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