The Late Early Bloomer

ImageThe artistry of Gaudi is timeless.  It’s as fresh and new today as it was over 100 years ago.  Timelessness is also something young Jack Hibbler found out about his dad, Ben, back in 1987.  Ben died the day before his 60th birthday.

To this day … Jack STILL wonders.

From an original short story of mine, here is the Late Early Bloomer.


Ben Hibbler, Jr., my Pop, died on September 12, 1987 and told me I shouldn’t have been born. I didn’t know how right he was until that fateful day I read his diary.

I went up to the attic, found his typewriter and the notebook where he put his secret writings.  Leafing through the Underwood typefaces, the pages getting yellower towards the back, I noticed the oldest page printed in a different, fancy typeface.

Attached was a newspaper clipping with his birthdate on it. I laid it beside today’s morning newspaper.  Both read:  “Benjamin Hibbler, Jr., born September 13th, 1987 …”

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23 Responses to The Late Early Bloomer

  1. Dear Kent,
    Time is all relative isn’t it? Or is it? So the readers have to wonder how could Mr. Hibbler be born the day after he died? I love time travel stories.

  2. Kent, when I first read this, although I got that a distortion of time was involved, i didn’t really get the time traveler idea until I read Rochelle’s comment. And I’m still a bit confused. Maybe it’s just me or maybe you could use some of the words in the second paragraph to point us in the right direction yet still have the description of the old papers.


    • wmqcolby says:

      OK. Well, glad you asked. You see, the story IS a time travel story. The narrative is based on a failed short story of mine about a young man whose father tells him he should never have been born. The back story of the father was that through some kind of means (we don’t know what), he traveled back in time to the 1950’s and fell in love with a girl, they got married, had child. The emphasis on the story is actually that of family love versus the kind of society he came from (which is probably crumbling due to lack of something on which to base things of ethics, morality, love, etc.) and his feeling of guilt being back in time to begin with because he knows too much. As for this particular adaptation, I thought it seemed to fit the format. But, all I’m left with is the gimmick and not the “real” story of people and their lives — playing against the time travel gimmick.

  3. I don’t think I’ve studied any other building as much as I have this one over the past few hours. It’s simply fascinating and certainly lends itself to timelessness, time travel with distortion of time and events.
    It’s a great match-up with your short story…. 🙂

  4. Linda Vernon says:

    See now my impression was that he was reincarnated post haste after dying. I love that you wrote this in first person too.

  5. Penny L Howe says:

    A well written piece, perfect for referencing a man who thought out of time, as his (Gaudi’s) buildings wonderfully indicate!

  6. kz says:

    “…and told me I shouldn’t have been born. ” these were the words that struck me the most in your story. at first i thought that the ‘timelessness’ meant that his dad will be born like forever and ever,like after he dies, he’s born again and so on.. (or did i get that right? lol) the alteration in time was interesting but so is the narrator and what’s to be of the narrator, makes one wonder… could he jack the same thing too?, i mean, travel back in time..intriguing, mysterious tale you’ve spun 🙂

  7. Nice story. You can get some pretty messed up family trees when the son is born before the father. 🙂

  8. elappleby says:

    You really confused me with this one for a moment – I had to go back and read it again and again and then I got it.
    Now, I’m wondering if the reason he died the day before he’d been born is because if both of them existed in the same timeframe there’d be one of those space-time paradox thingies and the two of them would cancel each other out? Or am I just getting carried away? I’d be intrigued to see the original story.
    I love the picture this week – had a lot of fun with it as you know – thanks for all your ‘ha ha’s on my blog 😀

  9. Anne Orchard says:

    Ooh, this one makes your brain hurt Kent. It’s a real teaser for the bigger story, and I enjoyed it very much.

  10. I had to read the comment to understan it but it’s a great idea. I love the photo btw… I would love to visit Barcelone not on business…

  11. The story is very intriguing, but I think it needs a bit more to get the reader where you want them to be. I know many Fictioneers don’t like to violate the 100 word guideline (I do all the time), but another sentence or two would set this up perfectly, I think, and leave us all wanting more.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Yeah, I’m hearing ya, Perry. Good advice. In fact, it’s been a better experience writing it here with a limit on words and getting input from you folks. I had difficulties making this story work some time ago. Looks like there might be some daylight at last. Thanks.

  12. rgayer55 says:

    An interesting tale, especially after reading the comments and back story. This week, I added a little back story in my intro. Some people throw a little in after the story to help us fill in the blanks. I would like to know more about Ben.

  13. Helly says:

    I love stories like this. I am always the person trying to anticipate a twist in the story or a way to figure out how it could all fit together, and time travel stories can take a lot of liberties with crazy twists and turns. I read your explanation of the backstory upthread and it sounds like an interesting read.

  14. Brian Benoit says:

    I’ll just echo the comments above – I love the concept, and for me the most intriguing thing is that he kept that old newspaper clipping – but I’d love to read some of the rest of the story, some of the story of their lives, as you put it. Very cool

  15. Mystikel says:

    Thought provoking idea. I did get that it was time travel and might have created a paradox but your explanation does make me want to read the longer story.

    Thanks for the picture! I hope you don’t mind that I turned it on its head and made it sci fi. Actually I had better put up a note of explanation with the story so people won’t think you’re some crazy cock-eyed photographer 🙂

  16. I always love a good time travel story, and this sounds like a good one. Your reveal moment is clever and leave me wanting to know more.

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