At an Egyptian-themed casino, a pit boss call a blackjack dealer--Laura--over and points out that she's turning her table over faster even when she shuffles. He tells Laura that she doesn't have to shuffle, but she says that she likes shuffling. Later, Laura drives home, lets her cat out, and hard boils an egg for supper. As she eats and reads, a fly flits around her house. Laura finally takes out some Git Gone big spray and kills it. She then gets in her hot tub, seals the lid, and fills the air space with the bug spray A few seconds later, coughing, Laura opens the lid.
Back at the casino, Laura is dealing blackjack and Shadow sits down at her table and cashes in. He makes small talk with Laura and uses sleight of hand to slip in higher-priced chips when he wins. Laura notices and she finally advises him not to cheat because not only will the guards break his hands but prosecute. She advises Shadow to play his last hand and leave, and Shadow finally smiles and walks out. Laura smiles briefly and then continues dealing.
Later, Laura goes to her car and Shadow approaches her. He says that he was waiting for her and asks why she helped him. Laura admits that he was kind of a dick and unlucky. She tells him that he's not very good at robbing a casino, and Shadow says that next time he'll have a better plan and maybe an inside man. He says that she looks like someone who can get anything she wants just by asking for it, and offers to split the take 50/50 with her. Laura starts to walk away, and Shadow offers to buy her a drink because he feels beholden. She doesn't want to go anywhere with him and just wants to go home, and Shadow tells her to take him home with her.
When they arrive at Laura's home, Shadow and Laura kiss and start to make love on the couch. When Laura hesitates, Shadow asks if she's okay. She slaps him twice, and after a moment, Shadow flips her over, rips off her panties, and takes her from behind.
The next morning, Laura wakes up in bed alone. She goes to the kitchen and finds Shadow drinking coffee and practicing one-handed card cutting. He notices that she has a hot tub and asks if she ever uses it. Laura says that she does and he flips four aces out of the deck. She tells him to show her how he did it, and Shadow does. Laura soon does the trick, and Shadow pulls her over to kiss her.
Laura continues going to work. She and Shadow have a barbeque with Audrey and Robbie, and Audrey tells her friend that Robbie never looked at her like Shadow looks at Laura. Later after sex, Laura talks about her cat Donnie and how they warn their owners of thieves. She asks if Shadow ever worries if he'll go to jail if he keeps stealing, and asks if he believes in the afterlife. Shadow talks about his mother's beliefs, and Laura says that there's nothing after death but rotting. She insists that there's nothing to believe in. Her parents believe in everything, but she's never found anything to believe in. Laura wanted to get back the magic of belief she once had, but couldn't because is just not that interesting. Shadow looks at her and Laura tells her not to look at her like a lost puppy.
Shadow and Laura get married. She tells Shadow that it was fun, and he tells her that the fun's just getting started.
At another BBQ, Robbie tells Shadow that he should come down to his gym and take one of his fighting classes. Shadow continues boxing for exercise, and Laura works at the casino. They continue about their lives, Laura occasionally looking at the hot tub. One day Shadow goes to the store and Laura asks him to get bug spray.
One morning, Laura gets some coffee and wakes up Shadow in their bed. She leads him out to the kitchen, tells him to sleep, and tells him that she needs to rob the casino. Laura has been eliminating options until she came to her final decision, and he wonders if she's unhappy. Shadow says that she makes him happy, but Laura tells him that she resents not being happy even though she doesn't resent him. She explains that she wants more, and says that Shadow is too good for her. Shadow gets increasingly frustrated, and Laura tells him that she's worked at the casino for eight years and can predict what everyone will do. She says that she has a perfect plan and Shadow will never get caught.
Later, Shadow gets caught. Laura visits him in prison and Shadow tells her that he had bad luck. She figures that something went wrong but insists that the plan was perfect and someone fucked the. Laura offers to confess her part to reduce their sentences to three years each, and then they'd be back to their lives. Shadow refuses to let her go to prison, but Laura says that she was the one who got Shadow into it. He points out that he said yes and get caught, and he'll be out in three years. Shadow assures Laura that he can take it if she's on the other side. He asks her if she can wait for him, and Laura assures him that she can.
Laura goes home and takes a collect call from Shadow. He continues calling her, and Robbie and Audrey come over to keep her company and change her lightbulbs. One night, Laura comes home and finds Donnie dead on the kitchen floor. After cursing the cat, Laura pours herself a drink and calls Robbie over. He buries the cat and says that he and Audrey are glad to be there for her. Robbie invites her to crash on their couch, but Laura refuses. She then curses and says that she didn't even like Donnie, and Robbie motions her over so he can hug her. He says that he knows the situation with Shadow sucks, and they kiss for a moment. Laura pulls away and apologizes, saying that she's alone and drunk. They kiss again and have sex on the counter.
The next day, Robbie visits Laura at her home. He says that he told Audrey he had to help Laura move some furniture, and Laura tells him to say what he means. Robbie admits that he came there to fuck her some more. Laura tells him that the night before was a one-time thing, and says that now she's waiting for Shadow. Robbie says that he understands, and Laura grabs him and tells him to say it again. He does and she invites him in.
