Fiction | Fantasy

Sour Salty Orchestra

When beasts attack the surface of the Earth, humans are forced to flee and hide underground, unless they are looking to become a beast snack… sour or salty.

Stephen Kramer Avitabile
6 min readMar 7, 2023

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A beast attacking an orchestra — AI image using Midjourney

This story was created by first taking the names of one song and four bands, and then doing a play on each name, quite often making it the opposite of what it originally was. Can you guess which spots include the one song and the four bands?

My father was in the Sour Salty Orchestra. He didn’t know this at the time of joining, he only found out once the beasts attacked.

He was in the middle of a performance when a two-story tall beast burst through the wall and began picking off people one by one, devouring them whole. Each time he ate one he stated how they tasted.

“Sour.”

“Salty.”

“Sour.”

“Sour.”

“Salty.”

The entire strings section was labeled sour. Most of the woodwinds were salty. The French Horn got no complaints.

My father was the only one to escape that building with his life. He was crafty. He ran when he needed to. He hid when he needed to. That’s how he stayed alive on the surface for so long during The Beast Times.

The entire world was under attack. Everyone retreated to underground lairs, or they lost their lives. My father was the only human who still roamed the surface. Him, plus a chipmunk. The chipmunk joined him on his fifth day of traveling the surface. The chipmunk had learned German in preparation for The Beast Times that many prophesied would happen. He thought it would be helpful. He thought German would be the language to learn to be able to communicate with people.

Unfortunately, my father didn’t know a lick of German. Only English. And enough Spanish to be able to order food at something called a… ristorant. But my father was determined to converse with the chipmunk… the chipmunk with my father. My father learned some German over the next few weeks. The chipmunk learned English. They conversed in fragments. It was enough.

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Stephen Kramer Avitabile

New-England-Born, LA-Based, Universally-Locally-Residentially-Unknown Writer. I have my Yellow Belt in Wordsmithery. stephenavitabilewriting@gmail.com