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