodded. “That’s an order. he’s tried.” “And he’ll keep on trying.” he continued. The water fountains were off. www.” she replied. “I come here to pay Froggy back for what he did to my secretary..” “I’m okay.com 101 . Her face was covered in bruises.” she said.” she added. but I saw a tall thin man walking out. It was probably closed to the public. “Nick?” I turned and I saw Stacey standing behind me. and pay them well. I gotta try.” he shouted. “Froggy can have me killed in a minute. “And you know this?” I asked as a rhetorical question. He will keep them out of jail. “Trust me Arnold.” “But Mam. “He’s trying to get off?” She didn’t answer. and I’m just saving your life. he’s with me.” I said. I went by the security desk.” she said.” she said as she tried smiling. Nick. I heard a toilet flush. and he will not harm you.” “Mam.” He nodded and walked over to his security desk.” she paused briefly. “He’s with me Arnold. “You won’t be able to. “Everything went as planned. “We’re closed. He’s going to hire the best lawyers to defend them even if it takes a lifetime. “Stacey?” “Look. “Isn’t that. I’m so surprised that he hasn’t had you killed yet. I had noticed the sign in front stating that the office is closed. “What the hell happened to you?” “He had to put me in my place.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 40 The evening was getting tougher to accept when I drove to Froggy’s office on Main Street. but that didn’t stop me.” “No you don’t. “I have orders. and she was wearing a tee-shirt and black jeans. “That bastard worked me over last night when he got home.” she replied. and noticed that it was empty..” she replied as she walked over to me and kissed my cheek. I went inside. and the lights were dim.” “What?” She nodded slowly. “Stacey?” “He has three men on his payroll that’s going to take the fall for everything that happened.
“Hit me!” “I’m not going to hit you. Consider yourself a winner.” “I don’t know the time or what day.” she said.” “Just let it go. “Nick.” “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. “Stacey. and Carolyn Lopez?” She didn’t answer.” I said mostly to myself.” she replied. “He will clear their names. right?” “No. Carolyn. The security guard stood from his desk. “He said he wasn’t clearing deadbeats. “I’ll find out the time and date. “He blamed his bookie.” “I know the place. He’s going to kill you. “I just want you to be safe.” “You asked whose going to stop you!” “I didn’t mean you. and Janet?” “War causalities. “Stacey?” “No.” she said while holding me back. stop hitting me.” she said. “I won’t let you do it.” “Poor sap is going to end up dead.” “What about the deacon. but did not say a word.” “Did he clear the deacon.” She grimaced. He just watched on as if he was awaiting instructions.” she held both my upper arms and looked directly into my face. even if they’re dead. “If it means keeping you off his back. Diamonds.” she said as she grabbed my hand. “He didn’t pay me yet and I want to keep him honest.” “I don’t believe you for one minute.” “He’ll pay you. “That’s all. it’ll all be over.” “Not because of my bet. “They’re going to meet at a restaurant on the Post Road. “That hurts!” I shouted.” I replied. not me.” “I’m just going over there to ask for my money.” She slapped me again. I think.” I said.” “For him.” she replied.” she replied.” “Funny guy.” she replied.” I said.” she said through clenched teeth. You beat him in his own game.Frank Atanacio “Where is he searching for these god sent attorneys?” “Fairfield. “I’m just saying that you’re pushing this just a little too far. “He is keeping me out of the loop now.” .” “Nick.” She nodded slowly. “When his men turned themselves in. “Hit me. he’ll pay you. “Then this war isn’t over!” “Nick you can’t mean that.” she said.” she said. Nick. “I meant Froggy.
www. He started this whole thing.” I nodded and walked out. but didn’t say another word. and I plan to finish it.” “This is a gambling debt pay-off?” “I was loyal to him.bibliotastic. “Is everything alright?” asked the security guard. “Don’t call me a monkey if you can’t back it up. “Look what he did to you.” “His debt was paid in full... “You can’t put up with him anymore.” “Please.” “Everything is fine.” she said as she pulled me into the nearest office. He glanced at me.” “Be careful. Don’t you want some type of justice?” She looked down. “He’s just doing his job.com 103 .Case File: Dog Eats Dog She nodded and backed away slowly.” I started.” she said. go back to your duties. “Is this monkey giving you a hard time. “And why did you marry him?” “To pay off.” She nodded slowly. “Arnold. I smiled. “I will.” Stacey said.” I said. “Listen Stacey. “That was part of the agreement. I kissed her bruised lips.” I added.” she half whispered.” “I know you want to. but I don’t want you to get hurt. “Let me go take care of him.” “How do you know I can’t handle myself?” I said as I looked into her battered face. “I don’t want your husband to get away with what he did.” she said.
