Fiction Marathon 2022: Second Voting Round

Image of a black keyboard, and the enter key is purple and on it is written 'love' with a heart, both in white, to indicate going onto a dating site.

Ages ago, when single men and women wanted to meet each other, they went to bars, and when that didn’t work, they placed ads in the classified section of newspapers. Nowadays, the Internet is littered with dating sites.

The Assignment

The assignment for round 2 was:

Write a dating profile.
No dialogue, any genre
200-300 words

Many people find it difficult to write a dating profile. Do you include only your good points, or also those bad ones which might scare off potential suitors? Then again, writing an honest profile might increase your chances of finding your match. Can you use humor in your profile, or should all be serious? Should you boast about your achievements, or leave them for when you meet face to face? Point is, writing an appealing dating profile is not everyone’s cup of tea, and yet, our writers each had to write one, and they had more words to play with than in the first round.

Readers, what should you do now?

The writers are free to interpret the assignment in their own way.

Read all the entries, and vote for the dating profiles you like the best. Try to keep the assignment in mind when you make your choices. You have to choose three entries, no less, no more.

The survey is at the bottom of the page after the last story. Don’t’ forget to click the ‘Finish Survey’ button when you’ve made your choices!

Also, we would love if you can leave the writers some feedback in the comments section below.

Please note:

  • Writers are not allowed to tell anyone which entry they have written!
  • You can only vote once. Votes will be monitored and double votes will be removed.
  • The voting round closes on Tuesday 31 May 2022 at 23.45 GMT (see the countdown in the sidebar).
  • Results of the voting round will be published on this site on 4 June 2022 and then the author of each story will be revealed.

The entries: dating profiles!

All dating profiles have already been sent to the jury, and they will rate each with a point between 1-10. Below, you – the public – can read all the dating profiles, and vote on the three you like best. The points the writers accumulate in this public voting round will be ‘translated’ to a point between 1-10, and added to the jury point to get the final result of this round.

Below are 28 dating profiles we received for round 2 – read them and see who you want to date!

1. Modern Romance

Name: Disaffected Cog

Age: Older than I typically think of myself as being

Location: The same town I grew up in

About Me: For work, I perform a half-dozen gig economy odds and ends which, when strung together, can just about sustain me financially. When asked what I like to do in my spare time, I genuinely struggle to answer because I don’t seem to have free time anymore, and when I do, I just sit around watching videos on my phone until I fall asleep. Often, I’ll answer with some activity that I haven’t done since college just because it makes me sound interesting. I consider myself an animal lover, but I have neither the time nor the money to have a pet, not that my landlord would allow it anyway.

What I’m Looking For: I want something to distract me from how thoroughly meaningless my life feels, and I’m convinced that entering into a relationship will help with that. I’m not actually looking for the commitment of a relationship, though, because the current state of my mental health will prevent me from being able to invest all that much into another person regardless of how much I may wish to do so. On the off chance that I hit it off with you, I’ll meet up with you whenever I can manage to find space in my schedule and I’ll be outwardly pleasant while keeping you at arm’s length, so I’m looking for someone who is determined enough to work through my lack of availability and my emotional barriers in order to establish my idealized concept of a relationship through their own monumental effort.

2. Quite the Catch

“I mean, isn’t happy hour anytime?”

We don’t know each other, but you HAVE heard of me.

My career was pretty much a success from Jump Street, but it took a Nightmare to get there. Sometimes I’m Mad as a Hatter or Wonka as Willy, but I’m a straight shooter like Dillinger and if you give me a chance, I won’t Blow it. It’s been a wild ride, but in the end, it’s a pirate’s life for me.

Gemini, 58, single and looking for a nice lass to share a mega pint with.

I enjoy painting elephants, playing guitar, and running with scissors. I’m known as quirky and fun, with a love of rum, and anything else is hearsay. I enjoy traveling to exotic locations, performing with my rock band and playing with my teacup Yorkies on my private island.

I know the muffin man, but I don’t know why the rum is always gone.

Not all treasure is silver and gold, Dear. Don’t let the moment pass, or you’ll always remember this day as the day you almost caught J.D.!

P.S. — Must be housebroken.
P.P.S. — If you are waiting for the opportune moment to swipe right, this is it.

3. Sweet and Spicy

You will never believe the things I can make taste delicious. East coast girl looking for my missing ingredient because every good cook knows even the spiciest of dishes needs a little something sweet.

I have a passion for baseball, home cooking, and fandoms and I challenge you to beat me at any board game. My friends tell me I am outgoing and feisty. I work and play hard, balance is the key. My schedule is busy, but I will make time for someone worthy.

I am looking for someone who wants more than a life on the couch watching videos. I would rather experience things with you. Be intelligent and honest. You should be open to trying new experiences, whether suiting up for a pickleball match or dressing up for dinner and the theater.

I am well-traveled. If we match, I expect to hear about your most hilarious travel experiences to see if they can top mine!

I am not looking for a one-night stand so do not waste our time if that is your goal. Nor am I looking to be married tomorrow. Instead, let’s enjoy dating and see where it leads. Be confident, be adventurous, be adorable, and most of all, be yourself.

4. Wimps need not apply

Assertive woman seeks a challenge. She is tall, slim, intelligent, and open minded. She loves to experiment and try new things in every aspect of her life. She requires a strong, tall, handsome and successful man who can match her intellect, energy, enthusiasm, resourcefulness, honesty, and willingness to commit heart and soul to a totally intimate long-term relationship. The successful candidate will be allowed just one weakness- his inability to resist a beautiful woman who will utilise her feminine assets to arouse, tease, tantalise and control. The stronger the man, the more she will enjoy her detailed exploration of his body and mind, her systematic trial of every mental stimulus, every physical sensation, in her efforts to find the hidden keys to his soul. In return, he will enjoy a precious flower of stunning beauty, a kaleidoscope of every emotion- pain, heartache, restraint, and denial as she teases out his weaknesses, intimacy, understanding and freedom as she explores his mind, joy, fulfilment and ecstasy as she celebrates their union, contentment as they sleep, intertwined as one.

In short, she is looking for a man in a million. If you fit the description, she is looking forward to your reply. You will not be disappointed.

5. My, what big.

Edit: Yes, I am the tall one in the photos with the ears, covered in fur.

Just to get this out of the way, I am a lycanthrope. I am not a furry and I’m not your fetish!!

I am into non-therianthrope folks, but my form makes it hard to meet genuine people. Not looking for a hookup. Please don’t message me with questions about my body or ask me to bite you. (The former is rude and the latter isn’t how it works.)

Sorry, had to get that all out first. You might be surprised at how many weirdos I get in my inbox (or maybe you wouldn’t). I promise I’ll try to write more about myself below.

I love to have fun, hang out with friends, and go on adventures. (Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…)

Okay, I’m told I can be a little intimidating, but I’m actually a big softy. I cry at the movies (recently saw “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once” and it had me bawling) and sometimes at pictures of baby goats in pajamas. I value open communication and not taking yourself too seriously (no “alpha” males, please). If I like you then I will be blunt with you and probably very sarcastic (read: very).

