Sideshow Flora
KJ Hannah Greenberg

Nadia used to nod to the cortex-swathed humanoid. Like the ringmaster and accountant, she had heard the office radio blare descriptions of aliens allegedly landing in Puget Sound, near Roswell, and somewhere in Nevada. Unlike management, she had allowed a visitor to root in her tent; the fiddly bits in her miniature greenhouse had suited him.

Dissimilar to the sadistic animal trainer, and to the trapeze girl-entangling chief investor, her star warrior was a hands off fellow, who drunk hot chocolate as well as DMT-enhanced abath. To boot, he never rebuked her for being an intentional thinker, writer, and advocate, that is, for boldly refusing dictation from any supervisors with wandering fingers. That she had become put off by the growth hormones her bosses used on their tigers, elephants, and acrobats, too, pleased him.

Nonetheless, hiding him had made her cantankerous. She was turning into a grifter of malign means, into a woman increasingly ill-suited to be an executive secretary. At least no circus authority had realized that she was harboring him, a sentient plant, a life form more pluviophile than human.

When, at last, she’d guaranteed that all documents implicating her for sheltering that chloroplast-laden fiend were shredded, he rescinded her personal freedom. It turned out that the government agents at Area 51 had correctly identified Earth’s infiltrators as not only sucking energy from sunlight, but also as sucking life from critters caught in the rapid movements of their leaves.

First published: August 2018
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