“REAPER TAPS” by JOSEPH P. O’BRIEN

Ever since we were old enough to want to be cool, Pete and I wanted to be as cool as Trevor DeZuto. Trevor was the first boy in our grade to pierce his ear, the first to wear Reebok Pumps, the first to hear this awesome new band called Nirvana. He was a baseball, soccer, and basketball all-star. He pulled pranks on teachers and never got caught, like when he’d tie the art teacher’s shoelaces to her chair, or when he’d sprinkle crumbled eraser bits into the math teacher’s toupee. Sometimes we wondered if Trevor had the power to stop time, to get ahead of the curve, slip out of trouble, or simply narrate his super-cool life to an adoring audience beyond a fourth wall only he could see, like Zack Morris on Saved By The Bell. Then one Saturday afternoon, barely a month into middle school, some smegma-brained drunk driver manslaughtered Trevor as the poor kid was riding his bike to the park.

The following Tuesday, Students Against Drunk Driving became the most popular club at school. So many kids joined SADD that day they had to move the meeting from its usual classroom to the lecture hall. During the meeting someone mentioned how drunk driving accidents killed people like Trevor every 48 minutes, which got us brainstorming, until we’d hatched a plan to raise awareness of that tragic statistic so high and so hard that nobody at Deer Hollow Middle School would ever let themselves or their loved ones drive drunk as long as they lived. Continue reading