Howzer Cassel and his sister Deborah, feel like run-always long before they one day, at the ages of 12 and 14, scrape up enough money and actually flee to California. Feeling misunderstood, tired of school and bored with the comfortable Midwestern lifestyle that their parents have provided, Howzer and Deborah daydream for relief. But when they aboard a train headed for Los Angeles, they believe their dream of something better will take them to a happier life. What they find is not at all what they had expected. Forced to jump the train outside Los Angeles to avoid discovery, Howzer's innocence quickly begins to be destroyed in the rugged and sparsely populated California countryside. Hungry and tired, they meet Nick and his retarded son, Albert, two hunters escaping the heat and smog of Los Angeles. They drive to "Joe's Place," a remote bar and restaurant run by Joe and Mary. As Howzer and Deborah learn more about these new adults in their lives, relief and curiosity turn to fear and ...