CW: Only time will tell.

Note from the author: Fair warning – the below is just an intro to a multi-genre story filled with adventure, love, humor, and time-travel. I might or might not expand on it in the future. Just another idea percolating in my head.


Francesco stopped midstep and looked at the empty bowl in his hand. What was I doing? He wasn’t really sure. He looked ahead and then behind to try to piece together his journey up to that point in the hallway, but everything around him appeared foreign. No, it wasn’t because of a sudden onset of amnesia. He knew where he was – in a house where he had been living for a few years – but things just looked… different. Francesco felt no connection to any of the items around him. Not the pictures hanging on the hallway walls, not the hand-painted china in the kitchen, and definitely not the king bed in the master bedroom.

The increasing pressure in his chest and his trembling hands caused Francesco to put down the bowl and redirect his focus onto himself. His breathing had become labored, sweat began to show on his hairline, and his heart was pounding. He wanted to go to the bathroom to splash some water onto his face, but an onset of chills froze him in place. He began to suffocate. What is going on?

A faint image – a memory – of a woman appeared in front of him. She was walking down the driveway, away from the house and away from him. He stood by the window, waiting for her to turn around, come back, and say she wasn’t really going to leave, but she didn’t do any of that. Instead, she walked straight to the street, then turned right, got into the passenger seat of a black Hyundai Tucson, and drove away. Francesco’s hand stayed glued to the window for a while as if casting a spell for the woman to return. The spell was not successful. How long ago was that?

Francesco fumbled through his pockets and pulled out his phone to dial 911 only for it to fall from his trembling hands and onto the hardwood floor. Francesco sat down and picked up the phone to examine the damage. Fortunately, there were only a few small cracks on the edges of the screen, which didn’t seem to impact usability. He breathed a sigh of relief. He sat on the floor, legs hugged, eyes closed until his chest didn’t feel as tight anymore, his heart slowed down, and his mind calmed.

At that point, he went to his office and picked up “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” – a book he enjoyed reading while feeling down. A piece of paper sticking out from one of the pages caught his attention. Must have been whatever I used as a bookmark last time. Upon examination, Francesco realized it was a newspaper ad.

Wanted someone to travel back in time with me.
Must have own weapons. Safety not guarenteed.

Francesco pulled out his phone – this time with steady hands – and dialed the number from the ad. He couldn’t remember when the note could have been from, but he hoped that whoever was looking for a companion hadn’t found one yet.

“Hello?” a female voice came on the line.

“Hey, hi! Ummm… did you place an ad in the paper for a time travel companion? I’d like to join you.” Francesco blurted out and crossed his fingers. Time travel would help him undo all the pain. She would never have left, and he would be happy again.

The silence worried him. Has it been this long? Was the number now given to someone else?

Francesco looked at the phone. The call screen was still present. “Hello?”

“Yes. I’m here. Sorry…” the woman offered.

Francesco sat down at the desk and stood up a split second later. He wanted to hurry the woman but knew it was his turn to stay quiet. He uncrossed his fingers and began tapping his thigh as he walked along the four walls.

“It was my husband.”

“I’m sorry?”

“It was my husband who posted that stupid ad.”

Francesco exhaled. The poor guy must have died.

“It was 25 months ago,” she added.


“He was fixated on trying out this device he built but no one wanted to go with him. Now I wonder why no one gave it a try. If they all thought he was cuckoo and that the machine didn’t work, then all they had to do was step into it, step out of it, and then go about their daily lives. But no one called…”

Francesco could hear emotion building up in the woman’s voice.

“He wanted me to go, but I would just roll my eyes… So, one day, he stepped into his time travel machine and… never came out. At first, when I opened the door, I thought it was some magic trick because there was no one inside, but then I realized that Rick was right – the machine worked. And so I’ve been waiting for him to return ever since, but lately, I’ve been wondering about going after him.”

Francesco exhaled. There was still hope.

“How about I come with you? Keep you company.”


“You don’t have to make a decision now. Let’s meet, get to know one another, and see where that takes us. How about that?”

“That sounds… good…”

“My name is Francesco. I feel like that’s a good first step.”

The female chuckled. “Mandy.”

“Nice to meet you, Mandy. Text me a time and a place and I will be there!”

The two bid their goodbyes and disconnected.

Francesco puffed out his chest. He was going to get Nina back.


“You answer an ad that reads: Wanted someone to travel back in time with me. Must have own weapons. Safety not guarenteed. Call…”
– prompt used for this CW piece.
[Source: DailyPrompt]


P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!

