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

  • Reflections

    Night in the country has an inkiness about it altogether unlike night in the city. I stood in the garden of our new home and let the darkness pour itself around me. The only light came from stars tossed like glitter across the arc of the sky and a thin curve of moon shining on the black water of the pond. The wind breathed through the trees and small creatures scuttled beneath bushes. I stood Read more [...]

  • The Gift

    The daffodils in the garden are in full bloom. Nafisa is looking at them through her window with that wistful look, as though a longing has filled her heart. In the opposite house Solomon is working the ground, tilling the dirt, preparing the beds for the growing season. His ginger cat, a rusty old girl named Gulmohar, is sitting next to the would-be lettuce bed, licking herself clean. Solomon has an unkempt beard and a Read more [...]

  • Last Rites

    Squinting to read the menu through cataract-clouded eyes, Ben Jefferson turns the page with stiff fingers, their joints swollen and gnarled with arthritis. Reverend Morris, having seen the sight one too many times, shakes his head and sets his now empty Styrofoam coffee cup aside. He pulls a pair of reading glasses from his inside coat pocket and wipes them with a clean white hanky. His metal chair, probably older than Ben, creaks and groans Read more [...]

  • How Barbara Hepworth Learned to Love Holes

    SUMMER 1939 ‘Are we there yet?’ I asked Ben, creasing a sweet wrapper into a triangle shape. I never can stop working. ‘You asked me that five minutes ago, and no, nowhere near.’ Ben is staring at the thin sliver of road ahead, only illuminated by our headlights. ‘How long then?’ ‘Barbara, I’ve told you, it’ll be hours. We’re not even into Cornwall yet.’ ‘Drat the war! Drat the Germans!’ I raise my voice in Read more [...]

  • Words Are Not Enough

    The sounds he makes are strongly speech-like. Hearing them out of the corner of your ear, you might assume they are coherent talk. They aren’t, but to anyone who knows him well and hears him in the right context, they make sense. ‘It’s a fag then young Tony? It’s raining though.’ He responds. There is a tone of anguish in his babble. ‘OK, I’ll get an umbrella. Try to keep some of the rain off Read more [...]

  • A Special Gift

    The snow started on Friday around four o’clock. Small flakes at first, fluttering half-heartedly in a light breeze. Eventually, it began to lie and in the tapering light the sky became grey and threatening. A silent darkness followed and I could no longer see Braithwaite crag on the moor top. By five-thirty the wind had picked up and the flakes were much larger and that’s when the blizzard set in and blotted out everything. When Read more [...]

  • The Osprey at Dusk

    I drive. You said you were tired, hadn’t slept all night. The journey to the Lakes takes longer than I remembered. There are more cars on the road, the lorries are bigger; they conspire to keep me in the slow lanes, and new underpasses baffle me. Between the shrug of a shoulder and a sigh, you dig me out, snipe about my driving skills, but I take it. I make a show of forbearance even Read more [...]

  • Tortoiseshell

    Each morning one of the staff wheeled Mr Aiken from the room where he slept, along the corridor and into the big lounge with all the chairs. Today it was a young man. Mr Aiken did not know him. They did not talk. Usually he was parked against the wall, facing towards the television. Some days he made a fuss until they moved him to where he could see the garden. However, the young man Read more [...]