In an alternate reality, the first "contagious mental disease" is sweeping the world. A group of teenagers are on the run from an organisation that are never seen, but all they know is that they have to find something called the honeypot.


2. In which Tibs starts a new life.

Tibs Archer was in a downtown hairdressers, completely discarding her identity. She had just stopped shaking this evening, and took the opportunity to change her face.
"Are you sure you want to lose it? You've got such lovely natural long hair..." cooed the hairdresser, entwining Tibs' long hair between her talons.
"All off please." The hairdresser made a last failed attempt to make eye contact and conversation with Tibs, and went about cutting her hair.

The long brown hair fell to the floor in curls, gently curling to a fine tip at one end but angularly and unevenly cut off at the other. She watched her face in the mirror and made note of her appearance for the first time in what felt like years. She was pale, with wiry, dark perfectly arched brows. Her mouth was especially thin, save for a slightly pouty lower lip and her face was naturally chubby, but especially pretty. The hairdresser started to even it out with her barely operable fingers when Tibs got out of her seat, slapped five pounds on the dresser and made her way to the door. She ignored the cries of the hairdresser and the hairs itching down the back of her parka.

Two hours later she was assuming in the foetal position in the middle of an alleyway. Feeling the bitter taste of borderline destitution, she regretted spending her last fiver on a romantic change of appearance. The alleyway was clean, not in the sense of the amount of litter, rather, clear of the people she feared. Tibs had always been slightly afraid of those that she could not control in the mirror, and was even more so of those who acted immorally, without reason. She suddenly felt an awful sadness to be where she knew she couldn't, at home, in the warmth, and knowing that she could never have a surrogate of it again, she clenched her hands to fists and began to sob.

"I wouldn't if I were you," crooned a voice, "Crying makes you seem vulnerable, and that's he last thing you want to be right now babe." Tibs bolted upright, at a staggering speed, her eyes became blurred with the tears, but they faded into a side profile of a beautiful girl, gently sucking the life form a cigarette. Tibs stared on at her intently, watching every flick of the ash, every quiver of the girls lips. She was a few years older than she, but acted with a certain maturity that Tibs knew was not gained by inheritance alone. A minute or two passed before the smoking girl turned to her, as if she'd never spoken in the first place.
"Hey there," she smiled gently and shook the packet of cigarettes coaxing key to Tibs' face.

"Hungry?" Tibs, still intimidated by the immense beauty of a friendly person, shook her head silently. The smoker took another drag and offered Tibs the packet once more.
"I would if I were you, it staves off hunger like nothing else." Quivering hands, Tibs reached for a cigarette. All the school assemblies, the pamphlets, the adverts on tv, suddenly didn't seem that much of a big deal anymore. Surreally, it didn't feel like the risk was there anymore, that she was now free of the people that told her to get a job, get married have kids and die. She took the slim Marlboro from its container with a certain defiance, flushed with revolt as she smiled daintily up at the beautiful girl, who looked down with appreciation. Tibs gently placed the cigarette between her teeth and the girl reached down with the warm light of a flame.

The tip now glowed a deep warm orange, the kind of warmth Tibs had lacked all of her life, and now, she was with this stranger, who had showed her the first glimpse of kindness she'd ever had. And as she inhaled her first breath, she hoped that the introduction of this life choice would also mean the introduction of a friend.
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