Okay, so anyway for school we had to write an epilogue on the story Of Mice and Men. It has to mimic Steinbecks' writing, the vernacular of the people and the terms of the time. I have no idea with any of them. As this is my first go at such a thing and I have no beta at all and am a lazy editor I was hoping someone might come across this and help me with it. First draft. Rather terrible. Would be great if you read.
The ranch's bunkhouse was still long and rectangular, simple whitewash walls with solid square windows set into three. Against the walls were eight bunks, six of them made up and in each a person sleeping it seemed, blankets not thrown over the two remaining and their ticking showing. The apple boxes nailed over each bunk were loaded with various personal belongings already named, packed away into personal spaces and almost hoarded. At the end opposite to the latched wooden door was a cast iron stove, the embers from last night's fire still smouldered gently. In the centre stood the table, cards still strewn across and only a single tin shaded electric light to illuminate the room at dark. The light currently off as a grey dawn precedes night. Colours wash out like this morning is another photograph taken. Plain and simple like any other. The sun rose just as it did every other day. Bleak washed out skies striped with yellow light from over the horizon. As the light climbs the lights path was unblending the shadows from the sun and straightening out borders. Still it was early and the floating motes of dust were not yet brought into perspective. It was six in the morning on the ranch. Unlike most days, none of the men had yet risen from their bunks. None except Candy, who swept insistently at the already clean unpainted floor muttering about rabbits and tarts and the irony of being the ranches handy man.
Candy at least thought he was the only one up, till he opened the door to sweep the small pile of dirt he had pulled up outside. A wooden clunk and sharp curse were heard before a man turned towards the Swamper. His shapeless black hat cast weak shadows over his sharp face and restless eyes, cast if calculating every movement. Just as the rest of him, small and quick, defined in strong features and wiry muscle.
"Say, what the hell you doing?" George accused with a sour look, tilting his head back to face Candy in the eye.
Candy in reply scratched at his whiskery face with the stumpy end of his right arm with a look of confusion. "Was sweeping again, gets awfully dusty here." The false statement didn't fool him, but still George didn't persist with the matter. He turned his head away as if dismissing Candy's presence and focussed him gaze outside.
"What you doing out here anyway, get inside." George stood up on the command and turned inside, letting Candy close the door behind him and away from the frosted morning air, noted by the way each breath out their puffed into small billows of steam. "Catch a cold like that" His mumble was unheard.
George walked over to the table and tossed himself down on one of the unturned crates, proceeding to sweep the cards up and then lay them out without a bother of shuffling for a game of solitaire. As he did so Candy noticed his eyes red rimmed, could just be sun glare.
"Say, you never answer what you was doing out there for." Candy persisted, still standing, still scratching his greying beard with the end of his right arm.
"Haven't slept." The answer was offhand, and George continued to play. Stacking 4 of hearts onto its pile.
"Don't tell me you moping. Big guys like us don't do such." Now Candy was joking with him. It was the end of the month since George took down Lennie in self defense. The guy had stolen Carlson's luger after killing Curley's wife, and that pup.
"Nah, just considering the options. It's near pay day and I'll be taking my wage an' leaving this place. Might be going South now my options are free. Got nothing to hold me here and such. Got no troubles and I can live so easy, no mess at all. Why, when this end of the month comes I can go into town and get whatever I want, Why, I can stay in a cat house all night. Eat any place I want, hotel or anything and order whatever the damn comes to my mind. Get a gallon of whisky, or set in a pool room and play cards or shoot pool. And then I can go to another ranch, get my pay, do it again. Do it every month. Y'no what. Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place. They come to a ranch an' work up a stake and then they go inta town and they blow that stake and before you know it their poundin' their tail on some other ranch. They ain't got nothing to look ahead to. No one gives a damn what we do. We sit in bar rooms blowin' in our jack jus' because we got no place else to go."
Curly had listened through the whole of Georges rant. Listened to the monotone voice recite it like something set in stone, so wrapped George was he hadn't even remembered Candy was still listening, and started slightly when Candy started to talk.
"What about our promise, huh? About the land we was going to buy. And the rabbits."
"Those damn rabbits!" George leapt up. "Quite, about those damn rabbits, it ain't happening no more. Whats the point eh? We're full grown men with more sense than that."
"You're still sore from when you had to shoot that crazy bastard and I know it. Slim say's you hadda, you hadda because he was too strong and he don't understand it and that jus don't work here." That remark earned him a striking backhand that caused him to reel backwards in pain. Soon doubling over with a punch to the stomach. George yanked him to a half standing position, a hard thing for him when Candy was two head higher. This time the throws were better aimed. Repeatedly at face and chest. As soon as Candy got a grip on the situation he pushed himself up fully and struck George square in the nose. Soon the men were tousling on the floor. Part cat fight as they rolled. The anger only subside when the table was knocked with enough force to send it also toppling. Wood was heard splintering and cards of the forgotten solitaire game fluttered through the air half covering their vision and abruptly stopping the fight.
George laughed. It was sardonic. A low chuckle in the back of his throat that had Candy more nervous than the first punch had. "An rabbits eh? Well they don't matter to no one no more. See, I'm leaving here as I said. Nothing defines me anymore from the rest of this worlds scum. We gotta all move on."
Candy shook his head sympathetically at the fluctuating moods this morning. "Guess I'll jus have to pay my stay here when I got no use anymore. Damn your punches hurt."
George groaned slightly as he heaved himself off the floor. Offering his hand to Candy who stood up too, quickly transferring his weight onto the broom.
"Pains just a link to reality. And don't we no reality better than any other men, us on the ranches. Grin and bear it." And with that George strode over to his bed, grabbing the bindle from under the covers and hauling onto his back before walking briskly to the door.
"What you doin?" Candy asked.
"I already told ya you crazy bastard. I'm leaving." And with that he walked out the door.
Candy resumed his sweeping. Restoring the room to how it was before.