Friday, March 23, 2012

2012-23-03: My Thoughts On Today

I'm writing this at 9:08am on Friday. Pale, yellow sunlight is washing through my translucent curtains. The morning is a quiet one. All the cars have gone; no puttering to be heard. All the people are away; no chatter to be heard. There's a mild wind flickering the shade and the fan is whirring dully in the corner. I'm sweating slightly, although it's only 63 degrees. My body is acclaimated to the winter still. It's been a weird winter, cold but never too cold. It rained more than it snowed and I prefer the rain, myself. My father once commented that he liked the snow because it purified the world. I think of the snow on the sides of the road, scummy and black. It doesn't seem all that pure to me. I like the rain for the same reason my father likes the snow. I like smell after a good, hard rain. I like the drama of rain when it's good and hard. Thunder. Thunder. Lightening cracking across the sky as the rain puttered and sprayed.

When I take the family dog out, I wonder how he sees the world beyond our front door. Victor, our dog, is very much an indoor dog and we have suspicions that he's afraid of the dark. He definitely hates the rain and is miserable in the snow. I wonder if he makes the connection that they are all the same world or is he surprised, thinking that our front door is somehow magical. Were a human to open the door, snow. Open it again, rain. Again, bright sunlight. Yet again, bleak darkness. You can see him tense up and slow when he realizes that he'd been led into the dark world. I wonder if he wished we would finally let him check out a dead squirrel world, a bouncing tennis ball world, a too-slow cat world. I would if I could, Vic-vic.

I've purchased Zoo City by Lauren Beukes listening to Horns By Joe Hill. All my thought on today.

Matthew H. Jones
March 23, 2012 Lowell, Ma

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Brief Brief on a New Novel: The Last Reich - The Killing Kind

There's no news in regards to the original Last Reich novel, but I've begun querying agents about it.
As for the next book, I've put down 1500 words of the very first chapter. I feel as though I need to follow through with this series. I want to know exactly how it ends and I won't until I write. I don't have control over the outcome.

I think story telling is a lot like braiding a multicolored squid's tenticles. As you work from the body to the tips of the tenticles, the squid's tenticles are thrashing about. You have a vague idea that it should look a braid when you're through, but you'll have no idea about the color pattern or the quality. I'm going to finish the chapter later on today. Clod and Hess going into a dead town to find vampires.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Dark Tower: Impressions And Speculations

I had a pie-in-the-sky, wide-eyed speculation concerning Stephen King, the character.

In "The Dark Tower 6: Song Of Susannah" and in "The Dark Tower 7: The Dark Tower", Stephen King, the character, makes many appearances and plsys his own special role in getting Roland to his Tower. In "Song Of Susannah", he aids Jake and Father Callahan in finding the sinister Black 13. He also has a conversation with Roland and Eddie. In this instance, he left a note and a red card key. In "The Dark Tower", he returned to clue in Susannah in Dandelo's hut. In this instance, he left another note and Robert Browning's epic poem "Childe Roland To The Dark Tower Came." The problem I have is, in "Song Of Susannah" King made a reference to being limited in his communication with the world of his creation.
I am allowed mail privileges, but only once.

What would you do? To who would you send mail?

To Jake

The Dark Tower 6: Song Of Susannah

These passages suggest that Stephen King abused some sort of power when he communicated with Mid-World the second time. Were Stephen King to write a short story or a new novel in the vain I suggested, it would be very interesting to see how Roland and Susannah would escape Dandelo's hut. In my mind's eye, I envision the lonesome and loathesome Mordred stepping in to save the day. Mordred, after all, is considered a lost ka-tet menber. Just a thought.

Hear's another one. It's possibly, in this univeres, that Stephen King went so far as to be akin to a breaker when he sent aid to Susannah. If he put his hand into this world when he wasn't supposed to, it wouldn't be ridiculous that he did some damage to Gan's beam. After all, Stephen King is using the powers of Gan, the sorta-kinda god of Mid-world. But, King is not Gan.

