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