Confused, he once more tried to get to his feet – once more, with heart pounding and head spinning he fell between the tracks. The rumble grew louder and the vibrations became stronger. Realizing he had to act quickly, Zack tried to crawl. Though his head spun, he was making a little progress. Now the rumble had become a clopping-clatter, violently shaking the ground as the deadly train loomed ever closer. He had to get off the tracks!
With one track to cross, he decided to try to roll over the formidable steel. Putting all his strength into one final effort, he cried out in terror, “God, please help me!”
Doing a man’s job from the age of twelve, Zack experiences a difficult, fast-paced life, sawing logs in the swamps and dealing with alligators, snakes, bears and other wild critters. He witnesses his father shoot a man for cheating in a poker game, and deals with the trauma of finding his aunt tortured and killed by outlaws who then came to the Bentley home and abuse Zack’s pregnant mother and three siblings.
Zack falls in love with Io, a Seminole Indian girl – a childhood crush. Billy Joe, Io’s uncle has always been a Christian friend, and together, he and Io lead Zack to Christ.
Now running from the law, Zack’s father leaves him with the responsibility of the family welfare. In spite of their poverty, Christmas brings a special opportunity to share their love for each other as well as to show the love of Jesus.