The Oracle lived in an alley near the financial district. Of indeterminate age, she dressed in rags, surrounded by cats and crows who moved and shifted too much to be counted. She talked to them in an incomprehensible mutter. Somehow she was never caught up in any of the sweeps of the homeless community the police perpetrated. One day she’d be gone, alley swept clean, the next she’d be back, her alley piled high with rags, her cats and her crows.
One day my coffee guy gave me an extra danish, with a wink and a nod. I said thank you, and fled. As I passed her alley, I paused, pulled out the extra danish and crouched down to offer it to her in my skirt suit and tasteful heels.
“I hope you like blueberry,” was as far as I got before she grabbed my wrist.
“Abiomed. Now.” She closed her dark brown eyes and opened green eyes, before taking the danish, muttering, and took a bite before sharing out pieces of the danish to her animal companions.
I walked into work frowning, glanced up at the ticker, and saw the symbol for “Abiomed” come up. I bought several shares on my personal brokerage account, and it started to climb.
I brought her pastries every day she was there. A rain of stocks that bolstered my wealth and my reputation dripped from her lips, each time she would close eyes of one color and open eyes of another color. The other brokers watched me like hawks, but only a few others figured it out. Donna in Securities took the Oracle hot dogs at lunch. Francesca in Futures took her fancy Italian sodas in the summer and hot chocolate when it was cold.
After several years, I stopped to hand her my offering with a new diamond ring on my left ring finger. She grabbed my hand, stared at the diamond and looked up into my face.
“Get a gun.” She closed teary hazel eyes, and opened dry blue eyes, narrowed in worry.
“Heir to Fordham-Reece fortune killed in Domestic Dispute!
New wife not charged, taken to Cedars-Sinai for treatment”
Maybe I should have called it off, but part of me hoped she’d meant an external threat.
I don’t work anymore, I don’t need to. But I take her a pastry every day.
I owe her that much.