by Pravasan Pillay
Jacques Visser was a fourth generation leech-man. For more than 110 years, the Vissers had harvested leeches from the swamps of St. Lucia, and had developed a reputation amongst the South African medical community for quality bloodletting. Unfortunately, when it came time for Jacques to take over the family enterprise, bloodletting was on its way out. Jacques agonized over the falling sales and was seriously considering calling it a day when his wife, Melinda, came to him with a suggestion: why not diversify their operation? Melinda’s big idea was to sell the leeches to Twilight fans, marketing it to them as “Mini-Edwards” and “the vampire experience without the inconvenient bloodlust.” Jacques, with over a century of proud and honest leeching blood running through his veins, was, of course, reluctant to reduce the family business to this chicanery but he knew that Melinda was right: they were dead-broke and these Twilight fans were suckers ripe for the picking.
Pravasan Pillay lives in Durban, South Africa and runs the indie press Tearoom Books.