The Time Reader

I walk into the room and am confronted with time; in the walls, the ceiling, the floor; in the light pouring through the large ballroom windows. A flash of people. Colorful people. The tinkle of voices rolls over my ears in alternating waves of loud and soft. Concentrate. A girl standing by the center window holds something in her hand. What it is? A jeweled fan. A party about 200 years ago.

To you this may sound crazy, but I am accustomed to it. I am a time reader. My profession is architect. Time reading has made me a world-renowned architect.

The first time it happened was at a friend’s home in Paris. I chalked it up to the wine. When it was repeated with a sober head, I thought I was crazy. I’m not. Certain events become trapped in a place. I don’t know all the rules because I believe I am the only one.

Wait. The girl is looking at me. Not at a person in the past standing on the same spot, but at me.


This is a response to a writing challenge from An Artist at Heart. You can see the photo and prompt here. It was the photo that got me. I have not written a male main character in a while. I did this for practice, but I think I have a new idea for a novel. 

What do you think? Do you want to read more?

5 responses to “The Time Reader”

  1. It’s certainly intriguing. I’d like to be led, slowly into that world, to have a gradual reveal, at this new world as seen through the eyes of our protagonist. It’s fascinating all the different ways it could go, though. A really interesting premise.


    • That’s what I was thinking. I was thinking of taking it a step back to wear he realizes he can use it in his work. The reader learns the “rules” as he does. He needs a name. I can’t decide if he’s British or American. I a little concerned about writing a Briton. Could be an interesting challenge. It is so fun writing a male protagonist again!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting idea him using it in his work – opens up some great opportunities. And always good to learn the rules along with the newbie. Good luck with it.


      • Thanks for reading, Cynthia – very kind. That old sixpence is what brought me here, stimulated that original idea, showed me I had to become waaaaay better at writing before I could do my idea justice. We’ll just have to see if I get anywhere with the submission process 🙂 It’s certainly a great (if slightly mind-bending) genre to write in. Very best of luck with your story


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