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Monuments of men are immortalized in momentous moments but even more momentous are mortal men making mere moments monumental.

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And there before her, written in the sand


Were the promises he’d made of the life they’d planned


‘Marry Me?’ engraved in the grainy tan shore


Everything she’d always wanted and so much more


But not every lover’s oath can withstand the crashing waves


She looked on with horror as his love washed away


With gentle tears she whispered ‘No’


Then slowly turned to go


The changing tide erased her future from her outstretched hand


His empty words were just…


Promises in sand

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I grew up in the foster care system. 


To most people this means bouncing from home to home, placement to placement until all the faces of the users, abusers and accusers blurred together into a melting vat of hatred and anger.


My reality was slightly skewed. I knew the face of the drug user that squandered away all of our money and most of my dreams. I lived next to the abuser who fed on my innocence and drained my trust. I regularly visited my accusers who believed me no more than a thief not worthy of the adolescent air I breathed. 


I called them 'family' and they called me "pointless."


I didn't bounce from placement to placement. Instead, I went from family member to family member asking for love, begging for a home, pleading for someone to want me. The anger built with each rejection and the hatred intensified and spread like an infection. Only I didn't hate them. I hated myself... and I hated God for making me so undesirable.


I called them for help and they called me "damaged." 


All alone with no one to know the pain in my heart or the scars seared in my eyes from the horrors I'd seen and the nightmares I'd dreamed.  Abandoned even by my demons and skeletons. Truly alone. 


I called out for a friend and they called me an "outsider."


The anger grew into a fighting rage, to prove to myself that I wasn't their slave. With every breath I fought the loathing, the oppression, the lonely aching sorrow and took another step toward the next tomorrow. 


I called them to forgive and they called me an "inspiration."


Years have gone by and many of them have left my life. The user, my mother, passed away from cancer and I loved her more than she knew how to love me. The abuser, I've heard, fled from the law and lost everything he had on the run, which isn't saying much.  The accusers still blame me, but for what I'm not sure. The only thing I ever took was a lesson in what not to be.


If I could call them right now I'd say 'thank you' for making me into the "damaged" person I am today... Because I love every part of me. In every way.

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There once was an old woman with three little pigs, and as she had not enough to keep them, she sent them out on their merry way.


 


The first that went off met a man with a bundle of straw, and said to him:


“Please, man, give me that straw to build me a house.”


Which the man did, and the little pig built a house with it.


 


The second little pig met a man with a bundle of twigs, and said:


“Please, man, give me those twigs to build a house.”


Which the man did, and the pig built his house.


 


The third little pig met a man with a load of bricks, and said:


“Please, man, give me those bricks to build a house with.”


So the man gave him the bricks, and he started the long arduous task of building his home.


 


The first little pig finished his straw house so quickly that he had time to run to the market.


The second little pig finished his twig house so quickly that he had time to cook a roast beef.


The third little pig stayed home, working tirelessly on his house of brick.


 


Along the road came a wolf, who spotted the straw house and proceeded up the porch.


He knocked.  “Little pig, little pig, please let me in.”


To which the pig answered:


“Not by the hair of my chiny chin chin.”


The wolf then shouted at the top of his lungs:


“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house down.”


So he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew his house down, but the little pig had already snuck out the back.


And while the wolf searched the wreckage for traces of his next meal, the little pig ran to his friend’s house.


 


Angrier and more hungry than before, the wolf continued down the path and came upon the twig house of the second pig.


 “Little pig, little pig, let me come in.”


“Not by the hair of my chiny chin chin.”


“Then I’ll puff, and I’ll huff, and I’ll blow your house to the ground.”


So he huffed, and he puffed, and he puffed, and he huffed, and though it took all of his breath and energy, he knew the meal would be worth the effort, so he finally blew the house down.


Once again the sly little pigs were smarter than he. They had eluded his capture before he even took the first puff.  They ran together as fast as they could to their friend’s house.


 


So the wolf stumbled to the last home on the road. Upon seeing the brick home he knew he had not the strength to blow it down. So he knocked on the door.


