The Spicy Pickle Monster - A 3 Random Word Story
I promise that I am catching up on my 3 Random Word stories! This is technically July's 3 Random Words Story, which we did a little differently. Here's what was ordered:
Genre: Murder Mystery
Time: In the Future
Main Character: Spicy Pickle Monster
Setting: On an Island
Random Word: Goggles
The Spicy Pickle Monster
A fresh trail of churned sand and mud stretched behind the dragging body. Liam struggled with its waterlogged weight, trying to pull it away from the angry waves that crashed against the jagged rocks.
“Stupid thrill seekers – always trying to find me,” Liam grumbled. “Always wanting to catch a glimpse of the green monster. It was only a matter of time before one of them drowned.”
Liam drug the body into the thick foliage, searching for an inconspicuous spot to bury the man’s remains. As the trees grew thicker and visibility diminished, Liam’s sense of hearing piqued. There were no other humans on the island, it was the things that slithered and crawled that worried Liam.
“You’ll eat good tonight,” Liam whispered to the animals. “Just give me time to give this man a proper burial.”
Liam paused, his breathing labored as he gently set the man’s legs on the damp ground. He had drug the bloated corpse face-down the roughly one-hundred yards into the forest. Liam knelt down beside the man, reaching for his arm to roll him over.
“You should face the stars,” Liam whispered to the man. “It’s where we are from, and it’s where you’ll return.”
Liam didn’t believe that, but it was a nice notion. When he was a boy, just a few weeks before his mom got too sick to remember the stories and months before he ended up orphaned and homeless, Liam’s mom used to tell him the story of the stars.
“And when we die, our bodies disintegrate back into stardust. We are carried with the wind toward the sky, and we return to galaxy, spreading light to those we left behind,” she’d say. “What do you think of that, my little pickle?”
Liam hadn’t thought of his mom in years, but these memories felt comforting.
As Liam tugged on the man’s arm, he heard the familiar lap of water against the side of a small boat. He froze, slowing his breath to make it barely audible. His ears searched the shoreline for the inevitable footsteps until he found them. Light. Not the hard combat-boots he’d gotten used to hearing at the lab. The smell in the air was sweet, like perfume. The footsteps drew closer, carefully making their way toward Liam’s position.
“Stay back,” Liam warned as the footprints broke through the clearing to reveal a young woman. “This isn’t what it looks like.”
The woman held her hands in front of her moonlit face. Her black and blue wetsuit clung to her body, showing off her curvy features. Her face wasn’t fearful, as Liam expected, more surprised and curious.
“I believe you,” the woman said, stepping closer to Liam. Her New York accent sent chills down his spine.“I just want to make sure that you’re okay.”
The last time Liam was this close to a living human, they were preparing him for his next round of experiments. Pumping him with chemicals and experimental drugs. Tampering with the pigment in his skin. Taking samples of his organs as he laid in agony on a metal surgical table.
“Says here you go by Pickle,” a woman with a heavy New York accent commented as she was injecting him with the latest BioAgent concoction. Her voice was even and matter-of-fact, as if she wasn’t exposing him to a series of torturous experiments.
“Go to hell,” Liam said through gritted teeth. He got the nickname from his mother. Pickle. She said it was because she craved them during her pregnancy, but they also happened to be Liam’s favorite food. Whenever she had an extra few dollars, she’d buy him a jar of pickles, even if she knew they’d only last a day or two.
“Seems like you’re more a spicy pickle,” the New York devil woman said evenly. It didn’t matter that she was experimenting on a teenager. He was forgettable. Dead mother. Missing brother. Absent father. No one was looking for him.
It wasn’t until his veins turned green, tinting his skin a sickly olive color, that they exiled him to a tiny island off the east coast. A decade ago, the island would have been uninhabitable, but global warming made the temperature mild and brought an array of fish and birds. He feared that even the animals would retreat from his swollen and monstrous appearance, but they never did. And so he befriended the creatures of the island, the only companions he’d have for more than a decade.
“I didn’t kill him,” Liam repeated. “He must have drowned. Just another person trying to catch a glimpse of the Spicy Pickle Monster.”
“It really is you,” the woman said, breathless. “I’ve heard the legends, but I thought they were all fallacy.”
Liam loomed over the lifeless man, trying to read between the lines. The odds of two, separate adrenaline junkies arriving on the beach the same day was as close to statistically impossible as it got.
“What are you doing here?” Liam asked, his eyes searching the woman’s body language for clues.
“I’m part of a rescue mission,” she said, dropping her hands to her side. “My men and I are on a specialized operation to discard hazardous waste so it cannot infect the public.”
Liam watched the woman’s eyes drift toward the body at Liam’s feet before she returned her gaze to Liam’s face. Liam kneeled next to the body at a cautious pace, keeping his gaze on the woman’s suspicious demeanor. The man’s clothing was torn and ripped, as if he’d been tossed around by the rocks for hours before Liam found him. Still, Liam could see the black and blue remnant of the wetsuit, a similar wetsuit to the one worn by the woman.
Liam tugged the man’s arm, pulling him gently onto his back. The man’s goggles were wrapped tightly around his neck, giving his head the appearance of an ashen balloon. His hair was patchy and thin, as if he’d been through a million radiation treatments. Most noticeably, however, was the man’s skin – green veins webbing through a sickly olive pigment. Another monster.
“You!” Liam growled, turning back toward the woman.
The woman drew her weapon, keeping the gun aimed at Liam’s head. “We thought you were dead,” the woman said. “You weren’t supposed to survive out here.”
“Well,” Liam said, gritting his teeth. “You were wrong.”
In one giant bound, Liam was on top of the woman, his lab-engineered claws ripping through her thick, armored wet suit. The blades of a black chopper whipped wildly above the treetops as a cascade of men in black wetsuits slid onto the forest floor. The sounds of the automatic rifles ricocheted off the twisted trees, forcing the birds to retreat into the starry sky.
Liam leapt from the lifeless woman, leaving her body for the maggots and worms. Some people say he tore through the rest of the men with ease, the chemicals they’d pumped him with all those years ago allowing him to unleash an insatiable wrath. Others say that Liam defeated the men, but doubted he was able to survive the injuries he had acquired.
To this day, no one knows what happened to the Spicy Pickle Monster. But some wonder if he still wanders the island, burying victims of the sea.