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

  • Rose Garden

    ‘Hiya Margery,’ the young woman called over the back-garden fence. ‘How’re you feeling?’ ‘Morning Tracey. I don’t feel too bad today. The pills help. I must be taking so many now it’s a wonder the pharmacy has any left for anyone else.’ Margery paused, took off her gardening gloves, pushed her wispy grey hair out of her eyes and wiped her forehead with a tissue from her pocket. ‘Anyway, never mind about me. I’m just Read more [...]

  • Twist

    It was Chubby Checker who did it, as he has done many times before. As soon as The Twist started, the dance floor filled up. There were hoots and squeals, gyrating hips, flailing arms and a competition amongst some to see who could master the ‘round and round, and up and down’ manoeuvre. Most wedding receptions like a golden oldie disco, and this one hit the spot with Tamla Motown and rock and roll on Read more [...]

  • Turn The Big Light On

    Uncle Bubbles was a small and sinewy man, known around the village for wearing hobnail boots in all seasons. I had overheard the rumours – at mass, in the corner shop – that he had webbed feet and that was the reason; but anytime I challenged my mother or sister about it, they would only smirk and ask have you ever seen his toes? When I said no, they would say well there you are Read more [...]

  • When You Became Me

    I’ve avoided this for a long time because, let’s be honest, I’ve done you no favours. I am not what you intended, you dreamed of something different. Perhaps that’s why I struggle to remember you completely: we could be expected to be like one another, but we are not. For years you sang to the night sky, sure that it would hear you. At some point you, or I, decided that was pointless. You were Read more [...]

  • Soda Jerk

    Everyone is out doing something else. Shrimp calls to me. He’s going in back, to hide amongst the potions, prescriptions and nostalgia. He can do that. As he reminds me often, ‘I’m the boss around here. You’re just the soda jerk.’   Here comes Sapphire Sam. Waddling along the sidewalk, looking like the prize hog at the county fair. Rolling in money. Wearing it badly. He opens our door. Doesn’t quite fit through. I wonder, Read more [...]

  • The Cloud Loom

    The rain begins with that soft, familiar sigh of release. No pitter-patter – not from this altitude – but a sense of falling with no confirmation of receipt. One long, diminishing descent. His heart sinks and he rolls over, hiding his face in the pillow for just five more seconds, trying to blot out the inevitable. The mean, repeating rainfall days stretch out behind, and into an imagined beyond, dreaded only because a cave of Read more [...]

  • Ready or Not

    When Misha lost her fifth baby tooth, she understood that she was going to die one day. She couldn’t say why it was this tooth in particular that had caused this revelation, but there it was, plain as the bloody molar in her palm: the truth, plucked out into the open from a place where it had been hiding, snug, and dark, and safe. To make way for something else that was, as yet, unknown, Read more [...]

  • Scars

    My mother was in Padua for the mud. A once a year pilgrimage usually made around October to help her pursue a lifelong quest for cosmetic immortality. The mud, she believes, is the perfect end of season treatment for yet another year of lifts, nips and tucks to an already enhanced and overstretched body. Mother hopes that by lying in the grey steaming goo she will achieve a blending of her various surgical procedures, resulting Read more [...]