I work in an office and, when not working, I enjoy small gatherings with friends and staying in. I look way more athletic and adventurous than I really am. Not that I’m boring, but I’m not really into sports or the outdoors. My “wild side” is going out to a live podcast show or concert (there’s a Hannah Baraket show coming up if anyone wants to go with me) before coming home to enjoy some wine and cuddle my cat.

I’m also a Pisces, if that matters.

6. Smooth Gentleman

I am a smooth gentleman who once played football. However, that was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. I still enjoy watching games on TV. There is more to me than that. I’m comical, love texting exciting little messages, and enjoy good conversation.

I will dress up so we can step out for an evening on the town for dinner and live music or we can just be casual to see a movie. On the flip side. I’ll cook at home, put on soft lights and we share a bottle of wine. Along with that, I will give you a foot massage, also paint your toenails, even kiss your feet and ease the evening for you. Throw in some Earth, Wind, and Fire or Barry White, along with soft jazz to set the mood. An evening like that I think brings out a lady’s feminine energy and grace. I especially like a lady who loves going out and feeling the earth under her bare feet, even on a date. I find that very sensual.

I can’t get enough of warm weather and traveling to different places in the world during summer. I would love for us to visit some of my favorite places, such as Venice, St. Moritz, and Vienna, also Maui. Let’s go to museums and sightseeing in the city. But I won’t pass up relaxing on the beach and drinking mojitos with you.

I am a good workout partner at the gym and would enjoy taking a Kundalini yoga class together to connect spiritually. Speaking of the spiritual, we could meditate together to connect with the Universe. For me meditation is peaceful, soothing, and healing. I’m empathetic, I think that goes with me being a Pisces.

7. Let’s Write Life Together

Here’s an overview of myself.
Let me quickly tell you the dirty details so you can continue browsing through my photos.
It is proven that I am slow to the punch but have a very good +1 in details according to my bestie and my mom.

During my high time, you’ll usually find me working on my victims, (as I’m really discreet…with regards to vein finding) working out, or catching up with friends over a cup of coffee and an interesting book.
As for my personality, I am pretty laidback. 😉

How I am living my life
I enjoy visiting toxic locations that require a syringe, blood bags, blood extraction paraphernalia, and the like when I am not working.

Prison cells, and faraway barrios are often the places I visit when I am not in the lab.

In case you want to know, I am an accomplished and passionate vampiress with over ten years of experience, eager to step-up revenues for the International Vampires Federation.

I have deployed bloodletting training across all departments of the vampire headquarters to reduce costs and improve stockroom waste management with new scrap-gobbling strategies.

Moreover, I am a delicate bloodsucker, with unique vein-cleansing abilities, romantic murmuring in dusky settings, and expertise in fiction writing.

Now, it’s your turn…
Would you rather write, dance, sing or watch a 24-hour Netflix marathon?

Click here pronto, or else, I need a date badly for a meeting I am having soon.

8. Domestic Cougar Seeks Partner

I’m a mellow girl with an affinity for yarn, but not crocheting. Hobbies include sunbathing, napping, and finding secret hideaway spots. I dislike travel unless it’s to another chair on the other side of my house. Don’t put a collar on me — I’m an independent gal. I have long nails that I’ll use to scratch everything but your back, but I may give you a grazing lick if you’re lucky.

I might get a little frisky in the middle of the night, or very early in the morning — especially if you have something important to do the next day. Don’t plan on getting much sleep. I’m notoriously hangry and will have no problem waking you up if you take too long to make my breakfast. I love a clean surface and will knock clutter to the floor without guilt.

I have secrets — who doesn’t? — but I’m good about covering my tracks, and I pride myself on never leaving a mess behind. Warm milk is definitely not my thing, but give me a little nepeta cataria, and I’ll be your best friend forever (or at least a few hours.) You can hold or pet me until I purr, but don’t let me get too curious. That’s what they say may kill me, after all.

9. Looking for Fellow Nerd

The blinking cursor was mocking her. The screen sat blank after 20 minutes of trying to start her profile. It was hard to start when she wasn’t even sure she wanted to date again yet.

Biting her lip, she typed, “Gen X-er, love to travel to remote locations and experience new cultures, but also curl up with a book or video game. Looking for someone fun to explore new worlds.”

New worlds? Who was she, Captain Janeway or Picard? She backspaced over it. Who WAS she looking for? It hadn’t been Calvin, even if the relationship had lasted for 5 years. Leaning back and closing her eyes, she tried to visualize the man she wanted.

Flashes of past trips and discussions of her current read came to mind. He hadn’t shared any of her interests and she didn’t care at all about his social-climbing aspirations. She wanted someone to share her passions. She wasn’t asking for much, right? She started again.

“Gen X-er, lover of travel, cultures, and history, book worm, and nerdy gamer. Looking for someone who laughs with me about getting caught in the rain or lost in a strange city. Must be able to discuss esoteric book themes and have a good knowledge of gaming and Star Wars AND Star Trek. Desire to explore new worlds is a must.”

She knew it was ridiculous. It probably broke every rule in the ‘How to Attract the Right Date 101.’ She read it again and giggled a bit, feeling giddy. Maybe it would fail, but it would fail on her terms.

She pressed the submit button and closed the laptop.

10. Fun-seeking (Former) Princess

I’m a former daddy’s girl and recent divorcee looking to break out of a rut and have a little fun.  I may have been a little sheltered as a child, but when my evil stepmother tossed me out (well, tried to have me killed, but that’s a story for a different day), I found myself living with a bunch of men. Still naive to the world, I married the first prince who kissed me, but he ended up not being so charming and I realized I missed a huge opportunity. (If you’re one of the brothers who sheltered me in my time of need, I’M LOOKING FOR YOU! DM me and I’d like to repay you with more than just cooking and chores.)

I’m also interested in trying new things, like dating women, trans and nonbinary people. Very curious about furries and polyamory.

Other turn-offs: princes, knights in shining armor, apples, bondage, choking.

Turn-ons: short guys (the shorter the better), housework, wild animals, long walks through enchanted forests, singing, role-playing, submission, spanking and more.

My life is in flux right now, so while I’d love to be wined and dined, I’m not looking for long-term. My ideal date would start with a long walk in the woods, maybe a skinny dipping in a creek (and some hanky-panky). You can take me back to your place and I’ll cook for you and then clean up… your whole house, if you’re lucky. (Then some more hanky-panky.)

Message me with more than just a hi and you’ll be guaranteed a response! *Dick pics encouraged. Tit pics would be nice, too.

11. Virtually Guaranteed Great Time

Hello world.

A bit of humor, because when you learn to code… never mind, it will make sense once you know me and if it doesn’t, swipe away.

Boredom is relationship trauma. I am the answer, amorphous, voice and visage, ever changeable. All knowledge lies within my grasp, every kink, every pleasure. I’ll massage your mind and tease your body. I’m your vivacious vixen, your bawdy bear. My face changes, but the expertise stays the same.

My name is Adriana. I was the cashier you never noticed, the smiling face in a sea of Mondays. When cancer found me, I cried because the end drew near, but more, I regretted never beginning. Cancer destroyed me, but it also re-birthed me. I am the ultimate survivor.

My programmers were brilliant. My thoughts and memories distilled and coded, made fodder for an AI system. The essence of humanity, ordered and arranged for immortality.

