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 5 Minutes

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Greenwood Tree

    When I was a child, I used to lie under the huge conker trees that edged the caravan park. I watched the dark dense mass of leaves stir and lift. I breathed deeply. As the sun set, the light caught on the upper branches – so far up, touching the sky – filling me with ideas and possibilities, of where my life might lead. ‘Oh, there you are, you daydreamer,’ my Mum would say, smiling, Read more [...]

  • So Dad, There’s This Girl…

    Tommy Lunger got off the school bus, ran up the driveway, and went inside his house. The sun was sinking down below the horizon in the late afternoon like it always did at this time in December. There was no snow yet, but soon the ground would be white, and Tommy would have to start wearing boots to school. For now the weather was fair, though. Once inside, Tommy threw his book bag down and Read more [...]

  • When You’re Told Holly Berries Are Sweet

    It’s always afterwards people tell you they were worried or they thought that something wasn’t quite right. They couldn’t put their finger on it but felt something might be wrong. Virtue-signallers, one and all. I know, that makes it sound as if I’m lacking gratitude. But I didn’t know anyone wanted to help. I guess I better go back to the beginning. There was a house. An ordinary house designed for a family to live Read more [...]

  • The Café At Night

    I am sitting in a café at night. I have a table by the window. The café is enveloped in a soft, dim light, but this does not disturb the pitch-black darkness outside. I find it strange that even though there is light, there seems to be nowhere where the light could come from; no lamps or wall lights. I also notice I seem to be the only one here. There is a light drizzle Read more [...]

  • Ghazi

    ‘… wipe the villages from the face of the earth, stopping at nothing… liquidate the bandit group based in the villages of Upper Balkaria once and for all.’ – General Kozlov, head of Stalin’s 37th Army, Soviet Union, 1942   ***   The ‘bandit group’ that General Kozlov was referring to was the Circassians, citizens of the Soviet Union who lived in the Caucasus Mountains – villagers, mainly peasants, who refused to cave in to Read more [...]

  • The Luck of Love – Part Three

    At the Gilberts   The Gilberts were eating pasta with their three children in the kitchen-diner of their newly built red-brick house in West London the evening I met them for the first time. They asked me to join them but I said I had already eaten. Sarah Gilbert made me a coffee, using freshly ground beans, and I sat with them while they ate. She was tall and thin, with long dark hair, and Read more [...]