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If you donít look too closely, this man looks like a hero. He has the long black coat over black pants and an expensive black shirt. He has the resolute glare behind the expensive black shades as he stares at the corporate skyscraper across the crowded city street. The suspicious bulge in his coatís chest pocket could be the prerequisite gun that all heroes must carry for the inevitable set-piece battle. He even has the chiseled good looks, the well-mussed hair, and the impressive five-oíclock shadow. This man looks ready to kill.

A moment later, the traffic light changes, and the clouds shift, and suddenly the change in light shows a different picture. The coat is ragged, the pants are filthy with city mud, and the shirt has several holes. The shades arenít so expensive after all, and the shiner peeking out from behind them says that maybe he isnít the strongest or fastest man in any fight. The bulge in his pocket looks suspiciously bottle-shaped. The good looks disappear into the hollowness of his cheeks, and although the hair and the shadow stay put, somehow they suddenly seem much less heroic. This man looks ready to die.

Take a moment to consider this man who you do not know. He stands on the curb, motionless, staring at a monolithic skyscraper that goes up and up. Whether the other pedestrians see him as a hero or the other way, they carefully avoid going near him; heroes and homeless are both dangerous men. Everything about him screams that he is at breaking point, but who is he? Which way will he go? Hero or homeless? Deathbringer or dead? The next thing he does will show you what he is. The next thing he does will change a thousand futures and seal a million fates.

The man in black stares for one more never-ending second at the building, then drops his head and chuckles under his breath. He looks down the street (cars) and up the street (more cars), left, right, left. The light is green, and rush hour taxis are screaming through this stretch of road. Here come some now.

The man in blackÖ steps forward.

Some things never change... some things do.


The following comments are for "The Man in Black"
by TheNewStory

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