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

  • 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 [...]

  • The Ear

    The waitress left their receipt on a little silver tray, along with two white mints. ‘They hurt my teeth,’ said Ellis. Trix put one in her mouth, the other in her handbag. Two men at the next table stared at her. ‘You have some admirers,’ whispered Ellis. She made a face. ‘Ready?’ she asked. He held up a finger. ‘Give me a minute.’ She waved him towards the toilets. ‘I’ll wait at the doors.’   Read more [...]

  • She Picks Up The Cat

    She picks up the cat, climbs the stairs and closes the bathroom door softly behind her. She puts him down and slides the lock into place. He pads about on the lino and looks at her. She knows he doesn’t like the coolness beneath his paws but, for now, he will have to be patient. She runs the hot tap and steam begins to cloud the mirror above the sink. The website says: Pack an Read more [...]

  • 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 [...]