She lay on the ground, with her head slightly raised on her elbows so she could keep a lookout. The bracken ferns covering her made her almost invisible, but she was still terrified that she would be seen before she could take the shot. A small stone was digging sharply into her hip, but as she moved slightly the dry eucalyptus leaves beneath her cracked and crunched, making her freeze again. She would have to leave the stone were it was. It was a small price to pay considering the job she was here to do. Another mosquito buzzed gently around her, landing on the back of her neck, but she didn’t dare swat it. She was going to be covered in bites by the time she was finished, but it was worth it. One whiff of insect repellent might have given her position away and put the whole mission in jeopardy. She heard a noise in the bush only a few metres from where she lay concealed in the bracken. Her heartbeat quickened as she gently turned her head towards the disturbance, but it was not the quarry that she sought, merely a wallaby grazing obliviously. As she watched the wallaby, completely mesmerized by it, it glanced swiftly behind it and began to hop quickly away. She strained her eyes to see what the wallaby had seen and somewhere overhead the alarm call of a honeyeater rang out. The moment had arrived. She knew she would only have one shot; it would have to be perfect. Her heart began to pound loudly in her ears and she made an effort to calm herself. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she opened them, a familiar form stood in the clearing in front of her. She carefully took aim, looking down the barrel, and centring the cross hairs between the yellow eyes.
The thylacine ran, but it didn’t matter – she had the photograph. She had proof; the thylacine lives.
Written in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep.