Three Scoops is a Blast!
“Three Scoops” Is A Blast! is a collection of short stories set in the past, present and future.
While this second installment in the “Scoops” series does contain some stories about the family and the modern work environment, it branches off into somewhat longer fictional pieces than appeared in Two Scoops. These latter tales wander through time and space or consist of made-up conversations that take amusing, ironic or unexpected turns.
Praise for “Three Scoops” Is A Blast!
Includes the critically-acclaimed story “The Size of the Skip”, short listed for the 2010 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Award.
Another story, “The Seagull Poet of Butter Bay”, was chosen for inclusion in “The Best of Friday Flash, Volume One”.
“Just like your first book, this is a hit. Everyone should grab a copy!” ~ The Sunday Book Review
“Alex Carrick has surpassed himself and brought back the charm of the perfect short story. You will not be disappointed.” ~ Barbara Kent, author, Success in the Words of the Masters
The Wizard and the Rose
Liz Stuckey’s marriage to her husband, Brian, was not without its rewards. First, there was their daughter Abby who was a delightful child of eight and accounted for much of Liz’ appreciation of life. Then there was her comfortable existence in the suburbs, with a 3,000 square-foot home and a Lexus in the driveway. Of course, it was Brian who drove the Lexus, but the cachet still enveloped the whole family. Liz drove a serviceable but hardly glamorous Dodge Caravan.
Brian, however, was another matter. Most nights, he wasn’t home. He either stayed late at work or he was out with the boys, playing in a house-league game or hanging around a tavern watching one of Toronto’s numerous professional sports teams on big-screen TV. Both Liz and Abby felt some sense of betrayal and abandonment, but most of the time, they got by alright.
Liz had her own pre-occupations buried in her family history. There was a matter about which she felt a weighty sense of obligation. Perhaps there was more she could have done. Liz’ older brother Edward had turned into a troubled young man. Throughout his university years, his professors marked him as brilliant. But he’d been overwhelmed by emotional problems.
Try as they might, the Smith family elders had never been able to rescue him from his demons. Bouts of rehab and mood-altering drugs all came up short. The upshot was Edward disappeared into the legions of the homeless in the city’s core when Liz was only in her teens. She’d been too young to do anything about it then and her sense of loss and impotence never left her. There was no doubt in her mind she still had a duty to perform.
Since her father died and her mother’s health deteriorated, mainly due to heartache, Liz had adopted a new routine. For the past decade, there was one day a year when Liz would go to her friend Cynthia’s florist shop and purchase two dozen yellow roses. Cynthia would usually throw in an extra one for good measure, bringing the total to 25. Liz would sit in her car and carefully cut each blossom to a length of five or six inches, also snipping off the thorns along the remaining stems. Then she would drive downtown. This was a journey that always threw her into heightened anxiety, not only due to the traffic but also on account of what she imagined she might find when she got there. She never wavered, though, and proved she was a trooper.
She’d park the car around Sherbourne and King Streets and make her way west on foot. Along the route, she’d pause when she encountered some derelict soul and hand them one of her roses, all the while checking if a flicker of recognition might cross their face or creep into her own. Originally, she had shown pictures of her brother to some of the people she met, including social workers and the “soldiers” of the Salvation Army. Lately, though, she’d given up that effort.
Life on the streets was hard on people and the change in appearance in a short period of time could be unbelievable. She wasn’t even sure what she would do if she did meet her brother. It wasn’t as if she could take him into her home. His problems had always been too deep and ingrained. But she had to try to find him if for no other reason than to let him know she cared.