THE HARDEST PART was never the playing. It was forgetting you had an audience.
Between tunes, Aisling picked up her pint glass and took a long draw of Galway Pradesh Stout. Aisling had drunk it the world over, but it never tasted as good as it did at home. The original Galway brewery might have been lost in The Blast, but fortunately there had been a backup location in the wee village that later grew to become New Galway.
Fortified, she raised her fiddle and bow again. A deep breath pulled the music from out of the air. In the moment her eyes were closed, all the people in the packed pub vanished from her thoughts. Aisling started a three-tune set: the ever-changing, fast-paced “The White Sign,” the bouncy, playful “Connor in the Wheelbarrow,” and the strange, jarring surprise of “Basket of Glass.” All local favorites. All tunes she’d played for the men and women of Clifden since she was a girl.
The music faded. Applause took its place.
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