Whitney K-E

A Night in Galway - A Saint Patrick's Day Tale

Walking into The Quays, Alaina smiled as she took in the celebrations before her. The place was packed.

The Saint Patrick’s Day parade goers had finally left the streets, filling the pubs to continue the festivities. Pints of Guinness lined the bar, each pint in a varying stage of being prepared for its consumer. The pub was decked out, green streamers, leprechaun figurines and shamrocks dominating the décor.

As she made her way towards the area where her friends were supposed to be seated, Alaina struggled to part the emerald sea of people. Above them, a band played The Rocky Road to Dublin, the lead singer doing his best to keep up the pace. The energy of the song filled her chest and Alaina tapped her hand against her thigh, mimicking the rapid beat. She smiled when the crowd let up a cheer when the last line of the song was sung. Looking up to the stage above, she giggled at the sight of the shaggy-hair vocalist’s reddened face and weary smile. The song was quite a feat, the pace almost impossible to keep. Not that that stopped many a drunken Irishman from trying to do it a slurred justice on their way home in the early hours of the morning. It was as if they believed themselves to be the next Dubliners!


Alaina couldn’t contain herself when she spotted her best friend, Sineàd and let out a laugh. Sineàd’s usually straight hair was now a bouncing tangle of curls and dressed in the same step dancing dress she’d worn last year, Sineàd was an instant reminder of the happenings of their last Saint Patrick’s Day celebration.

‘Oh, Sineàd! Please promise me you won’t get up on the bar this year.’

Sineàd grinned and her green eyes held a sparkle that told Alaina that those were her exact intentions. ‘What are you on about? Of course I am! In fact, the manager here enjoyed my performance so much last year, that I am here on invitation. I’m tonight’s final act.’

Sharing a look with Ger, Sineàd’s boyfriend, Alaina sucked in her bottom lip.

Ger shook his head. ‘Over my dead body,’ he said in a low tone, though the hint of a smile on his lips betrayed how much the image amused him.

‘Hey! If I hadn’t jumped up there last year, you’d had brought me a drink,’ Sineàd reminded him, giving him a playful shove.‘Admit it, this dress is the reason we’re together.’

Ger chuckled. ‘I thought the reason we were together was because we love each other?’

Sineàd shrugged. ‘It contributes.’

Alaina laughed and Ger just smiled.

‘So what took you so long?’ Sineàd asked Alaina, turning back to her.

Alaina raised her eyebrows at her friend. ‘I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but half of Ireland has come to Galway to celebrate today. The traffic was terrible. On and off the road!’

Her friend laughed and waved a hand at her. ‘Oh, it’s not that bad.’

Ger snorted and lifted his pint to take a sip. ‘My arse it is!’

Sineàd giggled and pulled out a stool for Alaina to take.

‘So, are you ready to show off your Irish pride, my friend?’ Sineàd asked with a wink.

Alaina bit her lip, though it hardly stopped her from smiling. ‘As long as it doesn’t see me up on the bar later tonight.’

Sineàd grinned. ‘I won’t promise you anything.’

‘Seen anyone we know?’ Alaina asked.

‘A few.’ Sineàd eyes scanned the crowd. Her eyes lit up. ‘Ger, isn’t that your cousin?’

Frowning, Ger followed Sineàd line of sight. He groaned. ‘Oh, Lord…’

Frowning, Alaina turned to look over her shoulder. Near the bar, she spotted a man dressed as a leprechaun holding a jug of Guinness in his hand. There was no mistaking him as the source of Ger’s embarrassment and as Alaina watched him and a mate scull down a jug each, she felt her smile widen. The group of men surrounding the two men chanted, bellowing the words,‘down, down, down!’

A cheer went up when an empty pint was raised.

‘Hey, Liam!’

The man who had won, looked up at the sound of his name, his eyes falling on the three of them. His face lit up with recognition and Alaina felt her insides flip.

Even dressed in a ridiculous leprechaun outfit the man was gorgeous. He had shocking green eyes, eyes that held a cheeky gleam. He was a sure competitor for Prince Harry when it came to ‘The World’s Best Looking Ginger’ award. He had a handsome face and toned body and as he drew closer, Alaina felt her breathing slow.

‘Ger! Sineàd!’ Prince Harry’s competitor leaned over and grabbed hold of his cousin’s hand. ‘What are the chances?’