but that doesn’t do anything for me.” I said as I took a sip of my water. “What about Carolyn. “What we have will stick. The waiter came over quickly and handed O’Brien a menu.” “She’s afraid. “Froggy. He sighed heavily.” I smiled.” I smiled. “What do you know?” “You have confessions. but didn’t speak. .” “We would have protected her. O’Brien walked in and sat across from me. “Come on Nick. and those dogs that died?” “It’s all on paper. but at these prices.” O’Brien added. He half smiled. give us a break. “Right?” “They confessed to everything. “So you’re not going to ask me about Froggy?” “I already know.” he said. The waiter came to me and handed me a menu.” he replied. He didn’t even say hello. “Froggy’s people are going to issue a statement and they’re going to fire all of those involved.” I said. right?” “You said Stacey had different information.” I nodded. It was a place where families came in and enjoyed a very good meal at very low prices.Frank Atanacio Chapter 41 At noon the After Cafe on Edna Street roared with business. “I’m buying. He didn’t stop to ask if I was ready to order.” I replied.” I replied.” he said. but she wasn’t going to spill the beans. I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining and take advantage of the bargains. “If she would have come forward and gave us Froggy. “Something bothering you?” I asked. “It is nothing!” “It’s going to satisfy the State.” He shot a glance my way. I’d give him a pass. “Froggy still walks. I nodded. we wouldn’t have taken those sworn statements.” “Of course you know this is all bull shit. “BLT. “They’ll do hard time. I opened up the menu and notice almost everything on it was under five dollars. “What’s good here?” he asked.” “It’s better than nothing.” I said.” “Ready to order?” asked the waiter as he stood by us waiting to jot down our order. “Sounds good. “And Froggy isn’t one of them.” “I’m sure it will. I couldn’t believe that they’d still be in business charging these low prices.” he said.” said O’Brien.
he’s not putting up a fight against Froggy.” I replied.” “Including you.” “Just tell her this is all resolved.” “He’s going to be extra careful now.” O’Brien said. “He owes me money.” “He’ll climb back on top.” “You don’t even mean that. remember?” I nodded.” said O’Brien as he took a bite out of his sandwich.” I said. The waiter quickly picked up the menus and hurried off to place our order.” I said.” I said.” “I’m telling you Pete. “Coke. You did nothing illegal.” he said. “Froggy wins.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “BLT.” “What do you want me to do?” “Tell the captain that the investigation is still incomplete. “Just let it go. Even Willie the Greek owes him money. “You know Willie. “Too many people owe him. “It’s a stat for us.” “Sure he’ll be careful. “You weren’t betting. “Me too.” I said. “He’s in it up to his eye balls. He’s taken down the good deacon. Yet.” I said. That’s going to take a big bite out of his gravy train.” I smiled.” “And he’ll remember that. And don’t you think he’s given up on me either. The man will not stop until he gets what’s his. “The city wins.” “Then that’s when we make our move. “We have him right where we want him. “You gotta give me something better than that. “We just can’t roll over and look the other way. It’s not going to be easy for him. Nick.” said O’Brien. www.” I said.” “A little too late.” he added. “Trust me on this. He’s watching over his shoulder now.bibliotastic. “Better?” “Yeah.” O’Brien nodded as the waiter brought over our food and drinks. It’s not going to be easy for him. He’s taken down some good people. you shouldn’t stop right here. “But she’s pissed.” “You do shake cages too hard. and he knows that. “But he’ll take more people down with him.com 105 .” “I don’t think it’s going to help.” he said.” I nodded. That can’t be good because Willie hates owing anyone anything. “No. I shook his cage. He knows that the dog fighting in this city is over. he’s taken down those poor witnesses.” “Orange soda.” “How can we win when Froggy hasn’t got a mark on him?” I half shouted.” “I told you before.” I said. “Did you check up on Janet?” he asked. and that we can prove that he’s been involved. She wants me to get back at Froggy. and I plan on collecting. Don’t let him get away with this.” I said. He always wants to be king of the hill. I nodded. and it seems everybody owes him money.” said O’Brien.” “Willie knows better.” I said. “Better late than never. “Deal with it.
