In October, Carrot Ranch ran a series of contests instead of hosting weekly prompts. Judging for the events is completed, and the result of the interesting challenges are posted. Please take a moment to read them here: www.

For my part, I entered all of the contests, and in light of the high-quality stories from all the entrants, I’m thrill to have won one! I posted the winning entry in an earlier post. It’s title is “Like Retribution.” However, I’ll post my other entries here now that the judging is completed. 🙂 Below is my entry for #FFRodeo #3 designed with a magical twist by Jules Paige. Find the rules and winning entries here:


Winner of Flash Fiction Contest #3

My septolet-containing entry was Russet Leaves Jacob found the scrap of parchment while raking Oma Rochinka’s yard. In shaky handwriting were the words:

Russet leaves

Reveal skeletal keys

Otherwise hidden

Toadstool rings

Powdered, infused, consumed




He slid it into his pocket. Maybe Oma’s writing poetry.

He raked and wondered which of the leaves qualified as russet. He picked a couple, sniffing their elegant decay, and slid them into the warmth of his hoodie’s pocket. Music crooned from his left earbud, but he left his right ear music-free to enjoy the last autumn bird songs. Red-capped mushrooms made a circle at the foot of the maple tree. Wonder if that’s russet? He picked a couple and slid them beside the leaves, determined to ask.

Jacob tapped the song’s back-beat. He played with his high school band, but he aspired to create a country music group. Trouble was, nobody around wanted to put in the work required to make a go of such a thing. When people heard about his dream, they laughed and said, “Better have a back-up plan.”

After Jacob bagged the leaves, the old lady beckoned. Inside a small room crowded with old-world charm, delicious baking smells enveloped him.

“Good work, Jacob. Have some cobbler.”

Oma always baked something delicious for him. As he tucked in, he handed her the note. “Is this yours?”

Her eyes twinkled behind chained spectacles. “No, it belongs to you.” She produced a mortar and pestle. “Well, let’s have them.”

He knew Oma too well for surprise. He set the mushrooms and leaves on the table. “Are they russet?”

“Near as I can tell. Crush them into a powder.” She dropped the results into a bottle of rosewater. “When you’re ready, you drink. This’ll guide you.”

Jacob never questioned, but accepted the bottle and its future.