A ways across the long deep South Western coast of Costa Rica, there were some strange times during the late 1990's. Many people claimed alien creatures were wandering the Golfito banana fields, and some reported that they had met these creatures personally.

There was a school off the Puntarenas coastline, very close to the southern beach front. Children would often arrive there driven from all over the coastal valleys. Their parents mostly field workers, survivalists, and local political constabularies.

Though many of the children only spoke a Central American Spanish language, mostly a mishmash of elderly local dialects with some newer more frenetic rhythms. Many of the local school children spent most of their time laughing and playing in the richly forested areas nearby.

One specific boy Henri Sanchez had the distinction of working in the banana fields during his weekends, which would often drone on through the remotely coolest seasons. The young man would drive in a fortified four-wheel-drive jeep with his father through the dense tree brushes along a slim narrow pathway.

His father Vellario had worked for the local foresting outfit, while also an explosives technician. The two used to drive along the coast where an open gust of air would always surge deeply into their lungs.

"Don't forget to take a bottle of water with you." said Vellario.

His son leaned back into the carrier section and pried a bottle loose from a large plastic packet. With the jeep coming to a halt. The young man saw almost two dozen school children playing outside of the old white schoolhouse.

Henri popped open the door, "You be good." said his father in a vague English. Some of the young boys came towards Henri speaking words of casual encouragement. Though he thought many of his fellow female classmates looked casually attractive, Henri preferred to play soccer on the beach while they observed him youthfully competing.

The seventh grade had been his least favorite to date. With much of his daylight weekend hours dedicated to wandering the banana fields with a machete alongside his father. The young man had managed to maintain a satisfactory grade-point average.

The sky had gone light gray during that solemn afternoon. Henri eating his lunch outside. His beige pants and clean white shirt looked quite bright. Though the wind had him bound rigidly against a morose decaying brick wall beside a custodial shack.

One of his good friends Philippe approached, "Mind if I save you some time." he said, and tossed a packet of peanuts into his hand.

"I didn't think you cared. replied Henri.

The two had shared lunch together for years. It was a point of their friendship to gift and help one another. Henri had given Philippe a paring knife for his 12th birthday. While both of them had rarely ever talked about their studies,the darker skinned heavier boy wondered about Henri's homework assignment.

"Are you finished the history essay?" he asked.

But Henri shook his head and had barely even started it. Instead he looked out to the beach. There were literally hundreds of expanding yards of long open sandy beaches along the coast.

With a slight change in wind and pressure. A storm brewed off in the northern peninsula and swelled down for hundreds of miles overtop the forests and rustic hillsides. They were entering into the wet months, while over halfway through their school year.


The young men had finished their school day today. Henri's mother Maria arrived to get him in their green weathered jeep. They both smiled when seeing each other. Making their way inland towards the banana fields, and their small one story bungalow.

Off in the far recesses of banana fields, movement besieged all of the small inanimate wildlife. Rats would congregate to the fields sometimes. With so much rotting banana rinds to burrow down into. Pools of sludge would congregate in thin little morose streams draining off into pond reservoirs alongside.

Just out of sight a large family of rats were dueling for territorial dominance with torrents of iguanas, the jeep spun off onto an open main drag pathway. Arching into the neighboring living sections. Rows of bungalows laid in stretches, some forested layers of natural growth separating each home.

Henri entered his clean welcoming abode. Plopping the cloth schoolbag down onto his desk. A quick look out the window. He realized it wouldn't be long before his father would arrive home from the cutting fields.

That night the three of them sat around their kitchen table discussing matters. Vellario made mention that his friend and fellow machete cutter Diego had expressed unhappiness about the state of his family, how his mother had taken custody of his two youngest children, while his wife had left looking for work in San Jose.

All the while outside of the house the reeking of flies and rotting rinds had given root to some wild misbegotten folklore. While rumors of phantom people were said to whisper and walk through the dark night time acreage.

Other families abridged certain bungalows developing their own land and shacks, often hosting large bonfires where they would pool their daily resources and other forms of essentials. Making it through the evening.

Some of their chants would arise into pockets of frivolous energy. Pooling with howls of local wildlife. The banana plantation had also become home to an untowardly uncommon organization.

