“She dreams the thylacine has silently entered the house.” From Endling, by @sushipyjamas

The last known thylacine died in 1936, at the Hobart Zoo. Also known as the Tasmanian tiger, the thylacine was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. The species is now considered extinct, its death a reflection on the failures of modern times. But what if the thylacine was not gone? What if a few animals — endlings — survive, somewhere out in the bush?

“She dreams the thylacine has silently entered the house. It comes into the bedroom, circling Martin’s side of the bed to stand by her pillow. It opens its mouth, so wide the pale fur is all gone and it’s only teeth and tongue and the raw, ridge flesh of its palate.”

In Kate Whitfield’s short story Endling, Lauren sees what she thinks is a thylacine, on the property where she lives. Her partner, Martin, is sceptical.

The full story is available in Materiality: PRECIOUS, available in hard copy and as a digital download ($15/$4.99).

Kate Whitfield is a freelance writer and editor. Her short fiction has been published in Southerly, Westerly and Tincture. She blogs at looselions.wordpress.com and tweets as @sushipyjamas.

Lair of the Tasmanian marsupial wolf, "Meadstone", Tasmania. Silver gelatin photograph by Dudley Le Souef, ca 1910-1911. State Library of Victoria, H91.280/3/4.

Lair of the Tasmanian marsupial wolf, “Meadstone”, Tasmania. Silver gelatin photograph by Dudley Le Souef, ca 1910-1911. State Library of Victoria, H91.280/3/4.