Five days short of three years, Laura prepares for Shadow's homecoming. Shadow calls and says that something feels weird but he doesn't know what. He asks if everything is okay, and Laura assures him that everything is fine and Robbie is coming by to help her prepare Shadow's surprise party. Robbie is on the bed naked, and once Laura hangs up, she dresses and tells him to get dressed.
Later, Robbie and Laura drive and Robbie says that they break up with their spouses and go off. Laura tells him that they're not doing it, and insists that she loves Shadow. Robbie tells her that she doesn't love him the way that Shadow loves her, and says that he feels differently than when they agreed it was a limited thing. Laura tells him to think about it as a sweet memory, that it was fun and he didn't get caught. Robbie wonders if that was all it was for her, and Laura tells him that it has to end that night. She tells him to drive, asks him to sing the song on the radio because it's her favorite, and gives him a blowjob. Her arm hits the brake and the car crashes.
The next morning, Laura floats above the crash site and stares in shock at her body. She finds herself in the middle of a desert with Anubis. He leads her to his scales and tries to take her heart. Laura pushes the heart side of the scale down and tells Anubis that her heart definitely isn't lighter than a feather. She asks where she's going, and Anubis tells her that she passes through. There's a bottle of bug spray on a hot tub, and Anubis tells Laura that in life she believed in nothing so she will go to nothing. Laura refuses to get in the coffin, demanding to go back, and Anubis tells her that her flesh has already been cut by the coroners and she's in the ground. He asks who she is to misguide him from his duty, and is surprised when Laura is pulled away into the sky.
Laura digs herself out of her grave and spits out embalming fluid. She realizes where she is and sees a flickering gold light on the edge of the cemetery. She walks toward it as it starts to rain, and discovers that the light is coming from Shadow as he hangs from a tree by his neck. Technical Boy's Children are standing around, and Laura runs over and tears two of the Children apart with superhuman strength. She leaps onto the rope and tears it apart, then drops to the ground and tears apart the remaining Children. Laura then hides before Shadow sees her, and he stares at the bloody bodies and then walks away.
The next day, Laura walks down the street holding her severed arm. She goes into her home and takes a shower to wash off the blood and dirt. Once she's done, Laura packs a bag and sees the golden light approaching the front door from the outside. Realizing that it's Shadow, Laura hides in the hot tub. Once he leaves, she goes to Audrey's house and starts to stitch her arm back on with Audrey's craft supplies. Her stomach rumbles and she looks at the scrapbook Audrey prepared for Shadow.
Audrey comes in, sees Laura, and screams in terror. She grabs a phone, runs to the bathroom, and slams the door shut. Laura asks her not to call the police and breaks open the door. She asks to use Audrey's toilet, and does so anyway to expel the rest of the embalming fluid in her guts. Laura explains and asks Audrey to turn around, and Audrey does so, sobbing. She asks what is going on, and Laura admits that she doesn't know. Laura explains that she needed Audrey's craft supplies, and Audrey asks her what's the last thing she remembered before she died. Embarrassed, Laura realizes that Audrey knows what happened and asks if Robbie is dead. Audrey admits that she hasn't seen Robbie since he died. She also admits that she may have told everyone what Laura and Robbie were doing at the funeral service, and that Shadow knows and she tried to fuck him on Laura's grave. Audrey admits that she's not proud of herself, and had Robbie buried with his penis that Laura bit off shoved up his ass. She figures that she should thank both of them because it's easier grieving someone when she's glad they're dead.
Audrey stitches Laura's arm on and explains that she made the scrapbook because memories lie. Laura says that she feel terrible about the affair, but Audrey doesn't care. Audrey asks what she thinks about what she did, and Laura admits that she did a shitty thing and it wasn't about Audrey. Laura says that she told one big lie with many smaller lies, and the big lie was that she told Shadow that she could wait for him. She then asks Audrey to borrow her car.
Soon, Audrey drives Laura across the country. Laura reads her obituary and complains about the lack of effort that went into it. Audrey tells her that she was shitty, and wonders how she'll live with Shadow. Laura still sees the light coming from Shadow in the distance, and Audrey tells her that Shadow deserves better than her. She laughs when Laura says that Shadow is and was the light of her life, and says that she considered Shadow a puppy. Laura says that she loves Shadow now.
Ibis and a jackal walk to the road, and Audrey brakes just in time. The jackal transforms into Anubis, and he tells Laura that he remembers her. They take her to the funeral home that they own and Ibis explains that they provide continuity. Ibis motions her onto the table, and Anubis removes her blouse and lies her down. They fully attach her arm and paint her skin, and explain that they have to tend to her flesh because it can't tend to itself anymore. Anubis tells her that her heavy heart sank her, and asks if it was love. Laura tells him that it wasn't but it is now, and Anubis says that it has her at a disadvantage. Ibis assures her that Shadow will thank whatever god that sends her back to him. Anubis tells her that when she is done, he will complete his task and deliver her on to darkness.
Later, Laura goes to Shadow's hotel room and puts up fly paper to kill the flies attracted to her corpse. She puts on her wedding dress and waits. Shadow finally arrives and Laura greets him.
Written by Gadfly on May 22, 2017