And in his sweetest little girl voice he said:


“Little pig, little pig, let me come in. I’m running away from the big bad wolf.”


The door swung open but the little pig was nowhere to be seen.


“Shut the door, my deary, that wolf is but a stone’s throw away, I’m sure.”


Upon hearing the voice, a suspicion grew inside him and he knew the little pigs were hiding under the bed.


So he gently padded to the bed and withdrew the curtains, to see the little pig lying in bed wearing a bonnet and nightdress.


“Why little pig, what small nose you have.”


“The better to avoid the smells of the barnyard.”


“Why little pig, what small ears you have.”


“The better to avoid the noise from the cows.”


“Why little pig, what small eyes you have.”


“The better to see only the truth in people’s souls.”


Feeling weary from travel and tired as could be, the wolf seized the moment to pounce on the pig’s  weak frame.


When out from under the bonnet, Little Red Riding Hood sprang.


“Oh no! Not this again!”


 


The pigs were so thankful to have Red as their friend that they baked her a wolf’s pie to take to her gran. Then they fashioned her a new fur cloak, red from the blood and sent her on her way.


"We may look tired, weary and weak, but we're not dumb."


"True, though two of us did lose our homes."


"But at least we're never alone!"


Red smiled and hugged each of her little friends goodbye. As she turned to disappear back into the woods she waved a bloody hand.


“If another wolf bothers you, just come get me. And please do not distress. I’m actually getting quite good at this!”


 


The End.

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Twas the night before Philly and all through the town    *
The RECorders were too excited to lay their heads down
Their cameras were charged by the bedside with care
In hopes that RegularJoe and the gang soon would be there
Too early in the evening to be nestled in their beds
Instead, visions of Strawberry Bootlaces danced in their heads
And Kubi in his kerchief and wearing his cap
Had just finished the next episode of "Stupid Fucking Cat"
When out in the streets, music suddenly played,
RECorders flooded the roads, in a camera parade.
To the Merriam Theatre they marched, tapping their feet.  *
Dancing to Electric Loss, filling the streets.
When they got to the theater, they noticed a glow.
But it wasn't the moonlight causing this show.
When what before their wandering eyes should appear,
But a masked man with pointed cat ears.
His companion was regular, from head to toe.
The crowd shouted and cheered to start the show.
Joe looked out at the sea of red buttons forming,
And shouted to all, "Are we RECording?!!"
Now Metaphorist, Now Tori, Now Robo J and Wirrow.
On Metafictionist, On Mirtle, On Soju Shots, Here We Go!
From the front of the orchestra, to the farthest seat.
Now dance away, dance away, dance away to the beat!
Cameras were flashing as the wildness began,
Down and up, and through the aisles, Joe ran.
Up on the screen the Outsiders Myth played,
And with fire and tears, Mademoiselle Noir was slayed.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard the work rap,
Got Iterations, now stuck in my head like a trap.
Some RECorded with cameras, some used Polaroids.
Some used microphones, to capture each noise.
The flashes around me were beautiful and bright.
As friends and neighbors clapped and cheered with delight.
Tiny Stories were read, but not in tiny voices.
Which one was my favorite? There were so many choices!
There were Good Nights, and Loops, and songs by Ppeppina.
Prehistoric Childhood and On the Road footage filled the arena.
Oh look, there's Matt Conley with a camera gripped tight in hand,
And up there, who's that, Why, it's the HitRECord band!
Every RECording device in the venue ablaze
As RECorders and Tweeters were called up on stage.
Pocket Autopsies performed of random little items.
There's a merch table in the lobby with shirts, go buy them!
A guitar comes out as Joe sings a copyrighted tune,
"Don't post this on our site, but it’s ok on YouTube."
He spoke not another word but went straight to his strings,
And filled the whole venue with melodies and dreams.
Silence fell upon us as he ended his part.
Together the crowd chanted, "Again By Heart."
"The show's not over. There'll be one more surprise.
But first, thanks to our partners, Sony and Levis."
He sprang to his feet, to the crowd he gave a whistle,
And they all flew on stage like an animated missile.
I heard him exclaim as the lights came unlit,
"Thank you! Thank you! Now go forth and make shit!"




