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Jan. 18th, 2008


The final drawing

Dad-a-chum? Did-a-chick?

Roland had been hearing them all day. At first he thought it was just in his head. The memories of a long past event. Something so deep in his history that had he not been missing two of his fingers and part of his toes he may not have believed ever happened at all. And there was no ocean in the City. At least, none that he had ever noticed. But, perhaps he had not been paying enough attention?

The sounds continued.

Dum-a-chum? Ded-a-Chek?

They were calling him.

The gunslinger wasn't sure at what moment he knew they were calling him. Calling to him and calling for him. But when he did, he found himself walking towards the sounds. Walking towards the aberrations of nature that had once crawled out of the sea and feasted on his flesh. He felt like he was going backwards. Away from the Tower. But, in the same sense, also closer to it. As though there were some kind of circle in his life that he didn't quite understand. Or, couldn't quite remember. He wasn't traveling west though. He was traveling east. Away from the Path of the Beam. Away from the Tower. Back towards Gilead. And he knew that eventually the City would stop him, but still he walked.

He thought about the boy. Jake. The boy was gone. Yesterday he'd stood on a street corner and imagined that he saw the boy walk out in front of a vehicle. He tried to push him aside. Or tried to be the Pusher? Hoping that the car would hit him and his time in this neverending cycle would be over. But it had all been in his imagination. There was no car. No boy. No Pusher.

And no more doors.

Dad-a-chum? Did-a-chick?

The sound of sand crinkled under his boots and he could see the waves hitting the banks. Behind him the City was tall and blinking with lights. Before him was an endless ocean, filled with lobstrosities. He could see some of them washing up on the sand. Half scorpion and half lobster, more than half his length in size. Dum-a-chum? Ded-a-Chek? Lester was probably out there. Lester the lobster. And somewhere farther beyond lay the Slow Mutants.

And then all Roland could think of was the boy and how he'd let him fall. So many times, he'd let the boy fall. So many times he'd lost his ka-tet. Eddie. Susannah. Even Detta-Odetta, whom he quietly had a longing to see again.

And Susan. The first person he'd let fall. The only person he'd truly loved.

Did-a-chick? Dum-a-chum?

The gunslinger walked through the sand towards the lobstrosities. Towards the water with its soothing tide. They already had part of him in their bellies. It was time to give them the rest. Time to let himself fall. And even though he knew it was the end, a small part of him felt that it was just another beginning. This had all happened before. Maybe in a dream. And it was doomed to happen again.

Dad-a-chum? Did-a-