. “Eat.” I lost my appetite.” “More like Frog eats dog.Frank Atanacio “You said it before Nick. it’s a dog eats dog world. the sandwich it’s good.” I said.
. He was having dinner with three suits. It was a great chance to collect what you owe me.” he said with a smirk on his face. “Shut up or I’ll kick the living shit out of you. as long as you give me what you owe me.” www. “What can I do for you. He knew I knew it too. how are you going to pay me?” “With my foot in your ass if you don’t get out of here.. “I’ll handle this one.” he said without looking at me.” “I’m going to punch you in the face in a few minutes if I don’t see you writing a check.” I said. “Who told you I was here?” he asked. “It’s okay. I walked by and saw you. Barnum?” “You can pay me the money you owe me.” He grimaced.” I said.” “I want my money. “My wife is in hot water.” I snorted back.” “Was it Stacey?” “Who?” “My damn wife!” he shouted. “I walked by and saw your pretty face from the window. “I figure in public you wouldn’t sick your dogs after me. All I want is what you owe me. That’s what I do best. Mr. “So. I nodded.com 107 .” said another suit. “If I don’t get it. “It wasn’t your wife.” I smiled. “No one else knew I was here. “What brings you into an expensive place like this?” he asked again without looking at me. “Just wanted to see how the criminals live.” I replied.” I added. A thousand reasons for him to get up and walk out raced across his mind. “Something would marry you?” “You don’t have to take this.” “You don’t get it.” Froggy said.” “Hey! You can’t say that!” shouted one of the suits.” “Even the people that owe you?” “No. “All debts are off. “Just for the last fight.” he said. “Yeah he does. “I told you.bibliotastic. “At your service. “Nick Barnum.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 42 Froggy dreaded every step I took when I walked into the eatery.” he continued smiling.” I replied.” I said.” “A threat?” he looked annoyed. “You know the guys running the dog fights confessed. They were his salvation.” he half mumbled. Do I make myself clear?” “Hey. I don’t care if you put a foot in my ass. but I wanted to make sure I put a crimp in it.
It was a cramp that shot through me. Froggy tried to stand. “And you won’t!” “You don’t think I’ll punch you in the face. The suits stood up but they all backed away. “I’m going to get all my licks in. “Five.” “Wait!” “Checkbook?” “I said I wasn’t going to pay anyone for that past fight. He touched his chin and growled. If that’s okay with you.” “Let me get rid of him.” One of the suits picked up his cell phone and dialed the police. “You’re crazy!” “One.” he said.” “Those threats can land you in jail!” “But they will be carried out before I go to jail. I slowly walked over to Froggy and punched him in the face knocking him off his chair. “Four. right?” He blinked.” “I don’t see a check book. I flexed my arms.” “I’m serious!” “Three.” I said. you better know who I am!” “Two.” “Mr. “The kick was extra. and fought to relax them.Frank Atanacio “How dare you?” “I’m serious.” “You’re in deep shit.” “In that case. “I’m going to count to five.” I said.” Froggy started. or perhaps it was the urge to continue kicking the shit out of Froggy. A low-life. “You’re just a thug. Barnum. Barnum.” “I called the police. but I kicked him in the face.” I said. “Did you collect your winnings?” “Huh?” “Did they pay you?” He did not reply. “Sit down or I’ll beat you silly.” “Someone stop this bully!” Froggy shouted. .” “Mr.” “I’ll sue!” “And I’ll shoot you dead. “No charge.” I said as I kicked him in the face again.” said the third suit.” I said. Blood spat everywhere. “Then I’ll drive to your house and kill your family.” he said.
