I did this for school and I thought I might well post it but if you think it's worthy then you can review.
The bunk house was the same as it has always been, the apple boxes and bunks still in place, but to the men, it seemed that everything else had changed. The ranch workers spilled into the bunk house chattering excitedly about what had happened. Curley was no where to be seen.
George and Slim however were the only ones who stayed silent. George moved in slow jerky steps, sitting abruptly on his bunk. A couple of men came over and patted him on the back jovially.
"Well don' on gettin' the big bugger" the red faced man on his right blurted. "Shame though, we was hopin' to see the bastard shot up bad." George didn't answer, he just continued to focus his eyes on the spider that was making it's way up the opposite wall.
"Leave the fella be" the other guy said, "the guy deserves his rest". When they went away George rolled slowly over until he faced the wall, like Candy had done but a few nights before. The noise took a while to die down but soon enough the hyped workers bedded down for the night.
"So you say you killed Lennie Small" the big shouldered officer laced a set of chunky fingers and leaned forward toward the George.
"That I did, sir" said George flatly. The officer half smiled and sat back in his chair a little, making way for a huge belly, barely held in by the highly polished brass buttons sealing his dark blue jacket.
"Did you know the guy?"
"The other workers said you travelled together?" George swallowed hard and made an attempt at speech, but failing he tried again.
"We travelled one stretch" he said heavily looking down at the desk, "I met him when we was gettin' our work cards. I nowt' seen him before then. I was behind him in the waiting line, you know. The fella was talking to Lennie, could see he was a crazy bastard. The guy knew he would have to report Lennie but he was too lazy to put through the calls. When it was my turn he tol' me that if he didn't look after the guy I wouldn't get my work card. I was gonna ditch him but I thought the guy might check up on me."
The officer straightened his papers and dipped his pen in the ink pot. He took a cursory glance at George before hastily scribbling on his paper. George's eyes darted about the featureless interview room, his hands twisting themselves together anxiously. The officer drew in a deep breath and George jumped slightly. The officer looked up and slid the piece of paper across the desk,
"Sign here" he indicated the tiny box at the bottom of the paper. George lifted it delicately from the table and smoothed it out. He lifted the pen from the desk and scanned the inspector's immaculate handwriting. The officer watched him with slightly narrowed eyes. When George had finished he nodded slightly and inked his signature onto the paper. The officer snatched the piece of paper and stood up abruptly. George followed suit fumbling on the chair slightly. The officer turned to face him,
"I'll have to send this higher" he said running a chubby but muscled hand down his front, "but if you want my opinion, they'll just kick it into the long grass." George still didn't look at ease but he grunted in response and made for the door. The officer placed a heavy hand on his shoulder,
"I dunno what really happened there, but if you killed that lady killer you've got something to be proud of." George knew that this merited a response as he forced a painful smile to his face,
"Thank you," he said shaking the officer's hand, "I only did what had to be done."
There was a gentle breeze tousling the long grass as Curley walked through it. His face was pinched up in anger and a touch of sadness. He looked uncomfortable constantly scratching the cast on his arm as tripping slightly over his own feet. He was holding a huge handful of flowers, so full and gaudy that they were bursting the seams of their wrapping.
He reached his destination, a large white stone of gleaming white marble. It was expertly engraved, a work of great expense. He dropped the bundle of blossoms roughly at the foot of the stone. His face contorted for a seconded and he placed his uncasted hand on the cold top of the stone. The hand rubbed up and down it for a minute, before it's owner set off again at a pace much faster than he had come.
The trees rustled in a slightly stronger gust of wind and Curley spun quickly and took a final look at the stone before walking into the coverage of the trees. His normally chinking spurred boots made no sound against the soft earth, the trees cast a dappled light that streaked over his face like tears that he didn't bear. He reached his horse, but didn't approach immediately, he stood back. The horse dipped its head and munched lazily on the stubby grass at the foot of the tree. It flicked flies off it's tail.
