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Beethoven's Death Mask

Page 4

Peter Symons

“Let’s go. Quickly now.”

Outside it was cold, it bit into me and wouldn’t let me go.

I held my father’s hand as we walked quickly along the footpath. My arm was extended almost to the vertical as my father moved. There were no trees on the street and the buildings were too close to each other.

“What museum are we going to?”

It wasn’t the first time my father had dragged me to a museum. He said I needed improving, and visiting museums was one way he could do it.

“It’s a very important one to improve you.”

I didn’t like the city I was in. The buildings looked strange and there were no front yards. It felt wrong.

We stopped suddenly.

“Here.” My father said and dropped my hand and rummaged around in his coat, withdrawing a wallet.

We were outside a huge pink building with white windows that had little square windows in them.

“We’re here.” My father’s voice was softer now. I recognised it. He used it when he was in a good mood, after a drink, or when he was listening to music.

We walked in together and he offered some money to a stern-looking man who gave him two tickets. My father started walking quickly up the stairs on the right. It wasn’t until he was five steps up before he noticed I wasn’t with him. He turned around.

“Come on!”

Not testy this time, almost excited. I skipped up the steps and he took my hand.

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