|“|| Three years had passed. Yes. The Super-8 motel had gone, torn down: in its place was a Wendy's. There were more stoplights, unfamiliar storefronts. They drove downtown. Shadow asked Wednesday to slow as they drove past the Muscle Farm. CLOSED INDEFINITELY, said the hand-lettered sign on the door, DUE TO BEREAVEMENT.|
Left on Main Street. Past a new tattoo parlor and the Armed Forces Recruitment Center, then the Burger King, and, familiar and unchanged, Olsen's Drug Store, then the yellow-brick facade of Wendell's Funeral Parlor. A neon sign in the fron window said 'House of Rest.' Blank tombstones stood unchristened and uncarved in the window beneath the sign.
Eagle Point is where Shadow lived with his wife, Laura, prior to his 3-year imprisonment. Shadow returns to Eagle Point to attend his wife's funeral after she and his best friend, Robbie, both die in a car accident days before Shadow's release from prison.
Shadow wakes up in the back of Mr. Wednesday's car on their way to Eagle Point. He finds Mad Sweeney's gold coin and Wednesday says Sweeney taught him the coin trick. He cleans up in a gas station bathroom before dropping Wednesday off at a motel and taking Betty, Wednesday's car, to the church for Laura's funeral.
He is late and finds a spot in a pew next to Audrey Burton, Robbie's wife and Laura's best friend. She begins mouthing off about Laura and Shadow tells her he's sorry about Robbie. She realizes that Shadow doesn't know that Laura died with Robbie's "cock in her mouth."
The funeral proceeds to the graveside where Shadow stays through until the grave is filled. He doesn't understand why Laura would cheat on him. He had worked hard improving himself for her while in prison so he would be better than he was going in. He tosses Mad Sweeney's gold coin onto her grave.
Audrey stumbles over, doped up on Ativan and having just pissed on Robbie's grave. She pieced things together and figured out that Robbie and Laura having an affair for a long time. She goes into detail about Robbie's penis being severed in the crash and what she told the coroner to do with it. She is angry that she won't ever get closure before she breaks down crying and offers him a hug. He hugs her back and she next offers him an "eye for an eye, a blowjob for a blowjob." He refuses and comforts and holds her as she cries. The gold coin on Laura's grave sinks into the dirt.
As Shadow walks back from the graveyard, the street lights go out. He sees what looks like fireflies swarming over a box in a field off the side of the road. He investigates and the box opens and attaches itself to his face, transporting him into a virtual reality.
He is seated at one end of a long room with Technical Boy at the other end. Technical Boy's Children sit on either side of Shadow, prepared to hit him if he doesn't answer Technical Boy's questions. Technical Boy continuously blows rings of synthetic toad-skin bufotoxin vapor into Shadow's face as he grills him about Wednesday. When he discovers Shadow knows nothing, he tells his Children to kill Shadow, explaining he can delete and overwrite Shadow.
Shadow is transported back to the side of the road where the Children beat and then lynch him from a tree. The rope breaks and he falls to the ground as the Children are massacred in front of him.
Shadow goes to a hospital to treat the injuries he received from Technical Boy's Children. The nurse asks if he was shot because he would have to call the police. Shadow tells him no and to not involve the police. He returns to the motel and pounds on Wednesday's door, disrupting him with a young, blonde woman. He tells Wednesday how Technical Boy hijacked him and tried to kill him. Wednesday offers him occupational hazard pay and doubles his salary. Wednesday promises that he is angry about Technical Boy and has a plan.
Shadow goes to his hotel room and draws up a bath. He removes his wedding ring. He goes to bed and dreams of Laura visiting him. He tells her she's dead and she replies that he is having a bad dream and he wakes up to find himself alone. He cries himself back to sleep.
The next day, he arrives at Laura's house to pack up her stuff. He avoids the coroner's box with Laura's belongings, leaving it for last. Once he's finished packing, he opens the box and removes Laura's cell phone. He scrolls through her texts and finds a dick pic from Robbie, confirming their affair. He cleans the house, scrubbing the bathroom floor so hard his fingers bleed. After he is finished, Wednesday arrives, asking if he'll miss Eagle Point. Shadow says no because it was Laura's town. Wednesday tells Shadow that he only gets to be upset for so long because Laura was cheating on him. They take off in Wednesday's car, Betty, and start driving.
