By Sarah Begley
September 28, 2015
IDEAS
Sarah Begley is a staff writer for TIME.

In 2012, Jennifer Egan caused a sensation with her story “Black Box,” which was first tweeted out in increments of 140-characters or less, as Twitter dictates, then published by the New Yorker in short-story format. Now, writer and photographer Rachel Hulin (known for the Flying Henry photo series and children’s book) is posting pieces of a story from a novel on Instagram, accompanied by haunting images from the lives of a pair of twins.

Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is an epistolary novel of correspondence between the title siblings, who share the mundane details of their lives, reflections on their childhood and concerns about the future. A strange intensity courses through their conversations—is it sexual tension, or just the incredible closeness of twins?

The story is playing out on a website and Instagram feed filled with melancholy photos—a broken watch, a melting stick of butter, a chandelier and lots of obscured faces—alongside emails between Harry and Matilda Goodman. Hulin first experimented with the story about five years ago on a blog that she has since taken down; she sees the new website as a kind of trailer for the final project, an actual book whose manuscript is already written (though she doesn’t yet have a publisher). “It’s sort of a work in progress,” Hulin says. “It’s interesting to see how it manifests on Instagram … That’s what I like about it: it’s a living, breathing project, because it’s already changing a little, and it will change, I imagine, as people interact with it.”

The posts will take place “in real time” relative to the story, over the course of about nine months. In the mean time, Hulin shared the following two photos and snippets, the next to appear on the Instagram feed, with TIME:

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