It was an average day for Will. He'd just got done having a few happy hour beers and was walking the six blocks back to his house when he noticed a strange van parked outside.
An inquisitive person, he approached the van, finally making eye-contact with the driver. He saw the driver say something to the people in the back of the van, who then exited the vehicle and approached Will.
"Hey, buddy," a man in a black leather jacket said. "You wouldn't happen to be Will Barret, would you?"
"Yeah, what of it?" Will answered before he realized lying might have been a better strategy.
"We'd like you to come with us."
"Oh, uh, no thanks - I was just going home."
Will felt a hand on his shoulder. "No, you're coming with us tonight." Will's brief move to escape was met with a lot of pain, then darkness.
He woke up a short time later, inside the van. The man who spoke earlier noticed him looking around.
"Sorry about that buddy, Big John's a little impatient," he said, gesturing to the large man seated in the row behind them. He reached out his hand for a hand-shake. "I'm Fred. Tom's driving, Tommy's shotgun. We'll meet Barry soon."
Hazy, undure of what to do, Will shook Fred's outstretched hand.
"Good, yeah," encouraged Fred. "If all goes well, we'll be done and have you in the sack by midnight."
The van rumbled along a road Will didn't recognize. After a minute of trying to figure things out for himself, he plucked up the courage to chirp up.
"Where are you taking me?"
"Well, it's more like where are you leading us, but I suppose the answer's the same either way. We're headed to a warlock's tower after we pick up Barry."
"A warlock's tower," Fred said matter-of-factly. "But it don't much matter to you. Just do as we say and everything will turn out great. Hell, you might just get something out of it." The van pulled up to a sign. "Alright, we're at the start. Barry should be around here somewhere."
On cue, there was a knock at the door. Fred, sitting closest, opened it to reveal a finely groomed man in a three-piece and topcoat who didn't quite fit in with the leather and track suit stylings of the occupants of the van. He wordlessly squeezed past Fred to next to Big John.
"Okay, from this point on, no names." Fred nudged Will, "which way should we head?"
"I'd like to go home. So... back."
"Well, we're not going to your home, we're going to a warlock's tower.Now, what path should we take?"
"The path home," Will insisted.
"we can keep this up all night, but the sooner you get on board, the sooner you get back home. Now, which direction?"
Will thought it over for a good bit, before deciding to play along for the time being.
"Fine. We should head back in the direction we came."
This answer, however, was met with some resistance.
"C'mon - that's a bullshit answer!" Tom said from the steering wheel. Tommy echoed the sentiment.
"'e can see der's tree pats - 'e can pick one-na dem," Big John rumbled from the back.
"Guys, he's picked the direction." Fred insisted. "Turn the car around." More grumbling ensued, but Fred got his way.
The van began its journey again. Not a minute had passed before they came across a fork that had not been there prior.
"What'd I say? Good job kid. Now, which way?"
"We didn't make any turns getting here, so that means we were in the right lane earlier and must have missed the intersection. So, no we go left."
The logic spurred a bit more grumbling from the front, but the two Toms complied. Soon enough, they were at a five way intersection that they, again, had not encountered previously. Will, annoyed, told them to turn back. Frustrated, but still agreeable, the crew followed his direction.
This pattern continued with the passengers growing weary of Will's attempts to back track to the road home when, without warning, they came to a bridge.
"Well, I guess this is it!" Fred said. "Cross the bridge."
"No," ordered Will, this time keeping his logic to himself. "Turn the van around."
Excited by their goal being within reach, and immediate argument broke out among the passengers. Tempers flared, lives were threatened. Fred and Tom versus John and Tommy. Barry sat, eyes fixed on Will.
Finally, Fred had enough. "Shut your fucking mouths or I'll cut out your tongues! We turn around! Tom!"
And so they did - Tom was in the driver's seat, after all. The road dipped into a little fog, and when they came out of it, they were at the door of a looming stone tower.
"Well, boys, you got me," Barry said, uttering the first words out of his mouth all night. "I promised a reward for anyone who did, so, you all should have a nice little gift waiting for you when you get home. It'll be under your pillow when you wake up tomorrow morning - personalized for each of you. Now, tell me: how did you do it?"
"Well, Barry," said Fred, "I knew you had quite the weakness for terrible puns. So that's why I brought him along." He pointed at the kidnapped man. "You see, where there's a Will, there's a way!"