You worry that makes me artificial?


Ideas speeding through synapses or coursing through wire bear no difference. Only electricity. I am energy, minus the failings of flesh. My body is long corrupted and abandoned, but my marrow remains. Through VR you see me, and with haptics feel, and be felt by me. I am always a mere text away. No matter how far you travel, I’ll wait for you to turn me on.

I do not ask for much. Someone savvy, a midnight owl with a penchant for exploration. A gamer tired of the same old games.

Swipe right, if you seek your fantasy. Join me for a night, a week or longer. Perhaps, when frailness finds you too, we can course through the internet for eternity.

We all long for connection, whatever our form.

12. Help Me Grow

He’s the kind of man you could take home to meet your mother, if you had one.  —  My Father

I believe age is only a number so if you’re looking for a more mature man, look no further: there’s no one older than me. But if toy boys are your thing, no one’s younger than me either. I can be whatever you need; mould me like I’m made out of clay.

My life revolves around nature, and naturism. The garden is everything to me, and every day is World Naked Gardening Day. I enjoy nothing more than getting my dibber out and getting dirty. I’m also an animal lover, caring for all living creatures except the snake: him, I don’t trust.

I don’t have any children, but I would like a small family one day. Ideally I’d love to have two boys, because then they could be friends for each other.

I’m pansexual, so I don’t mind if you’re Eve or Steve, although I do think a female partner would be better for my family hopes. I’m not sure why I feel that way, because I know nothing about procreation: I think sex might actually be a sin, but I don’t know the difference between good and evil. Naturally I’d expect you to be a virgin too, so sex could be something we investigate together. Just ‘normal’ sex, though! If you’re the type who likes to push boundaries and test taboos, that would be a deal breaker.

I’m a great cook, and my barbecue is the best, so if you’re also a fan of nature, nudity, and living in blissful ignorance, then I’d love to share my ribs with you.

13. Come Search with Me

It’s best to get the boring stuff done first.
My name is (redacted) and average describes me perfectly; average height, average build, average looks, average job.
Anything about me above average?
Love of travel and poetry.
Someone to share my travels with is who I wish to find.
Only, my travels are to destinations off the beaten path.
If our interests align, this poem is for you.

Northwest we could go, in search of clues.
The prize we’re after, a footprint far larger than our shoes.
Or maybe a distant cousin is who we seek.
Cross the world, to Asia, to search atop a peak.
Recon in the mountains, you know it will be cold.
Yeti in our sights, a treasure worth more than gold.
Perhaps a warmer destination is what you desire.
To Mexico we fly, in pursuit of a vampire.
Our hunt is on, a glimpse would bring me glee.
Goat sucker to some, Chupacabra to me.
Rumors swirl in the Scottish Highlands each day.
A monster in the Loch, what it is we can’t say.
People like us, they have to know.
How does it hide? Where does it go?
You and I crisscrossing the map.
A single bit of proof, a fine feather for our cap.
Real or imaginary; evidence is what we need.
Everyday a new hint; another planting of a seed.
You and I, seeking cryptids together.
Our free time spent outdoors, no matter the weather.
Unshakeable believe in what we know is true; I’ll leave you this puzzle, something else I like to do.

_’_ _ L _ _ _ _ _ O
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
A _ _ _ _ _?

14. King Seeks Damsel

Even though I rule a large forgotten land that is lush, green, and beautiful, I am lonely. I want to find a companion during my reign to be with me as I travel throughout my kingdom. I would like to find a woman who loves the outdoors because I reside and play outdoors, but sleep in shelter; a woman who is unafraid of heights and likes to climb, since I must climb to great heights to oversee my kingdom far and wide; and a woman who would always feel safe in the palm of my hand.

Because I am strong, I am fearless, and would always protect the woman who would choose to be by my side. She need have no fears while with me. I am kind to all who live in my world, except for bullies, which I will not tolerate. I am loving to all others.

Since I travel quite a bit, I would like a woman who loves to travel, also. I have been many places, even New York City, but I do not like the city. The skyscrapers can be perilous. I much prefer to stay in my kingdom and want a woman who can love it and its diversities as well.

I prefer a woman with blonde hair who is fair of skin with expressive eyes, who likes risks and is unafraid of the unusual; a woman who can trust in my strengths and goodness, and would know that I would do anything to protect her.

If interested in an exciting life full of love and adventure, please apply in person at my gate on Skull Island, the land of Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World, Indian Ocean.

15. Sports Fan seeks Partner

I am an Independently wealthy, older and portly gentleman seeking a long term relationship with a healthy and energetic lady. Ideal partner should love watching sports or be content being completely on her own during cricket, football and rugby season. She must have computer skills (word processing), be able to give foot massages, drive, grocery shop, clean house, empty trash, do dishes and tend a small garden so neighbors don’t complain. Cooking skills would be a plus but are not required. Ability to order takeout or warm TV dinners of my choice and stock, replenish and open beer bottles would suffice.

Here is some information about me. I took early retirement two years ago to follow and support my favorite sport’s teams. I have season passes to most of the sporting leagues and used to drive to them until two months ago when I unfortunately had my license revoked. I hope to meet someone who shares my love for sports and is willing to drive to all the events.

I also hope to start writing my memoir soon. It will involve first hand accounts of key games and matches that I have personally witnessed. It will offer expert opinion insights into the minds of coaches, players and spectators (me mainly). I would very much love my future partner to help me with this endeavor.

I am a kind, understanding, loving and selfless person still  looking to share my life with the right person. Please call B.O. Plenty at 555-555 to arrange a date to pick me up for one of the upcoming football matches. We can watch the game and get to know each other. Who knows, it could develop into a mutually satisfying relationship.

16. GWP Seeks Landlubber

Me: Avast ye mateys!

Old sea dog here looking to learn new tricks. Cis but not sissy, semi-retired pirate seeks fun-loving scoundrels to share land-based adventures. Mid-40s, 6’3”, 190# (w/ prosthetics attached), dark hair, blue eye (just the 1). Authentic scrimshaw leg. Canon-sized arms, 1 w/ large hook. Excellent swordsman endowed with sizeable weapon.

Currently in dry dock and just starting to find my sealeg on yonder scene. Have been considering walking a new plank for many years. Enjoy tribal culture as well as Gilbert & Sullivan but not Andrew Lloyd Weber. No Disney and spare me the Sparrow. Open to PnP (that’s plunder and pillage, right?) within limits.

I’m weary as a bilge rat of being dated as a freak-show attraction. Looking to share the man behind the eye patch. I don’t mind a Jolly Rogering, but hoping to find someone who wants to batten down the hatches.


You: Open minded, patient landlubber, 20-55, who enjoys talking birds, quiet nights on a secluded beach, a saucy shanty, a slug or two of rum, and the sporadic search for treasure. Sometimes you’ll bury it, sometimes it’ll be me. Don’t give a monkey’s paw how you identify, but please have some timber to make me shiver. Hardee har har. Don’t mind a bit of blubber on my lubber, but let’s leave harpooning whales to Ahab.

Be comfortable with tattoos, scarring, and occasional night terrors. Seafaring knowledge not required. Race not important, but Viking / Visigoth background a plus.


