Anita’s Day


Each week, we pick a short fiction piece from our Fairlight Shorts archives to feature as our story of the week. This week, we’ve chosen a story about office life by Josephine Galvin.

Josephine Galvin is a late starter in the world of writing. She has had varied jobs including travel, education and proof reading – none of which were very lucrative, but which have provided rich material for fiction.

She has three delightful adult children, two of whom still live at home in Denton, Manchester. She only started writing seriously when her children all reached eighteen, at which point she took a risk and enrolled at Manchester Writing School to complete a one-year MA. Since then, she has had many short stories published on literary sites and in anthologies.

Short fiction is a passion. It’s such an exposed art form in which every word counts. Josephine flirts with the idea of a novel, but her tales all seem to come to a natural, and earlier, end.

‘Anita’s Day’ follows a woman as she reaches a turning point in her life.



‘Clumsy Bitch.’

Struggling with her defeated umbrella, Anita had rounded the corner of Quay Street and collided with a similarly encumbered commuter, his face hardened into a discontent not solely the result of this encounter.

‘Oh, I’m so sorry. Sorry I couldn’t…’ she offered to his retreating raincoat. Stooping, she retrieved her bag from the oily puddle where it now lay, partially submerged. It was only as she mounted the stairs to the glass entrance hall of Flightline call centre that it occurred to her that he was equally culpable.

In the empty lift, Anita rummaged in her canvas bag for indigestion relief. Her fingers brushed the letter that had escaped its envelope. She touched it gingerly, fearful that it had become damp, but it was well protected in a small plastic folder. She exhaled slowly in relief.

Dear Miss Brown,

Thank you for the tape. We are delighted to…

The lift stopped on the fifth floor but no one got in. She pressed the button for the eighth, where she got out and let herself into her office: the size of a largish cupboard.

Read more…