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 5 Minutes

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • The Luck of Love – Part One

    At the Hewitts   The Hewitts live in North London, in a big old house with high ceilings, long windows and a garden that has been photographed for a magazine. The carved oak dining room table came from the refectory of a French monastery and the teak four-poster bed was made in Goa. Mrs Hewitt bid for her furniture at auctions, one piece at a time, and she had the damaged pieces restored. She went Read more [...]

  • The Reminder

    I had just entered the main gate of the hospital when he said, ‘Hi.’ ‘Oh, hi,’ I answered, startled. ‘I didn’t see you there.’ ‘Most don’t. I’m usually too well hidden by a wall of bricks, or up to me eyes in mud to be noticed by anyone.’ He was a bricklayer, large and muscular, adding the final touches to a newly completed incinerator, and by the stamp on his overalls it was obvious that Read more [...]

  • Jennifer

    She parked her car by a cavernous, derelict shed on the edge of the beach; an eye-sore, incongruous, like a war relic. The wooden end panels had rotted; she walked inside, squinting through the dim light. Damp fungal smells permeated the air. Sheets of corrugated iron roofing clanged infernally in the easterly gale, their edges lifting and crashing, letting in transient flashes of light, enough to allow her to find the door at the far Read more [...]

  • 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 [...]