Kick woke to the sound of someone pounding on the front door. He glanced at the alarm clock next to his bed. It was six in the morning. It had been two weeks since his encounter with the little man who called himself Ilvie, and during those two weeks he hadn’t slept well. He had tried to convince himself that the whole thing had been a dream or a hallucination or something. “Maybe,” he reasoned “I got some bad weed,” but he felt constantly as though he was being watched, and this made him paranoid.
Kick, got out of bed and, wearing only a pair of boxer shorts, he walked across the unadorned wood floor of the shop. He made his way towards the front door with a bleary-eyed annoyed look on his face. Someone was still pounding on it, and as he neared the door Kick bellowed, “I’m coming! I’m coming!” Modesty required that Kick open the door just a crack, but as he did, the door was violently pushed open so that Kick fell back against a display case. Filling the doorway was a big Trooper who he recognized as John Irwack. He had met Irwack before. Behind him stood two more troopers who Kick didn’t recognize, and behind them, out in the parking lot, stood two men in suits. “Hi Kick,” Irwack said with a forced air of civility, “We have a search warrant.” Kick looked blankly at the paper that was forced into his hands “Turn around and put your hands behind your back,” said one of the other troopers. Kick did as he was told. A trooper, tall and lanky with a pockmarked face, handcuffed him and directed him to sit Indian style in front of the open door. "C'mon! At least let me get dressed," said Kick, but nobody seemed to care. The tall lanky trooper guarded Kick while the two detectives, Trooper Irwack and the third Trooper began searching the shop as well as his living area in the back.
Kick watched as one of the detectives methodically searched the area behind the cash register. When he came to the locked drawer where Kick kept his dope he looked at Kick and said, “Mr. Tomwright, do you have a key for this drawer.”
“No.” said Kick.
“Then I’m going to have to bust it open.”
Kick shrugged as if to say, “So what.”
“Joe, bring me the pry tool please. It’s in the trunk of my car,” said the detective.
The third Trooper, who was apparently named Joe, stepped past Kick and soon returned with a long metal pry tool which he handed across the counter to the detective. The detective set to work prying open the drawer while "Joe" watched. With a horrible wrenching-splintering sound the drawer popped open. Kick knew he was busted. He could picture the gallon ziplock bag full of marijuana, the odd assortment of paraphernalia, and the dog-eared envelope full of cash which he knew were there. With a glassy expression he stared out the open door. Maggie Zeller was jogging past on the road in front of the shop. At the sight of the Cruisers out front she stopped and jogged in place, soaking up the drama. Kick, dressed only in his boxers, and sitting Indian style with his hands behind his back, glared at her above his shaggy beard. He looked like a mix between a Buddha and an angry troll framed by the open door. Maggie moved on. Kick expected the detective to say something about the dope, but when he finally spoke he said, “Sorry, about the drawer Mr. Tomwright.”
Kick looked in his direction and saw that he was now searching behind a display case. He hadn’t found anything! Impossible! The other detective came out of the back bedroom holding a book in one hand and a roll of evidence bags in the other. “Did you find anything, Al?” he asked the detective behind the counter.
“Not even in the drawer?”
“Nah. Nothing. You?”
“Nothing. I did find this book on Mr. Tomwright’s night stand.”
Kick didn’t recognize the book which had a picture of a soaring eagle on its cover.
“It’s entitled, Living Drug and Alcohol Free.”
Now Kick was sure that the book wasn’t his.
“Drug and alcohol free, eh? That’s not what we heard, Kick. Do you wanna tell us where you keep your marijuana? We know you’ve been selling out of your shop here. If we have to call in a dog we will. We're gonna find it. You’re just making things harder. It’ll look better for you if you work with us. You know?”
Kick looked at the detective with a bewildered expression on his face. “I want a lawyer,” he said, “now.”
For the next several hours they tore the place apart. They finally called in a dog, which barked and scratched everywhere behind the counter indicating the presence of drug residue, but they never found anything. They finally admitted defeat at around noon, and with angry expressions on their faces, they removed Kick’s handcuffs, got back in their cruisers, and drove away. The shop was a mess. Kick staggered behind the counter and looked inside the shattered remnants of his dope drawer. “Nothing,” he muttered out loud. “Huh.” Picking up the book the detective had found on his night stand he opened the front cover. Inside was written, "To Kick from Ilvie."