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Aileen, a Fairy of Ambiguberg, was pleased to discover that the morning’s shifting had brought many shops to her neighborhood.

The inhabitants of this city viewed shopping much like others viewed hunting. There was a sense of urgency connected with bring home their necessary prey. They must act quickly and decisively before the shifting could take them away from their neighborhood. Working far from home was a common practice, but shopping far from home could be dangerous. Though the inhabitants moved at a remarkably fast pace, being laden down with many products slowed everyone.

It was reported that a few unfortunates had dawdled too long over a purchase and had been caught be the shiftings ultimate resulting in them becoming hopelessly lost. It is believed they still wander the streets searching for their homes and family weighted down with outdated clothes and yesterday’s technological devices. To prevent this from reoccurring, the notion of swiftly buying in bulk, whenever items are available, was adopted.

Aileen, aware that she was buying more than her family needed or could ever use, rationalized this with the notion common to man- perhaps there would be scarcity tomorrow.

However, as she considered their overstocked apartment she toyed with the idea of putting back the third mega-mixer that she had just placed in her chart. A feeling nagged her that she was overspending, but she brushed the thought aside and continued her work. Her husband made a great wage and these items were all on sale.

The day proceeded well until the afternoon’s shiftings brought the dreaded mail station into her neighborhood. Those nagging suspicions started to scream as she slowly walked toward the building. She hoped that there would be a random shift, which had been happening more frequently of late, that would take the mail station far away.

That did not happen. Entering, she found her mailbox bulging, as was everyone else’s. She opened the box; out poured a stream of bills from her last two months’ worth of purchases. She had never seen so many at one time. She had always prided herself on living within their means, an outdated concept in this city. But lately, the shops had been in their neighborhood almost daily.

Ashamed, she quickly gathered them up and hurried out. At the door she bumped into her closest friend. She noticed the concerned expression on Aileen’s face and the stack of envelopes in her arms. “Wait here, dear,” she said.

Aileen watched as her friend opened her own mailbox. Four times as many envelopes, presumably bills, exploded from her’s. She gathered them up in a disorderly pile, and dumped them into a large shiny machine in the corner of the room. The shredder greedily ate all her bills.

“There now, let’s have some tea at Bitters,” her friend said with a carefree air.