He stood at the intersection of Walnut and 14th.
“Don’t walk.” said the homeless man beside him.
He crossed the street and made his way to The Gallery.
“Don’t walk.” said the cashier behind the lunch counter.
“Sorry. What did you say?”
He paid the young lady and took his salad to the food court, picking a table far from the crowd.
“Don’t walk.” said the elderly woman behind him, eating bourbon chicken.
“I’m sorry, were you talking to me?”
He stood and looked at the lady.
She had on a tiny hat and delicate, white gloves. She was covered in age spots, her hair flying loose in every direction.
“Excuse me, were you talking to me?”
He picked up what was left of his food, dumped it into the garbage, and walked quickly back to his office building.
“Don’t walk.” said the receptionist.
“What’s going on? Is that all anyone can say? Were you talking to me?”
The receptionist stared at him then returned to typing.
“Excuse me. I’m talking to you. Why did you tell me not to walk? Hello.”
She looked up again.
He stepped back from the desk, turned to the rush of people moving past. Stopped one at random.
“Do you have any idea what’s going on?”
“Don’t walk.” said the stranger.
“Enough! This isn’t funny. Enough of this nonsense.”
He crossed the lobby to draw the attention of the security guard.
“Excuse me. Something strange is happening, can you help me?”
“Don’t walk.” said the guard.
He pulled out his phone, his heart pounding. He dialed his wife of twenty years, before she could speak he shouted…
“If this is a joke or a trick or a prank, enough. OK… enough. It’s gotta stop. Please Racheal, please. I’m starting to freak out, alright. Enough. If this is a game or some new reality show or some sorta of weird experiment, I’m done… alright… I’m done, enough. Just say something, something right now and DON’T say Don’t walk.”
He heard his wife clear her throat.