Kick picked up the envelope and examined it. It was sealed on the back with a glob of golden wax. Impressed into the wax was a seal depicting a man standing guard with a spear and wearing a hat with a large plume in it. Something was written in block lettering around the seal, but seeing as it was written in a strange alphabet Kick couldn’t make out what it said. Across the front of the envelope in beautiful flowing calligraphy was written in English, “From Burden Jarudet at Dundarfick to the Dindi, Kirk Tomwright.” No one but Kick’s Mom and telemarketers called him by his given name of “Kirk.” In fact very few even knew that this was his real name. He had gone by “Kick” since he was a little boy because of a speech impediment that made it difficult for him to pronounce “R’s.”
Kick wondered what Dundarfick was and he made a mental note to ask Rolfish about that the next time he saw him. Kick produced his pocket knife from his sweatpants and carefully opened the envelope. Inside he found ten five-dollar bills and a letter. The bills were perfectly flat as though they had been stored between the pages of a heavy book and they smelled strongly of wood smoke. Kick wondered where and how the Widjiwats had come into possession of the money. Much to kick’s surprise the letter appeared to have been typed and printed off of a computer.
The letter read as follows:
“From Jarudet, Burden of the Widjiwats, to the Dindi, Kirk Tomwright-
Please accept the enclosed $50.00 as thanks for your invaluable assistance in the Jill Lassiter affair. I understand from Ilverbottum that you conducted yourself courageously and I hope you will find satisfaction in knowing that the remains recovered from the owl pellets have been returned to their loved ones. The family of the deceased wanted me to pass along to you their sincere appreciation for your assistance in recovering them.
I am sorry that it was necessary to obtain your cooperation by means of coercion. In the future, it is my hope that a genuine friendship would flourish between us, and we would be motivated to assist one another out of purer motives. In the meantime, I confess that we are motivated to exploit you out of a naked self-interest. Frankly, we need your help. If you become a liability to us however we will have no recourse but to kill you. If you attempt to expose us to other Dindis we will likewise expose the regrettable circumstances of your past to the proper authorities. We have in our possession three stamped and addressed letters to the Vermont State Police, the Rutland Herald and your Mother detailing what happened at two a.m. on Novemver 23, 1993. It is my sincere hope that it never comes to that. I am confident that this relationship could prove equally beneficial to you in time. We ask that you abide by the following list of expectations. We reserve the right to revise this list as we deem revisions necessary
1. No alcohol
2. No illegal drugs
3. No pornography
4. No pets (especially cats, dogs and ferrets)
5. No contact with Tammy Ducharme- legal or otherwise
6. All illegal activities excepting those you are asked to do by us are prohibited
7. Must not leave the county without first obtaining permission
8. Maintain at all times a full tank of gas in your truck and boat
9. Jill Lassiter’s rifle and all ammunition to be stored in the crawl space under the shop
10. Video and photographic equipment prohibited in the house, shop and truck
11. Have haircut once every three weeks
12. Beard must shaved off or trimmed weekly using a number three attachment on your razor
13. Maintain good hygiene (daily showers, brush teeth, etc…)
14. Set and maintain rat traps in the crawl space under the shop
15. Dispose of entire wardrobe, and then replace your wardrobe with the assistance of Rolfish. dress in a neat and professional appearance at all times
16. Maintain a neat and orderly residence.
17. You are only permitted contact with Rolfish, Kodd, Beanid, Foxen, Foxen, Ilverbottum and those Widjiwats who are introduced to you by them and who are in their company.
18. If any little people attempt to contact you independently please kill them and deliver their bodies to the above listed Widjiwats.
19. Meet once a week with Ilverbottum of Mawfick for instruction in matters of Widjiwat culture, history, way of life, etc…
20. Mount a bell with pull string next to the kitchen counter by the crack in the wall
You will be reimbursed for any costs incurred in complying with the above list (gasoline excluded).