He was not aware that he ever stopped crying.In his sleep a voice echoed down the long dark barrel of a cannon: You have run out of birthdays. In the morning he awoke suddenly to a flutter of wings. Birthdays are an obsession where Palmer comes from, but if turning a year older means initiation into a violent practice he despises, he'd rather not. Unfortunately, Palmer cannot stop time any more than he can change tradition. So as this next and most important birthday approaches, Palmer knows that it's now or never. Something must be done.