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The story revolves around 14-year-old Jeremy, a shy boy who writes poetry and songs for his bullyish brother Shane and his band, but receives no credit or money for his efforts. The band is hired to perform at a local cafe for a substantial amount of money (unbeknownst to Jeremy) and it is there that the boy befriends the cafe owner, Jack Lucas, who also claims to be quite a poet. Jeremy feels comfortable at the cafe and Jack soon becomes a father figure, since the boy lost his father to a suspicious automobile accident when he was little. Soon the band moves on to bigger, better deals thanks to Jack's "connections," and Jeremy continues to hang out at the cafe, especially attending the weekly poetry readings. Jack invites the boy to attend a secret poetry group of his that meets at night in the woods around a campfire, and it is there that he informs Jeremy that "words have power...and must be used with caution." Later, when Shane is found mysteriously murdered, Jeremy blames himself...