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 Café At Night

    I am sitting in a café at night. I have a table by the window. The café is enveloped in a soft, dim light, but this does not disturb the pitch-black darkness outside. I find it strange that even though there is light, there seems to be nowhere where the light could come from; no lamps or wall lights. I also notice I seem to be the only one here. There is a light drizzle Read more [...]

  • Ghazi

    ‘… wipe the villages from the face of the earth, stopping at nothing… liquidate the bandit group based in the villages of Upper Balkaria once and for all.’ – General Kozlov, head of Stalin’s 37th Army, Soviet Union, 1942   ***   The ‘bandit group’ that General Kozlov was referring to was the Circassians, citizens of the Soviet Union who lived in the Caucasus Mountains – villagers, mainly peasants, who refused to cave in to Read more [...]

  • The Luck of Love – Part Three

    At the Gilberts   The Gilberts were eating pasta with their three children in the kitchen-diner of their newly built red-brick house in West London the evening I met them for the first time. They asked me to join them but I said I had already eaten. Sarah Gilbert made me a coffee, using freshly ground beans, and I sat with them while they ate. She was tall and thin, with long dark hair, and Read more [...]

  • 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 [...]