“It’ll Do” by Joseph Dilworth: McCarthy Fiction Prize Runner-up May24

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“It’ll Do” by Joseph Dilworth: McCarthy Fiction Prize Runner-up

Blankness. A mental void. Emptiness. Where to start? A look around the site yields, in order: pretty blond; muscular sportsman; pretty blonde; pretty blonde; muscular sportsman; muscular sportsman. I fly through the rest of the site. Something catches my eye – two blondes have the same picture. My face wrinkles. Liars. Like all of their kind. I look at the fakes  again. Not the best agency.

It’ll do

I start where I always do: “Hi, my name is Dave.” Delete, “It’s James.” Delete. “How’re things going? My name is Francis.” Delete. “The name’s David.”

It’ll do.

“I’m forty-seven.” I look around the site again. A pack of lies. Delete. “I’m twenty-seven.”

It’ll do.

I’ve a criminal record. I shot five cops and knifed two more.” Delete. “I’ve a criminal record- of picking up chicks.”

It’ll do.

“I’m a serial killer who lures whore to their deaths.” Delete. “I’m a serial satisfier who lures women to their beds.”

It’ll do.

“My wife was unfaithful and I blame the world.” Delete. “I’m faithful.”

It’ll do.

A picture of a muscular young guy. Delete. A picture of a fit – but not overly so – man. I click post. It’s probably the most honest thing on this site.

It’ll do.

“N.Y.P.D! Open up you motherfucking bitch!” I grab a loaded gun and point it at the door.

It’ll do.