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Frank Atanacio

Contents
Chapter 1 ................................................................................................................................... 1 Chapter 2 ................................................................................................................................... 3 Chapter 3 ................................................................................................................................... 5 Chapter 4 ................................................................................................................................... 9 Chapter 5 ................................................................................................................................. 12 Chapter 6 ................................................................................................................................. 14 Chapter 7 ................................................................................................................................. 16 Chapter 8 ................................................................................................................................. 19 Chapter 9 ................................................................................................................................. 22 Chapter 10 ............................................................................................................................... 26 Chapter 11 ............................................................................................................................... 28 Chapter 12 ............................................................................................................................... 32 Chapter 13 ............................................................................................................................... 35 Chapter 14 ............................................................................................................................... 38 Chapter 15 ............................................................................................................................... 41 Chapter 16 ............................................................................................................................... 42 Chapter 17 ............................................................................................................................... 45 Chapter 18 ............................................................................................................................... 48 Chapter 19 ............................................................................................................................... 50 Chapter 20 ............................................................................................................................... 53 Chapter 21 ............................................................................................................................... 55 Chapter 22 ............................................................................................................................... 58 Chapter 23 ............................................................................................................................... 60 Chapter 24 ............................................................................................................................... 62 Chapter 25 ............................................................................................................................... 64 Chapter 26 ............................................................................................................................... 67 Chapter 27 ............................................................................................................................... 69 Chapter 28 ............................................................................................................................... 72 Chapter 29 ............................................................................................................................... 74 Chapter 30 ............................................................................................................................... 77 Chapter 31 ............................................................................................................................... 79 Chapter 32 ............................................................................................................................... 82 Chapter 33 ............................................................................................................................... 86 Chapter 34 ............................................................................................................................... 88 Chapter 35 ............................................................................................................................... 91 Chapter 36 ............................................................................................................................... 93 Chapter 37 ............................................................................................................................... 96 Chapter 38 ............................................................................................................................... 98 Chapter 39 ............................................................................................................................... 99 Chapter 40 ............................................................................................................................. 101 Chapter 41 ............................................................................................................................. 104 Chapter 42 ............................................................................................................................. 107 Chapter 43 ............................................................................................................................. 110 Chapter 44 ............................................................................................................................. 112 Chapter 45 ............................................................................................................................. 114 Chapter 46 ............................................................................................................................. 117

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

Chapter 1
She was wearing a light blue night cap, pulled back covering her weave that covered her forehead. Her night gown had a flowery pattern, and she was wearing no bra. Her face was dark and filled with black botches. She had thin skin, and lots of wrinkles. It appeared that she has had a rough life. Nevertheless she was Deacon Mike Brandon’s love. She was married to him for almost forty years. She was a devoted wife, and a dedicated Christian. She was tossing and turning in her queen size bed wondering why her husband wasn’t home yet. She glanced at the alarm clock, but really couldn’t tell the time. Her vision wasn’t as good as it use to be. Besides, she wasn’t wearing her glasses. She wasn’t the worrying type, but the deacon really gave her no reason to be the worrying type. It was late, she knew it, and he never stayed out before. It wasn’t his character, and it certainly wasn’t his nature. He liked being home with her. She knew it. “Baby, where in the world are you?” She whispered. Brenda Brandon sat up and moved closer to the foot of the bed. She kissed her wedding ring and held it against her lips for a few moments. The ring was almost embedded into her dark skin. It looked as if it was cutting off her circulation. She put that ring on 39 years ago, and she never took it off since. She loved her husband, and keeping that ring on through everything they went through was her testimony to that. “Why don’t you call me,” she whispered as she rubbed her eyes. “Tell me you’re okay, baby.” She never had to worry about him before. However, that night, she felt worried. She felt uneasy. She felt something she had never felt before. She felt something was wrong. “Oh my god,” she said as she adjusted her night gown.. Brenda was quiet for a moment as she reached for the lamp. Her huge breasts knocked over a water glass that was sitting on the night stand next to the telephone, and a box of tissues. “Oh dear,” she said as she stood the glass up immediately. “How clumsy can I be?” She had forgotten that she rested the glass there and she knocked it over reaching for the telephone. She grabbed some tissues and tried her best to wipe up the spill. “This spill is going to have to wait until tomorrow morning,” she said as she picked up the phone. She took a deep breath. “Baby, where you at?” she said softly as she dialed her husband’s cell number. It rang three times and then came the voice mail message. You’ve reached the deacon, I’m praying for you, so while I do that, leave me a message. “Baby, it’s Brenda, where you at honey? It’s late and I’m worried sick.” She hung up, and dialed the number again. You’ve reached the deacon, I’m praying for you, so while I do that, leave me a message. She was quiet again for a moment, as if she wasn’t quite sure what to say next. Her big brown eyes looked sadden as she hung up the phone. Her dark circles were almost black as she rubbed them with the back of her hands. She knew it was the worrying that was taken its toll on her. Brenda Brandon picked up the phone again and dialed my number. Nick Barnum here, at your service. “Nicky, pick up the phone!” she half shouted. Hello? “Nicky?” Who the hell is this at 3 in the morning? Shit better be good! “You just watch your mouth when you’re talking to me,” she said. B B? “Yeah, it’s me Nicky.” Is everything okay?