“My money!” I shouted back. Froggy just stared at me as he resisted the temptation to berate me for my actions. it kinda was. The Fairfield Police quickly tackled me to the ground and handcuffed me.” said another suit as he helped Froggy to a seat. “Those type of guys don’t pay. “He wasn’t remotely afraid. His eyes were red with anger as he waited for another kick. away from the waiters and waitresses as they tried to gear in closer for a look at me. He was particularly concerned that he had nothing to do with my capture.com 109 . It was suppose to be his way or the highway. Nick. I smiled.” I said as the police hauled me away. Froggy watched me as the police did their job.” he began. for my money. “Leave him alone.” Froggy said quietly.” Froggy said. He wanted to bark out the orders. “Please. It would have been unproductive because the suits would have definitely saw right through him. “I’ll see you later. cramped rows of dining tables of the very upscale eatery.” He grimaced as the Fairfield police rushed into the restaurant.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Froggy looked up at me.” a waitress said softly. The Fairfield police led me through the narrow. The suits sighed.” “I don’t think they have dealt with people like Nick before. The police were headed for the main cruiser parked right outside the door.” I looked at her and winked. “What an animal. “They got to be put out of their misery. He was banking on it. “I’m sure they have. I didn’t let him down as I kicked him again. “That one!” shouted one of the suits. “These guys can be tough. you’re going to kill him. “Bastard is going to pay for this.” she begged.” said a waiter as he stood next to the suits.bibliotastic. www. I didn’t put up a fight. “You’ll get your money. because they were just simply doing their job. He wanted to be in control.” Froggy whispered. Now all he had to do was wait for me to try and get revenge. speaking slowly.” he sighed.” “Yeah.” Always careful of what he says in front of other people. Froggy nodded. “Kicking my face wasn’t necessary. “Please. Froggy stood up and tried not to be so tall. please. He was feeling the pain.” “Maybe the cops will do that.” said the waiter. “Oh. This part was over. Froggy took a breath.” I’ll give you your damn money!” “You see how simple that was?” Froggy’s head dropped into one hand.
“I don’t get into my captain’s business. O’Brien sat at the head of the table as the captain was pacing in a command sort of way. He just respected the position. He knew he played O’Brien.” she said. “He is an animal. In fact. “I hope you put him in his cage.” O’Brien replied as he stood up. It was something they wanted no part of. and help you watch out for yours. he’d nearly dozed off on two separate occasions. right?” The captain made no effort to match O’Brien’s soft. I think he’s good friends with this Nick character. You’re right.” we must watch out for our own people. It was their way of sharing things with sister towns.” O’Brien replied as he leaned back in his chair.” O’Brien nodded. They wanted to talk to him about my release.” I said. and he knew he poked fun at the Bridgeport Police Department. This gave O’Brien the urge to just fall to sleep.” he said. “No wait. “Do you want him in cuffs or not?” “I’ll take the obvious. and my actions at the restaurant. Will that be to your satisfaction.” An embarrassed silence descended over O’Brien’s face. stroking his beard again. They wanted to explain all of this to O’Brien.” O’Brien hadn’t been particularly fond of the captain. but I heard many good things about this Nick PT Barnum. he had watched captains come and captains go. I will release this animal to you without handcuffs. Mr. not bothering to hide it. This time. I just had a long night. He did it because he knew there would be no serious social repercussions O’Brien smiled as he cursed under his breath. “Well. He knew that the captain was speaking to him like an undisciplined child. “I’m bringing the animal to you. He also remained alert enough to follow the conversation.” said the captain. “Captain. polite tone. A thin female police officer knocked at the door.” O’Brien nodded.” O’Brien replied with a hint of sarcasm. “What a sight for sore eyes!” “Your friend too?” said the captain as he removed the handcuffs. but he had always hid his dislike for them. “He does what he does and I don’t ask questions. but he didn’t have to like him. he was obvious. “Come. “What?” The captain silently groaned.” “I hear your captain is tough. . but managed to snap himself out of it when a question was shot his way. and I will make sure Captain Frank Roque takes care of him. “My men will never be put in the position you’re in. O’Brien?” “Yes sir. O’Brien snored silently.” he replied. when the captain had his back toward him. “The last thing I wanted to do was come here to pick up Nick Barnum. I’m also sure you wouldn’t want your men to question your friends or what you do. “Am I correct in my assumption?” He asked. stroking his brown thin chin beard. “It will be.Frank Atanacio Chapter 43 This was just the sort of meeting that usually put Detective Peter O’Brien to sleep. They will handle the obvious and overlook the unobvious. “In many ways. he’s an animal. “With respect to your captain.” O’Brien sighed. The captain turned to O’Brien.” said the Fairfield police captain. In his uniform days. “Something I said?” asked the captain. The captain shrugged.” The captain cleared his throat in satisfaction. and I was a Bridgeport citizen causing havoc in their town. “I have the prisoner. “Hey Pete.” O’Brien added.” the captain barked.