In Chicago, Mad Sweeney demands his gold coin back from Shadow because he gave him the wrong coin. Shadow says Sweeney can find the coin on Laura's grave back in Eagle Point. Sweeney leaves, telling Wednesday he'll see him in Wisconsin.
Mad Sweeney arrives at Laura's grave and begins digging, looking for his gold coin. He gets all the way to the casket and finds a hole burned through the lid. He opens the lid and discovers the coffin is empty.
Laura McCabe is dealing Blackjack at Anubis Casino in Eagle Point, Indiana where she has worked for the last four years. She is called back to the office where she is shown an automatic card shuffling machine. She enjoys shuffling but now the machine will do it for her. She returns home and lets her cat, Dummy, out before making hard-boiled eggs. A fly buzzes around and she gets out a container of Git Gone spray and kills the fly. She takes the bottle of bug spray with her into the hot tub and closes the lid over her. She sprays the bug spray and inhales as long as possible, opening the lid when she can't breathe anymore.
Laura is dealing in the casino once again. Shadow Moon strolls up to her empty table and begins to play. He orders a drink and flirts with her as she deals. The server returns with his drink and as he reaches for it, he surreptitiously switches out his lower bet with higher chips to win more with his hand. The dealer's hand busts and Shadow scoops up the extra winnings. Laura confronts him when he tries to do it a second time and warns him about the cameras and undercover security that will arrest him. She tells him to finish his drink and leave.
After her shift, Laura walks through the parking lot to her car. Shadow approaches her and asks why she helped him. He continues flirting with her and tries to convince her to be his "inside man." She refuses and Shadow apologizes, asking to take her out for a drink. She says she just wants to go home so he tells her to take him home. They go home and have sex.
Laura wakes up the next morning to Shadow sitting in her kitchen drinking coffee and shuffling cards. He is impressed with Laura's card handling skills and begins teaching her some card tricks. They start dating and Laura introduces him to her friends, Audrey and Robbie Burton. One night, Laura asks Shadow what would happen if he ends up in jail. They get into a discussion about the afterlife with Laura saying she doesn't believe in anything and that "life is just not that interesting." They get married and Shadow starts working with Robbie at the Muscle Farm teaching boxing while Laura continues working at the casino.
One morning, she wakes Shadow up and brings him into the dining room for a conversation. She tells him she has thought it through and has figured out a fool-proof plan to rob the Casino. She explains that she is not happy, living in the same town she grew up in, in her grandma's house, and they both have shitty jobs. She has worked at the casino for eight years and has come up with the perfect plan where he won't get caught.
Every time the phone rings from Woodward Federal Correctional Institution, Laura answers and accepts the collect call from Shadow. She spends time with Audrey and Robbie and visits Shadow in prison. She returns home one night to find Dummy dead on the floor. She calls Robbie and drinks wine while he buries Dummy in the backyard. He offers for her to come crash on their couch for the night but she refuses. She goes to him for a hug, which turns into a kiss. Laura pulls away, saying she is drunk and alone and her cat just died. They start kissing again. The next day, Robbie comes over to Laura's house with a fake excuse. Laura makes it clear that she is waiting for Shadow before they go inside to have sex.
Laura accepts a collect call from Shadow five days before he is to be released from prison. He has an uneasy feeling about a storm coming. She reveals to him that she and Robbie are planning a surprise party for his homecoming. Robbie is lying naked on Laura's bed. She hangs up with Shadow and they go on a drive in Robbie's car.
Robbie wants to leave Audrey for Laura but Laura tells him it is over because Shadow is coming home. She breaks it off with him, giving him a blowjob as he sings The Weight along with the radio. Laura's knee accidentally knocks the gearshift just as Robbie swerves to avoid an oncoming car. Their car ends up in a ditch with their bodies strewn along the highway.
Laura looks down on the crash site in shock before the landscape changes into a desert and Anubis appears. Anubis explains that she is now dead and leads her to his scales. He places a feather on one scale and reaches for her heart. Laura slaps his hand away and pushes down the scales as she tells him that her heart is heavier than the feather. Anubis leads her to her hot tub and tells her she will go to darkness because she believed in nothing. She starts to argue but he tells her he won't even remember her just as she is yanked out of the afterlife.
She digs herself out of her grave and vomits up formaldehyde . Everything is gray and blurry but she spots a golden light glowing in the distance and heads toward it. She finds it is coming from Shadow as he is being lynched by Technical Boy's Children. She runs to him, tearing apart the Children with superhuman strength. She jumps up to the rope hanging Shadow from the tree and breaks it so Shadow falls to the ground before proceeding to massacre the rest of the Children. As Shadow gets up off the ground, Laura hides from him.
