- Dare Me by Eric Devine
A trio of buddies who’ve never made any social waves decide to take their high school by storm senior year with a series of increasingly risky stunts they will perform in disguise and post on the internet. Ricky is the ringleader, and narrator Ben takes the first dare, “surfing” on the roof of a moving car. The video is a hit, the high school is abuzz with speculation about the masked daredevils, and the year is off to a great start. Ricky discloses that they have a financial backer, O.P. from Get [End Page 208] Out There Adventures outfitters, and convinces Ben and John to sign a contract. The money starts to roll in, but the dares are now influenced by the patron. John breaks his arm in a stunt, losing all chance of his athletic scholarship; the school administration gets serious about shutting this covert operation down; and the boys unwisely divert suspicion to a group of jocks, who retaliate with a vengeance. The naïve recklessness of the boys and the inability of classmates to figure out who’s behind the stunts are equally mystifying, while the trio’s incessant but half-hearted attempts to call the gig off all strain credulity. Ben’s weak attempt at reviewing the lessons learned at the story’s close is both didactic and easily shrugged off, so readers will easily ignore it in favor of the dark pleasure of watching the inevitable train wreck from a safe distance.