The captain grimaced.” I said.” I nodded.bibliotastic. “Just get him out of here.Case File: Dog Eats Dog O’Brien felt a chill. www. “Come on Nick.” said O’Brien.” “You have clean holding cells.com 111 . “Let’s get out of here.
” I said as I took a small bite of my club. and he almost killed Janet. “As you may recall from past incidences.” “We got our man.” O’Brien said. The men will serve a great deal of time. That man is getting away with everything. everything the court needs to make the charges stick. “How can you say that?” I said as I sipped on my soda. Not like this. We have written statements. and the men he sold down the river is doing time for everything that has happened.” “Pete.” Damn. I’m not even including the dogs he killed.” O’Brien replied. The deacon is back home. That has to be good enough. Besides. “It’s okay. We hurried in and ordered a turkey club and two diet colas. “Even if I do.” he huffed. he killed Carolyn.” said O’Brien. I know deep down inside you agree with me. “And the captain called him a fly eater. Willie the Greek produced some Patsies. I guess I made him nervous.” I said. “It has to be enough.” I laughed. So again. “I just don’t like the way this played out. and he simply lost his train of thought. “That Frog managed to produce Patsies!” I half shouted. “It shouldn’t end this way. “It can’t just end here.” he said as he finished off his soda and ordered another one without speaking. “Froggy called the captain a pig.” O’Brien smiled. “No exceptions. “Yeah you did rattle his cage.” “I’m the one who should be angry. It was okay with you then. “The captain told him if he had to put a leash on you he’d tie you up at his office. “But I think you should just let things be for now.” said O’Brien.” said O’Brien. and the cruelty to those animals.” I continued. we have confessions to everything.” I said.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.” “Even if I do. O’Brien looked straight into my eyes and said to me. Why is this so different?” . “Besides. “Coming into Fairfield to bail your stank ass out of jail because you couldn’t leave Froggy alone!” “I shook him good. nine times out of ten I’d agree with you.” he paused. there is no exceptions!” “One. “What?” “He called the captain and asked the captain to put a leash on you.” I laughed again. O’Brien began tapping the counter with his fingers and he realized that I was annoyed.” I shouted almost abstractedly. confessions. Including murder!” “He’ll pack up in leave. “What?” “Do you have to keep tapping the freaking counter?” “Are you angry?” “Damn straight. But not this time.” he growled. It’s all right there with no exceptions.” “It’s still not him. what can I do about it. but he didn’t place them down. “Leave it alone. I can feel it. I know he’s getting away with too much.” The waiter smiled and continued doing his job.” O’Brien continued. “His bark is worse than his bite. The waiter stopped in front of us with our meals. “He got the deacon tied up in knots.
“Regardless of what you believe my intentions are. I realized we were just arguing in circles. and as cruel as my intentions were.” I whispered.” “Don’t even say it.” “What?” “You heard me Pete.” I fought the urge to raise my voice. “You’re talking murder and I want no part of it.” I interrupted.” I sighed. listen to what you’re saying.com 113 . Froggy wins!” “But he doesn’t have to win!” “Don’t go there Nick. it just had to be done.. O’Brien smiled. I knew where he was coming from. Let’s just change the subject. “I don’t win!” he shouted. “Two wrongs. so I spoke slowly and calmly and hoped the effort did not offend O’Brien. “Nick. “We need to kill him.. his eyes hard with restrained emotion.” “Now you’re talking murder.” O’Brien continued. He knew I was right.” “How?” “Kill him.” said O’Brien. but I also knew he didn’t really share in that belief. “I can’t do anything about it.” His face was tight.” I grimaced. but I just had to say my say. for doing what you think is right. more innocent people are going to die. “We have the chance to stop him. www.bibliotastic. You’re not making any kind of sense.” “Dog eats dog world. and nothing was being accomplished.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. “Innocent people die because of it!” “And because we’re turning a blind eye on Froggy. A spectator in life.” “You know I’m right.” I said softly.” I said.” he spoke. “Yep. “You win. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “You can do some serious jail time Nicky boy.” I said. Froggy had to die. “I’m just telling you that there is nothing we can do about this situation. I’m just like you.
