Orchestra Sweatshop

This story is taken from my upcoming book of surreal anecdotes and very short fairy tales for adults called "The Mundane Uses of Magical Objects"

They were the best musicians of the world. They were the best users of stringed sticks, of hollowed wooden boxes, of metal tubes and alternating black and white strips. They had the most harmony-generating brains, the most sensitive fingers and the most skillfully expanding cheeks, able to blow and pluck out the soul's deepest sorrows and transcendent delights. They were the orchestra that could play for the gods but they played their music underground in sweatshop conditions!

The results of their playing was broadcast secretly by a trio of young men who had surround speakers built into the fabric of their clothing. And when they went about their daily lives, they used the best orchestra in the world to highlight key scenes and memorable moments. This especially worked on girls, who were impressed by suddenly playing romantic soundtracks and proceeded immediately to kissing and adventurous intercourse.

The story of how the trio of young men procured the orchestra involves the inherited privileges of the Secret Society of Orchestra Users that began this practice at the time of Mozart, who was the first to be abducted underground (with the myth of his untimely death cleverly publicized to blame Solieri, who may not have deserved it but was still an unpleasant cookie). Being a loose and fun-loving young man, Mozart procreated profusely, birthing generations of brilliant musicians. All playing underground for the benefit of dandy masters upstairs.

On the flip side of this arrangement, the musicians toiled for very low wages (although not having many places to spend the money, being within the earth and not close to shops). And they had few short breaks and in general didn't live for too long as the conditions of their habitation were generally inhospitable and muddy.

Yet, there were mostly happy, creating blissful melodic frequencies that connected them directly to all matter in existence. That is the one point that eludes union organizers and young activitists who started to lobby for the rights of sweatshop musicians once the word got out recently. All that will happen is that the music will stop and musicians will have nowhere to play at all since the cacophonous world above is just not equipped to inspire proper melody-wrangling. And they might live a little longer but will not know the beauty only they can bring out from the otherwise clunky instruments. Are several years in the lap of perfect harmony not worth more than a lifetime under the armpit of confused blandness?

If you like this story, you can check out another one here.