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

  • First Dress Rehearsal

    The story I’m about to tell ya is true. It really is—dead set! But ya won’t believe me, will ya? Na, ya won’t ‘cause it’s too bloody fair dinkum weird to be otherwise! The story begins in Northern Ireland, on a train traveling between Belfast and Londonderry. Now, you’re probably wondering to yourself, what the hell was I doing there? Well…like any true-blue adventurous Aussie, I thought I’d take a decko at the Emerald Isle, Read more [...]

  • Sweetheart

    Every Tuesday and Thursday morning at ten o’clock before closing the front door Bill would call out: ‘I won’t be long’. The supermarket was a short walk to the end of the street. The grocery list hardly changed. He was a creature of habit in his eightieth year and he would always take his time shopping, walking the same route around the aisles on every visit, buying no more than ten items. He became frustrated Read more [...]

  • How Barbara Hepworth Learned to Love Holes

    SUMMER 1939 ‘Are we there yet?’ I asked Ben, creasing a sweet wrapper into a triangle shape. I never can stop working. ‘You asked me that five minutes ago, and no, nowhere near.’ Ben is staring at the thin sliver of road ahead, only illuminated by our headlights. ‘How long then?’ ‘Barbara, I’ve told you, it’ll be hours. We’re not even into Cornwall yet.’ ‘Drat the war! Drat the Germans!’ I raise my voice in Read more [...]

  • The Ear

    The waitress left their receipt on a little silver tray, along with two white mints. ‘They hurt my teeth,’ said Ellis. Trix put one in her mouth, the other in her handbag. Two men at the next table stared at her. ‘You have some admirers,’ whispered Ellis. She made a face. ‘Ready?’ she asked. He held up a finger. ‘Give me a minute.’ She waved him towards the toilets. ‘I’ll wait at the doors.’   Read more [...]

  • She Picks Up The Cat

    She picks up the cat, climbs the stairs and closes the bathroom door softly behind her. She puts him down and slides the lock into place. He pads about on the lino and looks at her. She knows he doesn’t like the coolness beneath his paws but, for now, he will have to be patient. She runs the hot tap and steam begins to cloud the mirror above the sink. The website says: Pack an Read more [...]

  • Words Are Not Enough

    The sounds he makes are strongly speech-like. Hearing them out of the corner of your ear, you might assume they are coherent talk. They aren’t, but to anyone who knows him well and hears him in the right context, they make sense. ‘It’s a fag then young Tony? It’s raining though.’ He responds. There is a tone of anguish in his babble. ‘OK, I’ll get an umbrella. Try to keep some of the rain off Read more [...]

  • Prairie Child

    one On the day I was born, all the apples from the tree out back fell to the ground. It was a parched season, arriving thirsty. From the blood of my mother’s labor, I emerged with sod dangling from my brow. My roots were pulled and cut. My face enclosed, caked in dirt; but my eyes were open, dewy and light brown. At the ends of my leafy fingers were wrinkled thistles, prickling my mother’s Read more [...]

  • Of Gifts of Unknown Provenance

    It looks excitingly modern. Its keys are white, except for the first one in the second row, which is red. I turn the round black handle and the cold plastic sends shivers down my spine and at the same time ignites a warm feeling in the depths of my stomach. Yes. This is how I will roll them out. Then I will pile them up and climb one piece of paper at a time towards Read more [...]