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