On the crest of a wave #writephoto

sue vincent glass hippo

Horace never knew real happiness. He was a freak, an anomaly, in some eyes an abomination. In every respect he fitted the label ‘hippopotamus’ save one: pigmentation. Not content with being albino, Horace’s genetic mutation had turned him translucent; so much so that he absorbed the colours of his surroundings which meant that, instead of the perfect camouflage he stood out, a garish mix of contrasting shades and tones.

For years he was shunned moving from from one waterhole to the next, laughed at, mocked. Until the fateful day he reached the sea. There, on the horizon loomed a small conical island. Perhaps, mused the now desperate Horace he could find sanctuary there. Gingerly, for he had not experienced waves before, he stepped in the water, letting its cooling properties take effect, soothing his nerves and calming his beating heart.

While he paddled in the shallows, getting his bearings and plucking up his courage to begin to make the dangerous journey, another hippo appeared out of the bushes and made for the water. Horace sank as far as he could, hoping the hippo, a girl as he could see, would not notice him.

‘Oh my god. I can see you.’

Horace’s heart sank. He began to turn to begin his dangerous swim.

‘No wait. Don’t go. You’re the first hippo I’ve been able to see. My eyesight has a defect meaning I can’t see hippos but I can see you. You are there, arent you? You are real?’

‘Yes,’ he said cautiously.

‘Oh my heavens. You’re beautiful.’


‘Yes. The way you shine. It’s like you’re a diamond.’

Horace, who had become used to ignoring himself looked down. Sure enough, the girl was right. The sparkling water had turned him into a scintillating vitreous hippo-shaped globe. He circled round and surprised himself by doing a somersault.

The girl laughed. ‘Why can I see you and no other hippo? You must be so special.’

Special? Horace had never thought of himself as special. He smiled at the girl who smiled back. ‘Please,’ he said, ‘Join me.’ He swept a space in the water and allowed his new friend to join him. The island could wait.

This story is in response to Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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18 Responses to On the crest of a wave #writephoto

  1. Jesska says:

    Awwwwwwww!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aww. So sweet a story. I’ve come over all soppy (I’m a sucker for happy endings!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ritu says:

    A very sweet story! 😊😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sue Vincent says:

    Lovely story, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jan says:

    Quite imaginative! Somersaulting hippos – what a sight.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Photo prompt round-up – The Island – writephoto | Sue Vincent – Daily Echo

  7. Helen Jones says:

    Oh, this is so cute! A sparkling hippo – I love it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Judy Martin says:

    Oh, how sweet! A hippo-tastic love story! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sacha Black says:

    Ohhhh Geoff this was lovely. I think this might be my new face story you have ever written – I’m all warm and fuzzy

    Liked by 1 person

  10. macjam47 says:

    Awwww. This is so sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

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