Stay golden,

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33 thoughts on “CW: Only time will tell.

Add yours

    1. I thought so, too!
      I appreciate your kind words and encouragement, Ari! This duo has potential!
      (This just made me realize that I’ve written two back to back stories with duos in them. Interesting, dear Subconscience. Interesting…)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. “Wait, you’re not Francesco!” “You’re not Mandy!” “Did you change your name? ” “Did you?” “Did you go forward or backward?” “Backward, I wanted to change some stuff I did wrong.” “So did I.” “Whoa…did we fix things so we never existed?”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your first two paragraphs are very well done. Your style flows, the sentence structure is good, the internal thoughts in italics are well placed.

    There’s a little jump in fluidity as the woman shows up — in the hallway where he’s standing (we think)? No, she’s in the driveway? OK…

    And his disorientation comes out as some obvious juxtaposed universe or time frame. Which is great. But that doesn’t seem to have any basis for the continuation of the story. Which it could… Did he already time travel? Did he just come back and arrive in the wrong time?

    Huckleberry Finn? Um, OK.

    Your practice is paying dividends. Good job.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad to hear that the beginning read well.

      RE: the woman – I thought I made it obvious with “a memory.” The woman didn’t really appear. It was a memory he had recalled.

      The middle part of this piece meant to showcase a panic attack, to which the image of the woman was related.

      It could be the reason for his want to time travel, but it can also be a side-effect of some travelling he had already done. Yet to be explored…

      Heh, yea, Finn just came at me. *shrug*

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. > up to that point in the hallway…
        This is where we picture him.

        > A faint image – a memory – of a woman appeared in front of him.
        This would be — in the hallway, we’re assuming.

        > She was walking down the driveway, away from the house and away from him. He stood by the window, waiting for her to turn around, come back, and say she wasn’t really going to leave, but she didn’t do any of that. Instead, she walked straight to the street, then turned right, got into the passenger seat of a black Hyundai Tucson, and drove away.

        Might be more clearly phrased as:

        His eyes blurred. He leaned against the wall and imagined himself looking out a window, peering at a woman he thought he recognized. In the driveway he watched her walk away, her hips swinging, her pace strong. In the vision he expected her to turn, to wave, to spin around and come back to him. Instead, she walked on to the street and entered the passenger side of a black SUV. His heart clenched at the memory.


  3. I really like this. I like the first section, leading up to the point where he goes to his office and picks up the book. And I like the second section, about time travel and possible futures, but I’m unsure how they connect unless the beginning is foreshadowing. But, I’m hooked.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmm. I feel like someone has already done some dabbling in time travel, whether or not he remembers it. Interesting that the ad specifies to bring weapons. Makes you wonder when exactly Mr. Hubby wanted to go.

    In the realm of spellchecking, though, I did notice that Francisco was very confused, feeling no connection to the items around him. Possibly because it’s supposed to be Francesco’s house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That just might be.

      Darn, I was convinced that I corrected all of those. As I kept writing, Francesco kept changing the spelling of his name and I had to keep overwriting it every now and again. Maybe it just shows that who he was before is not who he is later? Dun dun dun….

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi Goldie! I’ve been hungry for a story that explores a creator’s craft. I crave writing that is filled with characters that can fit in any genre. This story has what I needed. I got elements based on realism and situations that suspended my reality. Well done! I hope you continue the story. Netflix needs a hit manuscript.

    What I liked…(long version)
    Francesco – his actions reminded me of a person driving to work in a fog, arriving but not remembering the route they took. He was in a familiar house but things were different. (Parallel Universe maybe?)

    Then the memory of a woman in his driveway walking away, getting into a specific vehicle on the PASSENGER SIDE and driving away. Passenger side? This could be a fever dream or a fragmented spell. Either way is intriguing.

    A newspaper ad asking for a companion to travel back in time…Must have weapons, safety is not guaranteed… does not sound like an ideal trip. I’m thinking of Huck Finn days, dinosaur days, or worse…Jim Crow days.

    Who needs help the most… the woman, her husband, or Francesco?
    I’d turn the page to find out who. As I said before, well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Darnell! Haven’t seen you in a while. You still doing your radio show? How are things in general?

      Hehehe, thank you for the compliments. Glad it fit in what you were looking for. I’m not very comfortable with anything outside of realism, but I’m enjoying exploring that every now and again. Growth!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I really enjoyed this. It does pull you in, and I’m left wanting more. I’ll have to follow so I don’t miss out.

    I also appreciate reading all the feedback you’ve got as a possibly budding writer – I’m still exploring moving away from my typical form of writing


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