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.

Tag: Loneliness

  • Greenwood Tree

    When I was a child, I used to lie under the huge conker trees that edged the caravan park. I watched the dark dense mass of leaves stir and lift. I breathed deeply. As the sun set, the light caught on the upper branches – so far up, touching the sky – filling me with ideas and possibilities, of where my life might lead. ‘Oh, there you are, you daydreamer,’ my Mum would say, smiling, Read more [...]

  • When You’re Told Holly Berries Are Sweet

    It’s always afterwards people tell you they were worried or they thought that something wasn’t quite right. They couldn’t put their finger on it but felt something might be wrong. Virtue-signallers, one and all. I know, that makes it sound as if I’m lacking gratitude. But I didn’t know anyone wanted to help. I guess I better go back to the beginning. There was a house. An ordinary house designed for a family to live 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 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 [...]

  • Scablands

    1.   ‘I’ll cane you, boy.’ The voice – baritone, resonant, strangely sorrowful – comes from the school library. The word ‘boy’ is elongated, with a slight flourish upwards, like a verbal serif, ‘I’ll cane you, booooooyyy.’ The new first-year boy hurries past the library door, trembling, near tears: what kind of place is this, where even libraries threaten you with the cane? ‘I’ll cane you, boy’ follows him down the corridor. At the end 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 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]