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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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1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I don’t think Roque will be down for that.” said O’Brien.” I smiled.” “So the papers got it wrong?” “No. It was a large building with two floors. and eye-witnesses. and now he was a hunted man. I’m not asking for much. “They were fed the wrong information. He was a pillar of the community. I ordered a Mango Splash with a hint of rum.” said the waiter. “But it has secrets.” he said softly. and O’Brien ordered a beer.” “They did say it was at the Frogger Club. the news ran with the story that the deacon had killed a man. “I just need a little time. O’Brien was a big man with a strong upper body.” I said.” he replied. but he wasn’t eating any of them. He was a visionary. “It doesn’t get any better than this. He was purposely bald and kept his head shiny.” “Papers got the news.” I said smiling with my drink. really. By removing the large plate glass window. It was early afternoon. They were all surprised about the reports.” I said. that drinks fits you like a glove. His appearance meant a great deal to him because he wanted the public to experience his professionalism. but fail to pop them into his mouth.com 9 . “I need you to keep the police away from the deacon until I check into this. I knew this wasn’t going to sit to well with the men on Congress Street. and so much more. He would occasionally break open a few.” “I don’t get it. “Yes!” www.” O’Brien huffed ever so slightly. and they respected him. not too hot. that police command center lost its panoramic view of the City of Bridgeport’s Westside. “No.” “And we do owe you. 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.” he said. I served so many of them this past month. “It’s my first time trying it. that Mango Splash looks good. and the late night gambling. “Is that what I am to understand?” I nodded. Detective Peter O’Brien and I met for lunch on the patio at Danny O’s in Shelton. “Damn. “And you have to remember that they left out so much detail. but murder was murder nevertheless. “The deacon killed a man.” The waiter smiled as he left to help other customers. He was God’s soldier. “So you’re asking me to ask Captain Roque to not pick up the deacon until you’ve completed your investigation?” asked O’Brien. They left out a lot of details. “I don’t think he did. but it has been removed and replaced with strong glass doors.bibliotastic. There use to be a large plate glass window at the entrance.” I said. The Police headquarters located on Congress Street was buzzing. “Looks even better on the menu cover. “Yeah. O’Brien had a lot of peanuts on his plate. with a nice early morning breeze. He was a man everyone trusted. They liked the deacon. They couldn’t believe that Mike Brandon was capable of murder.” “That club is known for Salsa Dancing.” “But that’s my point. And those secrets are going to reveal itself to me. I had to think it was because of the deacon. He was fair skinned and always clean shaven.” I added. “I think I’m going to order one too when I get off.”I said. I smiled.” “I need to speak to those so-called eye-witnesses.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 4 The next morning. and they wanted to launch their own investigation.

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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.com 25 . www.bibliotastic. I didn’t turn around nor did I look through my rear view mirror.Case File: Dog Eats Dog I smiled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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