That night, another young man had wandered out into the barren fields. Up to his ankles in brown rotten banana stocks. Layers of dense rotting leaves surrounding his small lithe form. Yet from over in the rising hills of banana rinds the ground seemed to vibrate and writhe into surges of overflowing eruptions.

The boy Chuchio had many dark nights experience wandering these fields. Though this night something shook him into the core of his being. A rising mound of banana rinds unfurled before him, while the wind seemed to howl in other directions. He watched as the mound settled down, and his heart felt as though it would explode out of his chest. Running through the pitch black woods with peels of blue moonlit sky above.

The raging fires from the local Barbonne family gave light and heat. Fresh spicy meat was lifted from the fire, and their young family member Chuchio soon returned. Trying to catch his breath. He decided to avoid the remaining ceremonies and sleep.


The next day at school most of the children were seated in their language studies positions. The group of three young boys Henri, Philippe and Chuchio were huddled in the corner. When lunchtime arrived they chose to stay inside and discuss their personal subjects of interest.

"I saw a monster last night." said Chuchio.

The other boys barely heard him. They chose to go on discussing windsailing. Though Chuchio sat beside them awkwardly, and noticeably disturbed, "Okay, what's your problem today?" asked Philippe.

The young small friend of theirs was actually two years younger, and technically 'gifted' but refused to leave his present grade of children he had been first introduced to them almost seven years prior, and made an indelible impression thereupon.

"I think there's something out there, in the banana fields."

"What?" asked Philippe.

He kept his lips shut, and began shaking. There had been weird stories of detached horrible birdsongs, with little traces of threatening deepness. Where people had found the cause to worry about their safety. Some people had reported movement from the banana stocks before. Though most of the reports were never spoken aloud. Only a handful of people ever believed in the rumors, or repeated them.

Off in the banana fields two men were slicing banana stocks into pieces. Much of the stocks were solid sheaths of yellow, while some were still freshly green, and recently the suppliers of freshest crop.

Vellario and Diego went their separate ways by 3 o'clock. The senior explosives expert was ordered to hardwire many tubes of TNT into the bare stone resin of depleted gorges and ravines in the northern Golfito forests. Monkeys screamed in heart wrenching agony while he twisted the coppery and plastic harnesses together.

Before their schoolday had ended the three boys decided to meet shortly after dinner time and seek where Chuchio had claimed to see the shaking banana pile. Their dinners seemed to take a great long while to stomach. By the time desert had been served, Henri had a look in his eye that seemed lost, and unsure.

Each boy told their parents they were meeting friends, and that they would return home before 10 o'clock. In the creeping pastures surrounded by fresh banana bunches. The three whispered aloud, and came together in plain sight.

Philippe held a flashlight, "I wasn't sure you guys would show up." he said, and Chuchio grimaced.

"Is this where you saw the thing?" asked Henri.

"No, it was over there."

A family of monkeys climbed along a thick brown branch. Birds flew up into the sky and came down with heavy swathing pitches. Something seemed weirdly out of place up ahead where Chuchio had seen the rising mound. Suddenly, he realized all of the banana rinds had gone.

"It was here, but, somebody must have. . . ."

The boys dismissed his claims. They both tried to hold back their disappointment, but Chuchio still felt desperate enough to plead his case, "It was right here, in this field, I swear I saw something coming after me."

"You really have an overactive imagination." said Philippe.

The flashlight pointed upwards and spiraled around between them. There was no cause to be alarmed, but something motioned from the trees. While the boys moved deeper into the open laneway, they stopped and listened for anything audible.

"Okay, what do you think it was?" asked Henri.

"It might have been that thing they talked about years ago. The thing that scared all those field hands away."

They remembered a group of field workers had quit for unknown reasons, though there were some rumors they had reported hearing weird mechanical sounds in the forest. Masses of man shaped shadows soon followed, seen walking and trampling in the woods.

Just as the three boys had heard a breath of dead silence. A dark lumbering force came towards them, and in a split second's heartbeat. The three boys noticed a distinctly heavy shape. With the flashlight scanning around. They saw an old rusted machete.

