This is an extended version of the original that went into People Magazine... You'll see a difference from the others I've posted, as this is going from a 500 word article like the others are, to a 900 word story.
I like the extended versions better. They're more detailed, and are more like this in my book.
Franco lived on the 10th floor of an old apartment block in the city. Although I'd not been to see him before it was the home of many a single man and a place I knew well. It was one of those old fashioned looking buildings with gargoyles on the corners and musty old carpet in the lobby and one of those rickety old elevators that shake and creak and threaten to plummet to the bottom if you so much as sneeze when you're inside. Not that I had to worry about that on the night I went to visit Franco.
That night, which of course happened to be one of those horribly muggy summer nights, the lifts were broken and I had to walk up ten flights of stairs. No shit.
Now, I’m not the fittest person. I despise exercise even more than I hate coriander - and let me tell you that's saying something - but I am lucky and manage to keep in shape by the grace of good genes and of course lots of fucking. So, after walking up ten flights of stairs in ridiculous shoes, not to mention thick, unbreathable air, by the time I got to his floor, my lungs were ready to explode, my legs felt like jelly and I wanted to pass out.
I spent a good five minutes or so leaning up against the wall in the stairwell trying to stop my nose from running, and gasping and wheezing and cursing the cigarettes I'd smoked on the drive over. As soon as I could manage to breathe without pain and noise I rummaged around in my over-filled bag and pulled out my little mirror for a quick check.
Okay, so my face was bright red and I had little beads of sweat on my forehead and nose, but my eyeliner was intact, my lipstick was still on and I had good hair. Small mercies! Trying to rid myself of the rosy-cheeked glow, I fanned myself with my hands as I walked down the fluorescent lit hallway, counting off doors until I found his and knocked.
The door opened a crack and Franco peered out. “Ah yes,” he said in a thick accent. “You girl, yes?”
“Yes, hi,” I replied. “I'm Sophie.”
He was a tall, fat guy with messy Einstein-style hair, wearing nothing but a loosely tied, faded dressing gown from which tufts of grey hair poked through, and a pair of torn socks.
“Elevator is bitch, yes?” he asked me when we were inside. “You right?”
He brought me some water and sat at the kitchen table looking at me while I called the agency and signed in. Once that was all done I went and sat at the table with him. It was a cluttered mess of papers and magazines and I moved a pile aside so I could put my glass down.
“You right?” he asked me again, leaning forward and looking at me closely.
“Yes,” I said. “I’m fine.” I thought about my marathon stair climb and wondered if I’d missed something in the mirror. An ugly sweat stain perhaps, or maybe a booger (Oh God, please don’t let it be a booger!)
“No, no.” He motioned with his hand. “Write. You write?”
“Oh!” I laughed, relieved. “Yes, I can write.”
“Good,” he said. “You write for me.”
He motioned to the stack of papers I'd pushed aside and on closer inspection I saw they were those contact magazines. You know, for mail-order-brides, partner swapping and that kind of thing.
He opened one of them to a photograph of a naked woman, her boobs thrust out, thighs spread wide, and a painful expression on her face that I think was supposed to be orgasmic. It said she was called Nora, lived in Germany, loved fucking and sucking, and wanted a big cocked, warrior-type lover to take care of her.
“Her,” he said, pointing at the picture. “I want you to write to her.” He pushed a pen and notepad towards me. “I want you to tell her this: ‘I want to fuck you. You come here, live in house and we will fuck. You look after me like good woman should and I will fuck you good. I am much better than warrior. I have big cock for you so come here.’”
“Seriously?” I had to bite my lip to keep from smiling.
He nodded. “Yes. You write that.”
I have to tell you it was one of the easiest, not to mention funniest, jobs I'd ever had. I spent the next 2 hours (at $300 a pop) writing out these ridiculous letters to mail-order-brides and international call girls, the irony of it completely lost on Franco.
To all of them he demanded they must come and live in his house and do all the things that a woman should do, crapping on and on about his big dick and how privileged they should feel because he was going to fuck them with it.
I think the funniest thing about the whole situation was that I’d caught a glimpse through his open dressing gown earlier and I knew the truth; there was really only one big dick in the room, and I have to admit I laughed about it... All ten flights down.