I bowed my obedience, but inside my hopes blossomed like a rare evening flower. He had let slip a clue: the day for which I was born. Never had I known why he had chosen me as servant, above other boys. And so I spent the day as instructed, bathing in scalding water and fasting on bitter tea. What could it mean that I was born for this?

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Read “Ink of My Bones, Blood of My Hands” by Vylar Kaftan, in Issue #149

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Vylar Kaftan writes speculative fiction of all genres, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and slipstream. She’s published stories in places such as Clarkesworld Magazine, Realms of Fantasy, and Lightspeed. She founded a new SF/F convention in San Francisco called FOGcon (fogcon.org). Recently, she won the 2013 Nebula for her novella "The Weight of the Sunrise." She lives with her husband Shannon in northern California and blogs at www.vylarkaftan.net.

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