|“||There's nothing to believe. Trust me. I've looked. I mean, my parents believed in everything. Father, Son, Holy Ghost, spirit-filled and full of the light of God. They taught me all of it, chapter and verse. I went to bed every night in a world full of magic where anything was possible. And then one day you find out that Santa's not real, and then the Tooth Fairy isn't real. And there's no farm upstate for old dogs. Then I started reading history books and Jesus isn't real. And it's like everything that made the world anything more than what it is is just . . . is just stories. Just snake oil, but worse because snakes are real. I wanted to get that magic back so bad but one day I just accepted the fact that I couldn't because life is just not that interesting.||”|
Laura Moon (née McCabe) is the deceased spouse of Shadow Moon. She has been preparing for her husband's pending prison release. Little does she know that she will go on an unexpected journey that leads her to an epiphany about her relationship and affords her a second chance to get things right.
Laura was a severely bored casino dealer who attempted to kill herself by using bug-spray. She meets Shadow when she dissuades him from cheating the casino by explaining how easily he would get caught.They begin a relationship which culminates in marriage, however, Laura's boredom with life puts everything in jeopardy when she urges Shadow to rob the casino properly. Shadow gets caught. but refuses to let Laura share the jail sentence.
While he is in prison, Laura visits and calls Shadow frequently. Laura also begins an affair with Robbie. Laura ends it three days before Shadow is released and was giving Robbie a goodbye blowjob when they get into the car accident that kills them. Shadow returns to Eagle Point, Indiana for her funeral, encountering Mr. Wednesday on his journey home.
Significance in series Edit
Shadow Moon is locked up in prison, lifting weights in the yard with his cellmate, Low Key Lyesmith. He is due to be released from prison in five days but has a premonition of a storm coming. He relates his uneasy feelings to both Low Key and later in a phone call to his wife, Laura Moon. She reveals to him that she and his best friend, Robbie Burton, are planning a surprise party for him when he comes home.
That night, Shadow dreams of an orchard full of skulls and bones and a massive tree with branches that reach for him, one of them slashing Shadow across his cheek. A noose drops in front of him. He is awoken by a prison guard, leading him to the warden who tells him of Laura's death in a car accident that morning. He will be released a couple of days early to attend her funeral.
On his way to Eagle Point for Laura's funeral, Shadow arrives at Jack's Crocodile Bar where Jack offers him her chili. Shadow heads to the bathroom where Mr. Wednesday appears from a bathroom stall. He is still offering him a job and he passes Shadow a newspaper with an article on the car crash. He tells Shadow that Robbie had also died in the accident that killed Laura.
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 dick 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.
Shadow 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.
While Shadow and Wednesday are eating lunch in Chicago, Mad Sweeney abruptly shows up, demanding his gold coin back from Shadow because he gave him the wrong coin. Shadow asks him how he did the coin trick before he'll tell him what he did with the coin. Sweeney once again claims that he plucked the coin out of thin air. 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.
Shadow gets the key to his motel room from the front desk and heads to his room. He opens the door and discovers Laura sitting on the edge of the bed.
Laura McCabe is dealing Blackjack at Anubis Casino 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.
Laura visits Shadow in prison, asking how he got caught. She wants to make a deal and take part of the blame so they both get three years with a year and a half in prison. Otherwise, Shadow alone would end up with six years in prison, getting out in three. He refuses the deal and asks her if she can wait for him. She tells him she can.
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. Audrey tells Laura that Shadow deserves better than Laura and Laura admits that she loves Shadow now even though she might not have loved him before.
A black jackal and Mr. Ibis stand in the middle of the road, stopping Audrey's car. The jackal stands up into Anubis, telling Laura that he remembers her. Jacquel and Ibis take Laura to their funeral parlor. Ibis explains they have been in business for 200 years. They repair her with pins and threads and paint her skin. Jacquel asks if it was love that brought her back. She says it wasn't but it is now. Jacquel lets her know that when she is done, he will complete his task and deliver her into darkness.
Laura hangs fly paper in a motel room before changing into the dress she brought. She sits on the side of the bed and waits throughout the day and night. A golden light flashes past the window and Shadow opens the door, finding Laura waiting for him.
Laura awaits Shadow in his motel room. He asks her what she is doing there and throws a pillow at her to see if she is real. He asks her about her affair with Robbie. She acknowledges that she wasn't able to wait for him as she had promised but she wasn't going to leave Shadow for Robbie. She tells him how Robbie was upset so she was giving Robbie a "goodbye blowjob" when the accident happened. She sends Shadow to get her cigarettes from the motel vending machine. When he returns, she is taking a bath to warm herself up.
