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

  • Running the Gauntlet

    In the country town, where she had lived all her life, Connie’s only route to her sister’s flat was along Wash House Terrace, past the home of her former school-friend, Elsie Diggle. Once, during a heatwave, she had removed her shoes, to creep past unnoticed, but that was impossible on this damp November day. Coming straight from the drawing office where she worked, Connie’s shoes had a high heel, making her footsteps louder than she Read more [...]

  • Cold Turkey

    The snow reflects moon-silver, softening the Norfolk landscape, and the wind carries scraps of carols on its wings. Tom shakes himself to clear snowflakes from his snood, his wattle flapping. Tom’s a bigger turkey than me. He teases me about my ‘superstitious nonsense’, but I have this nagging feeling. Two children walked past yesterday and one said, ‘Nearly Christmas.’ Whatever that means. I sidle over to the hole in the fence, squeeze through and plop Read more [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]