This is an important and timely question explored in the highly acclaimed spiritual novel, SNOOZE: A STORY OF AWAKENING, winner of the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for New Age Fiction.
Written with young adult and young-at-heart readers in mind, SNOOZE further proved its literary merit by being selected as a 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Finalist in the Young Adult-Coming of Age category and receiving an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Beach Book Festival Prize competition in the General Fiction category.
You’re invited to join—either with eyes or ears—Max Diver, a.k.a. “Snooze,” along the razor’s edge of a quest to rescue his astronaut father from a fate stranger than death in the exotic, perilous Otherworld of sleep.
This inspiring tale interweaves a plethora of paranormal and metaphysical subjects, from Bigfoot and enlightenment to the Loch Ness Monster and time travel via the Bermuda Triangle.
In her review of SNOOZE published in INDIE SHAMAN Magazine, June Kent had this to say about what she described as “superlative fiction”: “Engrossing, entertaining and occasionally humorous, SNOOZE also takes a look at a wide range of subjects including levitation, telepathy, lucid dreaming, spirit animals, parallel universes and shamanic-like journeying, giving a wide range of information effortlessly absorbed as you enjoy the story as well as much food for thought.”
Naturally, your generous review would be greatly appreciated even if you simply enjoy the full text now being presented on this blog and numerous podcast platforms. Keep in mind that paperback and ebook versions are for sale. A complimentary online version is also available for your reading pleasure.
SNOOZE: A STORY OF AWAKENING
By Sol Luckman
In the aftermath of Max’s encounter with Ms. Bridgewater, Thanksgiving had been the calm before the storm. He spent it with his father, who had most of the long holiday weekend off from “classified” missions in the Tempus Fugit and was in excellent spirits.
“Be sure you don’t eat too much turkey, Snooze,” he had joked while carving the enormous, sizzling bird. “All that tryptophan might make you sleep forever. You know what tryptophan is?”
“You mean the amino acid released by protein during digestion that helps produce serotonin and makes you sleepy?”
“God, you’re so much like her,” his father said, as if to himself, with a smile that somehow managed to be both proud and wistful.
“That’s a big bird for just two people.”
“I think we can handle it.”
Max and his father had flown kites on the unseasonably cool beach in the afternoons, treating themselves to hot chocolate at their favorite little stand on the boardwalk, before returning to evenings of leftover turkey sandwiches (which did make Max gloriously drowsy) and old reruns of Star Trek.
“You remind me of Captain Kirk,” he remarked to his father, suppressing a yawn.
“Well, now that you mention it, you remind me of Dr. Spock.”
Max made the Vulcan symbol of blessing by parting the second and third fingers of his left hand. “Live long and prosper.”
“And boldly go where nobody has gone before!”
For three nights running, Max hung on as long as he could—snuggled against his father’s side smelling Old Spice on the couch in front of the TV—before the sleep of a blessed day took him and he was carried like a sack of beans down the hallway and tucked in bed.
But on Sunday, the air started going out of Max’s emotional balloon when Captain Diver had to fly another mission and, just after he left, Aunt Nadine landed in their home with a thud to babysit. “I’ve asked your father I don’t know how many times to get a desk job,” she said, bustling in the door with her suitcase, by way of hello.
“Why?” asked Max, dispensing with formalities himself. “He would hate it.”
“For starters, he’s no spring chicken. And you’re only getting older.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“A young man your age needs a strong masculine presence in his life, Max.”
He had followed her into the guest bedroom, where she plopped her suitcase on the bed and glanced several times around the room to get her bearings. She had a way—half annoying, half comical—of looking out of place wherever she was.
“But under the circumstances,” she continued, removing her jacket and hanging it neatly in the closet, “I think he’s probably done the best he could. Lord knows being an only parent is no cakewalk. That said, I don’t know what he’s doing down there halfway to South America in that puddle-jumper. I can tell you one thing: he’s not delivering the mail.”
Max had spent enough time around Aunt Nadine to realize she often spoke around what she really meant to say—and he had developed a fairly keen ability to read between her lines.