‘Liam. What are you doing in Galway?’ Sineàd asked.

‘Here with a couple of the boys for the weekend.’Liam glanced sideways at Alaina and looked her up and down. ‘Who’s your friend?’

Alaina blushed.

‘This is Alaina. We went to school together.’

Liam’s smile widened to expose two rows of perfectly white teeth. Turning to face her, he offered her his hand. Alaina took it and smiled back. ‘Nice to meet you, Alaina. Enjoying yourself tonight?’

‘I’ve only just started.’

‘Then you’ll be needing a drink?’ Liam winked at her, the gesture making her heart skip.

Alaina opened her mouth, but couldn’t seem to get out a reply. Sineàd close then to kick her under the table, jolting the words out of her.

‘Ah, sure. I’d love one.’

Liam’s eyes sparkled with amusement and he nodded. Inviting Ger to come with him, the two men left, leaving Alaina and Sineàd alone.

‘Jeez, Sineàd! Did you–’

‘Oh, my God. Alaina!’

A smile broke out over Alaina’s face just as Sineàd’s hand wrapped around her forearm and the first few strings of ‘Galway Girl’reached her ears.

‘It’s our song!’

Sineàd dragged her into the crowd, a crowd that had already begun to sing the iconic song. The two girls joined in, raising their hands up above their head as they danced together, twisting and twirling each other around. The pub was filled with voices, the lead singer barely audible over the cheers of his audience.

From the bar, Liam Kelly watched the dark haired woman with stunning blue eyes, transfixed by her as she danced with her friend. She stood out in the crowd and her radiant smile made it impossible for him to rid the one on own his lips.

‘Not thinking about a Galway girl are you, cousin?’

Liam’s looked over take in Ger’s amused expression before returning his attention to Alaina. He chuckled. ‘Perhaps.’

Ger nudge him and hand him two of the drinks. ‘Be weary, cousin. As the song says, there ain’t nothing quite like a Galway girl.’

The Storm - 25/09/12

Looking out the window, Sarah bit her lips as she took in the turbulent scene outside. It had been raining non-stop for a week now, the patter of rain on the tin roof that sheltered her head getting heavier, louder with every day that passed. At first she’d been relieved; the sound of rain sweet promising lush green pastures and an end to the drought that had plagued her homeland over the last few months. Yet, when the rain had not let up, the sky continuing to darken as the wind battered the small cottage she lived in, her worry intensified. The flash flood warnings had finally been sent out and her brother, Dan and husband, Andrew had set out to muster the steers that grazed on the river flats, leaving her here to wait and wonder.

Walking over to the fireplace, she crouched down in front of it. Harley, one of the working dogs, laid down beside her, huffing as he settled his head atop his big paws.

‘I know,’ she said, scratching the dog behind the ears. ‘I miss him too.’

The dog’s ears pricked and suddenly, he was bolting for the door, barking as he went. Rushing to the window, Sarah peered out, searching for two riders. It was hard to see through the rain but finally she spotted a lone rider. Fear sunk its teeth into her. As the rider near, her anxiety increased when another did not appear.  Turning, she raced to the door, flinging it open just as the rider pulled up and swung down from the horse that danced beneath him. Leading the horse behind him, the man stepped into the light. Filled with both relief and worry, she ran toward her brother, latching onto his arm, her heart racing in her chest.

‘Where’s Andrew?’

If you loves these tales, why not check out Whitney's debut What Happens in Ireland?

Have you ever wondered what happens in Ireland?
When Australian, Kate Barrow, meets a handsome Irishman in a Dublin bar, she has no idea that he is about to turn her world upside-down and inside-out.
In Ireland to take on a position on a thoroughbred stud, Kate is shocked when her manager-in-co reveals himself to be the same man she’d met in Dublin.
Jack is drawn to Kate. The problem is, she won't have him. But Jack has always loved a challenge and the intriguing woman from Oz is one he cannot resist.
Harbouring the sting of another man’s betrayal, Kate is certain she wants nothing to do with love and nothing to do with Jack O’Rielly. But when naked torsos, Mother Nature and dysfunctional umbrellas start plotting against her resolve, she realizes the charms of an Irishman are going to be hard to resist.

All work on this page belongs to the Author, Whitney K-E and cannot be reproduced in any format without the authors permission. ©Whitney K-E 2012

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