“How could you?! I am Vienna’s greatest composer! I’ve written music that defied the laws of convention! Yet you took away my gift?!” Ludwig shouted at the mirror. He picked up his wine glass and angrily tossed it against the wall, shattering next to the mirror. Just then, an image appeared. The mirror began to swirl like smoke and the figure of a hooded man appeared. His face could not be seen. A Schattenmann, as they were known. In a voice that sounded as if metal was scraping against metal, Ludwig realised the Schattenmann was laughing.
“What did I take away from you?” he asked in a mocking tone.
Ludwig sat in the corner of his room, hugging himself, rocking back and forth while the high-pitch whistle kept ringing inside his head. He looked up at the mirror and miserably exclaimed, “This was not part of our bargain?!”
“Not part of our bargain?” The image of the Schattenmann flickered with every word. “If I recall, you promised you’d give me anything, in exchange to become the greatest composer the world had seen since the death of Mozart. You promised, and I delivered. And now, everyone in the world, from here on until the end of days, will know the name of Beethoven!” Ludwig held his ears and roared in rage, the ringing seemed louder than usual while the Schattenmann laughed. The image began to swirl and the hooded figure disappeared back into the mirror. Ludwig, clutching his ears, began to wail, rocking back and forth. The only sound he could hear was a high pitch whistle, believing it will surely drive him mad.
“What have I done?” He wept.