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 Short stories

  • The Midwinter Marriage

    Three men asked me to marry them. I said yes to them all. Vernon March whisked me to the altar in the month which matched his name. His courtship had soothed me like a breeze, flattered me into a flutter. I wore a green gown with a wreathe of violets and primroses. They wilted nearly as fast as the marriage. First of my friends to be seduced, I boasted about my man. Ah, that Spring. Read more [...]

  • Just Another Night

    I’ve never understood the allure of New Year’s Eve. I mean, what makes that one night so much more special than the other 364 nights of the year? And am I really supposed to believe that the mere act of counting down to midnight is enough to negate all the injustices and humiliations of the previous twelve months? ‘Think of it this way,’ Josie says, sitting down on my unmade bed. ‘Tonight, when the clock Read more [...]

  • Trust

    I don’t even remember what the fight was about, but what stayed with me was her scratching my arm and screaming that I was a jerk. Succumbing to an immature fit of pique, I broke her vintage Neil Young LP by snapping the vinyl into two jagged pieces. I watched Cheryl rush out of the apartment. I sat on the sofa, outraged, and glad to be alone. When she returned, her face was slick with 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 [...]

  • Coal Turf and Blocks

    In the days before Christmas the weather turned very cold and people said it would surely snow. Demand for coal, turf and blocks placed considerable pressure on my uncle’s yard. He ran the undertaking on the labour of his three sons, all big strong young fellows who were learning the rudiments of the family business. I had been drafted in to assist over the festive season. ‘Give you something to do,’ my mother had muttered, Read more [...]