Laura's right arm has come detached from her body and she is covered in blood. She walks home and takes a shower. She packs a bag of clothes, including the dress she was going to wear to Shadow's surprise party. She hears someone arriving before seeing the glowing light and realizes Shadow is there. She hides from Shadow in her hot tub.
In Audrey's craft room, Laura is trying to sew her arm back onto her body. She sees a scrapbook Audrey had made for Shadow as her stomach gurgles unpleasantly. Audrey shows up and sees Laura and starts screaming. She grabs her cell phone and locks herself in the bathroom as Laura begs her to not call the police. Laura breaks the bathroom doorknob and enters the bathroom as Audrey screams in the bathtub. She explains to Audrey that she needs to use the toilet and evacuates her bowels of embalming fluid. They discuss Laura and Robbie's affair and how everyone knows what happened. Audrey says it's easier "grieving someone when you're glad they're dead."
Audrey sews Laura's arm back on and Laura apologizes for fucking over Audrey. She admits the big lie she really told was that she promised Shadow she could wait for him. They leave in Audrey's car so Laura can find Shadow.
Wednesday notices Shadow is still distracted by Laura's death and return and tells him to close his eyes and think of Laura. Shadow's eyelids glow and he is able to view Laura in Eagle Point, spying on her mom and family as they decorate Easter eggs. Wednesday asks Shadow if he can let her fade away. Back in Eagle Point, Laura gets into the cab and tells Salim to drive.
Shadow Moon is near the end of his three-year prison sentence when he is released a few days early due to his wife's unexpected death. He heads to Eagle Point to attend her funeral but his plane is diverted to St. Louis due to a thunderstorm. He boards another flight and meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, who eerily knows all about Shadow and offers him a job. Shadow declines, leaving Mr. Wednesday on the plane, and rents a car to continue his journey.
After Shadow ultimately agrees to work for Mr. Wednesday, they head into Eagle Point. Mr. Wednesday drops Shadow off at Wendell's Funeral Parlor for Laura's viewing. At the funeral parlor, Audrey Burton arrives and spits in Laura's face. She tells Shadow that Laura died with Audrey's "husband's cock in her mouth."
Shadow arrives at the cemetery for the burial and remains behind until he is the only one left. He tosses in the gold coin he received from Sweeney the night before and begins walking back into town. Audrey follows along beside him in her car as she tells him about Laura and Robbie's affair before taking off again. Shadow trips and falls in the ditch right before he is captured and knocked out.
Shadow wakes up in the back of another limo, sitting across from a fat, young man. He quizzes Shadow about his work for Mr. Wednesday before telling Shadow to relay a message that Mr. Wednesday is forgotten and old while he is the future. He has "reprogrammed reality" and can "delete" Shadow any time. He takes Shadow to the Motel America and releases him.
Shadow checks in at the Motel America and meets back up with Mr. Wednesday, telling him how he was taken captive by a "fat kid in a limo." He delivers the fat kid's message that Mr. Wednesday is forgotten while the kid is riding in his limo. Mr. Wednesday shrugs it off and Shadow goes to his own room. He takes a bath, orders a pizza, and falls asleep watching Jerry Springer. He wakes up to go to the bathroom and returns to find Laura sitting on the edge of the bed.
Laura explains to him how she and Robbie started their affair after a drunken night thirteen months after Shadow was locked away and continued it on over the past two years. She was breaking it off with Robbie because Shadow was coming home and was giving Robbie one last blowjob when they got into the accident. She tells Shadow she's watching out for him and thanks him for her present: the gold coin from Mad Sweeney that Shadow dropped into her grave. She kisses him goodbye and tells him he will one day ask her to stay "before all this is over." She exits the motel, leaving a trail of mud behind her.
Shadow knocks on Mr. Wednesday's door, disturbing him with the blonde front desk clerk who checked him in. He tells Wednesday that he saw Laura and is willing to leave Eagle Point tomorrow. He returns to his room and cries himself to sleep.
Shadow and Mr. Wednesday eat breakfast the next morning at the Country Kitchen across the street from the Motel America where they spent the night. They discuss Laura briefly and then talk about the route their road-trip will take through Chicago, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
- Muscle Farm
- Wendell's Funeral Parlor
- Motel America