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Mandy Knows You

By @lottifus

Chapter 1

Mandy exists.

You know that she exists because you see her every day. She has a strange way of ensuring that you see her every day. It might be the brightly-coloured tights that she wears. You can’t miss someone if they’re walking past you with bright pink legs. It sometimes makes you think of the eighties. Other times, it makes you think of animals that hunt in the long grass, and how – when they venture, or lose themselves, into the short grass – they look to be wearing uncomfortable socks. That is how you think of Mandy. Uncomfortable socks.

She has a strange way, also, of ensuring that she doesn’t exist too loudly. Uncomfortable socks she might wear, but the rest of her – small; slight; fair-haired and brown-eyed and pink-faced like a stretched, skinned rabbit – is unbelievably proportional. She is so expertly human that it is hard to believe she is real, but everyone does anyway. To believe otherwise would be to defeat the point of her realness.

To believe is to set out on course for the downfall.

To believe in Mandy is to become completely immune to noticing her, uncomfortable socks and all. Once she goes unnoticed, she can begin to put her plan into action. Not that she has a plan. Would you look into Mandy’s eyes, the eyes of a faun or a good-natured goat, and see any capacity for a plan? You wouldn’t suspect a thing.

Mandy knows this.

Mandy also knows where you live, who you live with and what you like to do with them. She knows where you go to school – she would do; it’s her school – and where you go afterwards. She knows what you eat and drink when you get there and how much you pay for it. She picks up the receipts. You’d best believe she picks up the receipts. And when Mandy gets home and takes off her uncomfortable socks and folds them neatly in her sock drawer, next to everything else folded so neatly it’s painful to look at, she takes the receipts out of her pockets and pastes them onto her wall. Her Receipt Wall. She does it so, the very next day, she can go to your favourite cafe and order your favourite meal. She does it for a purpose.

Her purpose, it seems – a purpose that you are entirely unaware of – is to become you. Mandy loves you. Mandy is your biggest fan and sole supporter through thick and thin. If you knew about this, though, you’d probably use it to your advantage, wouldn’t you? You would. Mandy’s had her fair share of walking through the rain with someone else’s bag in her arms, using her head and hands as umbrellas; Mandy’s coat is covered in footprints that didn’t come from her shoes.

Mandy wants to admire you from a distance. This is the fear you never thought to be afraid of.

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