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Of Mice and Men Epilogue

Epilogue

George sat with his feet in the warm water of the Salinas River. The setting was peaceful and quiet with the exception of the occasional mockingbird. George heard the snap of twig and turned around to find Lennie standing between two willow trees. Lennie looked right at George, and then pulled out the very same Luger that he was killed with. He charged at George, weapon raised. All of the sudden George was on the ground, but not in his own body. George was a snake, and a giant crane was chasing him. He tried to shout, but his throat seemed stuck. Then the dream changed one more time, but this time George was tending to rabbits. He was on Curly’s farm. The group of rabbits suddenly began to multiply, until he was completely covered in them.

George woke up gasping. This was another one of the countless times he had this dream since he had shot Lennie. The sun was peaking out of the horizon, and the room was filled with a soft orange light and the birds had already begun to chirp. After the events that occurred at the farm, George collected his fifty dollars pay and migrated to work somewhere else. Nothing has been the same, for both George and ranch hands at the farm. George heard knocking at the sagging wooden door.

“George! When we gonna get them rabbits!” George startled up.
“Eh George! You ‘wake yet? Where the hell you put them new seeds?” Howard’s voice wafted through the holes in the little shack.

“I ain’t so sure. I’ll be up soon to get ‘em.” George answered.

“I never seen no man as slow as you son.” Howard rapped on the door a few more times before walking away, his boots kicking rocks helter-skelter.

“Crazy bastard. Always on my ass ‘bout his own damn job.” George muttered as he sat up and put his head in his hands and sighed. He rubbed his eyes as if trying to erase the disturbing images from his mind. He shuffled into a pair of overalls and marched out of his decrepit shack. He was sure he put them right were Howard told him to put them. Sure enough, they were on the third shelf to the right in the shed.

“George!” Howard shouted again. George sighed again and trudged toward the sound of his voice. George hated life on this old farm. The boss was a cranky old miser who never worked at all. They didn’t have any livestock, only crops, though there was a scraggly mutt that ran around and nipped at everyone’s heels. It reminded George of Lennie’s pup. At times, it seemed like the world had stopped, and time didn’t move on. At other times, the time flew by like seconds were hours. Soon the chill of autumn brought colorful leaves and the harvest. Before George knew it, it had been a year since Lennie’s death. In the coming months beforehand, George’s dreams got worse. Instead of the dream morphing before something bad happened, George ended up getting hurt somehow. It was a different ending every time.

“Charlie! You got them corn baskets from the barn yet?” George called over to Charlie, a middle-aged man already starting to gray.

“Aw s*** George! I ain’t got no time to be goin’ back to that damn barn what with all this harvestin’.” Charlie answered as he bent down and pulled some weeds. “Maybe Howards got ‘em.” They both knew Howard didn’t have the baskets.

“Awright Charlie.” He sighed. Ever since George arrived, the hands here didn’t hesitate to take advantage of him. He began the trek to the back barn. He had do find the curvy, worn trail that led through the woods to the older barn. George pushed open the door, and the old hinges screamed in protest.

“Now how’m I ‘sposed to find anythin’ in this damn place?” George grumbled. He was still muttering when stumbled into a stack of old straw in the dark. The sharp pieces of straw scratched his hands as he felt around to find a way around it. Then his hands came across something stashed in-between two bales. It felt like paper. George pulled it out and fumbled around until he got back to the doorway. With a shock, he realized it was a letter.

“What on earth?” He said. He tore open the brown, crinkled envelope to find a surprise.

Dear George,

We bought that little plot o’ land we was talking about with Lennie las’ year. I invited ol’ Crooks to join me. We jus’ wanted to ast you if you still wanted to come. We was gonna buy some rabbits and keep ‘em jus’ for Lennie. There’s room for you if you still wanna join us. We could live off the fatta the lan’ jus’ like we said. Do it for Lennie.
From, Candy

George read it a few times to be sure he could believe what he was seeing. There was an address on the back of the letter. Of course he would accept right away.

“Those two-timin’ bastards.” George said with malice. He slammed the doors shut without even bothering to lock them. He marched right into Howard’s bunk where he found both Howard and Charlie laughing and drinking.
“You two son-of-a-bitches!” George slammed the letter down on a table by the door and stormed out. He began packing right away, and left without a backward glance. When he arrived at the plot of land, a wave of sadness and joy overwhelmed him.

“Hey George! How’ve you been?” Candy’s familiar voice rang out across the yard.

“I been okay, you?”

“I been fine. It ain’t been the same without you.” The slapped each other on the back. “Crooks wasn’t sure you’d come. Can I ast you somethin’?”

“Sure.” George said.

“Why did you take so long to come?”

“The bastards I been workin’ for hid the damn letter so they could keep takin’ advantage o’ me.” Candy’s expression lightened a bit.

“George! We are real happy you decided to come!” Crooks greeted George.

“I’m happy you’re here too.” George said. “For Lennie.” A moment of silence passed over them.

“Shall we give you a tour?” Crooks suggested. They all agreed, and travelled into the medium sized cottage on the medium sized plot of land. They had a little iron stove and they didn’t have to work to hard. If they wanted to go see a show, they would leave and go see the show. If they wanted to stop working and go to bed early, they would. They wouldn’t have to work for anyone. They’d have a dog, and some cats, and rabbits.



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