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

  • Sensory Details

    It’s my fourteenth day as a bagger, the first day I can’t keep my eyes off the rooster-shaped clock above the candy aisle. I’m still in the probationary period at Swifts, so I do what I can to focus, make a game of it. Each new bag can be optimally filled in less time than the last. Four cardboard boxes containing crackers, pretzels, pasta, and rice fit safely in a single medium bag. The store’s Read more [...]

  • Ghazi

    ‘… wipe the villages from the face of the earth, stopping at nothing… liquidate the bandit group based in the villages of Upper Balkaria once and for all.’ – General Kozlov, head of Stalin’s 37th Army, Soviet Union, 1942   ***   The ‘bandit group’ that General Kozlov was referring to was the Circassians, citizens of the Soviet Union who lived in the Caucasus Mountains – villagers, mainly peasants, who refused to cave in to Read more [...]

  • The Luck of Love – Part Three

    At the Gilberts   The Gilberts were eating pasta with their three children in the kitchen-diner of their newly built red-brick house in West London the evening I met them for the first time. They asked me to join them but I said I had already eaten. Sarah Gilbert made me a coffee, using freshly ground beans, and I sat with them while they ate. She was tall and thin, with long dark hair, and Read more [...]

  • The Gift

    The daffodils in the garden are in full bloom. Nafisa is looking at them through her window with that wistful look, as though a longing has filled her heart. In the opposite house Solomon is working the ground, tilling the dirt, preparing the beds for the growing season. His ginger cat, a rusty old girl named Gulmohar, is sitting next to the would-be lettuce bed, licking herself clean. Solomon has an unkempt beard and a Read more [...]

  • The Allotment

    I have been sitting with the light out for the past hour. My television is on but the sound is down. The girl’s bedroom is opposite my own. Her blinds are not closed and everything is lit up. She is on the bed, watching TV and painting her toe nails, white cotton balls between each, lovely toe. Her mum is a wheelchair user. For two hours this afternoon the girl left her in the garden, Read more [...]

  • The Luck of Love – Part Two

    With Margo and Jo   ‘We’re lesbians,’ said Margo, on the first day I met them. ‘If you can’t deal with that, we won’t employ you.’ Every family in my country has an aunt who lives with a special friend or a cousin who shares his life with a man he met in the army or in a bar. We don’t attach words to it but we accept them. The English seem to think they Read more [...]

  • On the Way

    Only after she secures her starched white blouse does she line her eyes and dab her cheeks. Otherwise she wears no visible makeup. Slinging the yellowing cloth bag over her shoulder, she locks her door and makes her way down the unpainted stairs. When she steps outside, she is confronted by the dust and commotion of a seven-am weekday. But there is a welcome that Dhaka reserves solely for her.   ***   After she Read more [...]

  • Since Yesterday

    Eight minutes since yesterday and this was all that’s left of fifteen years, thought Kat. The silence, the stillness of the air that had greeted her as she had let herself into her house, confirmed that he had gone. She had managed to lock the door behind her before letting out a cry of joy. Kat slumped her videocam case and bag in the lounge, then began a tour of the house. The lounge was Read more [...]