Stephen King (as a fictionalized character) appears in the final two Dark Tower books. Roland and his ka-tet learn of his existence when Roland comes across a copy of 'Salem's Lot, after first meeting Father Callahan, in the fifth book Wolves of the Calla. Roland and Eddie later confront King in his Maine home at a time when he has written 'Salem's Lot and The Gunslinger but no further Dark Tower books. Roland hypnotizes King and it is revealed that he did not in fact "create" the characters of Father Callahan or Roland or any others involved with the Dark Tower but is in reality a channel that records their quest. It is also revealed that at a very young age, the Crimson King attempted to claim Stephen King as one of his own. King fears retaliation from the Crimson King if he continues to write Roland's tale but the Gunslinger's hypnosis encourages him to continue. The attempt on King's life to end his chronicling of Roland's quest comes in the form of his 1999 automobile incident.

Wikipedia, List Of The Dark Tower Characters

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It Isn't Funny Anymore

Anyone can live in Lowell, Massachusetts, because everyone’s all ready there. It’s a strange melting pot interwoven with man-made canals and cobblestone roads. Lowell is a city, drug addicts and all, but there’s a childlike stupidity running wild, a childlike stupidity that would be crushed in other cities. Pull up a chair and listen in on a conversation at the end of the night in some shadowy corner of Lowell; over a beer at the Blue Shamrock or with a cigarette pinched between your fingers in front of a 24-hour convenience store. What you’ll hear, more often than not, is the preamble, “We were just fucking around and…” Most of those stories end with black eyes and arrest records.

Wait by the Bridge St. bridge, where the new C V S sits and where the Tavern by The Bridge and Russo’s Music died. If you wait long enough, you’ll see a car load of teens coughed in clouds of marijuana smoke. They’ve got open cans of Milwaukee’s Best at their feet, just daring the cops to stop them, which happens, but has failed to happen yet. These kids are crawling down the street, calling out at pedestrians. Here, before the bridge and the polluted Merrimack, which turns brown on clear days, these teens call out to a pedestrian traveling in his own cloud. They stop at the red light and as it switches to green, a skinny sixteen-year-old with redden eyes and a red sweat shirt hangs out the rear passenger window and screams, “FAGGOT!” The pedestrian and the boy have had no prior knowledge of one another, but for that moment, they are mortal enemies. The boy screamed it for the thrill of upsetting someone and getting away with it. He’s confidence that his friend will floor the gas, leaving the pedestrian to scowl in the streetlight glow.

The pedestrian has done a few bumps of the stimulant, cocaine. The driver, whose had his license for all of a month, has been drinking the depressant, alcohol. The driver sees the pedestrian charge, his eyes burning red and he turns, accidentally putting his weight on the emergency brake. The boy in the red sweat shirt spills back into the car and urges the driver to drive. Were the emergency brake not on, they would have shot across the bridge and probably smashed into a parked car on the other side. As it occurs, they trundle on to the bridge as the pedestrian on cocaine surges toward them. The pedestrian swings a fist like a wrecking ball into the rear passenger window, moments after the boy in the red sweat shirt rolls it up and the driver realizes why his vehicle is filling with the smell of burnt rubber and spent petroleum. The driver pulls the emergency brake, the glass shatters, cutting the face of the boy in the red sweat shirt and then the driver stamps down on the regular brake. The driver’s ire is up. After all, they were only fucking around.

“What the fuck? What’s wrong with you?” The driver barely meets the eye line of pedestrian on cocaine, but he’s sure that, even now, this is only a game. He’s playing the tough guy and the pedestrian is supposed to scamper away. The pedestrian doesn’t scamper away. He puffs his chest and his face begins to redden to the color of a ripe cherry. Even now, the driver doesn’t realize that the pedestrian is going to viciously beat him until the cops come. Neither the pedestrian nor the car full of teenagers realizes that there is a small crowd gathering. No one is considering calling the police to stop the incident that’s about to happen. There’s a police dispatch office right inside the C V S. There used to be a Centerville precinct, but now that's a Metro PCS. The crowd wants to see the tiny driver boy get his face smashed in, not because the teens have been terrorizing the streets, but because there’s a meanness in Lowell. There’s a love for something horrible to happen.

