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

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 Audition

    Hi Sis Well that’s great news winging its way over here to scorching Sydney (God it’s hot!). Got yourself an audition, and with a proper orchestra too. Good job one of us terrible trio ended up with some talent. Only thing I’m good at is fouling up relationships, but won’t go there now, not with how you must be feeling. When is it? Real pain we are so far apart. Goes without saying that you Read more [...]

  • Murder on the Duchy Estate

    Chapter 1 The Duchy of Lancaster’s housing estate in Harrogate is described euphemistically by local estate agents as ‘The favoured Duchy Estate’. It was built towards the end of the Victorian era for the successful merchants of Harrogate’s booming spa town, and consists of large stone and redbrick properties, many sporting mock Tudor gables. The houses were built on a grand scale and typically featured five or six bedrooms, sometimes more, and included coach houses Read more [...]

  • Mr Veron

    When Susan recalled how she had been in the summer of ’68, when she had first gone flat-hunting in Edinburgh, what came into her mind, with a rush of embarrassment even after all these years, was her youth, her innocence and her unshakeable belief in the values that her parents had imposed upon her throughout her childhood. In retrospect, she now saw she had been looking for an ivory tower, or at least a cell, 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 [...]

  • Scablands

    1.   ‘I’ll cane you, boy.’ The voice – baritone, resonant, strangely sorrowful – comes from the school library. The word ‘boy’ is elongated, with a slight flourish upwards, like a verbal serif, ‘I’ll cane you, booooooyyy.’ The new first-year boy hurries past the library door, trembling, near tears: what kind of place is this, where even libraries threaten you with the cane? ‘I’ll cane you, boy’ follows him down the corridor. At the end Read more [...]

  • 1807

    April 13th 1807 I was hiding in the closet with a sock stuffed in my mouth. Short shallow rapid breathing. I tried with great difficulty to not make a single sound. They were like lions cleverly preying strategically on an unsuspecting plump gazelle. Peering through the slight crack, I watched on as the bright flames of the torchlights glared through the windows, resonating against the pitch-black sky. I sat, frozen, aghast. They had found me. Read more [...]