“I like it out here, George,” Lennie said. “It’s all peaceful-like.”
“You know what it reminds me of, George?”
“All that corn over there on that side of the tracks—it reminds me of Children of the Corn.”
“That Steven King novel?”
“Yeah—but more the movie than the novel.”
“I can see that.” They both looked out across the cornfield, watching the stalks sway lazily in the breeze. “That movie—it wasn’t very peaceful, though.”
“Naw, I guess you’re right about that.”
They sat quietly for a spell, taking in the corn and the breeze, the warmth of the setting sun, and the sounds common to being alone in the great outdoors.
“What time did you get up this morning?”
“And what number comes before seven?”
George looked askance at his friend. “Six?”
“That’s right, George—just call ‘em out when you know. And what time is it right now?”
George looked at his watch. “It’s six o’clock.”
“That’s right—six o’clock.”
“What are you getting at, Lennie?”
“Think about it for a minute—six, six, and six.” George looked confused, so Lennie helped him out. “It’s the mark of the beast, George—it means the Devil.”
“Oh. I get it. The Devil.” George picked up a long piece of grass and stuck it in his mouth. “Like that movie.”
“Yeah, George—like the movie.”
“You know what else it means?”
“Naw, George. What else?”
“It being six o’clock and all, it means the 6:15 out of Stillwater ought to be by in just a few minutes.”
No sooner had he spoken the words, they heard the 6:15 blast its horn from not too far up the tracks.
“Right on time,” Lennie said, and they both turned in anticipation of seeing the train come around the bend.
“You feel it rumbling, George—under your feet?”
“I feel it, Lennie.”
“I like that feeling—makes me feel like I’m part of all that power somehow.”
Just then, the powerful and mighty engine of the 6:15 showed itself from behind the trees just up the tracks. It blew its horn again; it sounded much louder this time, so loud the boys could feel the sound in their bodies. Yet they stood still, mesmerized at the sight of the powerful engine drawing near.
Finally, Lennie spoke up—loudly. “You think we ought to get off the tracks?”
“What about her?”
The boys both looked down at Curley’s wife sprawled between the rails, the angry wound from where George had struck her with the two-by-four having consumed her entire forehead.
“Shouldn’t we get her too?” George asked.
“Naw, just leave her—let the train do its work! ‘Cause guys like us, we’d spend the rest of our lives in jail if they found us in her company, her being in that condition and all!”
The boys stepped off the tracks and watched as the train sped on by.
Credit to: u/deontistic @