It's London in June. Mad Hettie sits on a junked sofa beneath an underpass. She is approached by three tough-looking young women carrying a box with holes. They tell Mad Hettie that they got it, and she asks what took them so long. One of them replies that it was because there are no doves in London; they finally found a cage of them behind a pub and gave it the rum raisins to get it drunk like Mad Hettie asked. The old woman gives them their five quid that they had been promised, but the women become angered because they had spent all day looking for the dove. Mad Hettie sticks to the terms of their deal, and refuses to give them anymore money. One of the women pulls a knife, and says she figures that if Mad Hettie has five quid; maybe she actually has even more money. The decrepit old woman tells the tough that she had better put the knife away, but the women scoff and ask Hettie what she's gonna do. Mad Hettie replies that the first thing she'd do is to pick up a twig, and does so. She then breaks the twig, and one of the women falls down; her leg broken. One of the women runs away, and Mad Hettie takes her money back. The woman with the broken leg picks up her knife and tries to attack Hettie from behind. She misses and calls Mad Hettie a witch. Mad Hettie walks away saying that she's not a witch, but she didn't get to be 250 years old without learning a few tricks. Later, Mad Hettie is on the roof a tall building. She sacrifices the dove and reads it's entrails. The entrails reveal to Hettie that someone is coming back, and Mad Hettie vows that she's not going to miss her this time.
It's a month later and in America. Sexton Furnival is sixteen years old and suffering from a terminal case of ennui. He's typing a suicide note on his computer; decrying that there's no point to anything... and according to Sexton, "if there's no point to anything you might as well be dead." He explains that he doesn't blame his parents, even though they haven't been spectacularly good parents. They're divorced. Former hippies; his dad became a corporate lawyer for a record company, while his mom moves from one new age fad to the next. Sexton calls them both by their first names.
Sexton's mom, Sylvia, walks in as he's typing and asks if everything is okay. He tells her that he's just doing homework, and asks her why she's not at the restaurant where she works. Sylvia replies that she's taking the day off and plans to go on a day long cleaning spree and it may be better if Sexton leaves the house for awhile. Sexton saves his writing, and leaves his apartment. As he walks through the building he says hello to Billy, the mentally-disabled boy who lives down the hall.
Sexton goes to the junkyard to spend his time. He stands on top of a leaning refrigerator, which proceeds to tip over and lands on top of him. He cries for help, and is eventually answered by a female voice. The voice belongs to a pale, goth girl who informs Sexton that the junkyard was a stupid place to go exploring. Sexton smarts back to her, and she prepares to leave. He immediately apologizes, and she comes back and manages to move the fridge. She helps him up, and Sexton is upset as he notices that he's put a hole in his jeans. The girl helpfully tells him that if he's going to go exploring, he should dress for it. She notices that he's bleeding and tells him that he can come back to her place to get fixed up. Sexton follows her out of the junkyard.
As they walk, Sexton asks the girl why she was in the junkyard. She replies that she was breathing, and asks the same thing of him. He tells her that he "doesn't want to live in the same world as WWF and Home Shopping Network". They stop by a fruit stand, where a heavyset, middle aged woman sits. The girl greets the woman as Mrs. Robbins, and asks if she can have some apples. The woman agrees and tells the girl(whose name is Didi) that she had a package delivered. As Didi goes to retrieve the package, Mrs. Robbins asks Sexton how long he's known her. He answers that they've only known each other for ten minutes. Mrs. Robbins tells him that he's best be nice to Didi; her whole family was killed in a car accident last month. When Didi returns, Mrs. Robbins informs her that somebody from social services came by; she doesn't know how much longer she can cover for her.
They enter Didi's apartment, while Didi tells Sexton how amazing apples are. Sexton is unimpressed. Didi remarks that her apartment is tight enough for one; she hates to imagine what it was like with four people living in it. Sexton goes to the bathroom to put on some antiseptic, while Didi takes his jeans to repair them. When he comes back into the living room, he tells Didi that he was sorry to hear about her family. Didi looks really surprised and asks Sexton if he knows her family. Sexton repeats what Mrs. Robbins told him. Didi seems relieved and says something about "Oh, THAT family". She grabs a portrait of them, and remarks how they seemed like really nice people; of course they never actually existed. Sexton takes this bizarre comment as his cue to exit. He thanks Didi for everything, but can't resist asking her what she meant. She answers that she meant what she said... they never really existed. Sexton questions who the people in the photographs are. Didi tells him that's just the universe's way of "making her feel more comfortable", seeing as how she's technically only a few hours old. Sexton, now believing she has problems, asks her if she's ever seen a psychiatrist or therapist. Didi cheerfully tells him that eventually she sees everyone. Sexton is more confused than ever, and Didi explains to him that she is Death. Sexton angrily tells her that he thought maybe she was nice, but it turns out she's just as screwed up as everyone else. He slams the door and storms out, as Didi simply shrugs her shoulders.
Walking down the stairs, Sexton passes Mrs. Robbins. He asks her how long she's known Didi, and she tells him about sixteen years. Sexton continues his way down the staircase; musing about all the things he should have said that would have been smart or witty. "L'espirit d'escalier".
Outside the apartment building, he is greeted by Mad Hettie. Sexton tries to leave without speaking to her, but he trips over a wire she had set. Hettie breaks the bottle she had been drinking from, and holds the broken glass to Sexton's throat. Mad Hettie tells Sexton that she can smell "her" on him. Sexton realizes that she's talking about Didi, and tries to tell her that he wants no part of any quarrel between them. Mad Hettie refuses to listen and forces him to go back up to Didi's apartment. On the way up, Hettie tells Sexton that she's 250 years old and she knows a thing or two. She orders him to knock on Didi's door.
Didi comes to the door, and doesn't seem at all upset at seeing them. She greets Mad Hettie and tells her that she can leave Sexton out of this. The old woman refuses and calls Sexton her "bargaining chip". She informs Didi that she lost something, and she wants the girl to find it for her. Didi asks Mad Hettie what she wants her to find. Hettie takes off her hat, and is suddenly very submissive. She asks Didi to please find her heart for her. Didi asks what will happen if she says no. Mad Hettie puts her back on, and holds the broken bottle to Sexton's face. She threatens to cut his nose off...