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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“My kind of girl.” she said. “Something funny?” “Yeah you. and we’ll take it slow.” I said. but why couldn’t she get her finances straightened out? “How do we start?” I nervously asked. “I am.” “Beer would be fine. but she chose me.” “Is that a choice?” She nodded. “I wanted to make sure it found its way to your front steps.” “All bad I hope. She was a pretty girl caught up in bad things.com 35 .” She laughed. and a number 15 Mets black jersey with tight white shorts. 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.” she grinned. It was out of the blue and certainly unexpectedly. I started those rumors. She quickly made a dash for the kitchen and came back with two cold bottled beers. I’ve elected to simply allow the chips to fall where they may. Nick PT Barnum.” “I heard so much about you. she was hot.” She was so organized. Damn. “Are you Nick PT Barnum?” she asked jokingly. What really turned me on was the fact that she seemed a bit frisky over the phone. but decided against it. I knocked on the light oak wood door and Carolyn opened it up immediately. “You’re going to be the lucky one. “What. “Come in.bibliotastic. sit down. Everything has a place. Every stain can come out of dirty laundry. She was wearing a New York Mets baseball cap. “Well.” I smiled. I was planning to give her a thorough background check.” She turned and smiled.” “Most of it.” I joked. Perhaps she was waiting by the window. “You keep teasing me and I bet you won’t get lucky. I can’t be fancy?” I laughed again and she pushed me. “So.” “You thought I’d be a fancy girl?” I laughed.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 13 I was pleased that Carolyn Lopez called me over to her apartment for a drink.” “I make certain of that. “You can rip my clothes off and take advantage of me right here. “I started as I looked around at her neat apartment.” She smiled. Or at least pile them high on the bedroom floor. and there’s a place for everything. “Nice place you have here. I realized she could have had her choice of any guy she wanted.” “Good. or you can simply ask for a drink. “A beer drinker. “Then I choose to rip your clothes off and take advantage of you right here. I had all the plans to get the stains out of her dirty laundry.” I said.” www.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In response to some sort of private investigator’s instincts. Perhaps it was because my nose was full of dried blood. “I like the Mets. and the dog looked into mine. I just knew that the duffle bags had something in them. I looked into his bloody eyes.” The dog continued purring. It took some doing. I mustered enough strength to zip open the bag and out fell the other pit-bull. so that became a task in itself. “We better talk about something to keep us awake. what hit me?” I said softly. “You’re thinking that this is a Yankee town. “Don’t tell me it’s the other dog?” I whispered. Maybe you should have gambled too. because I really couldn’t feel my legs. but couldn’t. “What the hell did these animals do to this poor dog?” On the ground next to my feet. “You with me buddy?” .” I said. However. They were next to each other side by side. His bloodied head motionless on the ground. and then stopped almost as I put my hand on his head. I would have given Froggy. Something that wasn’t going into the garbage can. but somehow survived it.” The dog’s purr was quieter. He was stabbed twice in the throat. and the other duffle bag next to it. but I knew they were bleeding.” I said as the dog crawled closer to me. The dog too was looking for comfort. “I don’t think we should fall asleep.” I said. right?” The dog was quiet. “I know how you feel dog.” I said. that one-eyed punk the money if he would have guaranteed me the life of that poor dog. “I know what you’re thinking. He went into a whimpering frenzy. lying on his side with his paw frozen with rigomortise was the dog that made me lose ten thousand dollars.” The dog whimpered again. “You like baseball?” The dog didn’t answer. and I knew the bags weren’t garbage. and this was his reward. I looked for the zipper and it was dark outside. but I knew it moved on its own because I wasn’t touching the bag at the time.Frank Atanacio Chapter 18 When I came to I realized I was sitting in a dark alley way covered in garbage and smelling my own blood. We may never get up. Or perhaps it was just the beating I got that made everything difficult. I couldn’t feel my lips. “Damn. He crawled closer to me and fell into my lap. In the bag was the dog with the missing ear. The winner of that contest. “Of course we can become friends. “Should I?” I pulled the other bag toward me and it moved. He tried to clench his teeth and growl. I opened the bag up and at first I couldn’t recognize the stench. my friend. I noticed the dog had a very difficult time trying to keep its head up. “But if you owed them money.” I said. “You rest. The dog licked my arm. but I managed to crawl toward the first one. The dog was almost purring. they wouldn’t have tried to kill you. It appeared that he had his throat cut. the smell from the bag was so strong I almost threw up. He put his bloody head on my lap and closed his eyes.” I said. There were two canvas duffle bags laying about three feet away from me. “I wonder what these monkey’s left behind?” I said as I pulled the first one toward me. “It really is a dog eats dog world. It looked like they took turns punching me around while I was unconscious because my entire body ached. I didn’t realize it at first. and my face was covered in cuts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

