[Long description: The Oracle takes one end of the tailor’s tape from Frey, unspooling it from where it’s wrapped around her hand. He says, “Perhaps you and I are a single thread in a tapestry we are powerless to unravel.”
He rises, and Frey squints up at him. The Oracle circles Frey, and stands behind her where she sits. He sets one hand on her shoulder, and brings the other end of the measuring tape to her collarbone.
“Perhaps I am feeling something I have never felt before…” he says, as he guides Frey’s hand to her neck. He has her hold one end of the measuring tape down while he delicately wraps the rest around her neck. He continues. “...And it has destroyed my ability to act rationally.”
As quickly as it began, it’s over. The Oracle lets the tape slacken and turns away, reading the measurement. Frey lets out a sigh of relief, or frustration, or maybe both.
He says, “Perhaps I had foreseen that you would kill me, and the only way that I could survive was to construct a future in which you needed me alive.”
He examines the measuring tape for a while. “Perhaps it is beyond even my ability to explain.”]