The rest of this scene can be assumed. Assume that the pedestrian smashes the driver’s face in. Assume that the boy in the red sweat shirt swarms away into the crowd, hoping not to be noticed by the raving pedestrian. Assume that one or more of the other boys from the car spill out in aid of the driver who’s sprawled out in the middle of the street. You can’t, however, assume that everything ends well. There isn’t anyone you’d hope to be happy so, how can things end happily. The cocaine-fueled time bomb or the teenager assholes, who were narrowly spared from spilling off the edge of the green, metal bridge. Even the spectators don’t care.

Try this. Down the street from the Robinson Middle School, rolling down the hill, you’ll find dull music seeping from a single-story ranch house and across a leaf scattered front lawn. This isn’t an insane house party. It’s five young friends sipping beers and telling stupid jokes while the surround-sound works through an alternative rock play list. One of the five friends would have been graduating as valedictorian, but a woman coming home would be dressed in his best black suit and dropped down six feet.

The woman, a sister of one of the friends, is coming home from an explosive and confusing argument. It was explosive because her boyfriend refused to explain a pair of plain white panties crammed in between two couch cushions. It was confusing because the argument had been preceded with a handful of multicolored pills and a full bottle of Vodka. The woman comes home in a haze of rage and confusion and sees a house full of laughter and pleasure.

The woman demands that the friends leave and the sibling to the woman attempted to calm her down. This attempt drove the woman deeper into her rage and she goes into the kitchen and picks up a knife, but doesn’t intend to use it. This, again, is a game. She expects to scare them out the door. The one friend that would have been a valediction must know that she was playing a game. He has ever intention of leaving, but not without his coat. The woman screws up her and shoves him, shoves him away, forgetting that she has a knife in her hand. The would-be valediction isn’t a bad guy, but he pushes her back. She pushes harder, her free hand hitting his chest, her hand holding the knife hitting his soft belly. The knife pokes into his stomach and she actually falls into it, driving the blade into him. Her foot, somehow, hooks onto her other and she falls, accidentally stabbing and ultimately killing the would-be valediction.

The woman swears, again and again through a wash of tears, that she completely forgot that she had the knife. She swears that she didn’t mean it. She swears that she just wanted them to leave, that if he would have just left, it wouldn’t have happened. She ends up in the back of a cop car and is driven away. The valediction survives for a few four hours, but the blade had sliced into his kidney as well as part of his intestine. His blood is becoming toxic and he dies with tears in his eyes.

There’s a third game. This one isn’t that far from the house where the five (now four) friends gathered. Right off of Bridge St. where the young driver got his teeth knocked out, two brothers live. One brother is closer to thirty than twenty and the other is midway between zero than ten. These two brother live under there mother’s roof. The older brother does not work. He does not going to school. He has no girlfriend. He has no prospects. All he has is a pump-action BB gun that he’d spray painted black, a cigar box filled with marijuana and a black, leather bag where he stores his works and small, plastic baggy filled with heroin.

The older brother knows that his existence under his mother’s roof is very tenuous. His mother knowing he uses heroin would push him over the edge and out the door. Knowing this, he ties up and shots up behind a locked door. He doesn’t get very high on heroin, although that is getting very hard. His mother works two jobs and therefore has given the older brother one job. He has to be awake and at the corner for his younger brother. Children of a certain age are not allowed to just walk inside their homes. They need to be accompanied by someone. The older brother is expected to be that someone.

The older brother goes around this rule, part way at least, by wearing the bus driver down. Inside of being at the corner, the bus driver allows the older brother to just pull back the living room and wave. Confirmation that someone is home and ready to take responsibility for the young child. The older brother doesn’t quite like this arrangement because he can’t get high in the living room. He might nod off and leave his works in plain sight. He could smoke pot, however. He just had to blow the smoke out the window. Marijuana wasn’t the same as heroin, though.

