The Sunday Stories of 2011: Part Three

Posted by Tobias Carroll

For the last month of 2011, we’ll be looking back at the year in Sunday Stories: providing excerpts from, and links to, some of the stories and essays featured on Vol.1 this year. This week: explorations of distant cities, other countries, subcultures, alternate histories, and more. If you’d like to view the complete list or submit a story or essay for consideration, please do so.

“Obviously, The Huffer got his nickname because he would huff anything to get high — permanent markers and model airplane glue being his favorites. The Huffer would wander the aisles at The Hobby Bench and stuff tube after tube of noxious dreams into his pockets — this was before the store realized that kids were rolling in there and stealing all of their possible inhalants and putting them in a locked cage behind the counter.”
Sean H. Doyle’s “The Huffer” (May 1, 2011)

“Say the name of a drug you want in Berlin and it will be in your hand the same day. The park is full of strange men and women. We give them all nicknames: Is that the Tunisian PCP guy? Is that the demon Nazi guy? Hey, there’s white shirt dance man. Is that the punk? We don’t know their names and they don’t know ours. But until the pre-dawn we all sit together in a circle lit with tea lights and dogs and hash and guitars and bottles.”
Chloe Caldwell’s “Berlin: Strange Like the Music of The Doors” (June 26, 2011)

“Boch Industries grew five hundredfold in the years following J. Howard Boch’s death. Raymond took full credit in his 1993 book, How to Draw Blood from Vampires, on management strategy, but scholars today scoff at this self-aggrandizing fluff, pointing instead to Julius’ magical innovations. Boch Energy pioneered deep-sea oil extraction; Boch Defense’s Typhon II revolutionized celestial missile guidance; Boch Financial was the first firm to employ the now-standard Boch-Winkler model for pricing exotic equity derivatives. Fellow scientists called him an alchemist. “Give me red tape,” he liked to say, eyelids drooping sheepishly, “and I’ll give you toilet paper.””
Samuel Cooper’s “Divus Iulius” (August 8, 2011)

“The cat followed us up Allie the actress’ impossibly long staircase up the side of the hill. At the top of the stairs was a great view. We could see all the way to theHollywood sign and Griffith Observatory. The brown hills seemed to glimmer in the distance. We knocked on the door and the tiny young actress came to the door greeting us with a hug and a kiss. She led us into the kitchen where we opened the bottles of wine, and then we went back out the front door and sat on some wicker chairs. The girls lit cigarettes and began gossiping.”
Justin Maurer’s “The Actress” (November 6, 2011)

“Joe, so you know, Peter and I come from the same town sprawling along grassy banks of the quiet Ros River. I hail from the Ros River’s east bank and Peter is from the west bank. In my town the west bank was commonly referred to as ‘beyond the river’ or Riverbeyond if you will. Not many boys from the East dared to come over there due to a solid chance that roaming, wild gangs of Riverbeyond would receive them in the least friendly manner.”
Stas Holodnak’s “Riverbeyond” (April 10, 2011)

“Erica tried to explain all this to Taiga. In Taiga’s country there was no infrastructure. It had been destroyed by years of civil war. We had a civil war once but it was a long time ago, Erica said. Taiga wasn’t interested in hearing about it. Civil wars are civil wars. Is this a warehouse? he said. This is a café, she said. But everything in this café was made in a warehouse. Even me, she said. You were made? Taiga said. I was born in a hospital, but the hospital was a warehouse. They have tall ceilings and cross beams that are very beautiful, Erica said.”
Brian Mihok’s “A Country of Warehouses” (July 24, 2011)