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

  • The Miner

    ‘I’m writing a play for my end of year exam,’ Chloe announces. I throw my coat and bag on a chair. I got caught in an almighty shower on the way home from the office; me, the coat and my oversized bag create a little puddle on the floor. ‘Do you have to write in the kitchen? I’ve got to get the tea on.’ ‘It’s warm in here and anyway it’s a kitchen sink drama.’ Read more [...]

  • Chauffeur Driven

    Here I sit, thirty-one years old in a car I’d never be able to buy. Outside a house three stories high. impeccable gardens wrapped around it. Hugging it. With an army of gardeners tending to them day and night. I drove a taxi for ten years in the city. But out here it’s different. In a car like this it’s different. Leather seats. Air conditioning. A powerful engine that will never be tested to its Read more [...]

  • The Gratuity

    On the inclement late winter day when Superintendent Cummings called him into his office and first informed him that he was going to be the short-term trainer for a bloke from the Gippsland area, Alex could not help but chuckle at the irony of this rapid escalation in his fortunes. He had only been a driver-bearer in the Geelong Ambulance Service some eight months and now he had been allotted the task of showing the Read more [...]

  • Reflections

    Night in the country has an inkiness about it altogether unlike night in the city. I stood in the garden of our new home and let the darkness pour itself around me. The only light came from stars tossed like glitter across the arc of the sky and a thin curve of moon shining on the black water of the pond. The wind breathed through the trees and small creatures scuttled beneath bushes. I stood 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 [...]

  • Last Rites

    Squinting to read the menu through cataract-clouded eyes, Ben Jefferson turns the page with stiff fingers, their joints swollen and gnarled with arthritis. Reverend Morris, having seen the sight one too many times, shakes his head and sets his now empty Styrofoam coffee cup aside. He pulls a pair of reading glasses from his inside coat pocket and wipes them with a clean white hanky. His metal chair, probably older than Ben, creaks and groans 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]