By Lisa Amaya
“I Don’t Like Bananas” by Ryan A. Loera is a quirky sci-fi/horror short story that involves three kids, a couple of evil dogs and fruit trees. The story’s main character Leroy, is a teenager who describes himself as ‘awkward.’ Although he really dislikes bananas at the beginning of the story, he eventually falls in love with them. His younger brother, Joey and his secret crush/friend, Delilah must also do the same in order to survive.
Leroy decides to taste a banana from a banana tree he encounters near his home one day after school. To his amazement, the banana tastes better than he remembers! This part of the story actually made me want to go to the store and buy some bananas. I’m allergic to them but Ryan described the tasty moment in great detail. Leroy begins to feel amazing but things start going wrong. He begins to feel sick and hallucinate at school. His body even starts doing weird things! This is when I told myself to get back into bed and finish reading the story. I was excited to see what else was going to happen to Leroy and his loved ones.
The banana tree and dogs haunt Leroy in his dreams and life. They appear in his yard and at the autumn school dance. One of the dogs and the banana tree terrorize and ruin the school dance. The other people at the dance become extremely scared. I would be very scared and running out of there if I was in their position!
The characters have to tell the banana tree “I love you” several times or else their lives are over. After Leroy and the others say the magic words, the tree leaves everyone alone. Everything is back to normal until more drama takes place at Leroy’s house about a month later.
I don’t want to give the surprise ending away so please check out the story at: http://www.smashwords.com or http://www.lulu.com under Ryan Loera. The e-book is only $2.99 on Smashwords. The paperback is $5.50 on Lulu. If this doesn’t seem like your type of story, check out Ryan’s other books and stories on these web sites as well.
I think the 40-page short story is suitable for children over 8 or 9 years old. Children under those ages might be scared of the trees and dogs. I enjoyed reading the short story and will most likely read it to my 9- year-old son. The story is pretty detail-oriented but it’s easy to read and understand. I might have my son read it to me instead.
I like the story’s theme of love and friendship, along with the sci-fi and horror. I’ll confess I’m not much of a sci-fi or horror story reader/ fan but this story wasn’t bad at all.