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Second Chance IV: Taking Chances
The Second Chance Series

Second Chance IV: Taking Chances

Having learned some valuable life lessons and recovered from his deep depression over losing his girlfriend, Ada, fourteen-year-old Jack “Butcher” Bucher decides his life in Mexico City is too hazardous to sit on the sidelines and just watch it pass him by. After realizing that death comes at him from every angle, and it can take him whenever it desires, Jack is more determined than ever to take chances and live his life to its fullest so he is never forced to look back with regret over opportunities missed.

Never is this philosophy more pronounced than when Jack and his friend, Brad Stephens, play their new game of “cops and robbers” in which they chase each other around the neighborhood at high speeds in their mothers’ cars. It is during one of these games in late August, 1974 that Jack loses control of his mother’s Mustang and nearly sails it over a cliff. Despite this scare and warnings from his spirit mentor, Zeph, Jack remains undeterred as he begins high school at the American High School where cultural tensions between Mexicans and Americans are escalating.

There is no relief from conflict during Jack’s home life, either. William, his father, spends big money on a new horse named Lancero, which William believes to be the son of a Kentucky Derby winner. This presents two problems for Jack. One: His father wants Jack to quit high-school sports to ride Lancero. Two: Lancero proves to be an uncontrollable race horse who would kill a riding neophyte like Jack.

In an effort to relieve some of their frustrations, Jack and some of his classmates join together on the neighborhood golf course for their first annual egg fight. This seemingly harmless horseplay gets out of hand, however, when the local police get involved, shots are fired, and Brad steals a cop car.

Neither are the results pretty when Jack and friends buy and consume a gallon of cheap Mexican wine while attending their first Homecoming Party.

Jack is finally forced to reconsider his risk-taking philosophy when his reckless driving nearly gets his friends killed and the Mustang is totaled. His carefree attitude receives a death blow when he learns that his parents are abandoning him and his sister in the lawless country for six weeks while they travel to Africa and Europe. It’s time to accept responsibility for his life.