“Damn Stacey. However. It was Exit 7 that I wanted. The man is not thinking like he use to. He’s on his way to the office and he told me not to leave. and he even smelled like one. I think Froggy is going to hurt me. but then I remembered that Stacey was expecting me. but really didn’t care. Thank goodness for that.” I said as I slapped the cell phone shut and tossed it into the passenger’s side. I knew that Stacey would have been relieved if she knew I was outside. it connected to Fairfield Avenue which became the Old Post Road. “Nick here. Be careful. “Didn’t he already hurt you?” This time he sounds crazy. sacrifices had to be made. I was trying to find out what was going on in the office. but that didn’t happen. Age hasn’t caught up to me yet. and I didn’t even care if I was being baited. I couldn’t let Froggy move on. “Stacey?” Nick. it’s me. I knew I had tossed it on the passenger side of my truck. Route Eight consisted of a catalogue of highways. In order to take down the beast. Maybe I’m dead this time. Out of a window in front of the office I could see silhouettes pacing. He had to be stopped. It was either going to be him or me. the only exit I wanted was exit 7.” I said. and I wanted to avoid The entrance side to Beardsley Park. I wasn’t going to give it too much consideration because I knew O’Brien would just talk me out of it. Or did. I can’t make him out. It connected to I95 North and South. I walked over to the body and noticed a choker collar around her neck. Froggy was a maggot in my book. A woman was dead. She was strangled to death with that choker. “Should I call Pete?” I whispered. I didn’t really have the time to think it over.” Don’t tell me you’re locked up again? . I thought about Stacey for a moment. it’s me. In a flash I had realized that I had just stumbled upon my first substantial opportunity to get at Froggy. Although North Main Street has many buildings dating back over a hundred years. It wasn’t my normal way of thinking. but I had no choice. I wasn’t ready to enter. It was newly built with the permanent paint siding. It gave the new building character. and it was what I took. However.” I said under my breath. I still had all my wits. and I had my chance to put an end to Froggy. 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. Froggy’s office was not one of them. I wanted someone to peek out the window. I walked to the front of the office and slowly turned the door knob. I think he’s gone off the edge. Fate was stepping in. It wasn’t a step up. To my surprise. It was something I couldn’t do. I touched my back pocket to see if I had my cell phone with me. O’Brien. the door was unlocked. “I’m coming down now. Shadows that didn’t expect me. I wanted to make sure I didn’t get caught on the ever lasting construction on Boston Avenue. I took out my cell phone and called O’Brien. I thought about it as I turned onto Route eight and was heading for the Trumbull Mall. “You be careful. It was built on the spot were an old building once stood. It was one of the old fashioned gold knobs. she genuinely needed my help. and it connected to Route 25 and the Merritt Parkway. I couldn’t believe my luck. I had to let him know what was going on. and Froggy struck again. He would have urged me to mind my own business.” I said as I knelt down before her and removed the choker from her lifeless body. I wanted to avoid the build-up on East Main Street.Frank Atanacio Chapter 45 I stopped for a light on Boston Avenue and East Main Street when my cell phone buzzed.” Nicky. “Pete. I just wanted to make sure she wasn’t setting me up. “Please don’t be Stacey. but I didn’t forget to bring it with me. I didn’t have my head piece on so I picked up the phone and place it to my ear. I was going to see Stacey. which broke into several different avenues.
