Shadow hides away in the sleepy town of Lakeside, taking the identity of Mike Ainsel and residing in an apartment set up by Mr. Wednesday. The two have split up and hide themselves from the other gods and the secret government tracking their moves. As Mike Ainsel, Shadow has a small break from being terrorized by vindictive entities with bad habits. The town of Lakeside offers a quite home town experience with humble folk. After his first night in the town, Shadow is given a warm welcome and begins to build the Ainsel identity within the community. Making fast friends, gathering supplies for the winter and purchasing a tacky car, Mike Ainsel is upstanding member of Lakeside. But how long will this break last before Mike Ainsel disappears and the real Shadow emergence.
The second issue focuses on Shadow dealing with stressful, non-god situations. His first official day at Lakeside starts with Shadow with no food or clothes to survive the deep freezing weather of Lakeside. Usually the mischievous Mr. Wednesday is there to offer some sort of aid or a trick up his sleeve, but Shadow is left alone to figure it out. Shadow eventually finds the people of Lakeside very friendly and gathers all his needs for his stay. His presence in the small town has people gossiping, but Shadow has been preparing to be Mike Ainsel for awhile. Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell return to a calmer pace for Shadow to reflect about his time with the strange events over the past months. Losing and finding his dead wife, angering Gods and escaping secret agents had Shadow all tightly winded up. The story still has Shadow being haunted by visions he does not understand, but at least Mr. Wednesday isn’t there to mock him for now.