Sometimes around noon, the older brother gets a little high and goes out into the backyard and shots his BB gun at beer cans. There’s a high wooden fence in the backyard that normally catches any stray projectiles. It’s this fact that assures the older brother that he is being responsible. Nothing is being damaged and no one is being hurt.

It is one of these days that the older brother decides to play a game with his younger. The bus driver is in a hurry. The older brother is in the backyard with the BB gun. The bus driver leaves without checking the window for the brother. The young comes in and calls for the older. The older hears and decides to play a trick. He’s a little high and doesn’t realize how stupid the trick is. He’ll jump out and scream POW while aiming the BB gun. The younger brother will have a good scare and they’ll have a good laugh. He plays the trick.

A BB is released from the BB gun and shots the younger brother in the eyes. The shot is fired at almost point blank. The BB rips though the younger brother’s eyes and drives into his brain. The younger brother doesn’t scream, but just fells down and the older brother is certain that he has killed his younger brother. His brother isn’t dead, but he isn’t moving either. The older brother isn’t high anymore. It isn’t funny anymore. He remains still and stares at his younger brother who is stretched out on the living room floor. He wants to be high again. He gets high, bringing his black bag into the living room. He keeps going to the telephone, knowing he should be calling someone. He doesn’t. He just gets high, the syringe plunging into his forearm. He doesn’t know what to do. He considers claiming that he had found his brother stretched out on the floor, that his brother had snaked the BB gun from under the older brother’s bed. He abandons the lie and smokes some more pot. There’s a long silence in the living room and the older brother wishes that he would nod off, but murder seems to have gotten him too jacked up.

The little brother isn’t dead, but he is dying. He’s wet himself and his urine is soaking the carpet. Drool is rolling down his cheeks. He has no control of his eyes and eyelids, so he can only stare up at the ceiling and his vision is fizzling away at the edges. There’s a spot on the ceiling, a water stain that looks a little like Jesus. He knows that he is dying and no one is doing anything about it and he wants the Jesus on the ceiling help him, but he just stares down with sad eyes.

Never Tell A Lie

There was a faint tap-tap-tap on the window and Madison awoke, gasping shocked breaths of air. Her eyes had been watery and she didn’t know why. Cold sunlight washed across her eyes and made her feel sick. Somebody was being merciful and blocking some of the cold light and she wished they’d block a little bit more. She put her hands in front of eyes and Madison could see an old black man in a brown overcoat and fedora. He had tapped against the window with a gold ring on his left hand.

