Sly Exit


Each week, we pick a short fiction piece from our Fairlight Shorts archives to feature as our story of the week. This week, we’ve chosen a story about possibilities by Bahar Brunton.

Bahar Brunton lives and works in London. She writes fiction and theatre scripts, and has had three plays produced in London and one also taken to the 2008 Edinburgh Festival. Her third play, Dancing Feet, has recently been published by the Italian publisher Arcane Editrice, within the book Atti di accusa. Bahar also plays the violin, and in a former life she performed professionally.

Bahar cannot remember a time when she was not writing, so it is hard to say when she started. She has had some stories published by Ether Books, and ‘Naked Nancy’ was published in the Spring 2018 issue of The Frogmore Papers. She has also had a story shortlisted for the 2010 London Short Fiction Award and another longlisted for the 2014 Rubery Short Story Prize.

‘Sly Exit’ focuses on a woman considering her relationship with her husband.



Larissa, you are looking good. A fine specimen. Half the size, you have been told. Half the weight of your previous self, and you believe them, more or less. You feel able to obey orders and to love yourself a little bit more. And nobody knows.

Your duty is well and truly done. The little ones – and you will always think of them as little, no matter how much they grow − are enormous, and both impressively self-sufficient. You are magnificent, and you can and will be leaving in the morning.

Thinking this, your smile is genuine as you give him his annual birthday squeeze. And then a quick pose for the rest of the room, and the two of you can quietly separate.

You mingle. Later tonight you will have to return to his side for the last time. It will be the very last time, even though he doesn’t know it. You have decided not to tell a single soul that tomorrow you are going to be free.

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