• Peter Gulgowski

Exclusive: Primal Instincts *Sneak Peek!*

You guys have waited long enough! I'm beyond excited to present the opening to my upcoming Sci-Fi dystopian novel, Primal Instincts. Be sure to pre-order at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085J2H2HX


Enjoy...


RAPID, POUNDING, UNEVEN, MY HEART pumps a surge of adrenaline through my veins. Fire wraps around it, swirling around my lungs with each breath I take.


I’m gliding just above the forest floor, my paws slamming against dirt and gravel. Above me, black clouds veil the moon in a covering of nightfall.


Low to the ground, I realize it isn’t only my feet making contact with the ground—it’s my hands, too. All four limbs move in rhythm with each other, propelling me forward into the dark, shadowed maze of night. My vision is narrow, focused in the center and blurred around the fringes of my view. Certain objects highlight themselves with a faint burst of yellow illumination, dissolving into the next object as quickly as I see the last.


Boulder, tree-trunk, and now—a deer.


Scents, diverse and muddled amongst the decay of autumn, carry themselves through the air, like ships on a curving river bound to the flow of water.


But I pause…


The hammering in my ears drowns out the sounds of night, but I focus deeper, narrowing my senses outward and beyond.


There’s a crackle in the distant brush, but not loud enough to signal my prey. Filtering through, I notice a slow-moving creek letting out into lake buried deep in the woods. I passed it earlier, its surface smooth like obsidian glass beneath the cloudy night sky.


Next…


Nothing. The stillness of the forest is infuriating. I couldn’t have lost it. Not this close to the kill…

Frustrated, I turn my head just slightly, trying to capture my trail again, letting out a shaky breath.


Left, hold.

Nothing.


Right, hold.


Come on, Nick…


Pawing at the ground, I pull the cool air into my nose. I take a moment to process each scent, sifting through layer by layer. It’s only a few layers deep that I recapture the sweet, rich track of my prey floating on a current of the forest’s breath.


Found it.


My limbs move quicker, fueled by the adrenaline of the hunt. In the distance, the fleeing deer leaps over a moss-covered, fallen tree.


I hear its own heart beating only a few beats faster than mine. Its organs highlight, and I capture a glimpse of its racing heart thumping against the cavity of its chest.


A few seconds behind, I leap over the same tree, lurching through the chilled air, momentarily weightless.


Charging across moss-lined paths, darkness clings to me like a shroud, weaving through my thick fur, latching on. The hunter in me moves as one of night’s many shadows, smooth and appearing to defy the laws of physics.


I’m one of nature’s greatest hunters, but tonight, I can tell I’m not on my A-game. Not like usual. I hesitate again, catching my breath, and pulling fresh scent into my nose to process my next direction of travel. But as I pause along the trail, I smell distant rain as fog rolls in from afar.


This changes things.


Tougher, an extra layer of difficulty...


I like a challenge.


It isn’t long before the first gray drops of rain roll down my face, and the lilting, clear thrumming against leaves becomes nature’s white noise. The forest—our arena—has sealed around us with the low-hanging clouds and fast-moving fog seeming to press inward. With us now closed off by nature’s walls, I know my prey is around here, somewhere.


Holding still, the rainfall intensifies until the drops are drumming against the canopy above. Louder, blurring, the melody becomes steady into one endless score.


My paws press into the soft ground below as I lean into a brush of wind, hungry for the kill. Drawn by the acrid, metallic essence of my prey, I lift my head and let out a deep howl, charging forward into the night.


The hunt continues onward.


But something changes, a transition from one state to another.


A flurry of muddled thoughts comes with the searing jolt of my falling body slapping against cold concrete.


My body, two legs, two arms lie still, as I come to. Overlapping with an overall dull ache across the limbs, sudden electric jolts race through my body, running down my arms and through my fingertips and into the concrete.


Traces of my past life linger, but the subtle differences of scent are mixed, intertwined and drowned out by the stale scent of wet earth.


Lifting my head, the muscles in my neck twinge, still adjusting.


My fingers, individual and long, flutter against the floor, as I try to open my eyes—human eyes.

The pale gray light of the room, my last human memory, startles me, and I shut them a bit, blinded.


But in my mere moment of sight, I see a pair of scuffed black boots a foot away.


A sudden rush of ice water pours across my naked, still-lying body, and I tense. All of my muscles constrict as I pull into a fetal position, shivering beneath the tall figure.


But as I open my eyes once again, I see the figure holding a thick wool blanket down to me.


“Here,” he says. “Welcome to the world.”


And once more, my world, what little sense I have of it, falls dark.




End of Preview. Pre-Order at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085J2H2HX


COPYRIGHT PETER GULGOWSKI © 2020

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