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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” he started.” “You. “But it was to get me to make bets with him. give me something to hang my hat on. I could cleaned up the floor with his scrawny ass.” “Yeah. “Not until I get all my little ducks in a row.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “Were you friends?” “I don’t know him too well. “Really?” “Just hang in a little longer and let me get to the bottom of this. you almost lost Zoraida. He said he wasn’t going to pay.” I said knowing that if he lied to stay out of jail would only come back to bite him in the ass.” he said.” “A waitress said she delivered a drink to you that was purchased by Carlos. www. Nick. girl eats girl.” he confessed. “I understand the ramifications of death.com 33 . that Latina waitress did bring me a drink purchased by that cheap ass.” I said.” “I know.” “I’m just so sorry all of this started.” “You may not have even killed him. and I didn’t mean to punch that guy in the nose. and he didn’t carry that much on him. “I hit the dog fights big. “Just want to make sure you’re on the up and up with me. “Come on Mike. That just triggered something in me so I called his mama a name.” I said. It wasn’t a fair fight.” “I know him from the gambling only.” “So you do have a little fight left in you. I told him I needed the money and he told me tough shit. “Don’t play with me. You see everyone has a motive! It’s a dog eats dog world!” “Yeah.” “You’re going to kick my ass?” “I’ll do more than that. “I’m sorry Nick.” I said.bibliotastic.” “Everyone lies!” “Even you?” He glared at me.” He smiled. but I didn’t. “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’m sorry for what I did.” “Okay. “I just don’t want to go to jail. He swung at me and missed.” I said using the driver’s line. it’s all semantics.” “The loss of your niece kind of put you out there. “And you know that because?” “He’s a cheap ass!” “But you don’t know him that well. “Are you reporting this to the police?” he asked. “I went over to Carlos Rivera and asked him for my money. I can take!” I smiled.” I nodded. dog eats dog.” he said as he looked directly at me.

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

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

even morals. “I thought I saw you in the newspapers once or twice before.” “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. She sort of reminded me of Zoraida. “About two weeks ago.” she said. “It was a terrific date. “I just didn’t want to break any of your furniture as I make wild and passionate love to you.” I started.” she replied. “No.” “That’s business?” “For me it is.” “I am.” “Just make me your bitch.” she said softly as she began to undress.” I said. and take me.Frank Atanacio “I get that a lot. When you’re with Nick. “No business.” “Really?” “I would know that. “I’m asking as a friend who wants to help.” I replied.” I answered. “With you. “Did you have a moustache once?” “No. I wanted to sleep with Carolyn that night. not Zoraida.” She laughed. everything goes flying. “Now get undressed.” she said.” “I bet you do.” “When was the last time you had hair on your face?” she asked. “Right here?” “Problem with that?” she asked.” “Oh you are a pig!” “Carolyn. but I had to block that out of my mind. “How did you start gambling?” She looked puzzled. “You’re laughing at me?” I asked.” she said. .” “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 smiled.” She smiled. “It’s the best I got.” “Is that dirty talk?” “You want more?” “At least better than that. “Or you’d rather not talk about it?” “I just want to spend some good times with a regular guy.” she replied. “I understand.” “I’m not that easy.” I said.” “I’ll be the judge of that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bibliotastic. She wanted me to be happy.com 59 . www. It was clearly written across her face. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“He’s got you turned every which way. I hope. “I got until Friday to pay him back. “Just watch Janet. www.” I said. She’ll be fine.” warned the deacon. right?” “Not yet. The deacon nodded again.” “She can take care of herself.bibliotastic.” “She’ll be fine.” I replied. trust me.” He nodded. but I bet something will fall in my lap.” “He’s a cut throat.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.” “Too much confidence in that skinny girl.com 85 .” “Just stay clear of him. “You got something planned.” “He’s making me a cut throat too.” He nodded. I nodded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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