USB Stories | A Girl and Her Guitar Flash Drive

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The thing that makes a flash drive such a great promotional giveaway is its versatility. There is literally a flash drive for every situation. This is one of those stories.

A Girl and Her Guitar Flash Drive

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Ali knew a hit when she heard it. The radio wasn’t just a shuffle of pop songs, it was a gallery of notes and chords. She could see it sometimes, like sheet music being written in front of her eyes. It was only a matter of time before she wanted to write her own. Create. Notepad after notepad scrawled with lyrics came and went, each tangled up with rough sketches of musical notation, making due with the hard-ruled lines on the page. She had this. This was her album. This was the album.

Ali spent the last of her savings on a better microphone and a tablet. These, coupled with her garage, would be her recording studio. She hoped the hammers hanging by their handles on the corkboard rack would make for good acoustics.

Initially, Ali took her time recording. Playing tracks back, checking for tinniness. Re-recording into all hours of the night. Then, she saw her deadline: Edwin Mackey–the Edwin Mackey of Big Mack Records–was going to be in town for the weekend. Nobody knew why, and Ali didn’t care. She hammered out the album–did she even sleep anymore?–and had every song recorded and polished with hours to spare of Edwin Mackey’s big arrival. But when she went to burn a CD, all the songs wouldn’t fit. Dilemma.

Do I reduce the quality? No, it’s already rough enough. Cut a song perhaps? But which one? Flowers Come Fall? No, I love that one. Will You Always? It’s not even an album without that one!

As she tried to cut away songs, each one a heartbreak, Ali grew more and more hopeless. She felt like that dog trying to decide between two full dishes of food. What she really needed was a bigger dish. That’s when her eyes landed on a little keychain hanging from her mirror. A little blue guitar, a trinket from a conference her dad attended. She walked over to it and tugged the guitar in half, revealing a USB port.

The bigger dish.

Without a second to spare, she loaded the flash drive up with all her songs. She made a quick executable file that led to her music blog. At the last second, she added a video of her singing, completely unplugged. It always got her choked up. Whenever she lost passion, she watched herself belting it out and remembered why she kept at it.

She hopped on her bike to the Civic Center. This was where he was. Outside, a sizeable gathering of wannabe musicians waited. Each one tried to look casual, as if they weren’t there to try and score a record deal. The shining star inside Ali grew dimmer, but she ignored it. Finally, Edwin Mackey stepped outside the locked doors, followed by his entourage. As a whole, the crowd tightened, flocking around Mackey. Flashes of light erupted. Not from cameras, but from sunlight glinting off mix CDs and demo tapes. The murmur of the crowd grew to a roar as each person pitched why they were the next big thing. Tears, and screams, and angry shouts. Some desperate cases on the outer edges resorted to simply throwing their CDs at poor Edwin Mackey. He shoved his way through, each tape shoved in his face was like a piece of rotten fruit.

Ali, becoming very conscious of her place far outside of the crowd, turned away. Biting back tears, she knew this wasn’t the way. She wasn’t a piranha; she was a musician. As she headed back to her bike, she was shoved from behind. A careless elbow, no doubt, but it was enough to send her to the ground. The guitar flash drive sprung from her pocket. She let go a couple of those tears she’d been holding back, scrambling for the little blue guitar. Once she had it, she managed to get back to her feet.

The crowd was parting. Edwin Mackey pushed through, grumbling politely to himself. And there Ali stood. In his way.

He stopped at stared her down for a moment. The guitar flash drive trembled between her fingers. Mackey pushed his glasses up on his forehead, regarding the drive with slits for eyes.

Ali realized what it looked like. She made the move to pocket the little guitar flash drive. “Sorry,” she whispered shakily.

Then, Edwin Mackey did the unthinkable. He took the drive from her hand. The crowd seemed to freeze. He scrutinized the guitar for a moment, then plucked it apart at the seam, revealing the familiar silver port. He gave the tiniest laugh and smirked at Ali. She smiled back.

Wordlessly, he put the halves back together, and tapped the little blue guitar in his palm. Flashing Ali another smile, he continued walking towards his car. Ali saw one of the guys with him point to the flash drive and mutter a question. Edwin Mackey shook his head and slipped the drive into his vest pocket.

That shining star inside Ali swelled to a supernova.

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