What Pegman Saw: Stockholm

Copenhagen, Sweden,
Voigt Steffensen Hans (Kunstmaler) |
Kim Michael Wincentz
Google Maps

“Wait a minute, is that her?” I stepped closer, head tilted as I studied the broad brushstrokes which composed the face of the female dancer in Elias’s painting.

I turned back to Oscar, who stood in the center of the studio, arms folded across his chest. He nodded. “Take another look around.”

I walked the perimeter of the studio, more slowly this time, scrutinizing every female face in every painting. The sour mouth, the narrow jaw, the flint-chip eyes in the shadow of the heavy brow: they were all her. Every single woman in every painting—a decade of Elias’s work—and they were all her.

“Why would he do that? She abused him. Robbed him of every confidence. Crippled him socially. Why would he do that?”

Oscar walked to a large canvas resting on an easel. On it, the female face glared triumphantly. “It is because…I think he misses her.”

151 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

Many liberties were taken in the writing of this little story, and my apologies to the artist for highjacking his/her work for my own twisted purposes. The prompt was in Stockholm, however after taking a number of tours of Sweden this morning, I wound up in Copenhagen and landed in this gorgeous studio. And somehow, my Stockholm concept got tangled up in the canvas here.

The tour of this studio is an example of why I love Google maps. Here I sit on a snowy winter morning in the midwest, and yet I was transported to this bright and sunny artists studio, smelling paint, fika, and strong coffee. There are 100 billion stories out there on Google maps and I can only write them one at a time. Which is why I need your help 😉

Have a super-amazing-most-awesome day!



  1. This is just super. The natural dialog paints a much bigger picture, and your efficient use of emotion suggests the possiblily of several larger stories. Oscar seems like he was in on the secret from the start and wanted to bring her there to allow her to discover it for herself. And as for the artist, well… anyone up for a steaming cup of Stockholm Syndrome?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehehehehe, you crack me up. Thanks for your kind words.


  2. lillmcgill

    Amazing! Loved it! Irony.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading!


  3. A very fickle muse. I like how you incorporated Stockholm despite the slight change of venue.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Clever stuff Karen! There’s a depth here belied by the short word count – that psychology of being in thrall to someone, despite them treating you badly is so real. How often have we all seen it in people we know. I imagine the stern, triumphant muse to be the artists mother – not sure why, but parents can certainly have that power over us, no matter how unreasonable their behaviour.
    This reminded me of a story I heard recently. Picasso’s wife was viewing some of his paintings when she recognised the female figure in one of them – a seventeen year old girl of their acquaintance who Mrs Picasso (rightly) assumed her husband was sleeping with. Now, how she recognised the girl from one of his canvasses …
    Naturalistic dialogue and an intriguing story with depth and mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words. That’s a very cool story you shared about Picasso. My, my, my….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure. Picasso was not a nice man. He had seven mistresses I think – two committed suicide and two were put in asylums. Now, either he had a penchant for unstable ladies or …

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s unsettling or unsavory or unwise. Or all of the above.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Definitely the latter I think

        Liked by 1 person

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