As Laura smokes in the bathtub, Shadow returns her wedding ring. They discuss their relationship and Laura tells him they have some things to work on. They kiss and Laura's insides glow golden and her heart gives a beat. She tells Shadow she loves him and is looking out for him and thanks him for giving her the gold coin. She asks if he is still her puppy and Shadow responds that he is not. There is a knock on the door and Wednesday invites Shadow out for drinks. Shadow refuses just as police drive up and arrest them both for the bank robbery in Chicago. Laura is left behind alone in the bathroom.
Laura gets dressed just as the motel room door bangs open and Mad Sweeney comes barging in, demanding his coin back. He grabs her by the throat and the coin glows out from her throat. She flicks him in the throat and he flies across the room, momentarily stunned. She tells him her husband gave her the coin and it is hers. Sweeney explains he gave Shadow a coin meant for royalty on accident. He demands it back and Laura refuses, breaking his finger when he points it at her. She grills him, asking him how he knows Shadow. He reveals he was hired by Wednesday to pick a fight with Shadow at Jack's Crocodile Bar to see what Shadow was made of. Sweeney offers Laura as many gold coins as she wants if she will give back the one she has. Laura realizes that Sweeney can't just take the coin from her; she has to give it to him. He tells her all he has to do is wait for her to decompose enough for the coin to just fall right out of her. He attacks her and shoves her into the bathtub, holding her head underwater. Cops burst in and take down Mad Sweeney as Laura plays dead in the bathtub.
In the morgue, the medical examiner hears a noise and goes to investigate. He turns around as Laura bursts out from the morgue drawer, accidentally killing him with the door. She sees her reflection in the mirror and blows on it, producing no condensation. She gets dressed and walks out of the morgue.
Laura returns to the motel just in time to see Mr. Wednesday and Shadow drive away. Her car is missing so she goes to the Front Desk clerk to find out where it is, only to learn that the police towed it because she was dead. She asks where all the police are and Mad Sweeney shows up, announcing that all of the police are dead. She asks if he has a car and they head out to the parking lot where she frees Sweeney from his handcuffs. Sweeney selects a taxi cab to steal because the alarm is easy to disable. He is doing this because he wants to help Laura find someone to raise her fully from the dead so she doesn't need his gold coin anymore to keep her alive. She needs his help because her body is in the process of decaying and she'll turn to soup otherwise. She asks him what he is and he tells her he is a leprechaun. A gun cocks and Salim asks them to stop stealing his cab. He also wants to know if Mad Sweeney ever met a Jinn. Sweeney replies that if Salim takes them to Kentucky, he will tell Salim where he can find his Jinn along with "a murder of gods."
Laura sits in the front seat of the taxi as Salim talks about how much New York scared him but now he is no longer scared. Sweeney pipes up from the back seat that he's scared Salim won't ever be quiet. He mocks Salim's taxi license because he is not Ibrahim bin Irem. Laura asks if Salim killed Ibrahim and Salim says that he hopes Ibrahim was given a new life just like he was given. He was Salim but now he has a new life and doesn't plan on seeing anyone from his old life. Laura ponders about never seeing her mother again but plans on thanking Christ for that when he raises her from the dead. Sweeney tells her to shut up about Jesus and begins insulting her. Laura grabs Sweeney by the lips and slams his head against the divider, warning him to not use that language around her ever again. She asks Salim if she can smoke because the car smells like a toilet anyway. He tells her to roll down her window and asks her if she is dead because she smells like it. She tells him it is her afterlife. When she was little, she used to pray for her family to disappear and now her prayers have been answered. Salim replies that he prays in thanks, not to ask for things. He prays to find the Jinn because the Jinn is his afterlife and he wants to know more. Sweeney laughs at him as he pulls his cap over his eyes to sleep. Laura reaches over and turns the steering wheel toward Indiana instead of Kentucky.
Sweeney wakes up in the backseat to find that they are not in Kentucky but have arrived at Jack's Crocodile Bar. They go into the bar and order drinks before taking a seat at a booth. Sweeney continues insulting Laura's looks and smell and she tells him to stop trying to shame her because it doesn't work. Sweeney warns her about bringing attention to herself and asks why she came back to Indiana. He tells her her old life is done and Shadow is not obligated to take her back because she's dead and he knows it. The kiss that made her heart beat made Shadow taste the death on her. Shadow has a new life with Wednesday and Salim got a new life with the Jinn and Laura needs to get a new life without Shadow.
They stop off in Eagle Point and Laura spies on her mom and family as they decorate Easter eggs before getting back in the cab and telling Salim to drive.
