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

  • 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 [...]

  • Under the Apple Tree

    It wasn’t as if he really minded, after all. Well tried to convince himself he didn’t mind that much, anyway. It was only a pond for heavens’s sake. Although given the size she wanted for it, he would lose his tree. He loved that wizened, unapologetic apple tree; sitting under it reading, there in the dappled light flickering through its leaves. It was somewhere he could find some peace; sat there by himself. And he Read more [...]

  • The Saturday When Everything Changed

    6:30 a.m. Alina wakes up, brushes her teeth, applies unobtrusive makeup for school (a dust of powder and lipstick in a soft brown tone). On her way to the kitchen, where she will make the coffee, she wakes Liviu up with a soft caress on his arm.   Nothing has changed.   7:25 a.m. Alina, wearing a dark blue pencil skirt and a white shirt with short sleeves, makes her way to school. Before the Read more [...]

  • Rose Garden

    ‘Hiya Margery,’ the young woman called over the back-garden fence. ‘How’re you feeling?’ ‘Morning Tracey. I don’t feel too bad today. The pills help. I must be taking so many now it’s a wonder the pharmacy has any left for anyone else.’ Margery paused, took off her gardening gloves, pushed her wispy grey hair out of her eyes and wiped her forehead with a tissue from her pocket. ‘Anyway, never mind about me. I’m just Read more [...]

  • Twist

    It was Chubby Checker who did it, as he has done many times before. As soon as The Twist started, the dance floor filled up. There were hoots and squeals, gyrating hips, flailing arms and a competition amongst some to see who could master the ‘round and round, and up and down’ manoeuvre. Most wedding receptions like a golden oldie disco, and this one hit the spot with Tamla Motown and rock and roll on Read more [...]

  • Turn The Big Light On

    Uncle Bubbles was a small and sinewy man, known around the village for wearing hobnail boots in all seasons. I had overheard the rumours – at mass, in the corner shop – that he had webbed feet and that was the reason; but anytime I challenged my mother or sister about it, they would only smirk and ask have you ever seen his toes? When I said no, they would say well there you are Read more [...]

  • When You Became Me

    I’ve avoided this for a long time because, let’s be honest, I’ve done you no favours. I am not what you intended, you dreamed of something different. Perhaps that’s why I struggle to remember you completely: we could be expected to be like one another, but we are not. For years you sang to the night sky, sure that it would hear you. At some point you, or I, decided that was pointless. You were Read more [...]

  • Soda Jerk

    Everyone is out doing something else. Shrimp calls to me. He’s going in back, to hide amongst the potions, prescriptions and nostalgia. He can do that. As he reminds me often, ‘I’m the boss around here. You’re just the soda jerk.’   Here comes Sapphire Sam. Waddling along the sidewalk, looking like the prize hog at the county fair. Rolling in money. Wearing it badly. He opens our door. Doesn’t quite fit through. I wonder, Read more [...]