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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

” he smiled again flashing only gums. It was warm outside. “No. “Not really. The deacon walked into the diner wearing a baseball cap with the brim very low as if he was trying to conceal his identity.” I replied.” “The area was much nicer then. I didn’t see the deacon.” “I’m sure it was.” I nodded. Oh. “4-am . where does the time go?” I nodded again. “Got the time?” asked another seated three seats down.” I called. “Was he bothering you?” the manager asked.bibliotastic. and a small overweight truck driver seated in a booth behind me. “In the morning?” I nodded. “Back in the 70's. or anything like that. “What’s your name?” asked the toothless man.” he continued. However. “Mike. “Nick.” “Hey Nick. and he was using socks for gloves.com 5 . but I don’t get no free refills. “I use to come to this diner years ago. “They just think I’m a bum. I smiled. He also had on a heavy jacket. “They think I’m a bum. He smiled and I noticed he was missing all his front teeth. “Damn.” “Peaceful. but he didn’t.” He smiled and walked back into the kitchen. www. “That’s why I’d come over here for breakfast.” he grimaced.” He looked away annoyed. “I’m Terry. His boot thudded softly on the diner floor and he stood about a foot in front of me. didn’t think I had to.” he continued as he tried to strike up a conversation.” he said. “Not at all. I thought he was going to ask for change. “Can you believe that?” “Did you ask for a free refill?” “No. of course they’ll sell me coffee.” “They treat you poorly now?” I asked. There was a older man seated three seats down. so I didn’t understand why he was overly dressed.” “Maybe that’s why you’re not getting any. There was a man coming toward me wearing rain boots. “There’s nothing like the service they had.” “Nice. The overly dressed man turned and walked away when he saw the on duty manager walk out of the back room.” “I heard you the first time.” I nodded.” I answered.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 3 I sat and drank coffee and ate pie waiting for Mike Brandon to show up at the diner.” he said.” “No free refills.

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh baby! “What are you doing later tonight?” I asked. exposing some dog crates. but you know the deal. “You want a drink?” “Scotch and water. and fighting clenched teeth. There was a strip of stores on that side of the road next to Chico.” I repeated. but failed to see this happening in their own back yard. They had anger in their eyes. and Mike Brandon was my friend. She was a very attractive woman and the men knew it. “Here!” I knew where she was. He was a bear of a man. A wooden trailer was parked in the back.bibliotastic. He simply just let me in.. The building was situated just beyond the Fairfield town line and just short of the on-ramp to I95 South bound heading toward New York City. I sipped. “Nick!” Carolyn called. It was held at the Chico Social Club in a blue collar community. Behind her sat the bouncer. I found myself drifting in and out of reality. She blew a kiss at me. I followed the directions to the back of the shop and into a dark stairwell. to her natural beauty. okay. “Yeah.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 17 Sunday came rather quickly as I hustled over to Chico for the dog fighting contest. He had lots of curly hair on his shoulder and upper arm. but the flower shop at the end had a light on. He also had exposed hair on his chest pushing up toward his neck. I smiled.com 45 . “Oh. but I too was drawn to her charm. They were closed of course. He had a thick beard and a full moustache. She was handing the orders to the bartender and he was quickly handing her the drinks. They were like a well oiled machine. I knew that the sign was meant for the would be gamblers. about a hundred yards from the stair-well. I had to be there.” she replied. “Working tonight?” I asked as I kissed her cheek. www. It was my job. but I played it off and looked surprised to see her. I knocked on the dirty gray metal door and a thin tall dark skinned Latino male opened it up. In fact.” I nodded. I saw Carolyn Lopez standing at the corner of the bar taking drink orders. I slept with that! It wasn’t that hard to admit. A beer would be great!” She smiled. Everything you wanted in a girl with the exception of the gambling debt. The one on the right side of the arena had a missing ear. Damn. and I had to keep digging. I walked toward the light and noticed a sign beneath it pointing to the rear of the building. My eyes went into puppy mode. Both the dogs looked like they just came out of a war zone. It was partially covered. The trailer was obviously used to transport animals. He did not ask me for identification. I noticed that the gamblers were drawn to that particular spot because of her. “Probably making love to you. Nevertheless. She handed me a draft. He gave me an up and down look and allowed me passage. The smell of urine was strong as it hit me like a ton of bricks. He wore farmer overalls and a wife beater tee-shirt. or he didn’t expect a password. In this case dogs used for fighting. There was a small arena at the center of the room and two pit-bulls tied on each side of the arena. The pit-bull on the left side had dried blood on his face that completely covered scars.” she said. She was the complete package. A community that had neighborhood watches.” “A beer?” “Scotch and water. “I don’t pay for beers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” I nodded.” I said.bibliotastic. “When was the last time you saw her?” I asked.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “He told me he’d knock my debt down if I got the information for him..” “Good.” “What?” “All that until she saw you get your ass kicked.” he continued.” “She’s telling the truth.” He nodded. she was okay. laughing. “But she told him you already knew.” I smiled.” he said as he forced himself off my client’s chair using my desk as a brace.” I nodded..com 57 . If I ever see you again.” He nodded. “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. she was fine. “Last night. She was in good spirits. “But otherwise. “I spoke with her last night. “He suspected Carolyn Lopez. Do I make myself clear?” “Definitely understand you. I’m going to put a bullet into your fat ass.” “How was she?” I nervously asked. “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. You make sure he gets this information. www.” I said. “You will never see me again. He walked out. “I already knew. It had nothing to do with Carolyn Lopez.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

” he replied as he turned and walked away.” “And when I win.” replied Froggy. Just to keep your body guards busy while I beat the shit out of you.” he said. “Let him brag all he wants. how much did you wager?” “I don’t gamble.” “If you’d like. “You better pay me. “If I win.” I started.” I said.” He looked confused. It’s not going to be about the money anymore.” I replied.” he grinned.” “Is that so?” “Yes.” he said.” “Let’s see about that. it’ll be my pleasure to serve you. . You know. “I’ll give you one now. “I just know I can back my shit up.” “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.” “Well.” “I try to be. and you don’t pay me. “And I’m going to get a few bouncers and body guards of my own.” I said. Barnum.” “For your sake. to help you get use to them.” “Boss. The proof would be in that ring.” “Until you get killed.” “Yeah whatever. “You’re a funny guy. “I hope you lose. I’m going to kick your ass everyday until I get paid. “Funny now. “Ass kicks. “How about you.” I said. “Gamblers are losers.” “No?” “It’s going to be about how many ass-kicks you can take before you die. can we shut him up for you?” asked a bouncer.Frank Atanacio “What dog did you bet on?” “The black and white younger looking dog. “He looks like he can take a licking and keep on ticking.” I lied. “No. “And Mr.” I replied. I’m going to turn the tables on you.” “You are aggressive.” He smiled.” “Good luck on your wager.” he said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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