TRUE BELIEVERS: Chapter 44 — Rising Up From The Ashes

Thom Dunn
7 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!

Calvin’s not quite sure what’s going on. Why is Chad Mailer showing such a sudden interest in him? He’d noticed Calvin’s costume a few times before, but he didn’t think that Chad would actually care enough to have a conversation with him.

Calvin’s impressed with Chad’s confidence, even just in walking through a crowded room. He knows how to carve a path between the huddled shoulders that pack the place. If Calvin were left to his own devices, he’d stop awkwardly at the first cluster of people who came upon and mumble “Excuse me” beneath his breathe until he gave up and went home.

It’s not like Calvin knows anyone else at the Omni Hotel bar anyway. He just thought it was The Thing To Do. And it is kind of cool to have a professional comic book writer take a sudden interest in you — even if he is the arch-nemesis of your ex-best friend who’s still moping back at your hotel. As if it was even possible at this point to do any more damage to that doomed relationship.

“So what’s going on here, Calvin?” Chad says, staking out a place to stand.

“Why the secret identity?” Chad continues. “Are you hiding something?”

That are so many ways that Calvin could answer that question. He decides to keep it simple — or at least, as simple as he can.

“My friend, who I came here with. He’s been kinda grating on me for…well, for a while now. I mean, we’ve been friends since forever — he’s my only friend ever, really — but he’s just so negative. Everything sucks to him. And I’m sick of it. It’s like, we care about all the same things…except he hates them.”

Thom Dunn

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