“Pickling Cucumbers” by Mike Licht is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
“Pickling Cucumbers” by Mike Licht is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The Tragic Love of a Boy and a Pickle

An over-dramatic spoof on Greek tragedies about pushing the world away and only listening to yourself.

May 4, 2023

The city of Thebes, 438 BC

Scene 1: The Confession

(ARIANUS is sitting in his home with his pickle and talks to his pickle)

Oh Pickle, how shall I pour forth the passion that burns within my heart? When first I cast my eyes upon thee, a flame was lit, a flame that grows brighter with each passing day. Thou art a sight to behold, with thy crunchy exterior and thy tangy, salty essence. Every time I partake of thee, I am filled with a joy that knows no bounds. I know that some may call our love a madness, a folly born of fevered fancy. But to me, it is a love as real as any that hath been sung of in the halls of Mount Olympus. I would face the wrath of the gods themselves, cross oceans and climb mountains, if it meant being near thee, Pickle. To hold thee close and never let thee go. The path ahead may be uncertain, the future shrouded in shadow. But I would take that path, no matter the cost, for the love I bear for thee. So, Pickle, I implore thee. Be mine, be the love that sets my soul ablaze, the delight that makes my heart sing. I shall cherish thee and keep thee close, for all the days of my life. I love thee, Pickle. And I pray that thou may love me in return.
(ARIANUS, who has just confessed his love for the pickle, is on his knees, looking up at the jar.)
So, what say you, Pickle? Will you be mine?
(There is no response from the pickle. ARIANUS looks disappointed and starts to rise, but then collapses back to the ground.)
(disheartened) Why, Pickle? Why do you not respond? Is it because I am not good enough for you? I have given you my heart, Pickle. I have loved you with all that I am. And yet, you reject me.
(ARIANUS continues to weep and bemoan his fate.)
Oh, what tragedy is this? To love that which cannot love in return. To pour out my heart, only to have it trampled upon.
(ARIANUS continues to weep and bemoan his fate. The lights dim, signaling the end of the scene.)

Scene 2: The Madness

(The scene opens on ARIANUS sitting at a fountain in the middle of town, still by the pickle jar, talking to it as if it were alive.)

Oh, Pickle, your colors are so bright, your skin so crisp. I could gaze upon thee for hours on end.

(A TOWNSPERSON enters the stage.)

(sarcastically) Ah, ARIANUS. Still pining after your pickle, I see.

I am not “pining,” good sir. I am in love.

(laughing) In love with a pickle? You have truly lost your mind.

(Other TOWNSPEOPLE enter the stage, laughing and jeering at ARIANUS.)

(laughing) A pickle? He’s in love with a pickle! Etc.

(ARIANUS stands, defiant in the face of their ridicule.)

(firmly) I do not care what you say. My love for Pickle is true and pure.

(The TOWNSPEOPLE continue to mock and ridicule ARIANUS as he remains by the pickle jar, talking to it desperately as if it were alive.)

Why do you not see my love, Pickle? Why do they all mock me?

(ARIANUS starts to become more and more agitated, his voice becoming louder and more frantic.)

I will make them see! I will show them the depth of my love!

(ARIANUS takes a knife from his back pocket and cuts himself, letting the blood pour onto the ground before the pickle jar.)

(fanatically) Behold, Pickle! This is the blood of my love, spilled for thee!

(He throws down the knife, The townspeople are horrified at ARIANUS’ actions, but he pays them no heed, continuing to talk to the pickle as if it were alive.)

(THE PRIESTESS enters the stage.)


(somberly) What has happened here, townspeople? What has driven this young man to such madness?


(excitedly) He is in love with the pickle, priestess! He’s lost his mind!


(calmly) Let us not judge, my friends. Perhaps there is a deeper meaning to his actions.

(THE PRIESTESS approaches ARIANUS and speaks to him in a gentle voice.)

(gently) ARIANUS, what troubles you so? Why do you spill your blood for this pickle?


(hysterically) Because it is the only thing that will ever love me! Because it is the only thing that will ever understand me!


(understandingly) Ah, I see. Your love is not for the pickle, but for the idea of love itself.

