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