The Todash darkness was exactly what Callahan expected it to be.

He knew of the horrific monsters that lay in the todash darkness, waiting for lost souls to fall through, so they could have a decent meal every thousand or so years, and Callahan figured they would be upon him in an instant, once realizing where he was. He actually stayed put for a moment, laying on what seemed like nothing. There was nothing. Just darkness. He seemed to be the only thing down there with any color. It wasn't dark down there either- it was just black. A light seemed to be emitting itself from Callahan... The white still pulsed from him like an iron defense. Maybe that's why some unimaginable beast hadn't gobbled him up.

However, Callahan knew better. It was because he held the scrimshaw turtle for so long (can you say hallelujah) and now it had bought him some time

(To be saved?)

to live. Callahan didn't dare start walking into the nothingness, besides- from whatever where and when... he could be saved. Roland- Jake, Eddie... maybe even Susannah, depending, could snatch him right up any second. Hopefully to save him and tell him that the low men were defeated, the baby's not a demon spawn (though there's really no denying it) and that they all got out ok. Nevertheless, Callahan knew in his heart that some of them would die. How many members were there in the ka-tet of nineteen and ninty-nine? Gah, he was getting to old for the adventure- getting too old for everything. Why can't the good lord just claim me already? Callahan thought. Its god's, or Gan's will, most likely. Why am I kept in this world? Callahan thinks again, sitting in the darkness with a white aura around him. Haven't I done enough for you, lord? I went through Redemption- I've gotton past losing my faith and drinking Barlow's blood! You have taken me back- so why is my story not yet finished?

Can you say Gawd?

I.

The Great Sage and eminent junkie Henry Dean had once told his friends that Eddie could convince the devil into setting himself on fire. Eddie could still do that, but Henry had changed a load. Now, in Susannah's alternate world, Henry Dean had not been the eminent junkie but a Harley technitian. In Suze's new world they had never gotten addicted to drugs, and Henry had left Co Op City (in Brooklyn, gods be thanked) when he was twenty to live up in Maine in the small town of Derry. Or Lovell, or Salem's Lot (it exsisted in the alternate world, to Susannah's surprise, but not infected with vampires. An alternate Callahan was nowhere to be seen). Henry was a drifter these days, and Eddie didn't much worry about the Great Sage.

It was funny in the end- Eddie never did. Henry always worried about him, even though he was always an asshole, old Henry. And when Eddie got old enough, Henry let him loose and rode away up to main with nothing but his Harley and a backpack. From the letters Suze and Eddie received, Henry stuck around mostly in Salem's Lot (coincidence... I think not) and the nearby Lovell. Sometimes in Derry, too. He had made friends and he had multiple hotels and little nooks that he stayed at. Suze, in her new life, had only talked to him once or twice over the phone. But both Eddie's seemed to describe Henry the same way, so it wouldn't matter if they met, or not. Henry was happy where he was.

And so was Susannah.

II.

Can you say Gawd, say hallelujah and I say amen? Can you say Gawd-Bomb?

"God-Bomb." Callahan muttered. "God-Fucking-Bomb." He had not know just how long he had been sitting in the darkness of Todash. Time had gone awry, anyway. He was just another Bumhug condemed to the darkness that is this place. Callahan was pissed, frankly. He didn't even care of the fact that his white aura was fading and he could faintly hear growls from all direction. A man could go insane out here, Callahan thought. He hoped that he would. He thought it would be nice to just sit and wait for a monster to eat him. He was supposed to get peace when he took his own life for the boy, but no. Ka had to be a bitch and gan had to be the pimp behind it all. If Gan had spoken to him, and cared about him that goddamn much, why had the good lord man jesus above dropped him into the Todash Darkness, possibly to be rescued by friends that might not come for what seems like thousands of years, constantly hearing growls from the black? If Pere happened to survive, by the time that anyone drew him from this hell he would be drooling, his mind gone... they would touch his shoulder and he would fall into a pile of ash and finally (unless Gan says) he will have peace. The first thing Pere decided he was going to do in heaven was find the good lord and ask him why he put his soul down here for safekeeping.

Maybe it wasn't safekeeping. Maybe this happens to all people who are mauled by low men and assorted freakish creatures at the ends of their lives. There are some things that Pere never questioned- mostly because he understood so little of magic- but how had he ever gotton to Calla? He died- or at least he thought he did. Was it Gan who gave him redemption- or Stephen fucking King?

Black Thriteen?

Another question- how had he gotton Black Thirteen? Ah, I'm being foolish. Callahan thought. He made up his mind. Stephen King. Who else? It made sense. The author who wrote him saved his ass more than a couple of times. He had written in Black Thirteen with Callahan, and he had saved him by writing him into the Calla. Even worse- Callahan had the sense that the author had no idea. By the time the priest from Salem's Lot had died, Roland would have ceratinly gotten back to the author by then. Callahan wondered what the assorted low men were doing in the Dixie Pig just after he blew his own brain to pieces. Callhan chuckled. And somewhere, out in the Todash Darkness, something chuckled back. Not a monster, though.

Rick Fleming.