Seaside Saviour


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 rescue by Matthew Hole.

Matthew Hole has been many things and he’s kept his eyes and ears open the whole time. He currently lives in the West Country of England, where he grew up, but has a history of not sitting still. He’s lived in capital cities (London, Rome) and little villages (Trull, England; Lousa, Portugal) and regularly potters around Cornwall in a campervan.

His greatest revelation was discovering the English language whilst training as a teacher of English as a foreign language. Invisible grammar rules he’d been using his whole life suddenly made themselves known to him, until everything made sense – a bit like identifying the clue that was hiding in plain sight the whole time…

His passion for language, characters, the English countryside and tricky whodunnits has led him to become the author of mysteries of his own.

‘Seaside Saviour’ follows an encounter between strangers in a down-at-heel seaside town.



A wave rolls, like a lumbering seal. The sea is a stretch of grey mounds and I wait for the next one; lazy, easy, barely moving. How I envy it. The water swells like a soft inhalation and yawns up the beach. Sums up Clenton-On-Sea, really.

My head’s banging. I got up at the crack of midday, mascara clawing black trails down my face, wig hanging on the door handle. No chance of any kindness from the filthy mirror on the wardrobe door. No hope of a little kettle on a tray or a complimentary coffee sachet or a chipped mug to put it in. The trickle from a lukewarm shower was all I had to shake me awake and here I am, blinking into the daylight, such as it is.

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