Masie watched as they touched down at the airport and her father had to keep her from bolting from the ramp to the terminal. She couldn’t wait to catch a cab to Schonbrunn Palace. She had pictures of it on the internet and saw on their site they were doing tours. They checked their luggage in the airport so it would be secure while they toured the palace.
Maise jumped up and down on the balls of her feet as the cab pulled up to the curb and the driver got out to help them get into the car. She plastered herself in the window of rear driver’s side to see everything on the way.
When they got out of the car, her father put a hand on her shoulder, “I know you’re excited, but you need to try to calm yourself at least.”
She nodded, but stood bouncing as her father paid the driver. They turned and she stopped in her tracks, bounce and all.
George smiled, “I see your bounce is gone.”
Eyes had widened to saucers as she turned to her dad, “That castle is huge.”
”It’s not a castle. It’s a palace. A castle was built for defense and has parapets and battlements. A palace was built for royalty to show their wealth and power.”
”Oh. So, it’s like a really big mansion?”
”A super big mansion. Let’s walk to the entrance.”
She snapped pictures of the well groomed hedge rows and stood to look at the reds, purples, blues, and whites of the flowers laid out in patterns in the lawn. She went to walk toward one, but her father shook his head, “You’re not allowed to walk on the grass, Masie. Just take pictures from around it.”
He had stifle a chuckle when they reached the entrance and Masie followed the façade from the first step up, up, up the columns to the arches and then the roof. “I feel so small. How big were the people that lived here?”
He laughed, “Not much bigger than me, Masie. They wanted to show the world how rich they were. So, they built Schonbrunn to show them. You know. You’re mother’s favorite composer played here.”
”Yes, you remembered!”
”Yup, mom doesn’t think I pay attention when she talks about her music.”
”You do a good job of acting like you aren’t interested.”
”It’s pretty good stuff to study to and relax to.”
”That it is.”
She grumbled about the camera on her phone as she fiddled with the settings to do the alabaster columns justice in pictures. The gold accents on the columns glinted from the light of the gilded chandeliers she thought she could touch if she was tall enough, but it was the murals on the ceiling in this hall that made her gasp.
She forgot all about the camera for a moment as she looked up at the fresco. She tried to take in all the details of the horses, angels, and clouds. Her eyes followed around the edges to the people that had been painted there who lounged, rode, and stood on the border of the piece. Her father ad to stoop to catch her camera as she pointed up at how the clouds melded each part of the scene seamlessly. The blue of fresco let her see the break in between each cluster of subjects painted, but she couldn’t take her eyes off the center.
Behind them was someone looking at Masie. His cell vibrated in its holster.
“Yes, I am trailing the girl. I have yet to see the map she is carrying. Will update you as I receive new information.”
Her father put a hand on her shoulder, “Aren’t you going to take a picture?”
”What? Huh?” She looked at her father, “How do you even set up to take a picture of this? No matter how I look at it, it’s like there is more to see.”
”Yes, I know. It’s beautiful.”
”That doesn’t even begin to cover it.”
She did her best to take a picture of the fresco before they moved on. Room after room, she had to stop to take in the richness of the colors and the contrast of the gold on the wall to the furniture in the room. When it came time to catch the cab back to the airport, she looked at her father, “Can we come back here on a vacation, dad?”
“I think we might be able to manage that Masie. You want to see more palaces, don’t you?”
They made their way to to the airport, got their luggage, and something caught Masie’s eye. There was someone standing there in a suit glaring at her. He diverted his gaze when she looked at him and walked away with short and quick steps.
“Dad?” She put her hand on her father’s back, “I think someone is following us.”
“Masie, you’re letting your adventurous spirit get the better of you. Who would want to follow us?”
Shrugging, she lifted her small bag, “I don’t know, but considering we don’t know what we’re going to find, it could be anyone.”
It’s your turn:
A. They arrive in Berlin to find their luggage arrived somewhere else.
B. They make it to the hotel to find someone has been through their gear.
C. Everything is fine when they arrive at the hotel, but Maisie thinks she sees the man from Austria checking into the hotel across the street.
Place it in the comments below to continue the adventure.
What will happen when they get to Berlin? It’s up to you!
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