if that might calm her racing heart. Five years as a Bigfoot researcher, and she was still not used
to the occasional howl. Then again, no animal she had ever encountered before had made such an
ominous and menacing sound.
She stopped for a moment and listened, her heart thumping hard in her eardrums. “Show
yourself!” Her voice echoed from the trees with a courage she couldn't feel. A shiver slid down
her spine as she pulled her radio off her belt. “Base camp to Adam. Computer screen's flashing
like crazy. Something broke the perimeter line.”
The radio crackled and a voice answered. “Adam to base camp. What zone?”
“Zone 3. All cameras up and running, but I don't see anything out of the ordinary. I'm
getting sounds over here—some movement too. I'm gonna check it out. Over.”
“Wait…all by yourself?” Adam's snort carried through the static. “No way. Just because
you're running this operation, that doesn't give you permission to break protocol. Stay by the
fire. We're coming.”
“Sure, bring in the cavalry.” Sarah rolled her eyes as she picked up her infrared camera.
“Listen, in the meantime, I'll just walk around the perimeter, that's all. Maybe I'll see
“Roger that. Just be careful.” The radio transmission ended.
She straightened and peered around in the darkness. A branch snapped behind her, followed
by another. How many creatures are there? She switched on the walkie-talkie and moved her
fingers over the buttons; she could barely see what she was doing. “Base camp to Adam.
Something's coming down the hill.”
Sarah pointed the FLIR camera straight ahead, then took a few more steps into the foliage. A
red amoebic-looking blob on the scanner screen began to morph, growing larger as it took on a
humanoid shape. She gasped. Oh, this time they’ll see. This time, I’m gonna have more tangible
evidence than mosquito bites and a bad case of poison ivy in places where I didn’t even know I
had places. She spoke into the radio, “Get over here NOW! I'm getting a heat signature on the
thermal. Something's moving closer…something really freaking huge!”
“We're on our way!” said a voice over the radio. “Stay put and be careful!”
She shouted into the walkie-talkie. “Is every team still in place? Nobody was supposed to
return to base camp without my permission. Do you hear me, Adam?”
Her radio crackled as Adam answered. “All teams accounted for. Nobody near base camp.
Wait for a team. I repeat, wait for a team.”
Her heart rate spiked. Could this really be that elusive creature I’ve been stalking? “Are you
kidding? This is what I came here for. It's what we came for. I'll stay within the perimeter and
proceed with caution. Trust me, I'm not leaving in a Medivac.”
The red blurb disappeared from Sarah's monitor. She held her breath, her head whipping
from left to the right, ears and eyes straining to take in any tiny noise she could make out.
Moonlight flooded through the trees, and a cool breeze blew across her face. Crickets sang, and
mosquitoes buzzed. She held down the lever on her radio. “I'm not seeing anything. Whatever it
is, it's gone now.” Is my mind playing tricks on me? No way. The thermal definitely picked up
something. A bear? Possibly, and if it was, I probably spooked it off. She spun in a slow circle,
extending the thermal image camera; suddenly, there was a snap of another twig.
Strong arms gripped her from behind. She screamed, flailing wildly, sending her camera
flying into the woodlands.
“Calm down,” a voice said, laughing. “It's only me. Might want to warn your team that I set
off some tripwires on the way here.”