A freakish blizzard chokes the small town of Bug Leg, the lingering heat of summer just moments removed. The sunken wagon trails leading to and from town have been buried and offer no escape; a mysterious stranger is the last to emerge from the world outside. Children at the schoolhouse, miles from town, wearing short sleeves and shoeless, are ushered inside to gather around the wood oven to stay warm, their small supply of firewood damp and dilapidated by beetles and worms. In town, people are stranded, taking refuge in the wise words of the bartender, or in the arms of a prostitute. The stranger walks among them, his face weather-beaten and hidden beneath days of filth, his walk hampered by a long and difficult road. He carries a secret he cannot reveal and a pouch of gold coins he cannot deplete. Soon, death abounds.