In this case, she was trying to communicate that since Max had already lost his mother, it was irresponsible of his father to risk his neck on a regular basis, when he could snap his fingers and take an administrative job with NASA that would be a lot closer … and safer.
Max spent a subdued, depressed evening with his aunt, who read her Bible and wouldn’t let him watch Star Trek, and then all heck broke loose Monday morning when school resumed.
He had a sinking feeling in his gut, a premonition of something bad about to happen, as he walked, backpack heavy with books, under the swaying palm trees the six blocks—four down the beach and two back from it—to John F. Kennedy Elementary School.
On entering the grounds, his intuitive sense of a storm on the horizon grew stronger. People seemed to be giving him funnier-than-usual looks.
“Hey everybody, it’s Woo-woo Maxwell!” Doug Biggins, JFK’s best athlete and resident bully, greeted him in the crowded hallway near the lockers to a round of conspiratorial snickering from those listening. “Got any visions for us today, Woo-woo?”
“Woo-woo” was a new nickname. Max was wondering where it came from, and what exactly it meant, when he was sternly tapped on the shoulder and turned to find Mr. Priestly, the principal, scowling above him. “Max, I need to see you in my office.”
Gossip travels fast in any school. Bad news in particular has a way of exceeding the speed of light, so that everybody seems to know everything before anyone has uttered anything.
Exactly how the whole student body knew about Max’s meeting with Ms. Bridgewater would remain a mystery. He suspected word had traveled via the teachers’ lounge to select students’ ears, and thence along a whispering grapevine until it was common knowledge he had freaked out the school counselor with his spooky talk.
Ms. Bridgewater, suggesting that Max suffered from a “severe mental disorder,” possibly schizophrenia, and might be in need of medication, had reported the incident to Mr. Priestly, who was concerned enough to take immediate action. “You understand, Max,” he told the bewildered eleven-year-old seated in his office, peering at the boy over his spectacles, “I’m just trying to do the right thing here.”
“But Mr. Priestly, I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“You acted very strange, Max, and frightened Ms. Bridgewater.”
“I didn’t mean to. It just … happened. I’m sorry.”
“How long have you been having these … dreams?”
“All my life. Well, ever since I can remember.”
“And you think they might actually be … real?”
Max knew it was absolutely the wrong thing to say, even though it was the truth, as soon as he spoke the word: “Yes.”
Mr. Priestly’s pale moon of a faced seemed a bit shaken by Max’s frank response. “It doesn’t strike you as odd that you can’t tell the difference between reality and … dreams?”
“But I can tell the difference. This is reality right now.”
Mr. Priestly appeared to consider this new information for a moment. “Is there any history of … mental problems in your family, Max?”
“None that I know of.”
“I’m going to have to contact your father.”
“I was afraid you’d say that.”
“It has to be done.”
“He’s on a mission right now.”
“When will he be back?”
“Okay. I’ll be in touch tomorrow. You can go now.”
Max stood and was halfway out the door when Mr. Priestly called after him. “Max?”
“Yes, Mr. Priestly?”
“Try to be … normal.”
Copyright © Sol Luckman. All Rights Reserved.
Introducing Sol Luckman’s new visionary novel, CALI THE DESTROYER. Learn about the single most censored story in the history of the human race—and why it matters today.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sol Luckman is a pioneering ink and acrylic painter whose work has been featured on mainstream book covers, the fast-paced trading game BAZAAR, and at least one tattoo on a female leg last sighted in Australia.
Sol is also an acclaimed author of fiction, nonfiction, and humor. His books include the international bestselling CONSCIOUS HEALING, which you can read free online, and its popular sequel, POTENTIATE YOUR DNA, available in English and Spanish.
Sol’s popular book of humor and satire, THE ANGEL’S DICTIONARY: A SPIRITED GLOSSARY FOR THE LITTLE DEVIL IN YOU, received the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award for Humor and was selected as a Finalist in the Humor category of both the 2018 International Book Awards and the 2018 Best Book Awards.