Shadow walks along a path below a railway trestle on the way to Cairo, and comes across Sweeney laying unconscious at the base. Sweeney finally wakes up and Shadow explains that the cops called and told him that Sweeney was there. Disgusted, Sweeney produces Shadow some coins but says that the only one that matters is in Laura's chest and she left Shadow. He breaks into tears and laughter, saying that the further he gets from Laura the worse his luck is. Sweeney rolls a cigarette and recoils in disgust as he sees an ant on his hand. Shadow asks him where Laura is, and Sweeney offers to tell him for $20. When Shadow pays him, Sweeney says that he didn't know and thought she might be in Cairo. He tells Shadow that he saw Laura in New Orleans and thought she was coming back to Shadow. Sweeney then whispers to Shadow that there's a rope around Shadow's neck and ravens on his shoulders waiting for his eyes.
At the funeral home, Wednesday admires the World Tree and asks if his allies will come when he call. Ibis and Djinn say who will come, and Shadow comes in as the Djinn warns against Bilquis. Wednesday tells them that they can speak freely in front of Shadow, and the Djinn and Ibis disagree on whether Bilquis is with them or not. Shadow says that he just saw Sweeney and is in bad shape, and Wednesday jokingly says that he's in the right place. He excuses Ibis and the Djinn and then shows Shadow Gungnir, still broken in half. Wednesday cuts a branch off of the World Tree and uses it to restore Gungnir. He picks up the spear and tosses it to Shadow, and says that wars are coming and he has a big role for Shadow.
In Tennessee, Laura sits at the counter and Mama-ji comes over and tells her to get out. When Laura refuses, Mama-ji asks why she's there. Mama-ji insists that her worshippers are there and says that she manifests as the Nurturer but Laura might recognize her as the Destroyer. She briefly turns into her multi-armed form, wielding a blade and a severed head, and asks if they understand each other better. Mama-ji says that she has for a little respect and can provide some help, and Laura says that she needs two drops blood infused with love to bring her back to left. The goddess realizes that Laura is talking about voodoo and says that the problem is why Laura takes the potion. She tells Laura that she has the power to destroy in her own heart before giving Laura her tab and walking off.
Back on the road, Laura tries to hitch a ride and sees Shadow's light in the distance. A van pulls up and Laura gets in.
Sweeney walks up to the funeral home and sees three mourners on the patio. Black fumes come off of them that only Sweeney can see, and he realizes that they're banshee. Salim lets Sweeney in and Sweeney asks if he can hear the wailing. He says that the mourners are banshee, not mourners, asks where Wednesday is, and walks away.
In the chapel, Bilquis talks about Jesus and communion. Sweeney comes in and sits in the back, and Bilquis talks about the sacred gift of the flesh. She reads from Psalms, talking about the beauty of love, while the worshippers stare at her enraptured. Once the service is over, Bilquis tells Sweeney that she's adapting as they all do, and that she's heard of the stories about Sweeney. Sweeney dismisses it as bollocks and says that he doesn't remember much of it. Bilquis stares at him for a moment and then says that she won't have him but she will have his confession. Sweeney says that he remembers a girl who had the sigh and told his fortune, and he'd be undone and abandoned west of the sunrise. Those were the last good days before he and his kind were dismissed as "leprechauns" and described him as killed by a lowly human. Sweeney doesn't remember what the truth is anymore. Bilquis says that she heard a different story where he had a wife.
Sweeney wakes up in the chapel at night, and Bilquis is gone. He goes to the workshop and finds Wednesday at the refrigerator. Wednesday greets him and Sweeney says that he's not his man anymore because he's quitting. The god reminds him that they have a contract that Sweeney hasn't fulfilled, and Sweeney says that Wednesday owes him since Laura stole his coin. He notes that the coin has to be given voluntarily, and Wednesday tells him to give over his feelings for Laura and do the job he asked him to do. Sweeney refuses and Wednesday asks if he'll renege on their deal. He says that now Sweeney is whatever he makes him, and tells him to finish Laura for good before leaving.
Laura looks out the window of the van.
Sweeney leaves the funeral home, drinking. He sees the three mourners seated outside and yells that he knows who they are. He stares at the bottle and then punches it, and stares at the ants crawling over his bloody hand.
Sweeney scrapes ants out of a tree and eats them. He hears someone and sees a woman and child walking through the forest toward him. The woman reminds him that she's his wife Eorann and she has his daughter Moira. Eorann warns Moira that her father's mind has gone thin since he left her, and Moira introduces herself. The woman puts a blanket over Sweeney's shoulders and asks if he'll eat with them, and he agrees. After eating, Sweeney asks why Eorann is dressed in rags. She says that they lost the dress, the castle, the lands, and his people when they lost the war. Eorann reminds him that he abandoned their allies on the field so a curse was laid on him by the Grey Monks. Sweeney flies into a fury and Eorann picks up Moira and runs off.
