The Quest for the Dark Tower Pt. 10: The Vacant Lot - Part II

***Spoiler warning! Though I've made every attempt to avoid giving away key plot points during this quest, it's still very possible that information discussed herein may spoil a new reader's experience, so consider yourself warned! ***

Not long after surviving a deadly riddling contest with an artificially intelligent runaway train, Eddie Dean has another dream about the vacant lot at Forty-sixth Street and Second Avenue. In his dream, he is standing with the rest of the ka-tet, Susannah, Roland and Jake (who is holding his billy-bumbler companion, Oy) in front of the weedy, trash-littered corner lot. This time though, the short board fence is sporting very different handbills.

The first that Eddie sees is a poster for a reunion tour of The Sex Pistols. Eddie scoffs at the notion of this, thinking that The Sex Pistols is one band that would never get back together. In truth, despite bassist Sid Vicious' death in 1979, the band did reunite in 1996 and tour, a fact that would be lost on Eddie since he was pulled out of 1987 when Roland recruited him for his quest to the Dark Tower.

The second poster Eddie sees is an advertisement for Adam Sandler, a comedian that Eddie has never heard of. This is further evidence that the scene before his eyes is from (what he would consider to be) the future.

The last poster that Eddie spies is for a movie about teen witches called The Craft. This is most interesting because one of the stars of this movie, Fairuza Balk, made her film debut years earlier as Dorothy Gale in the 1985 Disney movie Return To Oz (both witches and Oz have a very large part to do with the story before the end of Wizard and Glass).

Beyond these posters is another graffiti message:

See the BEAR of fearsome size!
All the WORLD'S within his eyes.
TIME grows thin, the past's a riddle;
The TOWER awaits you in the middle.

Looking past the fence, the ka-tet admires the rose growing in the vacant lot before noticing the sign indicating the luxury condos scheduled to be built on this spot. Jake assures them that the sign has been there for some time and that the construction is not likely to happen. Just then, a large red bulldozer, with the words All Hail The Crimson King slashed across the front blade in bright yellow, begins tearing across the lot towards the rose.

At first, the bulldozer is being driven by Gasher, a diseased gang member who had kidnapped Jake as they were traveling through the near dead city of Lud. After a second glance, the driver appears to be Engineer Bob, the fictional character from the children's book, Charlie the Choo Choo. As the bulldozer bears down on the rose, the ka-tet helpless to save it, Eddie realizes just before waking that the man behind the controls of the bulldozer is none other than Roland . . .

Long days, pleasant nights!


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