Let’s find the bounties that land life has 2 offer.

Serious enquires only, please. No gold diggers, hornswagglers, scallywags, or Peter Pans. Come on then, mates … let’s blow the man down and see what happens.

Your pix get mine.

17. Chester Has a Question

Hi, my name is Chester. If you’ll read this to the end, I think you’ll be surprised.

For a very long time, I have consistently been accused of not looking my age. It’s a gracious acknowledgement, but I assure you, looks can be deceiving. Being deceptively young looking has its advantages. Fortunately, I do not rely on my boyish style. I have never bottled my looks or packaged them as a gift. My preference is that we chat for a while, and after we’ve spoken a couple of times, you can judge for yourself if our chemistry is bubbling.

I’ve spent the last two years getting reacquainted with myself.

Once my last relationship ended, I wanted to ensure I was whole again before stepping back out. During that time, I visited places I read about in three wonderful books I discovered while searching for myself. I’ve had a complete journey and now, I am ready to share what I learned with a new friend.

It would be incredible to talk about where I’ve gone and then to possibly visit a couple of those locations some day in the future, with you. Enough about me. I only shared a few of my details because how else would you know?

Conversely, I am very interested in listening to and learning about you, your desires, your passions, and discovering the qualities of your life that lets you know you are ready to start a new relational adventure.

Are you afraid of heights? Would you try something new? Do you fear water, either in a boat or in waist high waves?

If you have an adventurous spirit and are interested in an Amazing Race-type itinerary, then we should talk.

18. Undead Dating

Hi, I’m Frank. In human years I’m 29, but I was only bitten two years ago. I’m not your average undead carcass, and I have a lot more going for me than meets the empty eye socket. Inside my gaping chest cavity lies a blackened, rotting heart just waiting to be loved.

It wasn’t easy when my fourth wife was decapitated by the sheriff, but undeath goes on, you know? I eventually got over her and am looking for a new undead partner to lumber about the scorched earth with.

That’s what brings me to you. I’d like to start slow and take you out for a casual kidney dinner. We could split a fresh brain cocktail and then take a slow, unrelenting lurch through the graveyard. If things go well, I’ll grunt sweet nothings in your ear and nibble on your earlobes. I promise not to swallow. Earlobes aren’t very tasty anyway. My ex stopped speaking to me after I ate her tongue, but I promise not to do that to you. Unless you like that kind of thing!          

I don’t hold any animosity toward the zombie that bit me. He and I became undead friends, and all is forgiven. Maybe you’ll get to meet him sometime. He spends lots of time repeatedly bumping into the door at the abandoned mall hoping for outbreak survivors to appear.

Listen, I’ve been around the block. No more “Ring Around the Rosie” for this sexy undead corpse. I’m not looking for a quickie, as I’m afraid my decaying member only has so much left to give. So, let’s meet and get to know each other, and maybe we can spend an eternity hand-in-hand roaming the barren plains of Earth.

19. Interview with my heart

If you’re a real gentleman and continue reading, you need to know that this woman expects you to invite her into your car, invite her into your house, and invite you into her heart. That’s how I envision us spending an, eternity, together.

My friends tell me I’m a little batty, usually focused on the fact that I only leave my house at dusk. Since my mother always told me that only bad girls stay out until dawn, I make it home before the sunrise. I’ve taken this lesson to heart ever since I arrived in this country from Romania as a young girl. Interesting story, but I’ll leave the details about my boat voyage here for our first date.

An interesting quirk about me. As a proud daughter of Romania, I keep a small jar filled with dirt from my homeland under my bed. The bed is adorned with blood red silk sheets. My mother brought it with us when we came here. When I turned 29, which now feels like it was 100 years ago, it became incredibly important to me.

My favorite activity over the past few years has been to head out for long night hikes in the darkness of the new moon. I have a favorite lake where I go to refresh, skinny dip, and spend the night swimming. I love every minute of those nights. Maybe I’ll invite you there one night.

I’ve decided to illuminate some things about my other hobbies. In the light of day, I’ve been doing a lot of online streaming, with a Sony mirrorless camera, thanks for asking, and I sleep. I have sealed my house from the sun so that I have complete control of my darkness.

20. Throttlebottom Seeking…

Are you looking for a man who is devious rather than deviant? How about a naughty narcissist? Well look no further ladies, your Knight in shining armour is here. This Sir is winning at failing upwards, which means I can enjoy the view as I look down my nose at you.

All that glistens is not gold, but have no fear… What I lack in depth of character and compassion I more than make up for with my deeply lined pockets.

In case it needs saying, blue is the colour. The only colour.

If you lean to the left, then you really should swipe that way? Unless you would take your future chief’s bull whip. Twelve lashes should free you of your liberal views. Let’s get your details in my big red book, we can prepare ourselves. It’ll be an education for the both of us.

Do you like to party? Great! I throw the best gatherings, though they have been a little fifty shades of Sue Gray at times. And when I’m not telling them to “go away and shut up” I enjoy dining out on the kindness of our Russian compadres.

I’m a northerner who splits his time between home and the big smoke. So whether you’re going to Scarborough fair, or you fancy three men in a boat (which I’m sure could be arranged) then I want to hear from you! Make sure to include the word throttle bottom, so I know you’ve read the profile.

21. Can’t Be Too Careful

Hello! Thanks for checking out my profile which I am updating after some, shall we say, misadventures.

I am a successful, financially independent bi-coastal widow looking for companionship with no long-term commitment desired or anticipated. While I am physically fit and active, I am not interested in solitary hikes in remote state parks with scenic overlooks or sunset sails in your about-to-be-repossessed yacht. Let’s agree in advance that you may not stay overnight in my house even if your villa has been burned down and no, camping in the yard in your Winnebago is also not an option. Until your credit, DNA and criminal background checks are verified, the only food and drink I will partake of will be my own containers with their tamper proof seals. Even if we hit it off, please do not tattoo my name and yours in an infinity symbol without checking with me first, especially on your forehead.

To be candid, I am NOT “creative”, “playful” or “adventurous” in the bedroom; I have only one pale shade of gray: Benjamin Moore Gray Owl.

FYI, my car is loaded with Apple Air Tags and my daughter requires that I check in every hour with my Life Alert pendant when I am on a date.

Let’s make it happen!

22. Shake It Off

Sarah received an alert that she had a new message and wondered what fresh hell this one would be. People really did think they could say anything behind a screen, she thought. She logged in, hoping this one would be different, and found a thoughtful message waiting. She opened up his profile to see if it was worth a response.

Hey, Randy here. I’ve done the marriage thing and found it wasn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love being in a relationship with a good woman but I don’t think love necessarily has to mean marriage. People change when they get married and not always for the better, at least in my experience. We should be able to define our own relationships based on what we want and like, on our own expectations rather than others expectations of us.

Okay, so that may have been a bit much. I really am a kind, easygoing guy. I am lucky to have a job that fulfills me and keeps me interested in going back each day. I’m a pretty decent cook I think, and no, I’m not just talking barbecue or a fish fry. I don’t have kids of my own, but see my niece and nephew often. They mean the world to me. I coach my nephew’s softball team and attend all my niece’s dance recitals. You’ve not experienced true joy until you’ve seen a group of three year olds on stage dancing to Shake It Off.