He walked slowly over to it, for once trying not to alert everyone of his presence. He straightened the leather saddle, before footing one of the stirrups and mounting clumsily due to the large cast he bore. Then he
The bunk house was empty, bar two men, one was Slim and one was George. The former was winding an expertly crafted whip through his hands, occasionally flicking it rhythmically against the wall. George was sitting slumped against the wall on the far side of the room, opposite the untouched set of solitaire hands left behind by the men who were playing horseshoes in the yard. In George's hand was his rusting pistol, he ran his fingers over it's components, taking out the bullets and putting them back in again, cleaning the chamber, and then finally fingering the trigger which had killed Lennie. There was a mixture of screams and roars from outside before they died down and quieted again.
"You all right George?" said Slim not looking up from his whip. George slowly raised his head,
"What make's ya think I'm not" The whip lashed wall again,
"Why aren't you out playin' horse shoes like the other guys?"
"Cleanin' my gun" he said defensively,
"You've cleaned that gun five times, George." he said slowly.
"Spose' it's not clean enough yet!" he yelled suddenly. Slim flinched slightly but only allowed surprise to show on his face for a second. George immersed his face in his hands, then moved them up through his hair, looking at Slim with crazed eyes."I'm sorry" he said pushing his hands back through his hair, "I'm sorry" he grinned slightly, "I'm turnin' into him". Slim gave him a couple of seconds before answering,
"You did the right thing." George shook his head,
"I dunno anymore, maybe should have done a runner or something" Slim set the whip down beside him.
"They woulda strung him up" Slim's tone was slightly more harsh than before, "they would have strung him up and left him to die slow". George wasn't listening,
"We could have got away with it..." he said to himself, "Like we did before". He touched pulled up his knees to his chest, making him look small and vulnerable. He leaned forward and touched his head on his knees, "I shoulda kept a better watch, got other people to look out for him."
"You did all you could" said Slim in a measured voice, "He was lucky to have you, he lived a good life"
There was a clattering of footsteps and a flushed young man appeared in the doorway.
"Candy asked for a fella called George" George looked at Slim then at the man,
"That's me, whys he asking?"
"I dunno" the man said rummaging through his apple box, "he jus' asks me cos I was comin' in here for this" he said holding up a bright necktie, "somethin' 'bout the rabbits". George shot up and headed for the door,
"I'll find him". The doors creaked open and swung shut, rattling noisily. Slim's eyes followed him out,
"you comin' Slim" the guy asked.
"Sure I'm coming" he replied.
Two months later...
There was a little piece of land, with vegetable patches and a windmill. There were little wooden slatted chicken huts and an orchard. There was the house, of large round stones, and a little stone to burn all through the winter. The alfalfa patch, right beside a rabbit hutch full of brown and white rabbits.
The house was empty though, the rain pelting the roof. There were milk bottles on the table, with cream so thick you could cut it, but there was no one their to drink it. Outside the house, the heavy rain churned the soil into a bog, but that did not the deter the two figures kneeling in mud.
There was an old man, with a lined face and a wrist that finished with a rounded tip. There was a younger man with defined features and small hands. They were kneeling before two small piles of earth. Six feet below the ground lay a wizened old dog, and beside him lay a large, bear like man. The two men spent a few more minutes there before getting up and returning to the house. If they were crying no one would have known for the rain was streaking down their faces.
The men exchanged a few words as they entered the house. One went over to stoke the fire. The logs shifted in the heart and sparks few into the air, a hot ember shot out and burned the man. He cried out.
Outside a rabbit's ears pricked up at the cry. The rabbit cowered among the soft fur of his brothers and sisters. It curled up against the chip board wall and folded his ears over it's brown and white fur. Sniffing the air with it's pink nose the rabbit sunk it's teeth into a sprig of alfalfa. The rabbit was one month old, and his name was Lennie.