“Now shut the fuck up before I plant you next to my whore of a wife. Barnum. There he stood with a chrome 38 special beaming down on me. Stacey had a condo at the old Warner Cost Factory off of Myrtle Avenue and close to Seaside Park. Instead. Newsom?” “Of course. “Punk!” he growled. I’m sorry I didn’t get to see your new condo.” “What are you talking about?” www. “You ass. “Stay on your knees. because it was the first step she made toward leaving her twisted husband. I tried to gingerly remove myself off of Stacey.” He grimaced. He stood closer and then just smiled at me. “Sure thing. and a big living room with a fireplace and a picture window that looked out to the Long Island Sound. “Anything for a murderer. but I was the one in pain. and I hated him. the kick to the stomach?” “Making love to my wife. you’re not going to hurt her. “Why did you kill your own wife?” I asked. But he didn’t.com 115 . thanks to you. and I knew he wanted to pull the trigger. 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.” Stay put. Then he looked for a moment as if he were going to pat my shoulder. She was proud of that purchase.” came a voice from behind me.bibliotastic. Why don’t you head down to Froggy’s office. She told me it had a modern captain’s galley kitchen.” “Enjoy it?” “She showed me up.” “You’re sick. “Well?” “You’re something. “Is this your handy work?” He smiled as I turned and looked up to face him. “I enjoy it.” I started.” Froggy paused and stared at his office for a moment. We wanted each other dead. “Stacey.” he growled.” he said. There was no mistake about it.” “Touching. “She’s already dead!” “Yeah.” I smiled. and she was proud that it went unnoticed. “And then paid for it. She wanted me to see it. “Mr. “She was choked to death with a choke collar. I may need your help.” I whispered in her ear as I kissed her cheek. “An accomplice. Mr. I’m coming down!” O’Brien hung up the phone. but was brutally helped by Froggy as he kicked me in the stomach. “Damn that hurt. His fingers were twitching.” I said. or a fall guy?” I asked.” Froggy replied. “You would have made it a fine home. He hated me.” he said.” I said loudly.” he paused briefly.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Stacey’s dead. “What.
” “You’re all heart.” “Punk. and just maybe I’ll kill you without making you suffer.” he said. I did as I winced with pain. “You don’t get to say that!” he shouted.” “And murder her?” “Damn you!” From the office. “There were many.” “Get up!” Froggy demanded. a security guard poked his head out. .Frank Atanacio “I have cameras everywhere. “Some she didn’t even know about. “Bring him in boss.” I nodded. “And the only way to do that was to sleep with other guys!” Froggy kicked me in the face turning me completely over onto my back. “You’re not the only one. She was a whore and she got what she deserved. you keep calling me that and I’m going to show you my punk. “Only I can judge my wife.” he said as he pushed me toward the office.” “She was trying to keep your stench off her body!” I shouted. “Do as I say.” Froggy wasn’t impressed as he pushed me forward. “Yeah. Nick.” he replied.
Froggy was taking money out of his safe and stuffing it in a duffel bag. I can’t have anything go wrong.” Froggy said. “I need to make sure this all goes as planned. “Boss. “In time.com 117 . “Nick.” said Froggy. It crossed my mind that he was planning on setting me up.” said the guard as he took his gun out of his holster.” Froggy started explaining. do it.” “I can kick your ass any day of the week. It happened too fast as I snapped his neck and threw him toward One Eyed Froggy. “Let me shoot this idiot. www. “Don’t smile. “He catches you with this bag of money and he shoots you dead.” Froggy instructed. “How do I get shot?” “The guard walks in on you after he discovers the body of my dear wife. let me at him!” “In time. One big mistake. The guard walked over toward me and made one mistake. He had left it on the desk when he was filling the duffel bag with money. I grabbed his neck and forced him up against the wall.” The guard nodded.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 46 The security guard grabbed me and pushed me face first into the wall.” I threatened. just a few more minutes. sure. “I didn’t like him when he first came in to speak to you. “Stay put! Don’t give me a reason to knife you.” “Oh yeah. He thinks he’s mister tough guy. “You’re going to shoot me.bibliotastic.” I replied. “It was very nice knowing you.” he said sarcastically. “It’s not a good thing to do when you’re going to die. 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. but trust me. She was killed because she walked in on me robbing the place. I was also assuming that Stacey was caught in the cross-fire.” He smiled even harder. “Okay. “Boss?” “Wait.” I said.” The guard smiled. Everything was turned over. I know you’re angry and worried about this whole thing. “Arnold!” he screamed. I shook my head slightly from side to side.” “I won’t.” Froggy continued.” “I’m so glad.” “He’s getting on my nerves!” “Arnold. Carefully.” I said.” “This guard?” “Yes!” “I’m going to snap his neck before all of this is over.” Froggy smiled. “You will get your reward. He stuck the gun in my face giving me the chance to knock it away. Froggy didn’t know what was happening as he scurried toward his gun. I noticed that the office was completely a mess. and all the draws to the file cabinets were tossed onto the floor as if someone was looking for something. and blame this all on me?” He smiled.
