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

  • 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 [...]

  • Lulworth Cove

    Lulworth Cove. Don’t you wish you were there? Like an ear carved in the sea – a big blue ear – fringed round with pure white sand. A picture in one of the magazines lying around. They have magazines. And a cupboard full of knitting wool and jigsaws. Have we been to Lulworth Cove? He texts the wife to ask. You can just about see the Mersey through the windows, steal a glimpse of Albert Read more [...]

  • Charlotte’s Portrait

    It was only because the children wanted an old board game from the attic that Charlotte discovered it. The sun was shining intensely outside; bees buzzing on the windowsill after resting on the daffodils. On a day like this the children should have been running around in the garden. One of the great sins of childhood is to waste a summer day in a wintery environment. And their house was rather cold and regimented; with Read more [...]

  • The Miner

    ‘I’m writing a play for my end of year exam,’ Chloe announces. I throw my coat and bag on a chair. I got caught in an almighty shower on the way home from the office; me, the coat and my oversized bag create a little puddle on the floor. ‘Do you have to write in the kitchen? I’ve got to get the tea on.’ ‘It’s warm in here and anyway it’s a kitchen sink drama.’ Read more [...]