‘Half Sick of Shadows’ by Kirsty Logan

Another collection where I truly could have chosen any story, but this one spoke to me the most. A couple arrive at Camelot theme park with their young daughter with the intention of leaving her there. The sense of dread as I read this was also joined by a sense of understanding and recognition. This story, then, is a painful read for me. It felt as if Logan had seen the darkest thoughts in my mind and plucked them out onto the page. It makes me think of every time I’ve dismissed my daughter when she wanted to play, every time I’ve just wanted to be left alone, every time I’ve thought I can’t cope with this anymore. “- Was she really that bad? Maybe if we’d tried harder with her. Everyone else manages it.”I’m not sure I’m supposed to relate to the cruel parents in this story but I do. In my darkest days, deep in post-natal depression, would I have left my own daughter in a magical abandoned theme park if someone had given me the option? The answer to that, as the title of the collection alludes to, is not something I would dare speak in daylight. 

first published in Things We Say in the Dark, Harvill Secker, 2019

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