Salim sits next to Sweeney and says that he's there because the Djinn is there, and the Djinn is there because he owes Wednesday. Sweeney insists that the women are banshee and harbingers of death, and tells Salim that he and the Djinn have to stay but Salim can leave at any time. Just because the Djinn might die in Wednesday's war doesn't mean Salim has to. Salim refuses and Sweeney asks if the Djinn would do the same for him. The human admits that he doesn't know, and says that he can't explain love to someone who hasn't felt it. Sweeney says that he's felt it and once had a family and a kingdom. He tells Salim that he's starting to remember.
Sweeney walks through the forest with Eorann, who tells him to listen to reason. He says that he's had enough of reason, and Eorann asks if he's had enough of her. Sweeney says that he does it for their family and the Grey Monks are pestilence. Eorann warns that the world is changing and soon they will have a child. She begs Sweeney to change with them, and to make alliances rather than enemies. Sweeney claims that he doesn't understand, and Eorann tells him to listen to one who wants nothing but a long life with him. When he hears bells toll, Sweeney says that the Grey Monks are poisoning their lands with churches and they cannot stay.
Sweeney tells Salim that he found Bishop Roman and told him to get out, and he speared one of his priests so Roman cursed him with madness.
Running through the forest, Sweeney comes to the battle and figures that he'd die by the spear. Laura appears to him and beg him to help her. Sweeney drops his spear and walks away from it all, including his mind.
Sweeney wakes up from his remembrances when he hears Bilquis say that it's not what he told her earlier. Salim is gone, and Sweeney goes inside to wash up. He sees Shadow in his room holding Gungnir and tells him not to let Laura near Wednesday. Shadow wonders why he cares, and Sweeney tells him to leave it at his warning. Disgusted, Sweeney says that Shadow feels good because he's earned Wednesday's favor, but the next day he'll be tossed aside and will have to pay the cost. He tells Shadow that he's Wednesday's bitch now. Shadow doesn't believe him, and Sweeney says that he takes his coins from the Horde and one can take whatever they want from it if they hold the Horde in their mind. He picks up the coin and makes it disappear, and Shadow tells him to bring it back. Sweeney tells him that he's not his battle, and asks him to promise him something and he'll give the coin back. He holds the window open and asks if Shadow hears the wailing, and says that it means someone in the house is going to die soon. When the time comes, Sweeney tells Shadow not to get in the way. He produces the coin and asks if they have a deal, and Shadow agrees. As he goes, Sweeney tells Shadow that they're not the heroes.
Ibis is at his desk writing a story when Sweeney comes in and drinks one of his beers. The Egyptian god says that the stories are imaginative recreations, and that he's writing Sweeney's earliest story.
Sweeney fights the gods coming into Ireland, until Mother Church arrives and turned them into fairies and dead kings.
Ibis agrees with Sweeney that he's not Wednesday's bitch, and explains that the story he's writing is about love and the ancient gods of Old Ireland. He tells Sweeney that he was a god-king and the Shining One, and he fought the Fomorians with his spear and his skill. Sweeney's madness came from his grandfather Balor, a Fomorian, and Sweeney killed him. Ibis notes that Balor had heard prophecy that his grandson would try to kill him so he drowned all of his grandchildren but Sweeney survived.
Sweeney insists that it was wrong and tells Ibis to stop writing. He says that it was Wednesday that he killed. Ibis tells him that stories are truer than the truth, and Sweeney gives him the $20 from earlier and tells him that he doesn't need it to leave or buy whiskey. When Ibis wonders if he's thinking about tomorrow, Sweeney tells him that it's none of his business and leaves.
The van drops Laura off outside of Cairo.
Before the World Tree, Wednesday offers a toast to the female mourners for leaving their food there, and for the others keeping him company in the coming war. Ibis and Salim both decline but say that they share the sentiment, and Wednesday says that it's their proverbial Last Supper. Sweeney comes in and points out that no one invited him, and Salim offers his chair. He says that they're eating the banshees' food and now they're in their debt, and says that he doesn't owe Wednesday anymore. Sweeney tells Shadow not to get in the away and reaches for Gungnir, and Shadow grabs it as Sweeney picks it up.
Sweeney tells the others to clear the room. As they go, Sweeney reminds Shadow that he promised. Wednesday watches and says that they all make promises, and Sweeney says that his debt is cancelled to him because he ate the banshees' food. He advises Shadow to put the spear down and leave, and Shadow refuses. They fight while Wednesday watches and eats, and Sweeney tells Shadow that they're on the same side. He insists that Wednesday has been lying to Shadow from the start, and that he killed Laura on Wednesday's orders. Sweeney warns that Wednesday is using Shadow like he uses everyone and advises Shadow to leave. Shadow refuses and Sweeney says that he fucked Laura in New Orleans.
Furious, Shadow punches Sweeney and then asks Wednesday if it's true. Sweeney grabs Gungnir and charges at Wednesday, and Shadow grabs the spear and reverses it, impaling Sweeney. Shadow apologizes to Sweeney, who says that he owes him a coin. Wednesday says that it's a waste and he would have given Sweeney a battle, and Sweeney says that Wednesday was always his battle. Gungnir turns into a shower of coins, and Sweeney gives Wednesday the finger and says that Gungnir's is the Sun's Treasure now. With his last breath, Sweeney says that he used to be a king.
Written by Gadfly on Apr 22, 2019