Many years had passed since the fateful day George had shot Lennie Smalls dead in the back of the head. The Depression had passed and Curley had shut the ranch down soon after his wife had died. Although all of the ranch hands had gone their separate ways for the most part, Lennie was unceremoniously buried in the earth.
About a decade had passed before the Curley's old ranch was finally demolished. As the machinery moved in to finish the job, deep down in the Earth's crust, Lennie felt the vibrations and heard the voices. Restlessly he covered his ears against the deafening noises, then a rage overcame him. Grunting and growling he began to dig himself out of his cold, tight-packed grave.
Over on the other side of the ranch two men stood looking around the old ranch. One with a bristly, walrus-like mustache and big, bushy eyebrows sighed.
"This place is old." he said.
His partner, a man with a big gut nodded and took a sip of the beer that he held in his hand. "Yep."
"S'ppose it's jus' time to tear her down."
As the two men talked, a cracking came from the bushes. They whirled around and saw a giant, lumbering figure making its way towards them. The big-gutted man dropped his beer and pointed at the giant.
Out of the shadows stepped the late Lennie Smalls. In his grizzled and filthy hands, which were more like giant animal paws, he held a dead puppy. His large, clumsy hands stroked it. Blood was crusted in his fingernails. Abruptly he took a step towards the two men.
"Shit." the man with the walrus-mustache said as Lennie took another step forward. His partner scoffed and walked right up to the zombie.
"Now lookie here, Sonny Jim. We're here to do a job. Ya got that? Now go take your weed and rock-and-roll music somewhere else."
Lennie raised his eyebrows, looking utterly confused. "George?"
"George? Who the hell's he?" the fat man asked his him.
His partner cleared his throat. "Ummm... Donnie? Maybe ya should just let 'im be. Don't seem like he means much harm, after all."
Lennie smiled then grabbed the fat man, Donnie, by his shoulders and wrapped his large, beast-like fingers around his neck. He turned a bright shade of red as his air was abruptly cut off.
"Murphy! Help!" he gasped to his partner who just stood where he was, looking horrified. The giant who was strangling him suddenly looked scared.
"No! Don't shout! George won' let me tend them rabbits!"
"R-r-rabbits?" Murphy asked as his partner struggled the big man's grasp.
Lennie nodded frantically. "Oh yeah. Me an' George is gonna go off and buy us a ranch and live off the fat of the land!" his voice was getting more excited, his grip tighter until the fat man turned purple and went completely limp. Lennie looked at the corpse surprised and dropped it to the ground, into the dirt.
Murphy's breath became shuddery. "I-I-I...stay back! I'll-I'll call the po'lice!"
Lennie looked panicked again and before the man could do anything, he put one hand over his mouth. Murphy could taste the dirt and blood. Smell the scent of decay.
"No! No! If you do that then George won' let me tend them rabbits! The rabbits! Them there rabbits..."
Murphy's eyes widened and he began to struggle. The man was totally nuts. But, gradually, Lennie's animal-like strength prevailed, and he dropped Murphy on the ground as well. Next to his partner. Then he wiped the sweat from his forehead.
Lennie looked down at the two corpses. He began to feel nervous; this was how he had gotten into so much trouble last time...and last time he had payed for his mistake with his life.
One thought was more clear than any other; he must find George. So, with the big, lumbering steps of a bear, he made his way off of the ranch, past the brush, and towards the highway.