This story begins with the narrator describing his own violent death at the hands of his children. It is a marvellous, lurid, and almost beautiful scene, beautiful because of Hayden’s command of language, which is, by turns, precise and fluidly ambiguous. His is the language of a mind that loves poetry and contends with it daily. Allegory comes easy to Hayden, and ‘Leckerdam’ is a very representative story in that it contains many chambers of secret meaning to reward the repeat reader. In fact, the entire book that this story is taken from, Darker With The Lights On, is like a curiosity cabinet where every opened drawer contains an edible with a flavour all of its own. Some are less sweet than others. Some might even be poison.
First published in The Stinging Fly, June 2016. Collected in Darker with the Lights on, 2017, Little Island Press