The day’d left as it’d come in: hot as hell and twice as stuffy. Anyone with the cash and the knowhow had their AC on, which meant a moment of disorienting fog when passin’ from inside to out.

Jake gave his sunglasses a thoughtful rub and replaced ’em. Some people said he’d be a damn fool to wear sunglasses at night, but he always enjoyed the sheen they threw over the world–amber ‘n hyper-real.

Outside, it was silent and dead. Not a whisper o’ wind nor a soul to be seen, not even a car windin’ down the access road. Only flashes of distant lightnin’ did anything to break the calm.

Jake hefted his umbrella over one shoulder. There was gonna be trouble that night. You could feel it in the air, see it in the sky, hear it in the buzz and chirp of the nearby marshy patch.

Yep, there was gonna be trouble that night. And Jake aimed to start it.