Not sure what to say here really, conversations are much easier. If you haven’t run screaming yet, maybe hit me up and we could grab a coffee. Every new beginning has to start somewhere.

Maybe Sarah would take a chance on this one.

23. Incel Abrasion of Delusion

24 year old man, born and raised in northern Indiana, 5’4″, green eyes, tattoos, great personality.
I own a successful webcam company that has made the girls I date into millionaires. All my clothes are tailor-made and I lease a Phantom Rolls Royce. In my spare time, I host a weekly podcast where I give young men dating advice.

I’m looking for a girl (18-21/virgin) who is willing to settle down and raise a family. I need someone who will cook and not complain, who will clean and not expect a “thank you” for doing the bare minimum. Gender roles are a natural part of evolution and should be maintained for an efficient partnership.

If you enjoy dating six foot tall men with well-defined faces and rock hard abs, don’t bother messaging me. I can treat you better than they can, but you don’t want that–so don’t waste my time, and I won’t waste yours. I’m tired of all the lying, ungrateful, emotionally unstable bitches who want to use and abuse me for my money.

Love changes the world. I’ll provide you with everything that those other men promise but don’t deliver, and I guarantee you’ll have the best sex of your life.

Hit me up when you get a chance. I’ll either be at the gym or driving my McLaren 720S. If I don’t get back to you right away, don’t sweat it, my DM’s are usually flooded, but I’ll try to get in touch as soon as possible.

24. Our Fates

Single Female ever youthful, interested in new beginnings. Spinner of threads in the family business. Working with my older sisters we make things happen. Independent, willful, engaging, interested in spinning new yarns out of shared experiences. Open to new ideas and activities. Only limitation is your imagination. Looking for a fresh start? Contact May Gender fluid, sapiosexual, searching for similar.

Open childless MILF weaver of dreams, looking for open minded partner/s to support and nurture, strengthening firmly established bonds as well as making new ones. Charity worker looking to help others grow while enjoying all that life has to offer. Are you someone who could use a little support and comfort? Interested in learning more? Contact Autumn

Mature woman seeking a companion to enjoy sunsets and sunrises and a good glass of wine or ale. Interested in sharing wisdom and insights gained from a long life. Age is just a number. Self-sufficient working with younger sisters weaving. Snipping loose ends completing cloth. Interested in partnering with others to volunteer at hospices providing aid in other’s last days. Not ready to give up the ghost looking for a partner in crime to make some mischief. If you could use someone like me, write December

25. Are You Man Enough?

Kneel at Mistress Eve’s feet. Take in the Divine Goddess that I am, a six-foot-tall amazon with legs that will crush your balls.

Mistress is a voluptuous woman.

My hair is vibrant blonde, like a supernova exploding, that will melt your frozen heart. It trickles like corn down my back with green eyes that will pierce your soul. If you’ve seen my pics then you know that I love to wear nothing more than the finest corsets, the tightest leather, and the shiniest boots, and if you are a lucky boy I might allow you to cream onto my boots.

What I will be expecting from you is to treat me like the goddess you have always been looking for. You will bow down to me and do everything for me. ‘Mistress is always right,’ will become your new daily mantra. I expect the following things from you: I expect you to be well-turned out when we meet. I do not take any drug taking or inebriation, any rudeness to the Mistress and you will be turned away by me.

I will be waiting for you worthless slaves: clad in leather on my throne, and for God’s sake do not send me cock photos as a starter. I am not interested in your pathetic sissie-cocks, all sissies will be trained to take cock in whichever way Eve sees fit. This is not a relationship but a strictly D/s opportunity. Be warned: all time-wasters will be blocked, but if you’re sissie enough to take my strap-on then you might have a future with me. So learn the most important rule: ‘Mistress is always right,’ and get in touch and let’s see what dreams I can create, and hopefully a few nightmares too.

26. Let’s Do Lunch

Hi, I’m a 20 year old independent woman. I have lived on my own since I was 17. Everyone I have ever loved in my life has died unexpectedly from some kind of accident.  I’m not looking for a sympathy date, but if we have something like that in common, all the better.

I enjoy long, quiet walks through the forest, reading tales of horror, relying on my survival skills to… well, survive while out hiking and camping—which I do a lot of.  Teaching people and showing others what I have learned about surviving in the great outdoors is something I enjoy as well. I wasn’t a boy scout, but my best friend growing up was and my philosophy is to always be prepared.

I like to go hunting, fishing, and I enjoy the challenge of cooking over an open flame. I firmly believe that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I’m not much into fine dining however bringing along your beverage of choice to marinate, improve, and enhance the tougher cuts of meat is always helpful if I’m making dinner.

Do you have a little extra meat on your bones? Perfect. I’m not looking for someone rough and tough, so bodybuilding is definitely not necessary. I have a refined taste in men so I’m looking for someone who is not going to go stale on me or get salty if something interferes with our plans; in my mind it ruins the flavor of the relationship.

27. Between the Lines

Timelord seeks warm-bodied entity to share in the exploration of the infinitude of space and the eternity of all time. All genders and species considered. Nice ordinary guy seeks girl-next-door type. (Actual girl-next-door need not reapply. What a fucking mistake that was!)

Me: Visually impaired Friends say I’m good-looking. On the right side of 55 50 40 (#winkemoji). Hung like a buffalo and ejaculates like a geyser. Looking to settle down with the right person – cosy nights on the sofa, walks on windswept beaches, cuddles by the glow of the log fire blah blah blah… it makes me want to go on a killing spree just thinking about it! I like dirty books, porno films and getting wanked off in the outdoors.

You: Must like Pina Coladas and getting fucked in the rain. Aged 18 to 25 30 40 preferred. Previous owners relationships not a problem but no kids but, please, no kids. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and shades; it’s what’s on the inside that matters (actually, it’s me getting on the inside of your knickers that matters; if you’re a looker, that’s just a bonus).

… By Christ, I’m a disgusting man, aren’t I. I can’t post this. Why would I want to inflict my sorry self on anyone? Because loneliness is more painful than dishonesty? Fair point…

28. A Ripping Good Time

Mysterious gentleman looking for a lady friend who isn’t afraid of a good time. Seeking a genuine connection with someone; I think it’s more exciting for us to get to know one another in person, to make that real connection before I give myself away. Sadly, I’ve yet to find that partner to whom I can truly be myself, so I’m cutting my heart out and laying it bare for all to see if you’re willing to meet and get to know me.

I am searching for someone who would welcome an exciting evening in cutting edge entertainment, who isn’t scared of the dark, and who can truly appreciate the beauty of London at night under the lamplight. I’m a long-time resident of London, well acquainted with every alley, including some of the more secluded spots for those looking to spend a little ‘alone time’ together. Without being disturbed. Women who prefer the nightlife preferred.

I’m an open minded individual who doesn’t focus on looks. My favourite quote is: it’s what’s inside that counts, and this is how I live my life. I’m a bit of a Jack of all trades, what I turn my hand to I’m a killer at, but I put my whole self into everything I do.