(THE PRIESTESS puts a hand on ARIANUSshoulder and speaks softly to him.)

My child, you are not alone. There are many who suffer as you do. But violence is not the answer. Let me help you find peace.

(ARIANUS grabs the knife off the floor)


You don’t understand! No one does, you think I’m a fool like everyone else! Well I’ll make you regret that decision, for you are the fool trying to make me look more foolish!

(ARIANUS takes the knife and stabs the priestess to death, The curtain falls, signaling the end of the scene.) 

Scene 3: The Pursuit

(The scene opens on ARIANUS running through the forest, panting and sweating. The sound of dogs barking and guards shouting can be heard in the distance.)


(breathing heavily) I have to keep moving. They will not give up their pursuit.

(ARIANUS stops to catch his breath and looks back at the sounds of the guards getting closer.)

(frantically) I cannot let them catch me. I cannot go back to the kingdom, to the life I once knew.

(ARIANUS continues running through the forest, dodging trees and leaping over fallen logs. The sound of the guards getting closer and closer can be heard.)

(yelling) Leave me be! I have done nothing wrong!


(shouting) Surrender, ARIANUS! You are wanted for the death of the Priestess!


 I did not kill her! I did not!


But you did! The whole town saw it. And you shall pay for your actions!


My actions! My actions were driven by the love, and passion you made fun of me for. I will get rid of whatever is in the way of my happiness, and she stood in the way of my happiness just like you!


 You shall face justice for your crimes.


(firmly) I refuse to accept hatred for a love that is pure and true.


(yelling) Your words mean nothing. You shall face the consequences of your actions. The gods will judge you for what you have done. Love or not, you must pay for what you have done. 

(ARIANUS escapes, he spots a cave in the distance and heads towards it)


Perhaps we can find refuge here, my pickle.

(ARIANUS reaches the entrance of the cave and ducks inside, he hears the sound of the guards run past.breathing a sigh of relief he says)

we are safe, my love, away, far far away from the kingdom of the fools that don’t understand us, away.

(ARIANUS sits in the cave with his pickle. The lights dim, signaling the end of the scene)

Scene 4: The Tragedy

(The scene opens on ARIANUS lying on the ground, his breathing shallow and ragged. The pickle is next to him, lying on its side.)


(muttering to himself) They did this to me. The kingdom, the guards, the Priestess. They drove me to this madness.

(ARIANUS picks up the pickle, holding it close to his chest.)

(whispering to the pickle) You are the only one who understands me. The only one who truly loves me.

(ARIANUS stands up, his movements erratic and uncontrolled.)

But they took you away from me! They tried to take you away but I would be nothing! I am nothing without you!

(ARIANUS begins to pace back and forth, then he takes a look at the pickle and it calms him down)

Oh, my love! My pickle, my heart aches for you. I’ve been cast aside by the people of this kingdom, deemed a madman for my love of you. But I know, deep in my soul, that my love for you is real. 

I can hear their laughter still echoing in my mind, mocking me for my devotion to you. But I will not be silenced, I will not be denied. My love for you is a flame that cannot be extinguished, no matter how hard they try. 

I’ll show them what true love is. I’ll show them the depth of my devotion, the passion that burns within me. I’ll make them understand, I’ll make them see. I’ll prove to them that my love is not a madness, but a beauty beyond compare.

(ARIANUS, clutching his chest)

But as I stand here, alone in this dark cave, my heart is heavy and my mind is plagued. My love for you consumes me, it’s tearing me apart. I cannot eat or sleep, it’s all I think about. But still, I will not waver, I will not back down. I’ll do anything to prove my love, to make the whole world see, that my love for you is the purest and truest of all.

(ARIANUS takes out the knife that he killed the PRIESTESS with)

And so, I take this blade, this symbol of my despair, and I will show the world, I will show them my love, in the most final and conclusive way. 

(ARIANUS takes the knife and stabs himself, he falls to the floor. The lights dim leaving light only on the pickle with light as the curtain falls, signaling the end of the play)



Collin Higgins (he/him) is a freshman at Huntington Beach High School. He’s apart of APA and many other organizations around Orange County. He has recently started writing short plays and short films. He also loves SpongeBob.

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