The biologist David Sischo has a tragic assignment: keeping vigil over a species’ sole survivor, then marking its extinction in real time.
It is the story of Will Rabjohns, perhaps the most famous wildlife photographer in the world, who has made his reputation chronicling the fates of endangered species. Including his own. For even as Will rises to the pinnacle of his career, he is witnessing his own world--the close-knit San Francisco community that has nurtured and liberated him--ravaged by AIDS.Then an almost mystical encounter with a bear in the Arctic leaves Will all but dead. In the depths of his coma, he revisits the wildernesses of his youth in England and relives the terrifying encounter that created him, both as an artist and a man.Befriended by a mysterious couple, Rosa McGee and Jacob Steep, the young Will is granted the love he has been denied by his own family. But with that love comes a grim education. For while Rosa shows him the cruelties of passion, Jacob teaches him the purities of death--seducing him with the possibility that he might one day slaughter the last of a species and thus change the world forever.
If I remember this haunting episode in Sacrament correctly, sitting in the dark outside with just a lamp, insects gather around the light, and Jakob suggests Will should kill a moth, only afterwards letting the boy know it was the last of its kind.