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 10 Minutes

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Things I Have Learnt About Jason Donovan

    Jason Donovan has been living under my bed in a Vitalite margarine tub since yesterday afternoon and he is a terrible listener, likes eating insects, and has a difficult relationship with Kylie Minogue. Also, he won’t let me introduce him to the girls at school because he’s only about as big as my hand and he says they might grab at him and pull his arms and legs off. Also, he has gone into a Read more [...]

  • Looking for Nora

    She pulled a bunch of ribbons from her jacket pocket, selected a red one, then squeezed it in the palm of her hand. ‘I wish,’ she said, and closed her eyes, ‘I wish that today will be the day that I find you.’ She took the ribbon to the large elm tree and tied it onto a low hanging branch. It flapped lazily in the breeze. From her backpack, she pulled out a folded handkerchief Read more [...]

  • Shall We Dance?

    Anna thought: there was a time when people would stop what they were doing, even if they were only walking, and watch, serious and upright, as a cortège went by. Perhaps in other places they still did it. A respect for the dead. Here a funeral car was just part of the traffic, just one of too many purposes choking a road, and a particularly inconvenient one at that. Going too slowly, taking up too Read more [...]