TRUE BELIEVERS: Chapter 43 — Not a Hoax! Not a Dream!

Thom Dunn
5 min readApr 29, 2020

True Believers is a full-length novel by Thom Dunn, based on his play of the same name. It’s a satirical tale of star-crossed lovers, aspiring comic book creators, crazed fanboys, cybernetically enhanced humans, women in refrigerators, real-life superheroes, and girls who dress like Slave Leia as their lives intertwine over a whirlwind weekend at a comic book convention in the early 2010s.

The book will be serialized on Medium throughout the month of April 2020. Here is the first chapter. Check back every day for more chapters!

Paralysis washes over Ted for the second time today as the small, sweet, innocent girl he’d fallen for dances out the door and out of his life. He is frozen and alone in the center of the crowd, overwhelmed by embarrassment in the wake of his mounting failures.

For all the influence he has in his own little world — and over the fates of so many intellectual properties, careers, and other important narratives — there are still some parts of Ted’s own story that he cannot control.

A voice in Ted’s head tells him to run after Chloe. To chase her down and prove to her just want kind of man he is. The man that he could be, for her. But the assembled mob fills in the gaps and closes the path behind her, and that little voice of conscience is drowned out by another familiar frustration.

Chad Mailer.

“Look, Ted…”

Ted doesn’t look. He just says, “Fuck you.”

“Okay then. Sure. It’s my fault, you’re right.” Chad starts to circle around him. “It’s my fault your wife left you, it’s my fault you were preying on a 20- year-old girl as a rebound.”

Chad counts each of these failures out on his fingers, and stops right in the center of Ted’s line of vision to articulate the third. “Hell, I even stole your fucking Han-Solo-in-Carbonite-Coffee-Table. That was all me, too!”

“Shut up, Chad!” Spittle flies from Ted’s trembling lips and he can feel the humid air against his bared gums. “I have put my ass out on the line for you time and time again, and I am sick of it. I just don’t want to hear it anymore. Not your apologies, or your stupid pitches, or none of it.”

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Thom Dunn

Writer of fiction, article, songs, and more. Enjoys quantum physics, Oxford Commas, & romantic clichés, esp. when they involve whiskey. HATES Journey.