The dark, salty waves of Picnic Point Beach in Mukilteo, Washington form the perfect backdrop for tales of shipwrecks and souls lost at sea. I’d like to know about those stories. I’m pretty sure I could spend a lot of money in local gift shops on historically accurate accounts and haunted tours, but I’d rather save my money for more practical things like this inflatable scary tree/ghost they’re selling on Amazon.com. Nate just stepped in dog poo while trying to mow the lawn, so the scary tree would be an investment towards protecting the lawn Nate and adding value, yet whimsy to the home. Once we have the tree, we could gather around it and tell ghost stories, so I’d better get busy making up stories. DIY ghost stories are easy and fun to do. Just call on your imagination and any seriously questionable psychic abilities/hunches you may have. If you can’t think of character names, just use the names of the people in your family and brace yourself for the consequences. That’s what I’ve done here. Enjoy!
Orcas of Doom
Autumn leaves, overcast skies, and the smoky smell of fire pits fill the air as a family arrives at Picnic Point Beach in Mukilteo. The mother, father, and teenage son set up a grill and they are cooking salmon. They’ve also brought along kayaks, which they will bravely use for the first time on the Puget Sound.
Cecilia: Why are we doing this again?
Nate: Because you want to see an orca. You’ve always wanted to see an orca. It’s all I hear about, so we’re getting into kayaks and hoping a pod just swims right up and splashes about.
Cecilia: Well, yes, but I’m pretty sure I’ll freak out once I see how big an orca is.
Alex: And that’s why I brought my camera.
Nate: We probably won’t see any orcas. We’ll just have a relaxing time on the water and we’ll learn a new skill. In the meantime, let’s eat.
Alex: This salmon is delicious! I can taste the lemon and olive oil. It’s rich and tasty. Can I have five of them? I’ve been swimming and lifting weights and, before we left, I only had a bowl of beef jerky, pancakes, two energy bars, a protein smoothie, three bananas, and two Hot Pockets. I’m starving.
Cecilia: Don’t worry—there’s plenty. Eat up. The salmon is delicious.
Nate: I think this is the best salmon we’ve ever tasted.
(The family continues to eat and talk about the delicious salmon, unaware that a pod of orcas is watching them stealthily from far away)
Orca 1: Look at them—eating that salmon. They take all of our food and we’re starving.
Orca 2: Ugh! It smells awful too. Why do they have to cook it? Heathens—uneducated heathens—all of them.
Orca 3: Okay, let’s get it together. I got dibs on the mom. She’s scared as hell; I can sense it from here. I also get the impression, just by watching her, that she gets confused easily, especially in a kayak, so you know, it’s been a tough week—I need a laugh or two—it should be fun.
Orca 1: I’ll take the tall one—the dad—I like a challenge.
Orca 2: Oh, yeah—I’m getting the kid. He’s eating the most salmon of all of them—he’s mine. And he’s bragging about being a swimmer. “I do the 200 fly,” he says. Like that’s so freaking hard. By the time he does a flip turn, I’d be at the other end of the Sound. Let me at him!
Orca 1: Okay, everyone. Just calm down. We can’t just go charging after them. That’s not our style. You know what to do. We just do what we do.
(The whales begin to gracefully leap into the air.)
Cecilia: Whales! I see whales! They’re so graceful. I’ll bet they’re friendly—like they’ve been around humans—like maybe they were let go from Sea World or something! And now they’re home—they’re home! It’s so beautiful!
Nate: Let’s grab the kayaks and go.
Nate, Cecilia, and Alex row their kayaks out towards the whales. Onlookers shout at them to just stay on shore and watch them from afar, but they won’t listen. Instead, they keep rowing and the whales keep leaping, further and further out into the Sound, until the kayakers and the whales disappear from view. The people on shore continue to keep watch, well into the night. Search and rescue teams are sent out and, at the end of the week, they only find three empty kayaks.
Nowadays, according to a recent legend that didn’t exist until about today, if you try to go orca sighting at Picnic Point Beach in Mukilteo, you might be disappointed. However, if you look hard enough, you may see three empty kayaks that mysteriously materialize on the horizon before briefly disappearing. Sometimes, you can even hear a disembodied voice, screaming, “Nate! It’s got its mouth open—it wants me to pet its tongue. I just know it!”
