Donald Callahan

The Wolves of the Calla

After fleeing ‘Salem’s Lot, Callahan arrives in New York City, and becomes a vagrant. Now able to sense vampires, he realizes that they live and hunt all around him. His alcoholism gets worse but after he starts working at a homeless shelter, he begins to recover. He befriends several people, such as Rowan Magruder and Lupe Delgado. Callahan later develops a deep fondness for Lupe and later admits to having fallen in love with him. He wonders if this means he is gay, but despite a brief kiss on the cheek, nothing physical occurs between them.

Callahan learns that there are three types of vampires. The Type Ones are the most powerful ones and are almost immortal. They can spread vampirism to others and create Type Two vampires. Kurt Barlow was a Type One. Type Twos are more common and can create other Type Twos or Type Threes. Lastly, the Type Threes cannot spread vampirism but can spread diseases that travel by blood, such as HIV. Callahan refers to them as ‘mosquitoes’. After Lupe is infected by a Type Three vampire and dies from AIDS, Callahan begins to kill vampires (mostly Type Threes). This attracts the attention of the Crimson King and his soldiers, the Low Men or “can-toi”. The Hitler Brothers, two hoodlums who murder Jews, black people and homosexuals and carve swastikas on their victim’s foreheads, are hired to find Callahan. They torture Rowan Magruder, who later dies of his wounds, in hopes of finding him.

They later find and attack Callahan, and carve a cross on his forehead, intending it to become a swastika. But before they can finish the swastika, Callahan is rescued by Calvin Tower and Aaron Deepneau, two men who figure prominently later in Roland’s quest. The Hitler Brothers flee, and are later killed by the Low Men. Callahan is later lured into a building by Richard Sayre, a Low Man, and several vampires. Rather than being infected, he jumps out a window committing suicide.

After his death, he wakes up in the Way Station, where he encounters Walter o’Dim who gives him Black Thirteen, one of the “Bends” in the Wizard’s Rainbow. Walter apparently does so in the hopes that it will kill Roland Deschain later in his journey. It transports him to the Doorway Cave outside Calla Bryn Sturgis, where he leads a new life and over the next five years attempts to teach the locals his religion.

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Roughly every twenty-three years, the Callas are raided by Wolves, which turn out to be robotic soldiers serving the Crimson King. These Wolves steal half of the Calla’s children, who return a few months later “roont”. “Roont” (ruined) children are sterile, mentally handicapped, grow to be larger and stronger than other children, and die painfully at a younger age. When Roland and his ka-tet arrive, Callahan seeks their help to defeat the Wolves. During their stay, he shares with them his story since the events of ‘Salem’s Lot. The Wolves are defeated with the help of the ka-tet, but Susannah becomes possessed by the demon succubus known as Mia and escapes via the Doorway Cave. There, Callahan discovers a copy of the novel ‘Salem’s Lot, in which he is a major character, causing him to question his reality.

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Song of Susannah

Immedietely after the events of the previous book, the ka-tet regroups in Callahan’s house, where they lay down their plans of action; Roland and Eddie would follow Susannah to New York while Jake and Callahan would be sent to Maine, in order to visit Calvin Tower (the man who saved Callahan from the Hitler Brothers) as well as Stephen King, in order to ensure that the remaining books are written. While there, Callahan planned on questioning King about his existence, but something goes wrong when the door is opened. The group is uncontrollably sucked through and separated, with Roland and Eddie ending up in Maine and Jake, Callahan, and Oy landing in New York City in the year 1999.

The trio lands violently in the middle of a busy street, and Oy is very nearly run down by a speeding cab. Preventing a potentially deadly response from an angry Jake, Callahan beats down the aggressive driver and bribes him (before Jake had the opportunity to shoot him), and they remove themselves from the scene.

Thanks to Jake’s psychic connection with Susannah, they find the hotel where Susannah/Mia left Black Thirteen. They attempt to remove it safely, but it awakens and forces them both to their knees, urging them to murder each other. They nearly succumb to the suicidal whisperings, but Callahan uses his restored faith to silence the orb, putting it back into its slumber and saving their lives.

In search of a safe storage place, he and Jake move Black Thirteen to a long-term storage locker underneath the World Trade Center, with the hope that either it will stay dormant or Roland will at some point come to destroy it. (Rather aptly, they comment on how a building falling on it might destroy it, foreshadowing that the future terrorist attack will be the end of the crystal ball.

They go to the Dixie Pig, the restaurant stronghold of the Low Men and vampires where Susannah is being held, where they prepare to ambush the unknown forces within.

The Dark Tower

Jake and Callahan burst into the Dixie Pig, where they are greeted by a preponderance of Low Men and lesser vampires, as well as a gathering of “Type One” vampires (of which there are only a small number in existence).

Seeing the overwhelming odds against them, Callahan sends Jake on ahead to rescue Susannah while he draws their attention. After dispatching several Low Men and Type Ones, he is goaded to toss away both his cross and the sigul of the turtle (the magical ornament that incapacitates the Low Men). At this point Callahan realizes what he did not understand while facing Barlow in ‘Salem’s Lot; the power of his faith transcends such objects.

Eventually, once Jake reached relative safety, he was overwhelmed and swarmed by the vampires. Before the beasts can assault him, he once again escapes their clutches by shooting himself under the chin. Before taking his own life, he converses briefly with Roland, who bears witness to the scene across time and space. His final words to Roland and in life were a benediction to the Gunslinger: “May you find your Tower, Roland, and breach it, …and may you climb to the top!”

Jake in particular was disturbed by his death, and the ka-tet mourned the loss of their friend and compatriot. When Roland finally made it to the Dark Tower, Callahan’s is one of the names shouted by Roland as he walks through the field of roses, showing Roland’s respect and love for the redeemed Priest.

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