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Sam’s alien boss laughed when he asked for his birthday off. It told him to stop tracking time by Earth’s sun and took his calendar away.

The once-pauper was ready to return to his life, but a servant gave him a crown wrapped in rags. The note said "Happy Birthday, brother."

The knight knelt at his queen’s feet. "I have only a small thing for your birthday." He held out a box. Inside lay her stepdaughter’s heart.

About Jamie

Jamie Lackey lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and their cats. She has over 160 short fiction credits, and has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Escape Pod. She has a novella and two short story collections available from Air and Nothingness Press. In addition to writing, she spends her time reading, playing tabletop RPGs, baking, and hiking. You can find her online at

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