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 10 Minutes

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Wheel of Fortune

    I always hated the first week in December. That was when Ma would march me across the city to a Sale-of-Work in the Round Room of the Mansion House. The place would be crammed with stalls – book stalls, tea stalls, bottle stalls and stalls raffling lopsided Christmas cakes. There’d also be a second-hand clothes stall piled high with garments that reeked of damp and stale sweat. The only thing I liked was the wheel Read more [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]