Monday, October 10, 2011

Primal Thirst by Kent J. Holloway

Action/Adventure, Suspense, Speculative Fiction

Wisecracking cryptozoologist Dr. Obadiah "Jack" Jackson has hunted plenty of dangerous creatures over the years. But he finds a lot more than he bargained for when he travels to Malaysia to save a beautiful missionary and her village from being ravaged by ghoulish, blood-feeding monsters straight from local legend known as the jenglot.

The jenglot are very dangerous, elusive, and intelligent. But that's the least of Jack's troubles. Others besides the blood-crazed cryptids want Jack dead as well...a local witchdoctor threatened by the missionary's message of hope and a mysterious guerilla leader who seems to have a dark and secret agenda. Jack and his team must keep their wits about them to escape the jenglot and discover the answers to the deep mysteries surrounding their existence.

      We trod another twenty minutes before the tunnel completely leveled off. The tepid heat finally submitted to the cool temperatures of the subterranean depths, bringing great relief to our nearly dehydrated bodies. My eyes strained in the darkness. For an instant, the beam of my flashlight dimmed, before brightening again.
      “How far down do you think we’ve gone?” Nikki broke the silence.
      “I’m not sure,” I said, slapping the flashlight against the palm of my hand.
Ah, crap. Please God, don’t let the batteries die now. Not now.
The beam grew even brighter with the impact.
A shudder coursed through my limbs at the sudden thought. I’d just prayed for the first time since…well, for a really long time. And what was worse, I’d actually believed He answered.
This girl is definitely messing with my head.
“I’d say we’ve walked a good mile from the stairwell, wouldn’t you?” she asked, ignoring my bout with the flashlight.
“Er, probably more like two,” I said, climbing up on an overturned stone pillar in the middle of the walkway and reaching down to haul her up. “I’d say we’re getting pretty close. I can’t imagine it’d be much further.”
“I kind of hope not. Jack, I’m getting really creeped out.”
“Feel like we’re being watched?”
“Yeah. Kind of. But it’s more than just being watched. It’s like we’re being…”
“Stalked,” I said, helping her down the other side of the pillar and turning to peer into the darkness behind us. “Yeah, I feel it too.”
I hopped down beside her and pushed on.
“At least the shuffling footsteps have stopped,” she said, forcing a grin.
“That, actually, makes me even more nervous,” I said. “Makes it harder to know where they are.”
Her head turned back the way we came, obviously searching for any signs of our pursuers.
“And who do you think ‘they’ are?” she whispered, as if her very words could make our stalkers materialize from the shadows.
“My first guess would be the jenglot. But I’m not sure. Shantili’s lurking around too. But whatever is, it’ll probably just try to eat my face off.”
 She stifled a laugh at the joke.
“Somehow, I have a feeling you get that alot,” she said.
“Yeah, Vera says I just have a way with monsters—”
I skidded to a halt, forcing Nikki to stumble against my back.
“What is it? Why’d you stop?” she asked as she peeked around my shoulder and beamed her flashlight forward. “Oh.”
“Yeah. Oh is right.”
We’d come to a dead end. The walls of the tunnel had collapsed ages ago and had erected a stone barrier between us and our supposed destination. I crouched down, grabbed a chunk of stone and tried to lift it from the rubble. It wouldn’t budge.
“What are we going to do?” Nikki’s voice sounded hollow, exhausted.
Ignoring her question, I scanned the walls and the pile of stones blocking our way.
“Look at this,” I said, pointing to a portion of the tunnel wall still standing. Its edges were blackened, charred by intense heat.
“What could have caused that?” she asked.
“Oh, it’s pretty characteristic of black powder burns. These walls were intentionally blown down.”
“With black powder?”
“Yeah. But the scorch marks aren’t that old. Probably no more than fifty years or so ago, I’d say.”
The sound of a pebble skidding across the stone floor jerked our attention away from the debris, spinning us around. Then a barefooted step. No more than a few hundred feet away.
Nikki turned back to the barricade, tucked her flashlight into her pocket, and tested the weight of any stone she could grab hold of.
“That’s not going to work,” I said. “It’s too heavy. Even if you manage to roll of a few rocks away, it’ll just crash down on itself under the stress of its own weight.”
“Well, we’ve got to try. Don’t we?” She sidestepped to the left edge of the debris, pulled down on another stone and brought it crashing to the floor. “Ah ha!”
“That’s only one of them,’ I said, flashing my light back and forth, scanning for any movement behind us. “You’re wasting your time…”
The crash of another rock exploded through the confines of the tunnel.
“Jack!” Nikki shouted. “It’s some kind of a vent!”
A what?
I turned just in time to see the upper portion of Nikki’s body disappear into a tiny opening in the rock barrier. Her feet kicked against the stone floor as she shimmied her way deeper into the crevice.
“What the heck are you doing woman?” I yelled. “Get back here.”
Ignoring my command, she scrambled forward into the unknown. When she had fully disappeared, I crouched down and examined the narrow cleft of rock she’d crawled through.
The crevice was obviously handmade. Whoever had blown the walls apart, had erected a shallow stone tunnel to bridge the gap to the other side. The rocks from the blasted wall had camouflaged the fissure enough so that only someone who knew where to look would have been able to find it. Or someone with some blind stinking luck.
“Are you okay?” I said into the opening, shining the beam of my light through the small cleft.
I can’t believe she’s doing this, I thought, stifling the urge to give her a good verbal lashing for her stupidity. I decided to give it to her later. This girl is nuts and she’s dragging me right along with her.
“Yeah,” she grunted, clambering on her elbows to pull her forward. “It’s a little tight, but I see an opening on the other end. It’s definitely a way through. And it appears pretty sturdy. It’s safe.”
Numerous growls hissed through the chamber behind me as the padded steps of multiple feet echoed through the tunnel.
Great. Here comes the munchkin blood brigade, I thought, climbing to one knee and tentatively poking my head into the tiny opening. My dormant claustrophobia clawed its way up my spine, crushing against my thoughts like a massive, invisible vice.
A howl erupted nearby, followed by the full onslaught of pounding feet against the stones. I cast my light back for one final look and reeled at the sight of three dark shadows charging full speed at me. Flashes of blood-stained fangs reflected in the beam of my light.
Without a second breath, I plunged head first into the stone crevice and clawed my way forward. The sounds of snarling hisses followed me through the shaft and I scurried even faster.
The crevice was tighter than it seemed from the outside. My shoulders barely squeezed through the sides, forcing me to struggle my way through. My stomach and back scraped against the stone floor and ceiling, shredding my shirt and quite a bit of skin in the process.
This must be what it feels like to be in a sardine can, I thought as I scrambled on. Wait a minute. Something’s not right. Nikki!
She was no where to be seen. The heavy breathing and growls of the jenglot tore through the tunnel behind. They’d entered the tight crawl space and were now only yards away.
“Nikki!” I yelled ahead. The beam of my flashlight flickered and dimmed, before brightening again. “Where the blazes are you?”
No response. The sounds of the jenglot were growing louder. They were closing the distance quickly, having much less body mass to contend with in the narrow confines of the tunnel.
A taloned claw latched onto my left ankle, pulling me back with more strength than I would have thought possible for the agile little creatures. Instinctively, I tried turning around to get a better look at my attacker, but forgot the height of the ceiling and struck my head against it.
My head throbbing, I kicked furiously at the unseen creature forcing him to release my leg and pulled myself forward.
 It was then that the batteries of my flashlight gave up the ghost and went completely black, eliciting howls of glee from my pursuers. I’d forgotten their abhorrence to light and had failed to use it to my advantage. I knew it wouldn’t happen again…one way or another.
“Nikki!” Panic ripped through from my words. At this point, I wasn’t exactly concerned with appearing manly.

