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