Volume 11: Carpe Diem

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Riptide Volume 11 – ‘Carpe Diem’ – is a collection of 18 new short stories with the theme ’seize the day’ that has been variously interpreted by the chosen writers. It includes writing by Jane Rogers, Toby Litt, Robert Shearman and Jane Feaver among others. As the editors write in the foreword: ‘In these stories the characters overcome unexpected obstacles, celebrate and grieve, take charge of havoc – pause – then often make a momentous, life changing, or even life ending, decision.’

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Read an extract and view issue contents below







The Persistent Soul

Wendy Brandmark

Profound things happen to me in department stores. Once, a woman of pale face and black encircled eyes came slowly down the escalator in Debenhams calling my name. Should I know you, I whispered. When she reached me she asked, ‘Not one gentlemen caller?’

Then I remembered. She had been my mother in The Glass Menagerie, both of us Americans in London, both Southerners, but she had acted here for years, while I was just getting started. She was old for the part then, and I hadn’t heard of her since. I thought she couldn’t still be alive. 

So I was only mildly disconcerted when a girl turned to me as I sampled goat cheeses in Selfridge’s food hall and asked if I knew the golden prayer. I shook my head and plucked another morsel from the array of pepper, rosemary and charcoal goat. She too was sampling, shutting her eyes when she chewed.

 I wondered at her words, whether it was my hair which drew her, newly coloured, even though I knew how ridiculous it was for a woman of my age to have burnished blonde hair.

Table of Contents

Foreword – Virginia Baily and Sally Flint 5 

Eruption – Robert Shearman 9 

Moon Over Black Ice – Bryan Costales 23 

Pearl Pitches a Fit – Mary O. Parker 33 

Doubtful Fires – David Bausor 37 

Cadillac – Rudy Koshar 55 

The Little Library – Eleanor Knight 59 

Muerte en Mexico – Nicholas Shadowen 71 

Letter From a Tortoise – Toby Litt 77 

You Must Change Your Life – Brandon French 81 

A Fool’s Reprieve – Mark Plummer 85 

Penny for Your Heart – Lynsey May 93 

Liana, Out of Context – Sarah Evans 97 

Ding Dong Dell – Jane Feaver 113 

Mount Famine – Aiden Clarkson 123 

The Secret Carer – Kathryn Paulsen 133 

Walking in the English Countryside – Charlie Hill 149 

Conrad and Eleanor (Novel Extract) – Jane Rogers 159 

And So It Is – Michael McGlade 165 

Contributors 179