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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” she said.bibliotastic. I smiled. He simply just let me in.” I nodded. I followed the directions to the back of the shop and into a dark stairwell. She handed me a draft. They were closed of course. I had to be there. He had lots of curly hair on his shoulder and upper arm. Nevertheless. but I played it off and looked surprised to see her.” she replied. I knocked on the dirty gray metal door and a thin tall dark skinned Latino male opened it up. It was partially covered. He was a bear of a man. He did not ask me for identification. but failed to see this happening in their own back yard. to her natural beauty. I walked toward the light and noticed a sign beneath it pointing to the rear of the building. It was held at the Chico Social Club in a blue collar community. They were like a well oiled machine.com 45 . www. The building was situated just beyond the Fairfield town line and just short of the on-ramp to I95 South bound heading toward New York City. and fighting clenched teeth. In fact. The trailer was obviously used to transport animals. She blew a kiss at me.. “Yeah. It was my job. “Here!” I knew where she was. Everything you wanted in a girl with the exception of the gambling debt. The smell of urine was strong as it hit me like a ton of bricks. Oh baby! “What are you doing later tonight?” I asked. He gave me an up and down look and allowed me passage. exposing some dog crates. She was handing the orders to the bartender and he was quickly handing her the drinks. She was the complete package. I found myself drifting in and out of reality. “I don’t pay for beers. “You want a drink?” “Scotch and water. “Working tonight?” I asked as I kissed her cheek. I saw Carolyn Lopez standing at the corner of the bar taking drink orders. but the flower shop at the end had a light on. There was a small arena at the center of the room and two pit-bulls tied on each side of the arena. In this case dogs used for fighting. They had anger in their eyes. My eyes went into puppy mode. “Probably making love to you. but you know the deal. The pit-bull on the left side had dried blood on his face that completely covered scars. “Nick!” Carolyn called. There was a strip of stores on that side of the road next to Chico. Behind her sat the bouncer. A beer would be great!” She smiled. I slept with that! It wasn’t that hard to admit. I knew that the sign was meant for the would be gamblers. okay. and Mike Brandon was my friend. A wooden trailer was parked in the back. He wore farmer overalls and a wife beater tee-shirt. He also had exposed hair on his chest pushing up toward his neck. and I had to keep digging. A community that had neighborhood watches. The one on the right side of the arena had a missing ear. I sipped. She was a very attractive woman and the men knew it.” I repeated. “Oh. He had a thick beard and a full moustache. but I too was drawn to her charm. Both the dogs looked like they just came out of a war zone.” “A beer?” “Scotch and water. Damn.Case File: Dog Eats Dog Chapter 17 Sunday came rather quickly as I hustled over to Chico for the dog fighting contest. about a hundred yards from the stair-well. I noticed that the gamblers were drawn to that particular spot because of her. or he didn’t expect a password.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” I nodded. www.com 57 . Do I make myself clear?” “Definitely understand you. “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.” “Good. “I want you to go back to Froggy and tell him that his goons he had tailing me told me where the dog fight was being held. He walked out. You make sure he gets this information. “You will never see me again. she was fine.” he said as he forced himself off my client’s chair using my desk as a brace.bibliotastic. I’m going to put a bullet into your fat ass. If I ever see you again. “Last night.” I said.Case File: Dog Eats Dog “He told me he’d knock my debt down if I got the information for him.” “How was she?” I nervously asked. she was okay. “But she told him you already knew..” He nodded. “But otherwise.” I said. She was in good spirits. “When was the last time you saw her?” I asked.. It had nothing to do with Carolyn Lopez.” I smiled. “I already knew.” I nodded. laughing.” he continued. “He suspected Carolyn Lopez.” “What?” “All that until she saw you get your ass kicked. “I spoke with her last night.” “She’s telling the truth.” He nodded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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Frank Atanacio

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

Case File: Dog Eats Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” said O’Brien. I guess I made him nervous. Why is this so different?” . I’m not even including the dogs he killed. We hurried in and ordered a turkey club and two diet colas. “The captain told him if he had to put a leash on you he’d tie you up at his office. and the men he sold down the river is doing time for everything that has happened.” I continued.Frank Atanacio Chapter 44 O’Brien was hungry so we stopped off at The Flyer Diner on State Street next to the truck stop area and McDonalds.” O’Brien continued. everything the court needs to make the charges stick. That man is getting away with everything. But not this time. The men will serve a great deal of time. O’Brien looked straight into my eyes and said to me.” “We got our man.” he paused. he killed Carolyn.” O’Brien said. I know deep down inside you agree with me.” I shouted almost abstractedly. “Besides. Willie the Greek produced some Patsies. confessions. “What?” “He called the captain and asked the captain to put a leash on you. and he almost killed Janet. “That Frog managed to produce Patsies!” I half shouted.” O’Brien replied. “No exceptions. “Coming into Fairfield to bail your stank ass out of jail because you couldn’t leave Froggy alone!” “I shook him good. I know he’s getting away with too much. It was okay with you then.” I said as I took a small bite of my club. “It’s okay.” he huffed. what can I do about it. nine times out of ten I’d agree with you. “What?” “Do you have to keep tapping the freaking counter?” “Are you angry?” “Damn straight.” O’Brien smiled. That has to be good enough. The deacon is back home.” The waiter smiled and continued doing his job.” I said.” I laughed. and the cruelty to those animals. “How can you say that?” I said as I sipped on my soda. It’s all right there with no exceptions. we have confessions to everything. “Froggy called the captain a pig.” “I’m the one who should be angry. We have written statements. “But I think you should just let things be for now.” I laughed again. “Yeah you did rattle his cage. “It shouldn’t end this way.” Damn. but he didn’t place them down. The waiter stopped in front of us with our meals. “His bark is worse than his bite. Not like this. O’Brien began tapping the counter with his fingers and he realized that I was annoyed. “He got the deacon tied up in knots.” said O’Brien. So again.” “It’s still not him. “It can’t just end here.” “Even if I do. “As you may recall from past incidences. Including murder!” “He’ll pack up in leave. “Even if I do.” he said as he finished off his soda and ordered another one without speaking. “I just don’t like the way this played out. “Leave it alone.” said O’Brien. there is no exceptions!” “One. I can feel it. and he simply lost his train of thought. “And the captain called him a fly eater. Besides.” I said.” “Pete.” he growled. “It has to be enough.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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