Soon the night air filled with quickly exerting movement. The three boys ran away from their hostile invader. Although from the size and shape of the thing, they had little time to consider if it would follow them into the great northern wilderness.

"Stop. Stop." said Henri.

The boys stumbled upon a large stone gorge descending almost 20 meters down. Chuchio had run furthest away, but stopped and came back while calming down and breathing gently. The group composed themselves.

"That wasn't a monster." Henri persisted, and asserted, "It was carrying a machete, did you see it?" but the boys sighed, and wavered.

"Well I think this is silly. We're running around frightened out of our wits and all the while there aren't any monsters. It's just our imaginations." Chuchio and Philippe calmed down while Henri continued to declare, "This was a stupid idea. Let's just get out of here and forget this ever happened."

Just out of sight in the narrow stretches of low dipping branches something was listening to them. Invisible to the naked eye, but forceful enough to disturb the greenery surrounding. It seemed as though a fierce wind blew up in the deep and sheltered woods.

"But the thing I saw was real." said Chuchio.

"Quiet, let's just go home." said Philippe.

They left the stone plateau unaware anything had seen them. While they made their way back towards the forest recesses, there were sounds too gentle for them to hear.

They decided to sneak around the plantation and avoid any of the cutting fields. Walking around the edges. They began to notice some heavy packing noises.

The three stood still while clinging to the flimsy forest leaves. Then they heard what sounded like a collapse of heavy banana bunches. More heavy thuds reached their ears. Than they noticed that the noises were indeed coming closer.

"Come on." said Henri.

They wrestled against the woods attempting to make their way back onto the driving path. Their breathing became hurried. The darkness deepened all around them. They still heard something heavy coming closer.

A flash of light swung down across the dirt ground where a pathway widened. Philippe noticed an open laneway ahead, "Come on, follow me." he said, and the other two boys kept fighting away the leaves.

Standing upon the firm dry soil. The three slapped little bits of wetness from their clothes, "Are you guys believing me now that there's a monster?" asked Chuchio, but the boys shrugged off his question.

"It's probably just some night time cutters." said Henri.

Low and behold they could sense a thick shadow overtaking them. They turned around into an open cutting pathway. Philippe shined his flashlight upwards, and there stood an enormous man shaped figure.

The boys all screamed in unison. What they saw before them seemed immediately unbelievable. A mass of bananas all compiled together in the form of a lumbering beast. The creature swung its talon shaped extremities. Giving off a tremendous guttural roar.

Quicker than they had ever moved before. The three boys attempted to escape their pursuer, but found another creature awaiting ahead of them. The flashlight flashed in peels of flippant gestures. Henri ran ahead into the forest, and Philippe followed behind.

Chuchio lost track. The three had aimed for the forest beside the driving pathway, but had run so far within they lost track of each other. After revolving his vision roundly, Chuchio called out aloud, "Hey guys, where are you?"

Only silence followed. Though standing there in the darkness. Chuchio heard another resounding growl. He booted it back through the woods once again. Passing alongside random banana trees of innumerable sizes and descriptions.

With the sheer speed of his body. Young Chuchio erupted onto the single driving laneway. Revolving his body around to gain a greater vision. He ran back to his home. Almost entirely out of breath, he could see some lamplight shining from his bungalow.

Bending over to catch his breath. He stood up and felt something large standing behind him. Than, bananas covered his mouth, and pulled him backwards in terror.


The next day at school all the two boys could do was fear for the worst. Both of them barely slept that last night, and Chuchio failed to show up in class that morning.

"What are we going to do?" asked Philippe.

"I don't know."

"We've got to tell someone."

There was something brewing over at the plantation. Beyond where the school kids might ever consider venturing again. A morning crew of banana cutters had found the remains of a human body crushed and broken within a pile of filthy rinds.

Vellario came to work that day expecting to wire more explosives into the gorge, but was instead confronted by groups of people amassing around police cruisers. It came to everyone's attention that the older cutter Ruiz Avalos had been killed last night. Recognized as a local vagrant and wanderer, Ruiz had been known to pulverize banana husks at night with an old rusting machete. From the state of his body, he had been bludgeoned to death, but no incisions were caused by anything sharp or pointed.

