The night air smelled of alligators.
Marty drove the Suburban down the wet boulevard that extended like a black tongue. Mangrove trees lunged at the truck from both sides, their gnarled limbs mired in the marshland. How different this ride felt from the morning walk he had been taking in the opposite direction toward Jerry’s Marketplace to buy the daily paper, when the birds whistled at him and jewels of sunlight winked through the leaves as if to herald his homecoming. Now, he knew that if he pressed the accelerator to the floor, he would catapult the entire family into San Carlos Bay.