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The autumn sun shone weakly through the cracks in the bunkhouse. George sighed into the pillow and slowly turned to face the others playing cards at the nearby table. ‘It’s as if he hadn’t even existed. ‘ George thought angrily, ‘why they’re all playin’ and howling like a coupla dogs as if nothin’ ever happen. ‘ He shifted again to stare up at the rotting ceiling, once again he sighed. The bunkhouse seemed larger to George and everyone else so distant, it was as if there was a deep chasm between him and the others, even though they were only a few metres away.

“Sure you won’ join us? ” Slim enquired; he took off his hat and examined it briefly. “Come on George. You have to face reality som’ time. ” By this time the rest of them had joined Slim and were mumbling words of agreement. Candy, stepped toward the bunk and said. “Yeah, go on Georgy- boy, I’s been four months and frankly I’m getting’ a bit worried ’bout ya. We all are. ” George stared at the ceiling with great interest. Finally he spoke, “He loved rabbits, jus’ wanted to pet ’em tha’s all, never did no-one no harm.

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He used to ask ’bout the ranch alla time, he was so excited. ” He heaved one last sigh, one last sigh and got up. The faint lines under his eyes echoed sadness, deep brown pools reflecting emptiness. He rubbed his hand over his mouth and took one last sigh. Heaving himself upwards, the numbness in his legs subsided and feeling returned to his arms. There was a tingly sensation; it was as if he was re-born. The pools of emptiness full were now of knowing and determination. Slowly, he shuffled over to the bunkhouse door and stepped outside into the crisp autumn air.

“How’re you doin’ today? ” asked Candy brightly. “Doing jus’ fine Candy, workin’ for my last fifty bucks and then we’re outta here. ” The pale lifeless face had been replaced by a younger looking, vibrant George. “We’re gonna do it, by God, you an’ me. ” It had been nine months since Lennie had left. Out of those nine, four were spent lying in the bunkhouse staring into space, another finding peace and the rest working as hard as ever for the fifty bucks that would enable George to leave and open the dream ranch.

George had decided, with the help of Slim and Candy, to open his and Lennie’s dream ranch, it had took a while but after months of work and a little help from Slim as well as Candy, he had secured the ranch and was finally going to be able to live off the “fatta the lan'”. The sun shone down brightly onto the ranch as the clear cloudless sky ricocheting a deep blue. Slim’s broad, handsome frame basked in the sunlight making him appear as striking as ever. His lean shoulders and arms were wrapped in a slightly aged, deep red shirt, whilst his muscular legs were immersed in worn blue jeans.

He strode over to the bunkhouse door, opened it purposely and strode in. A few minutes later, he emerged, swaggering slightly under the weight of two boxes, one marked ‘George’ and the other, ‘Candy’. He made his way over to a cart that sat by the side of the path. It was virtually empty apart from a few things. Slim pushed the two boxes on with a mighty grunt and made his way to the front. “Well I’ll be seeing youse two. ” Slim sighed, his voice threatening to break. “Keep in touch. ” “Course we’ll keep in touch, you ol’ bastard”.

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