Among alligators and crocodiles alike, there exist elders who remember the flavor of mammoth's blood, and even some whose gnarled backs bear scars from the fire of an asteroid's impact. Their kind have persisted for untold millions of years, long enough for evolution to nest their brains within our own like matryoshka dolls.
These venerable reptiles communicate with one another in a language composed of their own teeth, whose words are equal parts grown, spoken, and sculpted. In their stories, there exist Crocodilia older than the Earth itself, who once rolled about in the warmth of the sun's golden mud. These progenitors came to Earth so long ago that they were fossilized alive, and eventually became one with its tectonics.
In New York, there is tale told of an alligator who lives beneath the city, thriving in the darkness of its labyrinthine sewers. This is actually a retelling of a much older legend, one far more ancient than the species that now tells it. They do not recognize his spine in the geography of Long Island, or the way his tangled teeth have regrown as towers of steel and glass.
Gaze long enough into the glimmer of a sunrise against Manhattan’s skyline, and he just might tell you his story.