The fifth in a continuing series of Aaron Carter fanfic.
Getting on Twitter, Aaron realized now, had been a mistake.
Sure, it had been fun at first. He had relished the opportunity to connect with fans. To find that, even after all these years, people had not forgotten him—nay, far from it! He was astonished to learn that they still loved him, still clamored for more music, more information, from their former teen idol. He had known, deep inside himself, that he was getting a touch too much pleasure out of the whole thing than he should have, but for now, at the beginning, it all seemed so harmless. What could go wrong?
What he hadn't counted on were what Donald called the "unknown unknowns," the dangers lurking in the dark that you didn't even know were there. For how was he to know about trolls? The entire concept had been foreign to him. Ever since his first retirement, Aaron had studiously avoided getting worked up over technology. Giles could handle all that, was the thought, and the thought was correct. And so he had gone his entire adult life unaware that there were people who spent hours—no, days—stirring up trouble on the Internet... and for what?
Even now, after thousands of "jokey" tweets (and who knows how many pieces of ironic fan fiction!) Aaron could still remember his first troll encounter. He had just finished his yearly reread of the diaries of Anais Nin—oh how her prose warmed him up on those chilly January nights!—and had found himself inflamed with lust, with passion, with a youthful joie de vivre. Who cares about tomorrow, he remembered thinking, when there are so many things to touch! To kiss! To taste! (He had, he realized later, partaken in a few too many glasses of sherry that night.) And so Aaron had sent out a celebratory tweet. Or, as he called it later, "The Tweet That Launched A Thousand Trolls."
I'm extremely sexual right now.
— Aaron Carter (@AARONCARTER) January 1, 2013
Most of his real fans had understood. But some of them, led by a jester-in-chief from that infernal broadsheet VICE, had pounced on his moment of openness. They had started a, well, Giles said it was called a hatch-tag, but no one knew exactly what that meant. All Aaron knew was that every day, his Twitter mentions were inundated with dozens of strangers asking him the same question: "Hey, Aaron," they began, as if they were one of his close friends, "What's the #AaronCarterHornyLevel?" The punchline felt like a knife to the gut.
Who were these people? They came from nowhere, with nonsense names and bios that seemed like a deep in-joke he had no chance of knowing. They were spread around the globe, but they all seemed to know each other. What brought them together? Nothing, except for the fact that they individually and collectively seemed to find Aaron's very existence hilarious. It was torture.
Finally, between tour stops one night, Aaron worked up the courage. He was going to confront these trolls once and for all.
The cryptic response: "We are the dreamers."
The silence deafened.