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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” “You know I really can help you.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. and for a good cause.bibliotastic. “Remember one thing.” He smiled.com 21 . and I can get Bridgeport Police to help.” I said. www.” His head fell to his chest. I know a few of those guys and they will stick their necks out for the right reasons. “Yeah. “Think about it. “I know something is bothering you. I’ll always be at your service.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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