 




 *Alternate lines for other cities:




Twas the night before DC and all through the town*


To Warner Theatre they marched, tapping their feet.*




Twas the night before Richmond and all through the town*


To the National they marched, tapping their feet.*




Twas the night before Durham and all through the town*


To Duke they marched, tapping their feet.*




Twas the night before Rhode Island and all through the town*


To URI they marched, tapping their feet.*




Twas the night before Ithaca and all through the town*


To Cornell they marched, tapping their feet.






 




***I want to give a HUGE thumbs up and hug to "ILoveCupcakes" for helping me write this. I had the idea and I went to her and said I couldn't do it on my own. And she jumped right in and helped make it what it is! Christine, you're amazing. Thank you, Thank you for writing this with me! :D <3 xoxo



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WE are the road warriors.


WE are the conquerers of asphalt.


WE are the movers and shakers of gravel and earth.


Paving our way to the dawn of a new age.


There are no limits to where we will go.


Where others see uncharted territory, WE see a new road.


We're not blind, stupid or naive.


WE just know there are no limits to what we can dream.


So while others take the path already paved,


Together, WE choose our direction, make our own way.


We blaze our own trail and tell our own tale.


WE are the movers and shakers of gravel and earth.


WE are the conquerers of asphalt.


WE are the road warriors.


WE are hitRECorders.

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Iamrobynnicole-1059962

I was wondering if your cooties might want to be friends with my cooties?

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Iamrobynnicole-1059966

I wrote this tiny story awhile back and then I came across this illustration and thought they could go well together!

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Iamrobynnicole-1102948

Thank you for the beautiful illustration that goes so perfectly with my tiny story, Bella! Your work is truly incredible. :)


 


Original tiny story: http://www.hitrecord.org/records/1085626


Original illustration: http://www.hitrecord.org/records/1102019

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I spent most of my childhood in cars. My Mom and Dad divorced when I was 4 and my Dad moved several hundred miles away. We  drove between LA and San Francisco at least once a month. I remember thinking that the road would never end. That we would be stuck in the car forever. We used to buy the compilation tapes from Shell gas station, each one with a different type of music. My favorite was the blue tape. It was Motown themed and it had some of my favorite songs on it, including "Can't Hurry Love." I listened to that song so many times on the long drives between my parents homes that eventually I wore the tape out. I held on to it even though it no longer worked.


Gradually life changed and I stopped seeing my Dad as often. We didn't do the road trips up North anymore. Instead once a summer we would drive from So Cal to Lake Havasu to spend a week at the lake house where I spent every summer as a child. The motown tape long gone, those five hours were spent listening to the best of Garth Brooks on CD. I remember how proud my Dad was when I would sing along and I knew all the lyrics. It was one of the only times I remember him smiling at me. Summers on the water were the best. The heat was so intense it would burn my lungs. Our boat would glide across the water and the wind would whip through my hair and sting my face. There were no roads, no lanes, no limits. I would sit at the nose of the speed boat and look out onto the deep blue waters, red rock mountains and smoky sunset sky and imagine a world where I belonged. The lake was my freedom, the only place I felt I could fly.


Winter road trips were even longer. We'd go to Utah in the motorhome with my Dad's parents. I hated it then. It took three days and I could never sleep because my Grandpa snored too loudly. The only thing I wanted to do was ride in the bed above the driving cabin so I could see the endless stretches of roads and mountains around us. I wasn't allowed to. These road trips were painful. There was no music. Our destination was a winter wonderland... for everyone except me. My family was filled with skiers, people who could do double black diamonds like they were the bunny slope. I was petrified of skiing. I hate the feeling of sliding, of falling, of having no control. Every year I was forced to take another lesson, do it again, and each year when I came back crying I was berated.  But still, I loved the snow. I loved that with one storm the snow could come and cover up all the tracks of the past. Erase everything that had ever been.  There was a heated outdoor pool where we lived and when it would snow the water was so warm it would create a layer of steam over the pool so thick that you couldn't see the person next to you. It was perfect for marco polo... it was perfect for hiding when you didn't want to be found, which was most of the time.