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1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

“Don’t push it,” said O’Brien. “It’s still not my call.” “But you’re the man.” O’Brien huffed again. There was a thin young lady sitting two tables down from us. She was looking at us the whole time, and it was probably the first time I noticed her. She had white skin, and matted brown hair that seemed to be pressed to the top of her head. Her face was lusterless, and her eyebrows bushy. She was a very unattractive woman, but she seemed to be noticing us. I opened my jacket to check to see if my gun was loaded. It was comforting to know that it was. Not because of the unattractive woman. It just made me feel free. “You see that woman looking at you,” said O’Brien. “Why me?” O’Brien smiled. The woman stood up and walked toward us with a hopeful expression. I looked down at her and didn’t realize I was staring at her extremely tight jeans that accentuated her crotch area. She had a sexual gait, but there was nothing sexual about her appearance. “Excuse me sir,” she said smiling. I smiled back. “I couldn’t help to notice you ordered that Mango Splash,” she said as she pointed to my drink. “Yes I did.” “I was thinking about ordering it,” she said still smiling. “But I wanted to ask you about the taste. Is it worth ordering, and does it have enough booze in it?” “Not worth the money,” I honestly replied. “And a little too fruity.” “Really?” “Sadly yes,” I said. “Pictured it looked good, but tasting it, I don’t know.” “Not enough booze for the price?” “Not enough anything for the price.” “Just order a beer,” O’Brien added. “You can’t go wrong ordering a beer.” “I think I’ll have my usual,” she said with a continuing smile. “Beer is not for me.” “Have a nice day,” I said returning the smile. “Thank you,” she said. “You saved my seven dollars.” “That’s the only reason why I’m drinking it,” I said. “I don’t want to lose my money.” She smiled, turned, and walked away. “What?” O’Brien said curiously as I titled my head. “She has a nice ass,” I replied. O’Brien smiled. “So you’re going to speak to the captain?” “He’s not going to agree,” O’Brien replied. “But I’ll talk to him.” “I’m sure you can convince him,” I said. “You talked me into buying this drink.” “You did that all on your own buddy.” I smiled. “I’ll give him good conversation,” said O’Brien as he cracked opened some more peanuts and failed to pop them into his mouth. “I will.” “That’s all I want you to do.”

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

“But you gotta tell the deacon to keep in touch with us,” He added.” I don’t want him running a little too far. You know, it’s for his own safety.” “He’s afraid.” “He’s needs to stay where we can get to him.” “Okay,” I said. “I’ll talk to him. I’ll get him to stay put. Just you make sure you speak to the captain. Get him to back down until I finish.” “I hope he can do this for you,” said O’Brien as he finished his beer. “You’re his friend,” I said. “Try a little convincing.” “He’s the captain.” “I need some time, Pete.” “I’ll see what I can do.” “That’s all I ask.” He smiled.

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Frank Atanacio

Chapter 5
There were five witnesses on the list that O’Brien gave me and each one of the witnesses didn’t seem to credible. I decided to call on each one of them. The first one on my list was Margie Sanchez. She lived on Gregory Street off of Park Avenue and near the University of Bridgeport. She lived on the bottom floor of a six family wooden frame house that was in dire need of repair. I rang the door bell several times before a young woman opened it up. “I’m looking for Margie Sanchez,” I said as the young woman just stared at me. She was wearing tight Seven jeans and a white tank top with a black bra. She was a little darker than an olive skin. She had full lips, and dark eyes. Her face was slightly angelic, and her attitude was worn on her sleeve. It appeared as if she had a chip on her shoulder. “Whatcha you want her for?” “Just going to ask her a few questions,” I replied. “Police been here.” “I’m sure they were,” I said. “But I’m not the police.” “Then who the fuck are you?” “A private investigator,” I replied. “What the fuck is that?” “I don’t know,” I replied. “It’s just a summer job I took because I knew I could handle it.” “I’m Margie,” she said. “The witness,” I said softly. “What?” “I need to ask you about the murder, and about the deacon that was accused.” “Fuck man,” she said as she stepped out of the house. “Whatcha you wanna know?” There is not really a way to force that young woman to stop swearing so much. It’s such a shame, because her mouth takes away from her beauty. “How did you see this whole thing play out?” “What the fuck do you mean?” “What happened?” “This fat bishop...” “Deacon,” I corrected. “Whatever,” she was annoyed. “He came up to Carlos Rivera and started arguing. He threw the first punch and missed. Carlos threw the next punch and it hit the bis... deacon and that set him off.” “Mike threw the first punch?” “Yep,” she replied. “The bis... deacon came at him with all he got. He punched Carlos in the mouth, and then kept punching him until he broke Carlos’ nose. Carlos didn’t fight back, he just fell over some tables.” “The deacon did all this?” “Hell yeah man,” she continued. “The bouncers threw out the deacon...” “Aww, you got it right.” She rolled her eyes. “And then the bartender checked Carlos and said he was dead.” “Neck broken?” She nodded. “Did you know why they were fighting?” “I don’t know, don’t care.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www. 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 turn around nor did I look through my rear view mirror.bibliotastic.com 25 .Case File: Dog Eats Dog I smiled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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