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

  • 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 [...]

  • The Midwinter Marriage

    Three men asked me to marry them. I said yes to them all. Vernon March whisked me to the altar in the month which matched his name. His courtship had soothed me like a breeze, flattered me into a flutter. I wore a green gown with a wreathe of violets and primroses. They wilted nearly as fast as the marriage. First of my friends to be seduced, I boasted about my man. Ah, that Spring. Read more [...]

  • Just Another Night

    I’ve never understood the allure of New Year’s Eve. I mean, what makes that one night so much more special than the other 364 nights of the year? And am I really supposed to believe that the mere act of counting down to midnight is enough to negate all the injustices and humiliations of the previous twelve months? ‘Think of it this way,’ Josie says, sitting down on my unmade bed. ‘Tonight, when the clock Read more [...]

  • Trust

    I don’t even remember what the fight was about, but what stayed with me was her scratching my arm and screaming that I was a jerk. Succumbing to an immature fit of pique, I broke her vintage Neil Young LP by snapping the vinyl into two jagged pieces. I watched Cheryl rush out of the apartment. I sat on the sofa, outraged, and glad to be alone. When she returned, her face was slick with Read more [...]

  • Visit to the Toy Museum

    Charlie’s Toy Museum was built on an old bombsite and had been open almost twenty-four-seven ever since 1953. Charlie Walsh and his beloved but sadly late wife, Mu, loved kids so much that they had seven of their own. When their seven had wed and increased to twenty-seven, and the twenty-seven also wed, Charlie began to lose count of the number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren who filled his life with cries and screams, hopes and Read more [...]

  • Midwinter

    Four days after Beth died, Kelly started seeing her around the hotel. The first time she appeared it was just the once, with nothing after it for so long that Kelly put it down to stress. Then, two weeks later, there was another appearance. Closely followed by another. The second time Kelly saw her Beth was in room nine, where she’d been before, sitting on the bed as if newly checked in. The third time, Read more [...]