” www.” I said as I pointed to one of my client’s chairs.” “Professionally?” He nodded. not behind on any gambling debts?” “I told you.bibliotastic. and a Malcolm-X tee-shirt. “Was gambling with the deacon that night. “They have this fear brought on by Froggy. His hair was dark color with beads of gray. He wore oval shaped glasses with black rims. “I’m paying on time. “And you’re debt free?” He nodded again. He smiled. but not a lot.” Janet started. but we’re good.” “Sit down. Miller. His eyes were tiny. are you okay to talk?” I asked. but my body seemed to have accepted the beating I sustained when Janet came in with an overweight black man wearing baggy shorts. that he is. “He is a good man.” “So he made payment arrangements with you?” Mr. “What do you mean?” “People find it too difficult to talk about what happened to Mike Brandon.” he said.” said Janet almost too professionally. Nick PT Barnum.” “Yeah.” “Mr.” he said. “he said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 21 I was in my office with my feet up on my desk taking in a few moments of much needed rest. My face was still aching. Miller.” I said. but his nose big. “We all are. Miller nodded.” I started explaining.” “How do you do?” I said as I stood up quickly and shook his hand. You don’t have that fear?” “I don’t have any enemies. “This is my boss.” “Are you behind?” “No. “I’m sorry for what has happened to the deacon.” he said.com 55 .” “Salt of the earth. “Rusty Miller.” Janet said. “I do owe him a little money. He looked at me quizzically. “Mr. “I’ll let you guys talk.” “So you have no financial problems with him?” I continued. “Do you owe Froggy money?” “Yes. “Wife know you have no job?” “She knows what I do. “No big debts. “Are you married?” He nodded. I wasn’t really in the mood or the mind set to take on any new clients. but I didn’t want Janet to look bad. “What do you do for a living?” “I gamble.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I knew where he was coming from. “I don’t win!” he shouted. “I’m just telling you that there is nothing we can do about this situation. but I also knew he didn’t really share in that belief..” “Don’t even say it. Froggy wins!” “But he doesn’t have to win!” “Don’t go there Nick.” “Dog eats dog world. A spectator in life.” O’Brien continued.” said O’Brien. “Yep.” I sighed.” I grimaced. it just had to be done. “We have the chance to stop him. “Nick. “Regardless of what you believe my intentions are. “You can do some serious jail time Nicky boy.” I said. and nothing was being accomplished. and as cruel as my intentions were. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I can’t do anything about it.” he spoke.” I whispered. so I spoke slowly and calmly and hoped the effort did not offend O’Brien. “Two wrongs. You’re not making any kind of sense. his eyes hard with restrained emotion. “Innocent people die because of it!” “And because we’re turning a blind eye on Froggy.” I fought the urge to raise my voice. www. but I just had to say my say.” “How?” “Kill him. “You’re talking murder and I want no part of it.. “We need to kill him. listen to what you’re saying.” I said. Froggy had to die.” His face was tight. He knew I was right. more innocent people are going to die.” “Now you’re talking murder. I realized we were just arguing in circles.” I said softly.bibliotastic. O’Brien smiled.com 113 .” I interrupted. Let’s just change the subject.” “What?” “You heard me Pete. I’m just like you.” “You know I’m right. for doing what you think is right. “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 think Froggy is going to hurt me. Froggy’s office was not one of them. I was going to see Stacey. She was strangled to death with that choker. and I had my chance to put an end to Froggy. I wasn’t going to give it too much consideration because I knew O’Brien would just talk me out of it. I was trying to find out what was going on in the office. Maybe I’m dead this time. “Didn’t he already hurt you?” This time he sounds crazy. It gave the new building character. “Pete. Although North Main Street has many buildings dating back over a hundred years. I wanted someone to peek out the window. and he even smelled like one. Age hasn’t caught up to me yet. and it connected to Route 25 and the Merritt Parkway. I wanted to avoid the build-up on East Main Street. I walked to the front of the office and slowly turned the door knob. He would have urged me to mind my own business. I wanted to make sure I didn’t get caught on the ever lasting construction on Boston Avenue. “Please don’t be Stacey. Froggy was a maggot in my book. the only exit I wanted was exit 7. However.” I said as I slapped the cell phone shut and tossed it into the passenger’s side. I can’t make him out. In order to take down the beast. It was either going to be him or me. I still had all my wits. I took out my cell phone and called O’Brien. which broke into several different avenues. but then I remembered that Stacey was expecting me. Thank goodness for that. I knew I had tossed it on the passenger side of my truck. Out of a window in front of the office I could see silhouettes pacing. “Damn Stacey. I had to let him know what was going on. I slowly walked into the office and was shocked to see a woman’s body on the floor next to the security guard’s desk. It was Exit 7 that I wanted. and Froggy struck again.” I said. but I had no choice. It connected to I95 North and South. it’s me.” I said under my breath. it connected to Fairfield Avenue which became the Old Post Road. It was something I couldn’t do. The man is not thinking like he use to. I didn’t really have the time to think it over. it’s me. “Stacey?” Nick.” Don’t tell me you’re locked up again? . “I’m coming down now. “Should I call Pete?” I whispered. but really didn’t care. and I wanted to avoid The entrance side to Beardsley Park. the door was unlocked. I couldn’t believe my luck. “You be careful.Frank Atanacio Chapter 45 I stopped for a light on Boston Avenue and East Main Street when my cell phone buzzed. she genuinely needed my help. “Nick here. To my surprise.” Nicky. It wasn’t my normal way of thinking. I wasn’t ready to enter. Be careful. It was one of the old fashioned gold knobs. Fate was stepping in. Route Eight consisted of a catalogue of highways. A woman was dead. but I didn’t forget to bring it with me. It was newly built with the permanent paint siding. It wasn’t a step up. In a flash I had realized that I had just stumbled upon my first substantial opportunity to get at Froggy. I thought about Stacey for a moment. I didn’t have my head piece on so I picked up the phone and place it to my ear. He had to be stopped. O’Brien. sacrifices had to be made. Shadows that didn’t expect me. I knew that Stacey would have been relieved if she knew I was outside. and it was what I took. I just wanted to make sure she wasn’t setting me up. I think he’s gone off the edge. I touched my back pocket to see if I had my cell phone with me. He’s on his way to the office and he told me not to leave. and I didn’t even care if I was being baited. Or did. I thought about it as I turned onto Route eight and was heading for the Trumbull Mall. However. I walked over to the body and noticed a choker collar around her neck.” I said as I knelt down before her and removed the choker from her lifeless body. but that didn’t happen. I couldn’t let Froggy move on. It was built on the spot were an old building once stood.

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

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

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

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

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

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