Mandy Rose Chapter 2: Cleithrophobia @kaealeah
Crazy Enough


Mandy sat patiently on a park bench and stared ahead at the three dead-bodies sprawled out in front of her. Despite the obviously morbid scene, her face looked calm, but also quite bruised and battered too. She had scars across her cheeks from someone attempting to cut her with a knife, and black and purple bruises all over her knuckles from hitting someone's teeth with her fist. Whatever the case, she was definitely doing better than the three in front of her.

While twirling a tube of red lipstick, she hummed softly to herself as her ears perked up to a noise coming from behind her. Mandy's body stiffened slightly as she slowly reached for her gun resting beside her. Her fingers just barely brushed the metal when she whipped her head around and came face to face with John, more bruised and beaten than when she last saw him.

"What in the hell happened to you?" Mandy exclaimed in total shock. "We were separated for only an hour."

It wasn't long after they arrived back in New York that they ended up getting separated because of an ambush. It was like assassins from every type of field jumped on them at once, desperate to get the bounty that was on their head. To try and control the crowd and lesson the numbers, both Mandy and John made a split-second decision to run in the opposite direction to split up the ambush and level the playing field.

John cocked his brow before slowly limping around and sitting down on the bench beside her. "I ran into a little bit of trouble." He looked up and saw Mandy's own version of trouble too. Three dead bodies on the floor. "And so did you, I guess."

Mandy stuffed the lipstick tube back into her pocket and sat up. "Yeah, a little," she muttered and looked back at John, now noticing a large bloodstain on the side of his white dress shirt. "Let me see that for a second."

Before John could have the chance to say no, Mandy pressed down on his shoulder and kneeled close to check out the wound. It was a clotty mess of blood that stained his once white shirt a dark red. It was clearly a fresh wound with a heavy irony smell that made Mandy's nose turn up.

"Oh, fuck me," Mandy said with a face wrenched with disgust.

"That's not the reassurance I wanted to hear," John grumbled.

"Well, what the hell did you want me to say? Looks fine? It'll feel better when it quits hurting?" she said sarcastically.

"None." John used Mandy's shoulder and pushed himself off the bench. "Come on." He moved his hand down to grab hers and began walking.

They eventually moved to a more wide-open area of the park. It was dazzled with the bright glow of streetlights, thick crowds of people everywhere they looked, and a bubbling water fountain that laid in the middle of the square. All this still didn't diminish Mandy and John's dread though. Neither of them could tell the assassins apart from the regular folk. They were looking out for anyone who was staring for too long. People who were carrying awkward and heavy-looking bags, and those who had their hands stuffed deep in their pocket or coat.

On their way past the water fountain, it turned off and Mandy abruptly came to a halt right in front of it. She began tugging on John's hand and gestured her head to the other side of the fountain. Her gaze lead John to Cassian, who stood there staring at them with his hand tucked in his coat, where he carried his weapon. Mandy, however, was clearly ready for him and had her hand wrapped around her back, where her hidden holster was, concealed by her jacket.

The three of them stood there, frozen in time until the water fountain suddenly turned back on. Both Cassian and Mandy drew their pistols at the same time and began to shoot blindly into the wall of water. As the chaos began to form, John grabbed Mandy by the hand and dragged her into the metro station to see if they could lose Cassian.

John held onto Mandy's hand tightly as they shuffled through the crowd, rushing down the escalator to try and get some distance between them and Cassian. Yet, it seemed they weren't moving fast enough though. Because every time Mandy looked up, she saw Cassian's face briefly among the hundreds of people that were around them. He was still far away but not distant enough to be considered safe.

After a while, the crowd started thinning out, and once they got to the bottom, where the tracks were, they were all alone with no one else around them. At least that is what it initially seemed like. The large, empty room filled up with the sound of steady footsteps slowly coming down the steps. Mandy and John started at the platform across from them and saw Cassian coming down the stairs. He strolled up to the very edge and started right at the pair with a cold look looming in his eyes.

Their view was eventually obscured when a train finally came down the tracks and slowed to a halt in front of them. The doors opened and people started to flood out. John was about to step inside when Mandy suddenly brought up her hand and stopped him.

"Stay here. I'll deal with Cassian, and we'll meet up later," she said to him.

John already didn't like the sound of that but could see why she mentioned it. He was clearly exhausted, and between the two of them, Mandy had more of a chance to take Cassian down than he did in the current moment. "You sure about this?"

Mandy shrugged half-heartedly with a cocky smirk resting on her lips. "Confident and crazy enough. Yeah."

Hearing that gave John a bit of confidence. Even though he didn't want to leave her again, he believed he will only get in the way because of how compact the train will be.

"Where did you want to meet up?" John asked.

"Take a wild guess." Mandy winked at him before stepping onto the train just as the doors were closing. She turned to watch John as the train departed from the station, leaving her and Cassian alone. "Ok. Time to get to work," Mandy said while taking in a deep breath and rolling back her shoulders. She turned her head slowly to the side and saw Cassian's tall frame just barely peeking above the heads of other passengers, staring right at her.

They stood right where they are, staring with this great intensity that could set the air on fire in the blink of an eye. The only time that either of them would move forward was when the train stopped and opened its doors to let some of the passengers out. Every time Cassian moved, Mandy moved too until they were nothing but an arm's reach away from each other.

"Where's John?" Cassian asked after taking a quick look around, making sure the other passengers weren't too close to them.

Mandy scoffed and cocked her head to the side. "Had him stay back at the station."

"You make it sound like you're going to see him later."

"Yeah, well...that's the plan," Mandy muttered with a half-interested look before suddenly shifting gears. "But just so you know. Gianna...she had killed herself, but I was the one who shot her after."

"Is this your version of a professional courtesy?"

Mandy shrugged. "No. Just thought you should know who you should really be pointing your knife at," she said while gesturing down to the knife Cassian already had in his hand.

"I see. Thanks for letting me know." He nodded in appreciation before abruptly swinging the knife towards her face. Cassian was surprised though when Mandy lifted her hand and stopped the blade by having it go straight through her palm and out the other side. The knife was then yanked from his grasp when she clamped her fingers around it. "You crazy...!" The moment Cassian realized how much danger he was in, he stepped back.

Mandy grabbed the handle of the knife and yanked it out of her hand. "Yeah. And that's where you should've looked the other way!" she shouted with a crazed look in her eyes.

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