[This is my actual OKCupid profile.]

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Yyour search for love has brought you here, to the deepest jungles of the Internet! In front of you stands a tremendous door, beyond which all is dark as kraken’s ink. Struggling to control the shake in your hands, you brush aside the hoary skeins of vegetation that have grown thick along the Temple’s edifice.

You exhale in sharp, determined puffs. This is it: the hot and crumbling remains of a once-mighty Dating Empire. Just who was–or is–this Mysterious Mister G?

Pierce Mangrove lumbers up next to you and hunches over, breathing raggedly. Sweat makes interstellar maps out of his shirt. Despite his incredible name, he is a soft and fussy man. He’s also your most trusted counsel, and you would never date without his advice except…you’ve had this funny, creaking feeling about Pierce on this trip. Like he’s in danger.


“Wait–who said that?” you demand of the verdure. The locals tell of creeping madness in these jungles, but you had laughed at their odd little superstitions…

You dismiss the parenthetical voice and fears about Pierce and take your first tentative steps through the looming portal. Pierce wraps a clammy hand around an outcrop of your shirt as you wade through the cimmerian gloom. You walk for what seems like hours, unsure of your direction or, eventually, even your existence. Finally, light pokes through from somewhere, as through a dark gauze, as hope through depression, and you stumble towards it.

You both gasp as you come upon its source: a huge and majestic high-vaulted chamber! The rays that stream through the ceiling fill you with joy after three days of the canopy’s starless night. Even Pierce looks exalted now despite deltas of sweat forming, then discharging off his face. In the new light you can see cobblestones as still and barren as a seafloor. But as your eyes adjust, blemishes flare in the dust’s complexion. Your heart quakes as you realize they’re footsteps.

Someone else is here.

The trail leads straight ahead, up a small flight of steps to a giant oaken door. To your immediate left, there is a rough hewn opening–it looks like a cave–from which comes a soft, enticing phosphorescence. Next to the opening, there is a chalk drawing of a man with green question marks bottled in his head and torso.

“We could follow the footsteps, but–who knows–it could be a bandit!” says Pierce. You love him, but his tendency to launch into redundant exposition incites your fingers to clench, your teeth to gnaw at one another. “Or this weird glowing cave seems like it might have some clues as to Mister G. Actually, though, I’m not feeling so hot. Whaddayasay we just call the whole thing off and get a cold drink back in town? You could probably find a man at the bar.”

He certainly looks like he needs the drink. His shirt has darkened completely. The tyrant Sweat has conquered all lands before Him.







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