Madison wasn’t sure, but she didn’t think that the old man was a cop. She knew that they came in the street cloths variety, but she didn’t think that he stood like a cop. He had a subtle hump in his back and his arms hung slack at his sides. The old detectives that she had encountered looked like someone had ran a pole up their ass. They were all grim faces and hands resting on hips. They also had mustaches like mustaches were standard-issue. Even though she didn’t think the old man was a cop, she didn’t want to open the door for him. She rolled down the window, but only a crack.
“What?” She said, losing the edge she wanted to put in her voice. It had been undercut by a quaver in her throat that would soon lead hoarse coughing.
“You okay, darling?” The old man said. He had a sooth, deep voice like a late night radio man. She could smell sweet tobacco on his breath like he had just finished a cigarillo before noticing the girl sleeping in the car.
“I’m fine. I was just sleeping.” She told him.
“Too cold to be sleeping out here. Wouldn’t you think?” He said, offering up a faint smile.
“I’m fine. Got a cigarette?” She asked without thinking about it. If he had a cigarette, she would have to roll down the window for him to hand it to her. She didn’t want to do that. The old man dropped his hand in his breast pocket and Madison got of a gun. She thought of the old mobsters snaking their hands into their breast pockets and pulling out guns. A cold chill washed down her spine and him producing a pack of mentholated Double Diamond mini cigarillos didn’t alleviate her fear. She wanted to tell him that she didn’t smoke menthols, but instead she rolled down the window. He took one from the pack and handed it over.
“Thanks.” She said. She didn’t’ smoke cigarillos and she really didn’t smoke menthols, but she popped it in her mouth anyway. The old man reached in his pocket and produced a silver lighter. He flicked up the top and the flame was blue. She lit the edge off the flame and breathed in.
“Little girl, you’ve been traveling. Miles and miles.”
“Yeah.” She said. She had been traveling and she wondered how he knew. She figured that it might have been the way she smelt. There was little opportunity to shower on the road with the exception of hotels and motels, which she didn’t have money for. Her old Ford had been comfortable enough, but living in a car sometimes meant stewing in filth. It had meant that for her. All of her clothes had been packed into her trunk without suitcases and dozens of bags of old fast food wrappers rested in the backseat.
“Where you off to?” The old man asked, taking a cigarillo from the pack for himself. Madison wanted to tell him that where she was going wasn’t his business. Instead she told him she didn’t know.
“Just needed to get away.” The old man said, tacking a chuckle to the edge of his statement.
“Exactly.” She said. She didn’t know what was wrong with her. No matter what, she couldn’t lie to this man. She wished she hadn’t rolled down the window, but she thought that she wouldn’t have had any other option if she didn’t have the option of lying to the man.
“What are you running from, darling?” The old man asked.
None of your damn business! Her mind said.
“My husband. He beats me.” She said.
“Where you from?”
None of your business. Her mind said.
“Dallas, Texas.” She said.
“Long way.” He stretched out the words in his sooth, deep voice. He put a soft chuckle on the end of it and smiled broadly.
“You wanna seat down?” She asked. Why had she done that? Before she could stop herself, she unlocked the passenger side door. The old man walked around the car and Madison kept telling herself she should lock the door again and drive on. The old man opened the passenger side door and seat down. She hadn’t noticed the old man’s cologne out in the fresh air. It was something sweet, but that might have been the cigarillo.
“It’s good to rest your bones for a bit.” The old man said through a smile. Madison didn’t say anything.
“So, tell me something. Why are you still running. Massachusetts is a long way from Texas.”
“I don’t’ know.” He laughed and she felt like he might be laughing at her. Who else would he be laughing at?
“Seems to me, you’re running from something more than a man beating on you.”
“Oh, yeah? What would it seem that I’d be running from?”
“ Now, that I don’t know. You look like you might be a mama, although a young one. Are you?”

“No.” She felt sick. She still hadn’t lied, but she was able to stop herself from saying that she wasn’t one anymore. Her eyes had been watery when she had woken up and she was afraid that she would start crying. She didn’t want to cry in front of this man. She wanted to tell him to get out of her car. She didn’t. The old man reached a hand over and pulled it on hers. She knew that somehow he knew. She didn’t want to cry, but she did. Her cheeks went hot and red and the tears burned their way down her cheeks. The old man, she didn’t know, pulled her in close and hugged her. She wanted to fight against him, to bat against his flabby, old man chest and smack the cigarillo out of his mouth. Instead, she cried into his overcoat.

“It wasn’t your fault.” The old man said, rubbing his hands along the side of her arm. She might not have been able to lie to him, but she thought he was lying to him. He kept shushing her while caressing her arm. It was an unfamiliar feeling being held like that. Her father hadn’t held her like that. He had been long gone before she was born. Her mother hadn’t either. She stayed too deep in the bottle to hold Madison like that. She thought that her husband might, but her husband had gotten her pregnant and figured he had gotten trapped. He started with bitter looks, then harsh words and lastly, he popped her across the face. She had thought that she would hold her baby like the old man was holding her, but her baby had died one summer morning. She had fallen asleep on the couch and when she awoke, her bouncing baby boy was laying still on the floor and would never bouncing again. It had been so stupid and unexpected. Her child had swallowed a bottle cap from one of her husband’s beers and then choked to death. She had known how to perform CPR on infants and struck on the child’s back while wailing psychotically. She thought that she had lost her mind and her neighbor must have agreed because the police had come knocking at the door. They had let themselves in and found her still attempting to revive the baby.

