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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miller nodded. “No big debts. not behind on any gambling debts?” “I told you.” he said.” said Janet almost too professionally.” he said. “I’m paying on time. “This is my boss.com 55 . “I’m sorry for what has happened to the deacon. “I do owe him a little money.” “Salt of the earth. He wore oval shaped glasses with black rims. but I didn’t want Janet to look bad.” “Mr. but my body seemed to have accepted the beating I sustained when Janet came in with an overweight black man wearing baggy shorts. My face was still aching.” I said. Nick PT Barnum.” Janet said. Miller. and a Malcolm-X tee-shirt. His hair was dark color with beads of gray. “He is a good man. “I’ll let you guys talk. are you okay to talk?” I asked. I wasn’t really in the mood or the mind set to take on any new clients. He smiled. “Rusty Miller. “What do you mean?” “People find it too difficult to talk about what happened to Mike Brandon.” “So you have no financial problems with him?” I continued. “Do you owe Froggy money?” “Yes. “We all are.” Janet started. “Are you married?” He nodded.” I said as I pointed to one of my client’s chairs. “They have this fear brought on by Froggy. Miller.” “So he made payment arrangements with you?” Mr.” “Are you behind?” “No.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 21 I was in my office with my feet up on my desk taking in a few moments of much needed rest.” “Yeah.bibliotastic. You don’t have that fear?” “I don’t have any enemies.” “How do you do?” I said as I stood up quickly and shook his hand.” he said.” “Sit down.” I started explaining. “he said. His eyes were tiny. “Was gambling with the deacon that night. “Mr. “And you’re debt free?” He nodded again. He looked at me quizzically. but we’re good.” “Professionally?” He nodded. “Wife know you have no job?” “She knows what I do. “What do you do for a living?” “I gamble. but not a lot. that he is.” www. but his nose big.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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