No doubt the tragedy happened during their previous investigation. While further in the forest, over slabs of solid stone granite, young Chuchio had been left unconscious. His body laid weakly in a pile of wet murky grass below the 20 meter stone gorge. The boy immediately erupted from a deep sleep. Wiping sweaty water off of his face.

Little could prepare him for what would unfold before his eyes. Hesitant to move after hearing a mechanical hovering sound. Chuchio noticed a full grown banana creature wandering about 50 yards away in a field of cleared vines and dried bushes.

Suddenly the banana creature began to hover where the sound had been coming from. Appearing as though walking up an invisible hill. The banana creature seemed to disappear within a heavy mass of invisibility.

The sound of unearthly mechanics hummed, and the force of air displacement passed through his body. Then the silence became all encompassing as a moving mass seemed to utterly disappear all around him. Chuchio chose to move away. Looking for a safe place to climb up onto the banana plantation.

By lunch hour the two boys were speaking about ditching the last few classes. Henri knew his father would be angry, but with the likelihood that Chuchio was in danger, they needed to find some way of saving him, and the entire plantation.

Hoisting their book bags over their shoulders. The two boys decided to make the 3 kilometer trek to the plantation on foot. Walking along the narrow single lane dirt path. The sun barely met their shoes as they trudged over puddles and dredges of rainwater.

With the somber tone of complaining. Both boys had heated conversations about getting into trouble and hoping that their friend had been spared a grizzly fate. Henri knew his mother would likely cross his path by 2 o'clock. The boy checked his digital wristwatch and saw that the time was a quarter past noon.

For hours they trudged along the lonesome road. A truck drove beside them as they moved out of the way. Both the boys recognized the Gonzalez family members riding in the back carrier. Staying just out of sight. The boys passed by two more trucks and Henri decided he wanted to bypass his house and go straight for the banana fields.

Little packs of ants writhed from many red soil mounds. Engulfed and channeled by wild winds. Birds screamed from treetops as the sun began to descend westwards.

Coming to his home laneway. The two boys decided to keep walking over to the Barbonne household. It was the only way to know if Chuchio was indeed safe.

Suddenly from behind them they heard a blaring car horn. Spinning to see their eventual capture. Maria came driving along with the jeep and caught up behind them, braking, "What do you think you are doing!?" she screamed.

"We were going over to the Barbonne's."

She got out of the jeep, "Your teacher said you disappeared." and she stopped in front of Henri looking incredulous.

"We were just…" she grabbed him by the collar and marched him back towards the jeep, Philippe had no other choice but to watch, "Come along." she said, and Philippe hustled into the backseat.

His worst nightmares had come true. Henri came home to find his father waiting on the front porch. While the jeep engine subsided, there were heated words exchanging.

"Just what on earth do you think you were doing?" asked Vellario.

Maria indicated she was going to drive Philippe home. The two of them rode off while Henri tried to calm his father's nerves, "Nada." he answered.

His father sat him down at the kitchen table and eyed him with an unhappy grimace, "All right, what have you been up to?" he asked.

"Nothing, like I told you."

"Tell me the truth, I just came back from the fields. A man was found dead there, murdered? So if you know anything; now's the time to tell me."

Henri fessed up. In a few short breaths he told his father; He, Philippe, and Chuchio Barbonne had been in the fields last night, "Chuchio was sure he saw a monster there two days ago."

The boy looked almost on the verge of tears, "We saw something there last night, they looked like men, but made of bananas." and his father looked at him with curiosity, "Chuchio didn't show up at school today. Philippe and I were just trying to find him."

Vellario knew his son not to be an exaggerator. Whether or not he knew about Ruiz Avalos still remained to be seen, "Son, are you aware how serious this is? You may have involved yourself in a crime."

The boy burst into tears. Vellario could discern Henri meant well, but if the young boy Chuchio was indeed missing, and led them there last night, Chuchio needed to be questioned to resolve this mess.

"I'm going to call the Barbonne's." he said and went looking for his address book. Henri felt a sense of relief, but knew there still might be a very serious danger ahead.

A quick phone call later and Henri sensed an understated tension. Apparently Chuchio had been missing all day and his family had no idea where he was. While their eyes remained connected Henri could see his father showing a newfound sense of belief.

