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Ghosts of Burning Inn #1: Into the Limelight by Grace Templeton

Catherine Chang took a deep breath and stared into the mirror. She had no idea why she still got nervous on these concert nights. She had been doing this for years now but the nerves would always creep up on her. Grabbing her brush and running it through her thick, black hair, she thought about the reason that she was here tonight. There was a part of her that was ready to call it quits and go home. The screams from the other end were starting to get to her. She tried to shake them out.
Ghosts of Burning Inn #1: Into the Limelight
Ghosts of Burning Inn #1: Into the Limelight by Grace Templeton
Get a grip, Cath! You’ve done this before! This audience is no different from the last audience, she reminded herself. She flexed her fingers and closed her eyes. It was the same old thing, yet she still got jitters. Being a concert pianist was not easy. People always looked at her with awe because she could play without stumbling over keys. In reality, she stumbled but she knew how to cover it well. She had to practice just as much as anyone else out there. She still made mistakes and she still got upset when they were things she could have avoided. The audience never suspected a thing because she never tried to break her character onstage. To her, this was like a play but she was playing the same role every time. It was another Friday night that she was over at Club 69. It was the oddest place to hold a piano concert, but Club 69’s owner, Chet Meyer, often liked to showcase classical musicians. He was a good friend of Catherine’s father’s and was always on the hunt for something new. When Catherine pointed out that classical musicians needed more venues, he opted to make Friday night the perfect venue for them. He agreed that all musical genres needed to be explored and decided to go with this idea. Most of the audience ended up loving it. No one cared about the fact that the place was called Club 69 or that it could be a little dirty and crowded. No one minded that this wasn’t set up like a concert hall or how the strobe lights glowed at night. Catherine looked out into the audience and saw that the room was starting to fill up. This was typical for her. Even though the club normally favored rock bands and the occasional indie artist, Chet had done a good thing by inviting other musicians in. He had taken a few Friday nights out of the month and labeled them ‘Classic Nights’. These were for the pianists, violinists, and anyone who loved playing classical music. There were also ‘Jazz Nights’, ‘Folk Nights’, and the occasional ‘International Nights’ for international acts. It was to showcase the local artists and allow them to garner an audience. Although Catherine was more used to playing in big concert halls, this was a good place as well. Chet did everything he could to make everyone feel welcome. She knew that she would see many of her regulars in there. They would stop by to see her and even get some autographs. They would ask her about her latest endeavors and she would tell them. The usual audience was a great group. They knew Catherine from previous concerts or from somewhere else. Some were family friends, some were classmates from school, and some were just people who liked her music. They always wanted to know what was going on outside of the music. During the day, Catherine had law school and work. She was still trying to get through her studies while balancing her time at Locke and Tanner, the law firm she had an internship with. Those were good things in her life. She did enjoy being a law student and she did like the atmosphere in the firm. Somehow, within the last few months, some of her excitement had died down. She hated to admit it, but she had been stuck in a rut. Work and school were like a later, rinse, and repeat process now. Nothing about her life was extraordinary. She got by with what she had and that was it. Not even the audience could excite her. On the outside, she would fake her smiles and pretend she was having a blast. Inside, she felt like crumbling.

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