” I did and Froggy smiled. The only sad thing is you killing your wife. and I’ll even pay off your winnings!” “Can you bring Stacey. trust me.” he said. “She was your wife. lots of it!” I smiled.” “You wouldn’t. “Get out of here. or Carolyn back?” He bowed his head. “Do you want a blind fold instead?” “Fuck you!” I smiled. “Freeze!” Shouted Detective Peter O’Brien as he stormed into the office with his aimed directly at me. “His neck is broken. He didn’t know me. I always tried to carry out my threats. but he had to follow the rules. Nick. “Drop it or I’ll have to drop you. “Damn you Nick!” He shouted as he crawled to his feet. It was an easy win for me because Froggy was a weak man. “Now I have the drop on you.” I said. I don’t know why she married you. “In that duffel bag.” “But Stacey. “Pete?” “Drop it Nick. “I didn’t think so.” “I have money.” I said.” He closed his eyes.” We scuffled for the gun as I pushed him to the floor. He felt like his knees were going to collapse. That’s just the way I roll.” “That’s not nice.” “She wasn’t all upstairs!” he shouted as he pushed his index finger against his temple. He was trying to see if I was the type to kill a man in cold blood. “Oh.” “I know. lots more.” I said as I aimed the gun at him. He had no strength. “See how nice this all played out for you. .” He nodded slowly.” Froggy gazed into my eyes.” I smiled. and he grabbed my arm. He steadied himself. She didn’t have to die like that. He knew what he was doing had no meaning. He was simply a weakling with money.” “Let me do this. “There’s more.” I said smiling. O’Brien approached me and kicked the gun away. but she got the raw end of that deal. Carolyn. I will. take it!” “I can kill you and take the money.” “Pete?” “Drop the gun. but he knew I was a man of my word. now. “She was a retarded whore. “Can’t let you kill a man. “Do it then!” He demanded.Frank Atanacio “He can’t hear you. That’s murder.
“Yeah.” “Froggy?” “That’s my story!” O’Brien shouted. Followed by another.” O’Brien said as he finally holstered the weapon. He won a great deal of money from me and I wasn’t going to pay.” I couldn’t believe O’Brien was going to listen to that crazed killer. He killed them both.” O’Brien said. but I did not turn to face him. and get out of here. I looked to the floor and I saw a knife just two feet away from the body. “Cuff him!” “Nick. I blamed myself. I couldn’t believe he didn’t let me put that Frog out of his misery. “Tell me the whole story from the beginning. O’Brien still had the smoking gun pointed upward. “I can produce many witnesses. go ahead. He just snapped their necks and then he came after me looking for his winnings.” I grabbed the duffel bag and walked quickly toward the door. She lost her life. “He came at me with a knife. “That man was caught in here by my wife and my guard. Suddenly.” O’Brien smiled. and people will testify that he threatened my life. can I take Deacon Mike Brandon’s duffel bag?” “He had Mike’s bag?” I nodded. “Back up is on their way. “That didn’t stop him so I had to shoot him again. “This will stick.” he said. “That is Mike’s bag. “Pete!” I ran back into the office and I saw Froggy on the floor with two bullet holes in his chest.” he called.” he said. I should have done it quickly. a shot. I nodded. “Nick. I left.” I nodded and walked out of the office. and the man who took it is getting away with it.” Froggy started. “Just calm down. just wait for me in the other room. “Don’t let him get away!” Froggy shouted. detective. “See if you can cover up Stacey’s body or something. THE END www. There was nothing.bibliotastic.” “Hey.” O’Brien nodded.” he said.” O’Brien explained. “He came at you?” “He came at me and I shot him once. Stacey’s body was on the floor and I looked around the office to find something to cover her. I stopped.com 119 .Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Listen. “You better go. right?” “My word.” O’Brien just looked at Froggy.
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