Tally’s First Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge!

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As a first timer to the Flash Fiction Challenge, and as a Brit, I wondered if my experience would find resonance in the hearts and minds of any Carrot Ranchers who should read it. Now, after reading the previous posts on the current Flash Fiction post, I find that it’s me who’s finding resonance. There was a comment left by one of the Ranchers who used her experience of a Ghost Town called St Elmo in the Collegiate Peaks of Colorado as the basis for her 99 word story. I’ve only ever been to the US once, but I was there for 3 months, from January 13th 1997 to April 13th 1998, when I visited with my father who lives in … wait, for it … Colorado, and more specifically, in a small town called Buena Vista in the Collegiate Peaks range of the Rockies. And the bell did indeed ring out clear when I read of Amber’s experience of the Ghost Town of St Elmo. It was rendered even more ghostly the day I visited as it was covered in a foot of crisp, untrodden snow. How amazing it is to be able to reach out across a 2-4,000 mile divide and connect to someone through the arc of both time and space like that. We really are all connected. I wonder now not if any shall find resonance, but instead how many :-).

June 25th: Flash Fiction


“Something about those two trees was familiar to him. They came into view as he rounded the arc of Tor Anda’s perimeter. A memory stirred yet did not spark recollection. He shook his wizened old head and gathered his cloak about him, shutting out the nip in the November air, and began to climb the Tor. Images flashed through his mind, but faded before …

There was frustration in his eyes, but Merlin knew better than to let it show anywhere else. He reached a terrace, and there it was, the spring. He knelt, cupped hands, drank deeply, and remembered.”

If the opening scene in Merlin’s Gambit were a coin, this would be the other side of it. The other side of Merlin’s life, for now he is old and trying desperately to remember what happened on the Tor all those years ago when he was a boy who talked to the Ents, the elementals, and the Little People. This older side of Merlin will be seen a lot in Book Two of the Merlin’s Gambit Trilogy, but I’m not going to tell you how, you’ll just have to wait and see. Suffice it to say that I’m working on the outline for the second book now. Well, actually you have Charli’s Flash Fiction and Carrot Ranch to thank for that, as I find the ranch to be such a delightful place to stay awhile that I can’t get off her fb page, and this idea might never have occurred to me if I weren’t plumbing the depths to fulfil the Flash Fiction requirements.

Brightest Blessings to you all,

Tally 🙂

PS: If you haven’t visited Carrot Ranch already, you have to do so now using the link below


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  • Charli Mills says:

    So many things I want to say…but most important–I’m so excited that a flash prompt could trigger a possibility for your character in your trilogy. Yet, I’m also so excited for the connections. That you and another Carrot Ranch writer would know the same blip of a ghost town on the map. I grew up on tales of King Arthur, love anything about that mythology and occasionally my imagination wanders over to great Britain. And where does it go when it wanders across the pond? To Avalon!
    To actually see the two photos is like looking out the window at my pond in the first, and looking inward into my imagination in the second. Another Carrot Ranch writer mentioned the Gaia theory in that all life on earth is one organism. Maybe all writers drink from that same spring where Merlin kneels because we are trying to remember the connections we feel like wind stirring memories. Great flash! Thank you for joining in!

  • Tally Pendragon says:

    Oh Charli, let me sit awhile as those goosy-bump thingies subside. Yes, we are all microcosmic particles in the ever-changing canvas of the macrocosm, I do believe that, and that it does make us all somehow interconnected. There are so many more things going on in our worlds than we can ever see, that’s why I believe in the magic of myths and legends, and why my Merlin is more real to me than a trip to Sainsbury’s to do the weekly shop. Mine has been a lonesome trip, living only inside my head as I have done for so long, but then little by little the spring has trickled from the mountain tops and now it’s gathering into a little rivulet with a medieval trading post frequented by others who not only understand me but feel the same way too. Imagine how amazing it feels from my end! Amber’s trip to St Elmo was the yummy sweet icing on this week’s deliciously creamy cake!

    Very Bright Blessings
    Tally 🙂

    PS: I hope I got the general format right!?

  • TanGental says:

    Hello Tally. As a fellow Brit and Carrot Ranch Rough Writer it is good to have you on board the carousel that Charli has created. Lovely 99 word debut btw and I echo Charli’s sentiment that, if it has freed up a new idea for your trilogy that is, to lapse into Americana, Ossum.

    • Tally Pendragon says:

      Thank you, it’s good to be involved in something that triggers the synapses to fire into the right shape.

  • Annecdotist says:

    Enjoyed your flash, Tally, and to echo Geoff, there are certainly other Brits among the ranchers. Welcome to the team!

  • Sherri says:

    Hi Tally! Just to say that as a fellow Brit, it’s great to read your wonderful entry to Charli’s FF challenge! I started for the first time last week but this is the first week I’ve turned my entry into a blog post. Lovely to meet you, I look forward to reading more each week! Sherri 🙂

    • Tally Pendragon says:

      Today really is a very good day … so much to be thankful for, not least meeting someone new, who says nice things, and is another Brit! And that’s only the things on one post. I like today. Thank you Sherri, it’s lovely to meet you too 🙂

      • Sherri says:

        How wonderful to have a very good day! I hope your days have continued to be good! Thank you for your lovely reply Tally, see you soon 🙂

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