Family. Truth. Vengeance. Crime. Poverty. Violence. Family. Hope. Meth. Pills. Life. Death. Family.
Sewerville explores a lot of different topics, but now that I’m ready to share this story with you, I want to say that for me, it is about family above all else — the families into which we’re born, and the families into which we grow during the course of our lives.
The story itself unfolds in fictional Sewardville, Kentucky, a place not unlike those small, rural towns we all know so well, with convenience stores and fast-food restaurants lining Main Street and not much else going on besides that. The mayor of Sewardville — Walt Slone — also happens to be the head of one of the largest criminal operations in the Southeast USA; his son John is the sheriff. The Slone family manages a lucrative gambling and prostitution operation, while also running guns and pain pills on trucks from Florida to New York.
About the only thing thing they haven’t gotten into yet is meth. In the mayor’s words, “Meth was seedy, evil, an abomination cooked up by miscreants… Meth was ruin. The Slone family wanted no part of ruin.” The competition sees it differently: for them, meth is the present, and the future. Meth is easy, and the market is bottomless. It may leave behind a horrific wasteland of zombies with oozing skin and black teeth, but so what?
Against this backdrop, the story descends into one of the darkest and seldom-seen corners of America. The true protagnist of the story is Boone Sumner, the son-in-law who married into the Slone family business and has regretted it ever since. When Boone finds himself tasked with the clean-up after his older brother Jimmy runs afoul of the Slone empire, Boone finally decides it’s time to get out of Sewardville and take his young daughter with him.
Torn between murder and in-laws, seeking escape from both, Boone launches a serpentine plot that sets the Slone family against Walt’s ambitious young rival, with Boone in the middle and his own demons never too far away. As his mother tells him, “It’s all just wickedness… Right there. In your heart. In your dark heart, the heart of the devil.” Sewerville is Boone’s story — his fight to prove her wrong.
[Coming next in Part II of What is Sewerville: why did I write this, and more importantly, what’s in it for you?]