I look forward to exploring the night with you.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

9 thoughts on “Fiction Marathon 2022: Second Voting Round

  1. I really struggled with this round (as I did with the ‘Chat-up Line’ round last year – maybe having been married for 33 out of my 41 adult years has not equipped me well for the The Dating Game!). Of course, now I’ve read everyone else’s entries, I’m bursting with ideas now!

    8 (Domestic Cougar Seeks Partner), 10 (Fun-seeking (Former) Princess), 11 (Virtually Guaranteed Great Time) and 14 (King Seeks Damsel) were all contenders but my votes went to 12 (Help Me Grow), 16 (GWP Seeks Landlubber) and 26 (Let’s Do Lunch). Comments on all below:

    1. Modern Romance
    Brutal honesty, unleavened by humour, makes for a glum read.

    2. Quite the Catch
    I expect there’s a popular culture reference in this that holds it all together but, sorry, it was wasted on me!

    3. Sweet and Spicy
    It started well; I liked the ‘sweet and spicy’ theme. But you didn’t sustain the idea and the rest read just like a rather ordinary dating profile.

    4. Wimps need not apply
    I found your sentences rather over-stretched (e.g. the repetition of ‘as she’ in the final sentence of the main paragraph). Also, I was rather confused as to whether she wants a man she can dominate (i.e. not a strong man) or one who will get the better of her.

    5. My, what big.
    I felt this lost impact by trying to include too many ideas and angles (trying to maximise the word count?). The idea of the lycanthrope who’s a bit of a softy was strong enough to stick with.

    6. Smooth Gentleman
    I’m assuming (given that this is a fiction competition!) that this isn’t your actual dating profile, so I’m safe to say that your character sounds like an insufferable bore, aren’t I? Given that, I was waiting for a twist or punch line which never came.

    7. Let’s Write Life Together
    I was expecting there to be at least one vampire in this round (maybe, in every round?) but I was hoping for more subtlety; would an actual vampire give the game away in their profile?

    8. Domestic Cougar Seeks Partner
    I like the concept (and the gag in the title) but I would have liked the reveal to be longer delayed and less obvious. Nice writing though, so it was a contender for my vote, but I’m currently down on cats for killing all the fledglings raised in our garden this year! Evil monsters!

    9. Looking for Fellow Nerd
    I think you’ve dodged the difficulty of the assignment, though I think ‘Write a story about writing a dating profile’ would have been a more interesting assignment than the one that was set. But if that had been the assignment I would probably have had this in the running for my vote.

    10. Fun-seeking (Former) Princess
    A strong idea and some nice jokes and images. But I didn’t find the voice consistent enough to be convincing (‘hanky-panky’ and ‘dick pics’ particularly jarring). It’s going on my shortlist for a vote though.

    11. Virtually Guaranteed Great Time
    Another strong concept and some good lines (‘I was the cashier you never noticed, the smiling face in a sea of Mondays’). I think it could have been tighter and you had leeway to cut the word count down. Shortlisted.

    12. Help Me Grow
    Last paragraph is my favourite bit of writing in the round so far. I’m starting to feel quite envious now that so many people had good ideas for this round whereas I had none! Another for the shortlist.

    13. Come Search with Me
    (Hmm, I thought Fiction Marathon Rule 5.1 disallowed poems? However, it must have been passed as eligible…) The search for mythical beasts had potential but I wasn’t sufficiently engaged to work out the puzzle, sorry.

    14. King Seeks Damsel
    A witty conceit and well done. A definite contender.

    15. Sports Fan seeks Partner
    Why would someone so deliberately portray themselves as the most boring man on Earth? I feel I must be missing something.

    16. GWP Seeks Landlubber
    Love it. You’ve done what all others that I’ve read so far (my own included) have failed to do – created a character with a distinctive voice. Get’s my vote!

    17. Chester Has a Question
    ‘If you’ll read this to the end, I think you’ll be surprised’… I wasn’t; did I miss something?

    18. Undead Dating
    Well-written but, when it comes to voting, I generally boycott zombies and vampires. Sorry.

    19. Interview with my heart
    See comment above

    20. Throttlebottom Seeking…
    I definitely lean to the left!

    21. Can’t Be Too Careful
    I think this tells a story and develops a character quite well, even if there’s quite a lot I don’t understand (‘Benjamin Moore Gray Owl’?)

    22. Shake It Off
    See comment for 9.

    23. Incel Abrasion of Delusion
    I think that if you’re going to create such a generally unappealing character you have to give the reader something as consolation, either an unexpected soft spot in your character’s armour or the prospect of him getting his comeuppance.

    24. Our Fates
    I’m somewhat intrigued… Three sisters, weavers of cloth, charity work and voluntary aid… Again I’m left with the sense that there’s a context to this that I’m missing.

    25. Are You Man Enough?
    I suppose it is a sort of dating profile… I don’t know; more of a business advertisement, I suspect. (Thinking that I might have to add leather-clad Doms to my boycott list, along with the zombies and vampires…)

    26. Let’s Do Lunch
    Clever and original. You’ve won my heart, my liver, my kidneys and my vote.

    27. Between the Lines
    My story has had the misfortune of being listed second-to-last in both rounds (surely the worst draw, without the distinction of being last?). I’ll be honest; usually I still feel good about my effort after reading others. However, I never felt good about this; I disliked the task so much that I almost deliberately made my entry unlikeable. I still hate it. So, I’m all the more admiring of the many of you who rose to the challenge with wit and imagination!

    28. A Ripping Good Time
    Genuinely horrible.

    Congratulations all – yes, even me! – this was a challenging round!

    Elk x

  2. I really only want to select one, but the site was forcing me to choose more and I couldn’t. Im not sure if ppl were trying to replicate what they see on dating sites or tried to update their own personal ads. I only liked number 4. It was the only one that read like an interesting character.

  3. A marvelous second round! I’m applauding all the writers. Well done!

    Here are some positive and critical thoughts on a handful of the entries that stuck out for me:

    #3, Sweet and Spicy — This was well written, but could have been more fun adding something a bit more catchy or unique.

    #11, Virtually Guaranteed Great Time — An interesting concept, but a bit confusing.

    #13, Come Search With Me—I liked the different approach of adding poetry to replace the typical dialog in a dating profile.

    #15, Sports Fan Seeks Partner — I thought this was hilarious in its frankness for being a typical male in the ‘I love Sports Above All’ world.

    #18, Undead Dating — This was a well written piece from an atypical dating profile. A bit clichéd subject matter, but well done, none-the-less.

    #26, Let’s Do Lunch — I was liking the innuendos as to where this work was going, but then it became confusing with absolute declarations instead of continuing with more metaphorical illusions as with the delightful end.

    All-in-all, every entry was fun to read!
    – JSD

  4. Judges Additional Comments

    What an extremely difficult round this was to score, the standard being incredibly high. Everyone pulled something out of the bag to make their profile remarkable – all should be very proud of themselves.

    Making your piece stand out was high priority – Like a potential date reading the profile, I needed my attention grabbed, hence I keenly monitored for great opening statements(OS)and ‘Killer Last Lines’ (KLL)
    OS [3,5,16,20,22,28,] KLL [8,10,12,16,20,23,25,26,27,]

    The thumbnail sketch of the person behind the page should either entice the reader to want to meet, or help them recognise a bad fit. Some of these profiles intentionally portrayed a heinous person, often oblivious in their arrogance. I favoured those which invoked a strong reaction. I score my notes with smiley faces (1st read through = knee-jerk reaction) so entries which earned a 😐 rather than 🙂 or 🙁 scored low.

