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Art by K.J.Hannah Greenberg 2020

Absinthe for Aliens


by KJ Hannah Greenberg



Emma and Miel clicked glasses. Relative to surviving their Navy SEAL training, gathering diamonds from Ananke’s sentient lobsters was easy. To become Budweisers, they had had to: engage in emergency conditioning, make a trigger, build their situational awareness, and rely on their extreme physical fitness. For the latter, only guile and avarice had been required.


Among crustaceans, alcohol promotes easily exploited conviviality. Whereas the extraterrestrials were twice man-sized, thus were able to render limbs and noggins from torsos with small effort, their society contained mostly artless critters. All that the gals had had to do to glean profits was to proffer small amounts of absinthe, and then to demand increasingly larger numbers of gems for each subsequent mouthful (the Sunset Rum, which they also had onboard, had been less popular with the shellfish.)


Unfortunately, an overeager customer had accidentally ripped Miel’s suit. Since her hypoxic hypoxia was already causing cyanosis and drowsiness, she invited Emma to finish the absinthe with her; there was no point in culling more takings. Emma remembered her trigger before passing out.


Later, shelled denizens slurped up the viscera of two thujone-infused humans. Only one screamed.




KJ Hannah Greenberg captures the world in words and images. Her latest photography portfolio is 20/20: KJ Hannah Greenberg Eye on Israel. Her most recent poetry collection is Mothers Ought to Utter Only Niceties (Unbound CONTENT, 2017). Her most recent fiction collection is the omnibus, Concatenation (Bards & Sages Publishing, 2018).

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2020