Pythia surveyed her handiwork with satisfaction. She had had to get a bigger box, twice, but the QC had stopped bringing in more at last. She had been getting impatient with this consignment, too. What kind of customer tells you to wait 'another three days please' every time you'd gotten their package all wrapped up and ready for delivery? Anyway, these hombres had finally seen her point, with a bit of persuasion. That shotgun was damn useful, sometimes.

Cassie, looking over her shoulder, said, "Are you really sure they'll like the toxic green wrapping paper? While it might have been fashionable decades ago, when you were young ..." Pythia gave Cassie a look that would have made for instantly fried frog, if Cassie had been a frog that is, but Cassie didn't even notice, "... I still think they'd be happier with pink paper. Look, I even brougth some, isn't it just a great shade? Cheap, too, it was on sale at that trinket shop downtown."

Pythia sniggered "See, -I- won the bet, so -I- get to decorate the package. You have no say, no, none at all. None. None!" A couple of loud whoops accompanied Pythia's victory dance. "Except... Cassie, your pink ribbons look rather cool. And didn't you show us some garish xmas tree decorations last week, too? I think some of the genuine fake miniature reindeer sleds, with bells and red ribbons, and sprinkled silver snow, and stars, would do very nicely here. Hmmm, three of them. Thanks, Cassie, yes, you can help fit them here. Sure, they'll go, if we squish them together a bit."

Sibyl tried to slow the duo down a bit. "Come now, ladies, do you really expect them to like such a garish package? After all, the customer told us they've been chosen for 'shown taste'" (One of the dark forms in the shadows looked at another. 'You DID? -What- shown taste?' Another muttered, 'Yeah, that'd be hard to believe, considering their output.' A third grumbled, 'It's not their output, it's what they choose -not- to put out' -- none of the three ladies perceived these fringe figures.)

Pythia said, "You know the customer -said- the package doesn't matter. Hell, they even told me that I could be as cheap and flashy as I wanted to. And boy, do I -ever- want to, for once."

She reached for a small, unmarked bottle, and opened the cap. A whiff got to Sibyl, who intervened again:

"Pythia, stop right there. Eau de Skunk is too much, really. I think you should do the card, now, the package is pretty much gaudy enough, now. Egads, I don't know if I'd open this if I got it... if you do much more they'll just throw it away unopened."

"Dammit, Sibyl, you never let me really enjoy myself. Awww, okay. Now, what did they tell us to write on the card? Ah yes. 'To the priesthood, Merry Xmas, from the Queue Continuum.' Sheesh, now -that's- boring. Well, I'm off to deliver it. See you, and save some of those cookies for me."