estate pearls

Stockholm – it is not the city i was born in, but it is a city that I have chosen to call home. I remember the first months, years even, when I had to be alert constantly to take the right subway train or the right bus, the slight thrill of not really knowing where I was or quite how to get to where I was going. 

Mind you, Stockholm is not a big city as such, the the greater Stockholm area there are somewhere around 2 million people. But the city is pretty wide; it was built low and it was build wide – the city planners preferring to expand the city rather than constructing high rises.

This has meant that as the city has expanded some of the rougher parts of town, the industry areas located at what used to be the edge of town, has become prime real estate. These little pearls of grit, concrete, auto repair shops and small to medium size business that require space and low rents – and the misfits that tend to congregate towards them are dying out – vanishing – swept away by a tidal wave of “progress” and urban development. 

This photo was taken i Västberga – the last remaining of Stockholms industry areas. I am very fond of it and I have taken lots of photos out there over the last couple of years; and now I’m starting to see the signs.

Old railway cars that vanish, piles of trash vanishing – cleanliness and order are massing at the borders; and when the last bastion falls the soul of the city will be gone for ever; the only thing that will remain is a lukewarm mass of people, milling around like maggots in the decaying corpse of a city that used to be.

Stockholm, Sweden.

The bells chime happily as the door swings open, knocking against boxes and sending a stack of wicker baskets to the floor with a soft crunch. Obi sighs, lowering the cabinet he was trying to hang back on the counter top. That’s the fifth time those damn things had been knocked over. Someone should really move them before they were actually damaged.

Keep reading

Raised In Deep Water

Second ficlet for Pearlrose Week, for the day 4 theme stars/space. To say this one got away from me would be an understatement.

Summary: Pearl has a very active imagination. It’s the one unassailable sanctuary afforded her. Or: a pearl, nearing the end of her considerable tether. ~4500 words, warnings for standard Homeworld grossness. More Pearl-centric than outright shippy.

Raised In Deep Water



The handle of the parasol rests easily and familiarly in her hand, at first - the way she’s held it on hundreds of occasions, ensuring that bright sunlight reflects off Spinel’s gem in the most appealing of ways at all times. Then she stops, takes a deep breath and an infusion of courage welling up from some place she doesn’t know, and shifts her hold to resemble the way she’s seen Gems grasp a sword handle - and everything changes.

What is valued and celebrated everywhere she turns is strength and size, and Pearl has neither. Her spindly build, while providing a certain decorative elegance to her movements, would make her completely unsuited to most tactics used by Homeworld shock troops. She’s heard the speeches, of course - she does belong to a very important Gem, after all - and she’s seen the drills and marches, the hulking Amethysts shaking the ground as they went past, the quartz regiments demanding respect and-

and-

why not her?

It’s a ridiculous notion. Nobody could ever, ever know, of course, or she’d be bound for some scrap heap or other, so the entire enterprise was an exercise in absurdity - absurdity that could get her rather messily decommissioned, even - but-

but-

She listens to the small voice that pipes up in her head every so often, the one all pearls are highly efficiently and mercilessly trained to suppress and silence: Is it really so bad to want things?

The parasol may not be very aerodynamically shaped, but it makes an extremely satisfying whoosh as it cuts through the air.

Keep reading