In 1991 Castle Rock, Maine, Sheriff Alan Pangborn finds missing child Henry Deaver standing on the town's frozen lake. Twenty-seven years later, on his last day as warden of Shawshank State Penitentiary, Dale Lacy commits suicide. His successor, Theresa Porter, plans to reopen a long-abandoned cell block so that she can maintain the growing inmate population. While counting the beds, guard Dennis Zalewski comes across a mysterious, unaccounted-for inmate locked in an underground cage. The Kid, upon being released, whispers Henry's full name. Porter refuses to involve Henry, who is now a death-row lawyer, but Zalewski anonymously calls him. After returning to Castle Rock and reconnecting with Pangborn and his dementia-suffering mother Ruth, Henry attempts to learn more about The Kid only for Porter to stonewall him. Zalewski, meanwhile, discovers that The Kid has escaped and slaughtered several other guards. In a flashback, it is revealed that Henry's father went missing around the same time he did and was found dead. In a second flashback, Lacy tells The Kid to ask for Henry when the time comes.