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 Short stories

  • Just a Cat

    It was 2.56am when it occurred to Emma that she could not remember the name of her childhood friend’s cat. Lindsey had been her timid next-door-but-two-neighbour, and her cat had been completely black with an incongruously bright pink nose. Emma’s daughter had reminded her of the creature that evening. ‘A kitten got stuck on the gym roof today!’ Lucy’s voice was thick from the garlic bread she hadn’t quite swallowed. Emma looked at her sleepily, Read more [...]

  • The Other Woman

    I had hoped – selfishly I’ll admit – that after her death, he would be able to forget her. This, however, was not the case. I sit beside him now, a stone’s throw away from Land’s End, on a makeshift wooden bench. Soft and brown, the bark having peeled off long ago; leaving behind a smooth surface. When the storm comes and the waves from the sea reach up this high, our resting place can Read more [...]

  • Big-Head’s Tale

    Where do we come from – What are we – Whither are we bound?1   * My name is Big-Head, and this is my Tale. The World is Flat. This is what I was told when I was little, and I knew it to be a truth once I had been taken to see it with my own eyes. There were some, very few, who held that the World is round, like a ball, but Read more [...]

  • Clear Your Plate – Part Three

    DINNER   ‘Happy birthday, laopo.’ Emmeline beamed, her soapy fingers trying not to drop the phone into the kitchen sink. Such tiny things, the phones these days! ‘Thank you, dear.’ ‘I’m sorry I can’t come home early this time. New boss, you know…’ ‘Of course, it’s okay. We’ll have dinner tonight.’ ‘The kids are back, right?’ ‘The kids…’ Well, they had been back – school ended two hours ago – but they’d come in, had Read more [...]

  • What My Father Told Me

    My father said that he could hear them coming long before they arrived, long before they burst out of the bush, surrounded by villagers, the engine of their truck screaming, everything dipped in noise. He was twelve years old when they came – the same age as his father, my grandfather, had been when the old white explorer came into his life, sick and dying. I have seen pictures of the vehicle, in the archives Read more [...]

  • Misper

    Strong boots stomp the tarmac and stop right next to Geoff and me. Wet leather and sheep muck leap up my nose. There’s a strange hand in my fur, big-fingered. I lick the palm – urgh, tastes of engine oil. And the voice that belongs to the hand shouts over the beast in the sky: ‘That missing girl… I saw her. About ten this morning. Trudging along the path between the end of my field Read more [...]

  • Winter, 1963

    A well-aimed kick winds her; gasping, she bends double. Late afternoon, deep-dark February, and on the snaking branches of the common limes outside, snow sits tight, a vanilla crust ready to drop. She knows it won’t fall. There’s not a breath of winter wind. The air, it’s freezing. Another, insistent kick, a dense heel to her soft stomach, and now her belly is a Wurlitzer, the baby zealous for thrills and spills. She spreads the Read more [...]

  • Money to Burn

    The rich always die last, the old man croaked. His voice whipped away, swept across the white scoured snow-surface of the plain. Friend leaned forward trying to catch the tail end of his words. The man’s eyes were black, yellowing skin around them, red patches on his cheeks. Piss-holes in the snow, Friend thought. And hard white crystals of ice had formed on the stubble of his beard. He’s too cold for his skin to Read more [...]