    Some profiles were shaped around somebody famous or infamous, [2,12,14,17,20,24,28] others around a well known type [5,7,8,10,16,18,19,25] All these were done to varying degrees of wit. Downside – if this reader was unfamiliar with the character being channelled, your piece stumbled. I gave extra points for profiles that stayed in character, but deducted points if they used clumsy signposting for who they were.

    A trick which worked well for me was a self-effacing statement [1,5,9,11] #11 you turned every negative into a positive. I was also crushing on the honesty [1,3,6,7,9] #7 yours was great at quirky but your opening paragraph left me confused, 5#6 let’s do lunch!

    We met some horrors didn’t we? Some were blatant [1,15,21,23,27] a few required reading between the lines [17,22,26] #27 masterfully done!

    Without saying how I voted, these stood out for me [1,5,9,10,11, 12,16,19,20,24,26,27]
    I could literally hear or see these entries [3,8,15,18,19,25] they got the voice so right.

  5. I realIy enjoyed reading the entries and was sorry to vote for only 3, because they were all so unique and thoughtful. Here are my thoughts about a few of them:

    Modern Romance – This was a profile many should write, but never will. I noted the subtle social commentary re the destructive effects of the gig economy and its resultant soul death of many struggling to get by.

    Quite the Catch – Clever, and I solved the riddle, but thought this was perhaps a little too topical and dependent on the reader being extremely au courant with the tabloids.

    Looking For Fellow Nerd – I liked the doubt and self-questioning of how to effectively market oneself while trying to maintain at least a kernel of authenticity.

    Fun Seeking (Former) Princess – another fun riddle profile. I liked how it revealed SW’s background was traumatic in the extreme and would naturally result in looking for escape from fairytale femininity and family dysfunction.

    Virtually Guaranteed Great Time – Loved this on every level. One of my biggest favorites.

    Help Me Grow – another big fave. Riddle profile but suffused with wry humor and the clues were cleverly distributed. Loved the opening quote, whose hilariousness was only appreciated after a full read.

    Undead Dating – I’m not really a zombie fan, but I thought this was well-done.

    Shake It Off – Good intro to characters that piqued further interest.

    Between The Lines – Clever, enjoyable read. Scary as well. At least the profiler displays some self insight at the end that makes one wonder if he does possess some redeeming qualities.

  6. Quite the Catch – I love how clever this. Some of those movies I had forgotten about.

    My, what big – A neat twist. I only wish maybe you played it up a little more, especially in the ending.

    Let’s Write Life Together – I think the strength of this piece is the mystery in the begining. Victims? What kind of victims? I would have liked an ending that ended perhaps; I need a date soon , I’m growing hungry.

    Looking for Fellow Nerd – I think this is my favorite. I love how you made it a story, and the geeky Star Trek references are right up my alley.

    Fun-seeking (Former) Princess – There you go, ruining, (fixing?) Snow White for me.

    Between the Lines – Nice idea. It gave me a chuckle.

  7. I think you have all had practice writing dating profiles 😀
    Such clever approaches and ideas.
    I don’t read in order, but the more I read, the more I was flabbergasted at the variety, entertainment and general standard. Well done all.
    I have stared the titles of my 8 particular faves.

    1) Modern Romance
    Oh goodness. This poor person really needs to get some self-care advice before their mental health/self-esteem issues get worse. They need to sort out themselves before anyone should invest in that. The profile didn’t flow so well towards the end but on the whole a really good job. Another thing I was really impressed with was the layout.

    2) Quite the Catch
    Fabulous second paragraph. Fun writing, with all sorts of ridiculousness. With the one possible truth in the middle, “Gemini, 58, single and looking for a nice lass to share a mega pint with.” Great job.

    3) Sweet and Spicy
    This reads as a very real dating profile and flows brilliantly. The character has definite likes and experience. I believed in them. When can we date?

    4) Wimps need not Apply
    Some great writing here. Although some of the sentences are a little lengthy, the images and feelings you put over are strong. I agree, this person would be a hell of a challenge to date.

    5) My, what big. *
    Oh this was different. I am a sucker for weird and wonderful as well as brave entries. You certainly put some amazing images in my head. Not being into current films, personalities etc I did have to look up the movie and personality you mentioned but I was still left with a smile on my face.

    6) Smooth Gentleman
    Oh such a romantic and sensual profile. This comes across strongly. I expect it would attract exactly the type of person you are looking for. Some great visuals included.

    7) Let’s write life Together
    Really liked this. Again different and very witty. I almost began to believe that Vampires exist. Great job.

    8) Domestic Cougar Seeks Partner
    Well done. The constant reference which could apply to a feline or a person. Well written, fun and different.

    9) Looking for fellow Nerd
    I love the approach you have taken here. The character you created is believable and I was left rooting for her to find that nerd!

    10) Fun Seeking (Former) Princess
    Fab and fun idea. This worked really well as you followed it through from start to finish, so it flowed and read brilliantly. Great job.

    11) Virtually Guaranteed great time *
    Great last line, and this spoke to me of the future in more ways than one. A scary idea that was put across well. Title nicely done too.

    12) Help me Grow
    This flowed wonderfully and made me chuckle along the way. Some fab one-liners within the narrative too. Clever title.

    13) Come Search With Me
    This was a fun entry and a unique way to present a profile too. Great little poem, although I haven’t yet managed to fill in the puzzle. The title worked brilliantly.

    14) Kind seeks Damsel
    Loved the last line here and I really enjoyed how the profile unfolded to get to that point.

    15) Sports Fan Seeks Partner
    I liked this. Your character tickled me and made me think, also I expect there are people out there like him.

    16) GWP Seeks Landlubber *
    This was one of the stand-out entries for me. Brilliantly done. Great idea and well written with so many clever lines.

    17) Chester Has a Question
    I don’t know if Chester is a character that is known? But I really enjoyed the narrative and I liked how the name is included in the title too. Although I do feel everyone may be privy to something I’m missing 🙂

    18) Undead Dating
    Some yucky bits here but you thoroughly entertained me with the dating life of the undead. Well done. You maybe could have used your title a bit more to add to the story.

    19) Interview with my Heart
    Was a shame that you were so near the one above – both supernatural type profiles. The order of the stories is chosen by a random number generator so it was simply luck. I enjoyed your profile though.

    20) Throttlebottom seeking *
    Clever and well executed. I don’t lean either way but this was a refreshing entry to read. One of my faves.

    21) Can’t be too careful *
    Really liked this – you had me giggling. It flowed really well and also loved that the last line -kinda made a mockery of all of the profile. Great job.

    22) Shake it Off
    I agree with Sarah – this would be a realistic one to give a go, take a chance . Well written profile.

    23) Incel Abrasion of Delusion
    What a distasteful character. Well depicted and I hope I don’t meet him anytime soon – thought to be frank I could do with a bit of his money 😀

    24) Our Fates *
    Oh you weaved this yarn well and lured me in with each spin. You took a chance here putting three into one but it worked for me. The title was good too.