Shipwreck of Terror:
After a leisurely walk along Picnic Point Beach in Mukilteo, a family of three comes across the hull of a ship and learns that it was named the MV Pacific Queen. With the help of their cell phones, they find out that this ship was used for freezing and transporting salmon from Alaska. Apparently, it caught fire at a port in Tacoma because it was also carrying 3,000-8,000 gallons of fuel. It seems that the owners were side-hustling this fuel for other fishing boats in the area. After the explosion, the MV Pacific Queen was hauled off to Picnic Point Beach and that’s where the story ends. Or does it?
The members of this family that stumble upon this discovery (Nate, Cecilia, and Alex) absolutely cannot resist playing on old ships.
(Important Author Side Note: The fictional Nate, Cecilia, and Alex will play on dangerous and possibly government-protected historical objects, but the real Nate, Cecilia, and Alex would never really do that—just for the record.)
In any case, they climb aboard the hull of the ship and try to be pirates, but their accents are horrible.
Nate: Argh, me wench! I’ve got you now.
Cecilia: I’m not a wench; I’m a witch and I’ll turn you into an inflatable spooky tree for the lawn—for Halloween.
Nate: Now, come on. That’s not even believable. They didn’t have inflatable spooky trees for the lawn during Halloween. That’s just ridiculous.
Alex: Hey, guys! Look what I found!
Cecilia: Ugh! Put it down—it’s wet and slimy. I don’t want it in my house. I just cleaned it and organized it and it was really hard.
Nate: It’s just bull kelp, son; it’s no big deal.
Alex: But look at it—it looks like a person—with like a head and a body or something. When I shake it, the head shakes back and forth.
Cecilia: That is creepy. Here, let me see it. Ew! The head doesn’t even break or anything when you try to squeeze it—it’s just tough and rubbery. Eww! And when you stomp on them, they don’t squish, either. Ick!
Nate: Yeah, that is kind of gross. Let’s get back to pirating—where were we?
Cecilia: I was about to turn you into an inflatable tree, but you took issue with my blatant disrespect for historical accuracy.
Nate: For that you must walk the plank.
Cecilia: You’ll have to fight me first and I’m armed with bull kelp.
But when Cecilia turns around to pick up the bull kelp, her heart stops cold.
Cecilia: What. . . What’s happening?
When Nate and Alex turn around, they see that an army of bull kelp has risen up behind them—their large, bulbous heads have formed eyes and mouths that frown and scowl.
Nate: I don’t remember there being this many of them. Where did they come from?
Alex: But it’s just kelp, right? I could just put my hands around one of their necks like this, and just shake it back and forth . . .
Cecilia: Alex! Nate—it’s strangling Alex! Help him! Help him!
Nate: No, I think Alex is good—he’s fighting—he’s fighting back. He’s got this! Run, Alex! Run and get help!
Cecilia: Thank goodness Alex is safe—we just have to get out of here now.
Nate: Watch out! There’s one behind you!
Cecilia: I . . I . . . I can’t breathe.
Nate: Hang in there, I’m coming.
Nate struggles with the kelp, while being attacked by other members of the bull kelp army, but he keeps fighting.
Cecilia: It’s . . it’s not . . .working. You have to . . . you have to . .
Nate: What? What is it? What do I have to do?
Cecilia: You have to . . . take off your shirt.
Nate rips off his shirt and pulls apart the kelp with his big strong arms. His muscles gleam in the sunlight. He and Cecilia embrace for a brief moment, but several members of the bull kelp army wrap themselves tightly around Nate’s lower body. He kicks and pulls with his arms, but he can’t break free.
Cecilia: Nate, I have an idea. Just hear me out—it’s a bit crazy, but I think it’ll work. You know how you like to do all of those squats in the gym? Well, now’s the time to put those squats to good use. Squat, Nate! Squat like you’ve never squatted before!
Nate executes a set of perfectly formed squats, which rips the kelp army to shreds. He picks Cecilia up into his arms and carries her off, down stretches of windswept sand.
The end. Happy Halloween!!!
Your Turn: Are there any local legends/ghost stories in your town? Discuss below.