Simon was a young boy, much like any other. The sort of child so bland and ineffectual, so devoid of inspiration or spirit, you can hardly even see that they’re there. If he had not suffered from a rare affliction it is doubtful even his parents would have remembered his name.
For you see, Simon simply had too much blood. If it wasn’t flowing from his nose it was weeping from his gums. If it wasn’t dripping from his fingers it was seeping through his shoes. But his body would not stop, and it kept producing more and more whether it was needed or not.
The doctors tried to help him. They covered him in bandages one time, but they quickly became absolutely sodden and useless, and he had to be washed clean in the garden, his father hosing him down while the neighbours curiously peered over the fence.
Next the doctors tried covering him completely in wax, leaving no hole or cut uncoated. They held him by the ankles and dipped him head first into a huge bubbling vat of the stuff and at first it appeared to work, until they noticed Simon’s face slowly expanding and everyone had to frantically scrape the wax away before he burst like a birthday balloon.
After that it was thought best to try a treatment of leeches, but they gorged themselves too quickly and exploded with a sound like gunshots. And so eventually the doctors tired of Simon and they let him go home.
His parents covered the carpets in plastic, moved his bedroom to the cellar, and let him drip where he pleased.
It was on the third night that they found him drowned in his bed. And yet his blood continued to flow even though he no longer lived.
His mother began to cry. Poor Simon, she thought. But her husband was made of sterner and, ironically I suppose, in light of poor Simon’s condition, more heartless stuff.
“Stop your crying, my dear,” he said. “This could turn out to be the best thing that has ever happened to us.” He wiped away her tears and leant in close and whispered his plan into her ears.
Two weeks later they opened up a shop, the finest sausage house in the whole of the county. Their signature dish was their Black Pudding, and people came from miles and miles around just to try it.
“Come in, come in,” Simon’s father would say to the hordes gathering at the doors. “And try the finest family-made food you will ever taste.”
1. Written on August 31st, 2006
2. And illustrated by Hugh Paterson
3. Around about the same time