After the call ended they stood there in the kitchen and confided, "So you're sure you saw Chuchio in the banana fields last night?" asked Vellario.

"I swear, we all split up, and we don't know what happened."

A plan began to form between them, though Henri still felt the need to warn, "There were monsters in the fields. They might have gotten a hold of Chuchio. They might still have him." and his father strapped a pistol around his waist. Grabbing a machete as he walked out the front door.


The two paced steadily alongside folds of swaying grass. Through long stretching pathways. They kept a conversation going about how Ruiz Avalos had been found just a few hours prior, and that they had seen a person holding a machete last night.

There was still a good amount of daylight ahead. Though Henri realized a deep seeded fear from walking beside the green sidled banana stocks. He knew the creatures seemed to use the forest as their own personal physical substance. More wind rushed through the fields swaying tree stocks into waving heavier rhythms.

Henri led his father overtop piles of filthy rinds. Sure of their present location. They resided about 200 yards away from Avalos' body. No doubt there were still some people around trying to solve the mystery, but both Vellario and Henri could sense the need to maintain secrecy whilst dodging fear.

They both stopped dead still while Vellario recognized the gorge plateau. There were electric cables wired along the top forming ridges, and all the way down into the descending ravine. He drew his machete while entering through the tree limbs.

"This is where we ran too, last night, when we saw the cutting man with his machete." said Henri.

They walked further onto the plateau while the gorge descended below, they stood atop and scanned into the forest. There was nothing else for them to do but call out aloud, "Chuchio!" yelled Henri.

To this there was silence, but Henri called again, "Chuchio!"

"Chuchio!!!" calling loudest.

From down in the mess of stone and vines. Henri's voice seemed to carry along for many deeply distant yards. Somewhere in the wrestle of an inclining bush, Chuchio was trying to climb upwards, and heard his friend, soon replying, "Ci, ci, estoy aqui!"

"I'm here!" he screamed.

The small boy tried to find a way out of the gorge, but had only succeeded in becoming more lost. While he tried to follow where he thought the voice was coming from, he noticed a banana creature stalking along the valley floor.

All the way back on top of the stone mount, Henri and Vellario became aware of sounds coming from their left side. They heard the weight of heavy footsteps and what sounded like wind passing through a thin metal funnel.

"Papa… papa," Henri warned.

A brush of bushes cast aside as a large yellow figure lumbers towards them. From the sight of it Vellario could no longer deny. The thing was totally amassed with bananas, and looking to be almost seven feet tall.

"Hold on." Vellario cautioned Henri.

The man drew his sidearm and aimed for what looked like the creature's cranium. In the space of a breath. Vellario yanked back the hammer, and fired.

The beast kept walking forwards. Registering a small amount of force from the bullet. Vellario yanked back on the hammer once again, and fired many times in sequence -- but the beast just kept on forwards.

Handling his trusted machete. Vellario rushed at the beast and began slicing at its lashing appendages. Fingers, arms, head, all seemed to fall off in an instance. Vellario stood in the heavy pile of bananas while the whole valley seemed to echo with such inhuman voices of vengeance.

Wind began to surge upwards from the valley floor. Hollowed shrieks gave way to whirls of mechanical hovering. The blast of air hit father and son and they could hear Chuchio screaming, "Help, help me, there's something down here!" A creature then noticed Chuchio and began to follow him.

Vellario leaned over to order his son, "This area is wired with TNT. We need a car battery… something to detonate the fuses." they both heard Chuchio screaming.

"Go and bring a truck here, now."

Henri heard his words clearly. The boy knew he would have to be very fast. He ran out from the forest limbs. Making his way through the green young banana stocks. His best chance would be to search the laneway and backtrack to where the murder had taken place.

Meanwhile Vellario yelled down into the gorge, "I'm Henri's father, Chuchio!" then sliced some vines from a tall freestanding tree, "Follow my voice!!"

"I'll get you out!!!"

The young boy heard Vellario from up on the summit. He kept running through peels of bushes. A creature swung around heavily behind, slow, but forceful enough to keep a strong pace behind the small boy.

"I'm here! I'm down here!" screamed Chuchio.