The years went on and I stopped vactioning with my family. My Grandpa died and my Grandma can no longer ski, so we hardly ever go to the cabin any more. I don't miss much of it, but I do miss seeing how happy it made everyone else. On the rare occasion that we do go, everyone flies. We have no time for road trips anymore. We sold the lake house too. The people who bought it are a lovely family with young kids. I miss those summers more than anything, but I hope they find the same freedom that it gave me.


I still love to drive. On hot days I roll the windows down and let the air sting my face. I turn on music, sometimes motown, sometimes country, and I pretend like I'm a little girl again. I pretend that I have time to enjoy each moment of my life. I pretend that we're all still together and that our love has not been strained. I pretend that my Dad is still smiling and proud of me. I pretend that the road will never end. I pretend that I'm flying, that once again, I'm free.


 

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When you left this earth you said you were going to the sky.
So I built myself wings and learned how to fly.

When I got to the edge of the atmosphere,
I looked far and wide but you weren't there.

I landed back on earth feeling cheated,
As tears pricked my eyes my soul fell defeated.
How could you leave me, you're a liar!
Or maybe I should have flown just a little bit higher?

My days turned to night,
Darkness enveloping all that was light.
I couldn't get rid of the haunting suspicion
That you hadn't really lied about your transition.

So with one last attempt I spread my wings open wide,
Unveiled the light, and flew toward the sky.

The sun was too bright, my wings started to melt
The closer I got, the lighter I felt.
I flew as high as the sun would allow,
Then I fell and fell back to the here and now.

The moment before impact, when my world turned clear.
I finally saw you again, you were standing so near. 
You caught me so briefly, cushioning the blow.
"I didn't lie. I just didn't know."

I landed ever so softly on the ground,
I searched and searched but you were nowhere to be found.

You left me again, how am I supposed to survive?
I should have been obliterated, I wanted to die. 
Don't feed me that bullshit, it wasn't my time. 
If you hadn't of saved me I'd cease to be alive. 
We'd be together again the way things were meant,
Now you're beyond the sky and I'm stuck in cement.
Buried alive without you here and no way to fly free.
My wings now scorched along with all I believed. 

I wish I could forget you or hate you for leaving,
But the pain of loving you is worth the grieving. 
For now I'm stranded, living, if that's what this is.
Until the day when I finally join you in the abyss. 

I'm sure when I see you then I'll be so glad to have you near,
But for now I'm still angry that you left me here. 
So I'll call you a liar, even though it's not true.
It's easier than admitting how much I still miss you. 

You were the one who dried my tears and healed my wounds,
Now there's no one to heal me from the pain of losing you.

I still need you now, like a guitar needs a tune,
But I'm relearning to play, not a moment too soon.
I'll play you my song when we meet again.
I'll sing you the melody of my survivor's lament. 
Until then I'll keep practicing the chords in my part,
And I'll hold onto your memory, deep in my heart. 





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I used to wear my heart on my sleeve, but you took it when you stole my jacket.

Odd, even though I'm naked and missing a major organ, you're the cold, heartless bitch.

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"What are you doing out here in the barn?"


"Searching for a needle in a haystack."


"Aww, honey. You won't find one. It's impossible, that's why people say.."


"I found it!"


"Oh, shit."


 


 


 


**UPDATE: Thank you to LittleDot for illustrating my story and making an incredible RECord. Truly incredible!!! Her illustration of this tiny story was featured on 10/16/12. Check it out!*


 


*Illustration idea- A dark cartoon style (possibly resembling a human boy or a human-like animal in clothing, etc.) playing in a haystack... With a hypodermic needle (syringe) sticking in his eye. The dark humor is that he's excited he found a needle in a haystack and doesnt care or realize that his eye is bleeding."

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