"An old fashioned jungle romp, liberally spiced with bloodsucking monsters. What's not to love? Primal Thirst will leave you hungry for more." -- Sean Ellis, author of The Shroud of Heaven

"A heart-pumping adventure sure to keep you on the edge of your seat!" -- Nikki Jones, author of The Quest: The Time of Darkness
Why Did Kent Write Primal Thirst?
I’m a huge fan of the SyFy Channel’s Destination Truth. On this reality show, the host and his team travel the world investigating some of the strangest mysteries around…including the hunt for cryptids of all shapes and sizes. One night, while watching the show, I thought to myself how awesome it would be if there was an adventure novel similar to the show. The next day, I went to my local Barnes and Noble and started looking for a great monster hunting book to sink my teeth into, but was horribly disappointed when my search yielded nothing. Sure, there were plenty of adventure novels out there. And yes, a few even had monsters—but none seemed to have the spirit of fun and humor that the show conveys. They were all rather serious books from what I could find and I had really wanted something much more like a popcorn munching Saturday afternoon movie serial. Something a little more pulpy. So, it was at that point that I knew what needed to be done…if I wanted to read this book, I was going to have to write it.

Author Bio:
J. Kent Holloway is an adventure author with a passion for edge-of-your-seat thrillers. He is a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters in Biblical Studies. A real-life paranormal investigator, his work explores the realms of the unknown. When not writing or scouring the southeastern United States for ghosts and cryptids, he works as a forensic death investigator.
You can get to know more about Kent at his website: or friending him on Facebook here:
Purchase Links:
Amazon (including indle).
Barnes & Noble (including Nook).

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