The ground upon the plateau was mostly solid stone but further down from the ridge there were plains of soiled earth where the tall trees grew apart. Up on the trees and down along the ground long stretches of vines would crisscross and absorb torrents of rainwater during the cooler seasons.

Vellario screamed, "Come to my voice Chuchio!" and he wielded his machete in spirals looking at the ground. He wanted to find a stretch of vine that exceeded 50 feet, and also strong enough to support the weight of a 70 pound boy.

He found one vine in particular and sliced it free from the earth absorbing strands. Ripping the vine up and spiraling it around his forearm. Vellario heard, "I'm down here."

With the single strand of vine in hand. The man stood poised upon the mount, looking down, "I see you." he said, but then noticed something moving in the distance.

Chuchio turned to see a banana creature lumbering towards him, "Quick! Get me out of here!" and Vellario tossed the vine downwards.

The brown strand rolled wearily along the rock face. The boy ran to where his lifeline awaited, grabbing hold of the firmness, and pulling tightly.

"I've got it!" he declared.

A banana creature growled as though an airplane engine subsiding. The boy elevated up into the air. Holding with all of his might onto the vine. He wrapped it underneath his shoulders, and used his feet to balance against the ledges.

A honking horn blares from behind them. Vellario turns to see a truck careening into the woods. Henri behind the wheel, and no one else to be seen.

"Come here, help me." said his father.

The two began to pull Chuchio up from the rock face. Straining to keep the boy balanced. Soon the young man came into sight, and Henri stretched outwards to grab him.

The three rejoiced quickly in their safety. No doubt Henri had stolen the vehicle. From the look of it, the truck belonged to the Rodriguez family. There would be nothing remotely resembling a detonator in the carrier section, but Vellario might use it's battery for igniting the TNT fuses.

"Go out into the fields. I'll meet you there. I promise."

The boys were nudged off into the trees. Vellario started the truck engine and drove it about twenty feet onto the plateau. Wind arose out of the valley. A noise of indescribable mechanics shook him within the vehicle.

Digging around on his hands and knees. He found the fuse lines. Tearing them up from the gorge. He pulled the wires over to the truck. Fumbling to open the hood, he accidentally dropped a line, and bent over to pick it up.

The noises kept shaking from below. Lights seemed to emanate from everywhere throughout the encompassing shadows. Handling the bare copper strands between his fingers. One wire attaches successfully to the negative outlet. He wet his right thumb and forefinger. Lashing the copper wire quickly around the positive charge.

An enormous explosion ignites everywhere within the valley. Tubes of stretching fire all slithered around through the deepest stone ridden hovels. Thick torrents of smoke blew upwards between the vast arches of fire and rubble.

Henri and Chuchio watched the whole scene from afar blocking their eyes from the heat. Soon they watched as Vellario staggered from the forest, and soon told them that everything was okay and marched them back to safety.

Hardly any words were ever spoken to justify what happened that day. The police and plantation workers only remembered the most meager of half forgotten memories.

In secret, nobody ever bothered to know what truly happened. But while legends grew through years of bedtime stories, no alien banana creatures were ever seen again.


CONTENTS


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Matthew Sendowski --

It all started on August 18th, 1983. I was born in Ottawa Ontario, and raised in Oakville, just about 30 miles south of Toronto. My interests were always fantastic. I loved dinosaurs, monster movies, and Atlantic seafood.

Through much of my young life I enjoyed things like The Three Stooges, Godzilla, and the Adam West TV show Batman. I arrived in my last few years of high school to discover Philip K. Dick, and soon marveled at the wonders of science fiction.

Elmore Leonard & Richard Matheson were always my go-to guys. Forty Lashes Less One is still one of my all time favourites, and What Dreams May Come is arguably my most favourite novel I've ever read.

Now tendering into this 32 year of my life, Manly Wade Wellman has become a great hero of mine. His Silver John stories have inspired me to write about a young native Canadian dancer named Sunny Kingsman. By this time in my life I've completed 5 novels, 3 novelettes, 1 novella, and about 40 short stories.

I guess as far as what's true about myself is--is that I write not only just for myself, but so others may find my work as something valuable, reliable, and encouraging.