Madison clung to the old man’s coat and sobbing into it like a child into her father’s chest. She had just woken up but crying has a way of exhausting a person. She wanted to go back to sleep, but she didn’t want to sleep with this man in her car.
Get out of my car. Her mind said. She didn’t say anything. She just fell back asleep.

Her dreams were like popping soap bubbles, floating up and fleeting away to be replaced by another. Madison dreamt of her child wearing the old man’s brown overcoat and fedora. Her child reached up to her with a big smile on his face and then he was gone. She dreamt of her father who she had never met. She dreamt that he was sitting on a dock at dusk with a fishing pole in his hands. He, too, was wearing a brown overcoat and fedora. He stared out toward the still waters with a mentholated Double Diamond cigarillo in his mouth. He looked over to Madison and smiled at her. Then he was gone. She dreamt of her husband sitting in his old easy chair, with a beer in his hand and a fedora on his head. He looked to her and raised his beer to her. He then took a drink and then he was gone. They were all gone.

Then there was the old man, puffing on his mentholated cigarillo. He was sitting where she had been, driving her car. She thought that she had just woken up, but then she looked out the window. The world ran by like it did in the old movies. It was generic Paris outside the window, rumbling around while the car remained stationary. The old man was jerking the steering wheel left and right which would have caused them to crash in real life.
“Who are you?” She said, watching the EfilleTower pass by for the third time.
“I’m no one important. That’s why they sent me.” The old man said.
“But, who are you?”
“A man. That’s all.”
“What’s your name? Why would I let you into my car? Why am I letting you drive my car?”
“Curtis. You can call me Curtis. As for the car, that was a nasty trick and I’m sorry for it.” He pulled a pen out from his inner pocket, but it wasn’t a pen. It was a six inch silver cylinder with two buttons on the top. One read ‘On.’ The other read ‘Off.’ She didn’t whether it was on or off.
“This did it. Made you trust me. It made it so you couldn’t lie. Without my hat, I couldn’t lie either.”
“That is nasty.” Madison agreed. “What are you trying to do? What are you going to do with me?”
“I’m fixing things. Things happen in two ways. They do and they don’t. If something doesn’t happen, then they don’t happen.”
“Sometimes, things don’t happen that are supposed to. Sometimes, things that aren’t supposed to happen end up happening. Sometimes when tragedy strikes, people stay that. It wasn’t supposed to happen.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.” Curtis chuckled softly.
“It will.” The end of Paris came and it was a black block of nothingness. Curtis kept driving on and on through the darkness. The dark bled into the old Ford and then Curtis was gone. Madison thought that she had awoke, but she knew she wasn’t because she was on a couch and a baby boy was playing on the floor. The baby was crawling, hand over hand, toward the trashcan. Someone had thrown a bottle cap and missed the trashcan. This was somehow familiar. She got up off the couch and went over to the baby. Her mobility was greater than the baby, but the baby made it to the bottle cap before she got to him. He had it in his hand when she picked him up off the floor. Madison plucked it from his fingers and then tossed the cap into the trash. The baby’s eyes were big and wide, as if he was trying to understand something far greater than himself. Soon, the baby was gone and the couch was gone. Soon after, she was gone too.

She woke up in her car and she really was wake this time. She believed so. The old man was gone and she thought that he might not have existed at all. Instead of an old man, there was a little boy wrapped up tightly in a puffy, blue coat. He was curled up in the passenger seat with a stuffed animal locked in his arms. Her child wasn’t a baby anymore. She turned the key in the ignition and then realized that a cigarillo was burning in the ashtray. Has she been smoking that? She didn’t know. She plucked the cigarillo up and threw it out the window. Madison and her son rolled off down the road.

