He wore the dark blue parka with pride, and a bit of arrogance. It represented his attention to your security, his protection, preserving the rules. If there was anything noticeable that seemed slightly askew, he was your man. Any fear that might raise the hair on the back of your neck, he could handle it. This was Frank Overton’s mission, protector of the Overton Mall. There is no question he took his job very seriously, protecting his grandfather’s legacy.
William Overton was now seventy-five years of age, but still held an office in the security section of the mall, to the bewilderment of his family. He would never give up his position of authority until they pried the weapon from his cold dead hands, a truth he loved to threaten, he thought in a comical way. The actual truth was, he relied on his grandson Frank to do anything dangerous. Lately his hand started to have spells of shaking. The first time he noticed it was trying to light his daily cigarette. He had cut his habit down to one a day, right after lunch and before his nap. While holding the matchbook, his hand started to shake uncontrollably, causing a burn abrasion on his left hand. The flame left a semicircle burn scar that constantly reminded him of his age and dwindling capacity for the job.
Frank knew nothing of his grandfather’s weakness, but absorbing the full time responsibility was something he always wanted. He had been publicly offended by the police department when they told him he was unfit for active duty at such a young age. Frank’s grandad saved the day, hiring him at the mall. Frank took the job and made sure the name Overton was prominent on his jacket. He adored the recognition when people realized it was also the name of the mall. Frank didn’t realize he was seen as a shoe in by jealous employees.
“Officer” Frank was always nearby if there was a suspected shoplifter about, or someone in need of help. He was especially liked by the old ladies who got their walkers stuck on the escalator, or moms needing a child rescued. William Overton could be proud.