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

  • Omaha

    Nowadays I take the warmth of my cosy bungalow for granted. But, when the boiler breaks down, I recall wartime winters. My winter’s tale also takes in two beaches in summer. June 2, 1940. My father was killed at Dunkirk, helping his men into the rescue boats. My mother was left a widow with a five-year-old son and a falling-down cottage to manage. She summoned the stoical determination required of women and tackled the shortages Read more [...]

  • Coal Turf and Blocks

    In the days before Christmas the weather turned very cold and people said it would surely snow. Demand for coal, turf and blocks placed considerable pressure on my uncle’s yard. He ran the undertaking on the labour of his three sons, all big strong young fellows who were learning the rudiments of the family business. I had been drafted in to assist over the festive season. ‘Give you something to do,’ my mother had muttered, Read more [...]

  • Running the Gauntlet

    In the country town, where she had lived all her life, Connie’s only route to her sister’s flat was along Wash House Terrace, past the home of her former school-friend, Elsie Diggle. Once, during a heatwave, she had removed her shoes, to creep past unnoticed, but that was impossible on this damp November day. Coming straight from the drawing office where she worked, Connie’s shoes had a high heel, making her footsteps louder than she Read more [...]

  • Cold Turkey

    The snow reflects moon-silver, softening the Norfolk landscape, and the wind carries scraps of carols on its wings. Tom shakes himself to clear snowflakes from his snood, his wattle flapping. Tom’s a bigger turkey than me. He teases me about my ‘superstitious nonsense’, but I have this nagging feeling. Two children walked past yesterday and one said, ‘Nearly Christmas.’ Whatever that means. I sidle over to the hole in the fence, squeeze through and plop Read more [...]

  • Clear Your Plate – Part Two

    LUNCH   ‘She’ll grow up to kill you, you know.’ That was what I wanted to say, but how can you say that? Every time I see them, and smile at that poor little girl, and she tries to smile back at me, I want to seize her mother and shake her, slap her, shout at her, do all the violence to her I can see burning in her daughter’s eyes. How old is she? Read more [...]

  • Story of an Independent Mountain Girl

    The most painful time is not the day you leave home. It is the one before when you know that you’re going the next day. That day you want to take in as much as you can of your home, both in terms of comfort and the sea of emotions you experienced during the few days you’ve spent there. A homesick baby at heart you just want to inhale it all in and take it Read more [...]

  • Atoms

    She ran her tongue over his teeth in a final taste that ended him. When he was gone after her promises, she showered within the scaled cubicle, her skin puckering in the mist and toes gripping the tiles. There was mould in the corners, black spores gathering and she held her breath. She dried herself on his towel and its embrace reminded her of her father. His toothbrush was too large and the other one Read more [...]

  • Clear Your Plate – Part One

    BREAKFAST   ‘Well, my dear, I suppose that’s the only promise you couldn’t keep.’ I shut off the alarm clock and draw the curtain to allow the lazy dawn light to filter in. I gaze down at him, my dead husband. Somehow I always thought he would outlive me. He was always the strong one, the macho man who went out in the world to work for us, and then came home and let his Read more [...]