Welcome to Fairlight Shorts – the home of seriously good storytelling. All of the Short Stories on our website have been hand-picked for their originality, contemporary themes and superb writing. We aim to post a new story each week, so do subscribe to our newsletter or join us on twitter if you would like to be kept up to date.

All Short stories

  • Rose Garden

    ‘Hiya Margery,’ the young woman called over the back-garden fence. ‘How’re you feeling?’ ‘Morning Tracey. I don’t feel too bad today. The pills help. I must be taking so many now it’s a wonder the pharmacy has any left for anyone else.’ Margery paused, took off her gardening gloves, pushed her wispy grey hair out of her eyes and wiped her forehead with a tissue from her pocket. ‘Anyway, never mind about me. I’m just Read more [...]

  • New Year’s Eve at the Nun’s Purse

    If there’s a dingier, grottier pub in all the British Isles, I’ve not found it yet. The Nun’s Purse boasts fly-strewn windowsills, walls the colour of a tobacco addict’s teeth, and table-tops so sticky that old Bill Jones lost a shirt sleeve to one this afternoon. Even the most iron guts can’t stomach “The Food”, not for long anyway, and never twice. The toilets? Don’t ask. Complaining is futile. The Manager — Tommy ‘Gun’ Benson Read more [...]

  • A Special Gift

    The snow started on Friday around four o’clock. Small flakes at first, fluttering half-heartedly in a light breeze. Eventually, it began to lie and in the tapering light the sky became grey and threatening. A silent darkness followed and I could no longer see Braithwaite crag on the moor top. By five-thirty the wind had picked up and the flakes were much larger and that’s when the blizzard set in and blotted out everything. When Read more [...]

  • The Osprey at Dusk

    I drive. You said you were tired, hadn’t slept all night. The journey to the Lakes takes longer than I remembered. There are more cars on the road, the lorries are bigger; they conspire to keep me in the slow lanes, and new underpasses baffle me. Between the shrug of a shoulder and a sigh, you dig me out, snipe about my driving skills, but I take it. I make a show of forbearance even Read more [...]

  • Too Cold For Snow

    I’ve slept badly again. The farmhouse is unearthly cold. Alive, too, in the still of night, with ticks, groans, intestinal gurgles. The fridge, juddering to a halt. Alice was restless. Shy of dawn I heard her get up, potter about downstairs. She’s left a note on the kitchen table: can run you into the village in the afternoon. Ok, maybe. I’ll have to check texts at some point. Go through with the renewal. Let Leonora Read more [...]

  • Tortoiseshell

    Each morning one of the staff wheeled Mr Aiken from the room where he slept, along the corridor and into the big lounge with all the chairs. Today it was a young man. Mr Aiken did not know him. They did not talk. Usually he was parked against the wall, facing towards the television. Some days he made a fuss until they moved him to where he could see the garden. However, the young man Read more [...]

  • Twist

    It was Chubby Checker who did it, as he has done many times before. As soon as The Twist started, the dance floor filled up. There were hoots and squeals, gyrating hips, flailing arms and a competition amongst some to see who could master the ‘round and round, and up and down’ manoeuvre. Most wedding receptions like a golden oldie disco, and this one hit the spot with Tamla Motown and rock and roll on Read more [...]

  • Turn The Big Light On

    Uncle Bubbles was a small and sinewy man, known around the village for wearing hobnail boots in all seasons. I had overheard the rumours – at mass, in the corner shop – that he had webbed feet and that was the reason; but anytime I challenged my mother or sister about it, they would only smirk and ask have you ever seen his toes? When I said no, they would say well there you are Read more [...]