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

  • 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 [...]

  • When Freda Met Sally

    I was twelve when my mother Freda first experienced loss of co-ordination. I was sitting in the back of our Morris Minor convertible, Freda was driving with Sally beside her. No one was wearing seat belts because Freda said they were for cowards and conformists. We were speeding with the top down, the three of us laughing and shouting over the noise of the wind, when the Morris lurched and drifted out to the crown 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 [...]

  • Ever Decreasing Circles

    Winter snow deadens sound. Not the persistent ringing in my head though, the volume of which has gradually increased with age. That sound is always with me. My perverse comfort blanket. Today it accompanies me as I walk, alone, through the park. The grass lawn surrounding the duck pond lies like a soft baby’s blanket, in gentle undulations of pure white. For now, at least. Once the toddlers have been down with their wellies, and 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 [...]

  • The View of the Garden in Summer

    I met him in the Marais. For me, Paris was a passing place on route to the South, but he was working on a series of commissioned landscapes. I was struck by his thick sandy hair, broad shoulders and that he was covered in paint. The cuffs of his grey linen jacket were speckled with azure and primrose; his lapels smeared with scarlet slashes. Brilliant white accentuated the creases around his eyes, and I noticed Read more [...]

  • City Lights

    David had observed the long narrow room before. Late at night, sitting in his car at the traffic lights, he would look up at the building opposite. Each time, the room on the second floor attracted his attention. Its large windows were without curtains or blinds. Around the edge of its ceiling, hung strings of pink, yellow and green coloured lights, flashing in endless repetition. Pink, yellow, green, off. Pink, yellow, green, off. Jagged shadows Read more [...]

  • Crows Caw in Cwmdonkin Park

    ‘Damn, damn, damn it.’ James bangs the pen down on the table causing the coffee cup to rattle in its saucer and the two fresh roses to quiver in their vase. A woman’s voice breaks into his frustration. ‘Can I sit here? There’s not much room today.’ James looks up, sees a woman in her mid-thirties pulling out the chair opposite him, scraping its feet on the paving stones. ‘Yes, of course. Here, let me Read more [...]