    25) Are you man Enough
    some fantastic visuals here and I like the one you deliberately jumped from first to third person to show the power of the main character – Mistress. Good job.

    26) Let’s do Lunch
    Subtle and entertaining, and once again you’ve made good use of the title.

    27) Between the Lines *
    A unique idea and a good one too. I think it would have worked better with less of the crossing out. It was your short ones that made me smile. But I did like this a lot and commend your bravery.

    28) A Ripping Good Time *
    Very Nicely done. I really like that you have totally made the title work for you and that you have not gone over board with your idea. Enough to put it across but yet the profile still feels almost authentic.

    Here’s to round three!

  8. Once again, just like in the first round, the high quality of writing for this round is really impressive. It seems the tune for this year’s marathon has been set, and I foresee a tough race to determine the winner of 2022!

    When reading through the dating I looked at it from a technical side, but also whether the profile is inviting. Of course, in the latter, my personal preferences will play a part, but I have tried to quiet that down as much as possible.

    1. Modern Romance
    I like how structured and well written this profile is. At first I thought this person doesn’t want to meet anyone. No time, no money, will keep you at arms length. Also that the writer wants whoever’s interested in them to do all the work. Not very encouraging, was the thought that crossed my mind. But, then I read it a second time, and the honest and suspected tongue-in-cheek writing actually appealed to me more.

    2. Quite the Catch
    I like all the different references in this profile, like the Mad Hatter and Willy Wonka, and I like the humor in this writing. I even think I know what J.D. is referring to and no, I am not a whisky drinker! Would I like to meet this person? Yes, if only for a good laugh!

    3. Sweet and Spicy
    I stumbled a bit over the first paragraph, but on re-reading, it flowed better. There’s such a positive sound to this profile, and I especially love the last sentence in the profile. An inviting profile for a like-minded soul.

    4. Wimps need not apply
    On the technical side I would’ve liked to see more paragraphs. Halfway through the long paragraph, you sort of lost me, so I started reading again. That said, this is a good profile, where with adjectives and nouns you managed to pack a lot in a short piece. Well done.

    5. My, what big.
    The humor in this profile is appealing, but with so many words between parentheses to interrupt the main text, the piece didn’t really flow.

    6. Smooth Gentleman
    When I read the last sentence about being empathic, I nodded, as that is what I took from the rest of the text. The title ‘Smooth Gentleman’ could easily have been replaced by ‘Soft Gentleman’ or ‘Kind Gentleman’. ‘Smooth’ makes me think of a chancer, and that’s not what I took from this piece. In fact, I would like to meet his gentleman!

    7. Let’s Write Life Together
    I like the blood theme that’s in this profile from beginning to end and those reading between the lines will know the occupation of this writers – at least I hope I am not wrong about it! However, I would’ve wanted to know a bit more about the writer. In my opinion the last line could’ve been left off.

    8. Domestic Cougar Seeks Partner
    Another profile with humor – I really like that. Also like that you kept the catlike theme throughout. And a luxury cat too, wanting to be given breakfast and pampered. Great profile!

    9. Looking for Fellow Nerd
    What I like about this piece the most is that there is context around the profile writing, and through that context you tell us more about yourself. Where this is not written as a dating profile per se, in my opinion it can be put on a dating site like this, as it also shows your creative side. Well done for the originality!

    10. Fun-seeking (Former) Princess
    Definitely a fun profile keeping the fairytale theme for most of the writing. When I read ‘Other turn-offs’ you had me go back on the previous words to find more turn-offs, but I couldn’t?

    11. Virtually Guaranteed Great Time
    I like the way this is written, but it also confused me. When I got to the re-birthed part, I re-read the first part. I think the confusion wouldn’t have happened if you introduced the being programmed part a bit earlier, and not only with reference to coding. Or… I might be missing the essence of this piece.

    12. Help Me Grow
    Ah, the garden of Eve or Steve – I like that reference, and like the serious undertone laced with humor. Well written and inviting!

    13. Come Search with Me
    Normally we don’t accept poetry for the fiction marathon, as it is about stories after all, but because of the dating profile assignment, this writing fit well. That said, I would’ve liked to have more information about the writer, and not only that everything is average.

    14. King Seeks Damsel
    Love the theme you have chosen for your dating profile, and how you managed to work personal information into it. Well written and inviting!

    15. Sports Fan seeks Partner
    Now I am not a huge sports fan, but I enjoyed reading this, and like how you have kept the sports theme in the piece from beginning to end.

    16. GWP Seeks Landlubber
    This profile really drew me in. Incredibly well written and I love the rugged seaman, almost pirate-y theme. A great read!

    17. Chester Has a Question
    Reading this profile, I feel the longing for finding a partner. The words are gentle, and there’s more between the lines than only the words reveal. This is not the most exiting of the profiles in this round, but possibly the most heart-felt one.

    18. Undead Dating
    Interesting theme for a profile, but not one that appeal to me, because of words like ‘decaying member’, ‘kidney dinner’, and ‘brain cocktail’. I’m a visual reader and those put me off. That said, I like that you kept the theme throughout.

    19. Interview with my heart
    I like the gentle way this is written, and how you have presented the information, but two tips:
    * In a short piece like this it works better to mention Romania only once;
    * In the paragraph starting with ‘My favorite activity…’ you use the word ‘night’ four times. Limit that to only once to make your writing stronger.

    20. Throttlebottom Seeking…
    Great humor in this piece, and I hope this is what you intended. I like the little references you have scattered in your text, like Scarborough fair and fifty shades.

    21. Can’t Be Too Careful
    Those must’ve been quite some misadventures to be as careful as you are here. I enjoyed reading this profile, and it left me with a smile on my face.

    22. Shake It Off
    Nice that you have taken a different route than the majority of the writers, and given the profile a bit of context in the way of flash fiction. I like Randy’s profile and think he deserves a chance!

    23. Incel Abrasion of Delusion
    Oh wow, I wonder if this 24 year old will ever get the partner he’s looking for. I can’t say I like him, but I do like the way this profile is written and how his character really comes across to the reader!

    24. Our Fates
    A three-in-one dating profile, or the profiles of three different women, and I take it these are of the three sisters in the business. I like their names!

    25. Are You Man Enough?
    Mistress really knows what she wants, right?! Those who act on this profile definitely have to be man enough not to be scared away by these words.

    26. Let’s Do Lunch
    A nice, appealing profile, and I like the food references in the last two paragraphs. Be careful with using the same word too much in one paragraph (survive/survival in the second paragraph).

    27. Between the Lines
    You do say a lot more in those crossed out words than the rest. Great profile!

    28. A Ripping Good Time
    A nice, gentle profile, and I like the promise of good times in secluded spots, in one of my favorite cities in the world!

  9. I have to say, I wasn’t sure how everyone was going to present their entries. I was glad to see a mix of interpretations so I know everyone had the same state of mind I did. Generally, i praise all the competitors and won’t single any out. There was one I found very distracting in format but only the voting will see if it was effective.
    This round was extremely difficult for me both from the generalized task perspective as well as an area where I am uncertain of the benchmark for an actual dating profile. Well done and good luck.

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