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It gets dubbed the Honesty Virus even though of course it’s a bacterial infection. The symptoms are about as close to genuine honesty as sodium pentathol is to the truth, too, but that doesn’t stop anyone from believing it.

Kids in cities hold parties to give it to each other; there are at least three strains, so you get a few chances. The content of their glossolalia is overwrought and trite. Haint, a bit older, knows well enough to fear it. The mind arranges stray words with cruelty at the top, like vapor in the neck of a brown glass bottle.