The Man in Black

The moment I spotted him I sensed trouble.

It was his head that first attracted me. Well, his hair. Shaved from temple to temple, leaving his top with a thick, oblong mass of black hair and a four-inch ponytail, this was one unique dome. A cranium meant for a WWE ring,or X-Men movie. A crown whose owner was not to be messed with, unless…

Then I took in the rest.

Broad-shouldered, about six-foot, six-one, the dude was dressed head to foot in black — boots, trousers, t-shirt and vest, with a dangerous-looking dull-black gun in a shiny-black holster riding high on his right hip at four o’clock.

Wyatt Earp, anyone? Or Paladin (Have Gun – Will Travel) for you even older folks? Only this handgun resembled a Glock 29 or Sig-Sauer P220, not a six-shooter — even if Wyatt’s barrel was about nine inches long.

His stride was purposeful, confident, bordering on menacing. His dark eyes were focused. I watched closely, expecting … expecting, not distracted by the handful of people on this weekday.

Then came the Aqua Velva moment: he stepped into a footwear store and nodded, non-menacingly, even reassuringly, to the clerk.

The Aqua Velva slap-slap? We were in an outdoor mall in Freeport, Maine, I reminded myself. This terrorist-in-waiting is the mall cop. Perhaps destined for greater heights but, right now, a security cop.

Rest easy, all you mall shoppers and store employees.

Be sure to check out my latest novel, “The Last Aliyah,” at where it’s free on Kindle:,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch:

Author: markalanleslie

Beginning with my first book, "Midnight Rider for the Morning Star," based on the life and times of Francis Asbury, America's first circuit-riding preacher, I have written three historical Christian novels with another one the way in late 2021, four contemporary geopolitical adventures, an end-times thriller, a devotional, a self-help book for people who have lost their jobs, and two books filled with the best of my interviews with numerous icons of the golf world. I have spoken at Maine's State House, conferences, numerous churches, schools and camp meetings as well as national golf conferences from Florida to California. Having won six national writing awards, I am most proud of my novels: Midnight Rider for the Morning Star (2007) True North: Tice's Story (2013) Chasing the Music (2016) The Crossing (2017) The Three Sixes (2017) The Last Aliyah (2018) Jeremiah's Jar (2018) Torn Asunder (2020) A Cause Most Splendid (2021) My e-books include: Putting a Little Spin on It: The Design's the Thing! Putting a Little Spin on It: The Grooming's the Thing! Fired? Get Fired Up! Walks with God Join me on my web site:

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