I was sitting at my regular table in my favorite café enjoying a steaming latte after just having completed a long jog when a man wearing a dark gray fedora and a tan trench coat walked through the door, approached me, and asked me my name.
“Who’s asking?” I inquired.
“Never mind,” the man responded, still standing next to the table. “I followed you here. You need to come with me.” With that, he reached out toward me in an attempt to grab my arm.
“I’m not going anywhere with you,” I said, pulling back my arm. “Who the hell are you and what do you want with me?”
He glanced around the small café, looking at the other patrons. “There’s no time for questions. We should leave now.”
A suspicious smile came to my face. “Did George put you up to this? He told you where I’d be, what I look like. He told you to act all mysterious and to see if I would get up and walk out of here with some wacko stranger.”
An uneasy look came across the stranger’s face. “No, you are wrong. I don’t know who this George is that you’re referring to. We need to leave now!”
I didn’t move. “Forget it. I’m not budging. Perhaps if you told me who you really are and what this is all about….”
“There’s no time. You’re making a big mistake.”
“No,” I responded. “I’d be making a big mistake if I got up and followed some suspicious-looking crazy dude out of this place.”
By this time we had drawn the attention of everyone in the café. Jake, the proprietor, came over to my table. “Listen, Jon, I’m sorry but I’m going to have to ask you to leave. You two are disturbing my other customers.”
“Come on, Jake. It’s not me, it’s this guy,” I said, pointing up at the stranger. “Throw his crazy ass outta here.”
“I don’t know what’s going on here, Jon,” Jake replied, “but you and your friend here need to take it outside. Please.”
“He’s not my friend, Jake,” I said as I stood up, pulled a dollar out of my runner’s belt, tossed it carelessly on the table, and then headed to the door, the stranger right behind me.
As we left the café through the revolving doors, I turned around and confronted the man. “Okay, what is this all about? Tell me now or I’m going to call the cops.”
“That won’t be necessary,” the stranger said. “You were just jogging in the park. I saw you. I needed to warn you.”
“What do you mean? What did you need to warn me about?”
The stranger got a very grim look on his face, grabbed my arm, leaned in toward my face, and said in barely a whisper, “Your barn door is open and your horse is about to get out.”
Written for today’s one-word prompt, “suspicious.”