Salim lays out his prayer rug on the side of the road for his morning prayer. Sweeney stays with the taxi as Laura sits nearby in a ditch, smoking. Salim finishes his prayer with "Allāhu Akbar. God is great." Laura replies that, "life is great," and he agrees.
Mad Sweeney sleeps in the back of Salim's taxi. They stop at Derek Arnold Jr.'s ranch where there is a massive white buffalo statue for tourists to come visit. A Tatanka Ska had been born there but it died a year after it was born from a lightning strike so the visitors stopped coming. Sweeney tells Laura it's because they put the god in a "zoo." Salim brings out his prayer mat and Laura sits on the base of the buffalo statue to watch him pray. Sweeney goes out to a hedge and begins to relieve himself when a raven caws at him. He gets in an argument with the raven about how he is holding up his end of the bargain. Laura interrupts them and tells Sweeney they should let Salim go. Sweeney argues with her, accidentally revealing that all the gods are meeting up at the House on the Rock in Wisconsin. Laura lets Salim know that he can find his Jinn at the House on the Rock and Salim takes off in his taxi. While Sweeney breaks things in anger, Laura walks over to an ice cream truck to steal it. She explains to the driver that he can tell his boss he was robbed and Sweeney punches him to make him look like it.
Laura drives the ice cream truck while Sweeney shivers in the front seat. Sweeney explains that the man who will resurrect Laura will only do it for a favor, not any of Sweeney's gold. He has a hoard of gold from when he was once a king before becoming a bird and ultimately a leprechaun. He was supposed to go to war but saw his death on the battlefield and flew away instead. He is joining Wednesday's war now to make up for that. A white rabbit darts into the road and Laura swerves to miss it, flipping the ice cream truck and throwing Laura out the front windshield. The gold coin flies out of her chest and rolls along the road, stopping a few feet away.
Mad Sweeney awakens from the accident in the flipped ice cream truck. He sees Laura dead and lifeless before finding his gold coin on the side of the road. He picks it up and remembers the night Laura died. He was in the oncoming car and pulled over afterward, discovering Laura still barely alive on the ground. He tells a raven watching over the accident site that "it's done" as Laura's last breaths gurgle out.
In the present, Mad Sweeney curses in Old Irish at the sky before turning around and crouching down next to Laura's body. He places the coin on Laura's sternum and she returns to life with a punch to Sweeney's face. She flips the ice cream truck back over and is able to get it started again so they can proceed on their journey.
An ice cream truck pulls up to Easter's Estate and Laura and Mad Sweeney get out. Easter finds out they have arrived and finds Laura in a bathroom, coughing up maggots. Easter is angry Mad Sweeney brought a dead girl into her home but she owes Sweeney a favor. Easter quizzes Laura on her dead state. Laura admits that she is always thirsty and cold. Easter explains she doesn't resurrect, she grants "relife" but first she needs to know the specifics of Laura's death. She looks into Laura's eyes to see the exact moment of death and spots a raven and Mad Sweeney as the last image on Laura's retinas. Easter asks Sweeney if he was working for Wednesday and explains to Laura that she was killed by a god, making it so she can't regift life to Laura. A rabbit alerts Easter that more guests have arrived and she leaves while Laura demands Mad Sweeney to tell her which god killed her. She knows Sweeney isn't a god and squeezes his balls to make him say out loud which god it was. Sweeney admits it was Wednesday who had her sacrificed to get Shadow to a place where he had nothing left. Wednesday has been interfering in Shadow's life since the casino heist because gods like to "fuck with us."
After the Old Gods declare war on the New Gods, Mr. Wednesday asks Shadow if he believes and Shadow answers that he believes "everything." Laura clears her throat to announce her presence and asks to speak with her husband.
Physical appearance Edit
She has chestnut brown hair and blue eyes and is in the process of decaying throughout the novel.
Powers and abilities Edit
- Object-based power: Mad Sweeney's "lucky" gold coin imbibes him with supernatural strength and unnatural prosperity. When he loses his coin to Shadow, Laura ends up with the coin's power, as seen in "Git Gone."
- Resurrection: After Shadow gifts Laura with Mad Sweeney's gold coin in "The Bone Orchard," Laura returns from the Underworld.
- Super Strength: Laura is able to use minimal physical force to cause maximum damage as seen in "The Bone Orchard" when she tears apart the Children and in "Lemon Scented You" when she easily overpowers Mad Sweeney.
- Tracking: Laura is able to track Shadow by following a golden light that shines from him as first demonstrated in "Git Gone."
Notes and trivia Edit
- Laura will be the "foothold" into the world of gods.