The Dark Tower Nine: Roland Crying Off The Tower

These are, merely, my speculations and impressions of Stephen King's beloved Epic series about a gunslinging pilgrim searching for a jutting, soot-colored tower which serves as the hub of all reality. I speak, of course, of the Dark Tower.

After finishing 2004's "The Dark Tower 7: The Dark Tower", my mind began to reel with all the untold stories that should come afterward. I hadn't been surprised that Stephen King announced in 2009 that he would be opening another doorway into Mid-world. I was, however, surprised, although still very pleased, that Stephen King had decided to place that new novel, "The Dark Tower: Wind Through The Keyhole" in between "The Dark Tower 4: Wizard And Glass" and "The Dark Tower 5: Wolves Of The Calla".

Stephen King Writes on his website:

At some point, while worrying over the copyedited manuscript of the next book (11/22/63, out November 8th), I started thinking—and dreaming—about Mid-World again. The major story of Roland and his ka-tet was told, but I realized there was at least one hole in the narrative progression: what happened to Roland, Jake, Eddie, Susannah, and Oy between the time they leave the Emerald City (the end of Wizard and Glass) and the time we pick them up again, on the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis (the beginning of Wolves of the Calla)?

There was a storm, I decided. One of sudden and vicious intensity. The kind to which billy-bumblers like Oy are particularly susceptible. Little by little, a story began to take shape. I saw a line of riders, one of them Roland’s old mate, Jamie DeCurry, emerging from clouds of alkali dust thrown by a high wind. I saw a severed head on a fencepost. I saw a swamp full of dangers and terrors. I saw just enough to want to see the rest. Long story short, I went back to visit an-tet with my friends for awhile. The result is a novel called The Wind Through the Keyhole. It’s finished, and I expect it will be published next year.

Although I did notice a gap in between the two books, I was expecting an eighth book to follow Roland doing what had only been implied in DT-7. You could have expected some spoilers and here, I will not disappoint you. In the last novel, Roland reaches his Dark Tower after slaying the Crimson King on his balcany. He climbs a spiral staircase lined with vignettes from his long life. He believes that the tower would stretch upward forever and then, it ends. He opens the door at the top of the tower and remembers that he's won the top of the tower over and again.
"Oh, god. Not again." Roland cries as the Ka brings him back to the sprawling desert of "The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger"

Stephen King, the human writer, could has done his duty, if such duty exists, to his constant readers. He said, "This man will go to this place" and then King brought him to that place. He even suggested that the story might go now beyond the last page, sparking the reader's imagination. Stephen King, the character, still has work to do. One can't do it without the other. I got the impression that "Roland's Tower" wasn't "Roland's Tower." The Tower can be possessed by no one, neither Roland nor The Crimson King. I got the impression that Ka's wheel wished Roland to save the beams, slay the Crimson King and finally, walk onward to live life after the tower. Before the announcement, I imagined, and still imagine, the untold story of a harsher, harder Roland gun Patrick Danville down in a haze of grief and anger. A harsher man who had lost Susannah to another world and lost Oy to the murderous, but lonesome Mordred could have easily pulled out one of those old revolvers with the Saddlewood grips and plugged Patrick down, just to lighten his load and punish the young man who aided Susannah to leave. The implications of this is obvious. If a harsher man made that trip, the Crimson King would have won the door at the top of the tower. I, also, imagined a less harsh, more kind Roland accompanying Patrick away from the tower. This is how I imagine a ninth Dark Tower book going.

The last of the DT novels was over 1000 pages and many of the other books aren't much shorter, so I'm not suggesting that Stephen King squeezes all seven into one giant book just to have Roland walk away. King would have to do it a full three times if he were to go that route. Roland coming to the tower the first time, the prequel. Roland coming this time, the current series. Roland coming to the tower the lst time, the series I'm hoping will come. I almost think that King could accomplish this task with a short stories. A quick flashback of the journey before and the battle with the Crimson King and then lastly, Roland truning away and helping Patrick gather up the scattered food cans.