The Taco Bell drive-thru was empty at three in the morning. A hoodie-wearing man rode his bicycle down the empty lane until he got to the speaker.
“Uhhhh,” Seth Curry said, starting his order very indecisively. All he knew was that he had stayed up too late grinding for VC for his NBA 2K MyPlayer (why couldn’t 2K just give him VC by virtue of his being an NBA player?) and had completely neglected his dinner. Taco Bell was the only place he knew would be open. “Just get me ten of the cheesy frito burritos. No wait, sorry, the beefy frito burritos.” After he paused again to enumerate the contents of his refrigerator, he added, “And, uh, no drink. Just the burritos.” There was plenty of Faygo waiting for him at home.
After being instructed to proceed to the next window, Seth pedaled his way there and handed the worker some money in exchange for the bag of food. He verified that it contained roughly ten or so burritos, then started the half-mile ride back to his apartment, trying to ignore how the succulent aroma was causing his hunger to reawaken with renewed vengeance.
He had barely made it onto the sidewalk when he heard a low voice say, “get him!”. Since the city streets was devoid of any pedestrian or vehicle traffic besides him, Seth figured he was being targeted for some reason and began to pedal faster. However, the extra effort was for naught as he was quickly tackled around the waist and thrown from his bike.
“I don’t have any money,” Seth told the presumed mugger, entirely truthfully; he had only brought enough cash with him to cover his Taco Bell dinner.
But the mugger didn’t seem to care about money or anything else on Seth’s body. Instead, he gave instructions to another person who was unseen to Seth. “Do it, Courtney. Right to the head.”
Just as Seth was wondering whether Courtney was a guy or a girl, he felt a sharp pain on the back of his head and passed out.
Seth awoke groggily, wanting to shield his eyes from the sun but finding himself unable to. He was lying in the backseat of an unknown car with his arms and legs bound by rope. His head still hurt like hell, and he groaned in pain.
“Courtney, can you shut him up please?” said the same voice, that of the mugger who was now actually an abductor.
A ski-masked face appeared in Seth’s line of sight. “Do I have to?” Courtney said, confirming that Courtney, in this case, was a man’s name.
“You wanna listen to him moan and cry for the next fifteen hours? Shut. Him. Up.”
There was another burst of pain, and then Seth was out again.
The next time Seth woke up, he was no longer in a car. Instead, he was tied to a chair. The peeling paint and broken furnishings around him indicated to him that he was probably being held hostage in an abandoned house of some kind. He could hear people whispering about him, apparently unaware that he had regained consciousness.
“I think we killed him, Dwight. Boss is gonna be pissed.”
“No way. He was still breathing as of an hour ago.”
Finding out that the intent wasn’t to kill him, Seth felt comfortable speaking up. “Just so you know, I’m still alive over here.”
Immediately, the two men appeared in front of Seth. The taller one was holding a rusty scythe. The shorter was holding a board with nails pounded through it. Both were wearing black masks to cover their faces. “We have the ability to make your life very, very unpleasant,” said the taller one, who was either Dwight or Courtney.
“Okay,” Seth answered. He had now idea why somebody would abduct him or why they would want to make his life unpleasant. “If you just want money, I can give you some and you won’t have to use those weapons you’re holding.”
“We don’t want money,” said the taller one, getting his masked face close to Seth’s. “We have enough of that already. Don’t we Courtney?”
“I guess we do,” said Courtney, the shorter one.
Dwight continued talking. “We want you…to sign as a free agent with the Dallas Mavericks.” He poked Seth with the scythe on each syllable of “Dallas Mavericks”, then took out a crumpled paper contract from his pants pocket and showed it to Seth. “You will sign this whether you like it or not.” Courtney stood behind Dwight and swung the nail-board down with two hands as if demonstrating what he would do to Seth if commands weren’t followed.
“But I already told Cubes that I was signing,” Seth replied. “You didn’t need to abduct me.”
“For real?” Dwight said. “Cubes, god damn it, get out here!”
The closet door to Seth’s left opened and out stepped a man wearing a blood-flecked dog mask and wielding a chainsaw. When the man lifted up his mask, it was revealed to be Mark Cuban. “Did he sign yet? Did you have to use the scythe?”
“He says he was already going to sign with us,” Dwight said. “So this whole kidnapping and intimidation thing was a giant waste of time.”
Courtney dropped a twenty dollar bill in Seth’s lap. “Sorry we ate all your burritos.”