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
Max and Tuesday waited for the adrenaline rush of the fight with Doug to subside, perhaps ten minutes spent walking away from the beach toward downtown, before speaking again. “You sure you’re okay, Max?” she asked finally. “It looks like you’re starting to get a shiner.”
“Seriously? I’ve never had a black eye before.”
“You remind me of one of those dogs with only one white eye.”
“Thanks. That makes me feel a lot better.”
“I think your nose has stopped bleeding, though.”
“Count your blessings. That’s what I always say.”
“You realize there will be repercussions for skipping out like we just did?”
“What’s the worst they can do, Tuesday? Suspend us? Personally, I could use a break from that Animal Farm.”
“A literary reference! I didn’t know you had it in you, Max!”
Despite himself, Max tried to laugh—which nearly doubled him over with pain in his ribcage. Instead of laughing, he wheezed like a smoker. Tuesday stopped grinning and said, “He kicked the crap out of your ribs.”
“He sure did. I hope they’re just badly bruised and not broken.”
“You think you can make it?”
“How much farther?”
“Seven more blocks.”
“I’ll give it my best shot. Here, let me carry my own backpack.”
That was just as well, since he probably couldn’t have managed. After another couple blocks in the direction of downtown, Tuesday commented, as if speaking out loud what they were both thinking, “Doug Biggins. What a dingleberry.”
“My sentiments precisely.”
“He’s the one who’s going to get in real trouble, you know.”
“Absolutely. You didn’t do anything.”
“We both know I did something, Tuesday.”
“That’s true. But nobody else does. What did you do?”
“Heck if I know. It just happened. Things just happen with me.”
“I’m starting to understand that.”
“What did you see?”
“I’m not sure, Max. It was as if your … spirit stepped out of you and took out Doug.”
“That’s what I saw, too.”
“Has that ever happened before?”
“Did you mean for it to happen?”
“No. Well, maybe a little. I don’t know, Tuesday. Maybe I am a freak.”
“Stop badmouthing my friend or I’ll find another orange to throw.”
“That was a great shot. You hit him square in the head.”
“I know! Could you believe it? I’ve never thrown anything at anyone in my life!”
The two children had entered what Max’s Aunt Nadine would have called a “sketchy” part of town, with somewhat rundown houses lining the streets and generally less green and more litter than was to be found in his upscale suburban neighborhood.
Max felt a ripple of anxiety as a tall black man wearing a green hood, low-riding jeans and untied Nikes approached on the sidewalk. “Yo, Tuesday, how’s it?” he said.
“Gordon!” she exclaimed. “Where’ve you been?”
“Nawlins,” he said, which after a couple of seconds Max decrypted to mean, “New Orleans.”
“Let me see that last tattoo Mom gave you. Do you mind? I never got to look at it dry.”
Gordon, who looked about thirty, smiled a congenial smile bright with silver and gold teeth as he pulled up his sleeve to reveal an impressive tattoo of a raven in flight with the sun in its beak. “Dat’s some fine work,” he said. “Your old lady’s got talent. And she’s fine, too. You tell her what I said.”
“I will. It really is gorgeous,” said Tuesday, who explained to Max, “The design is based on an Athabascan legend of the raven who gave light to the world.”
“Who’s yo friend, Tuesday? He looks kinda rough.”
“I’m sorry. Gordon, this is Max. Max, Gordon.”
“Nice to meet you,” said Max.
“Same here. You alright? I hope the other dude looks worse. Or did Mistress Tuesday open a can on you from jealousy?”
“Oh, stop it!” laughed Tuesday. “We’re only friends. Let’s just say the other fellow won’t be picking on Max anymore.”
“Good. That’s what I like to hear. Ya’ll take care, now.”
“You, too, Gordon!” said Tuesday.
Max had a sense, not unlike that of his dreams, of entering a parallel universe related to, yet distinctly different from, his everyday world.
The uncanny sensation of slipping into an alternate reality grew stronger as they covered the final three blocks to Tuesday’s house—which, from the outside, looked more like a haunted house than a place where normal people lived. Well, maybe not normal.
A rambling, three-story, white Victorian with mahogany accents, the Monday home struck Max as more of a magic gingerbread house in a primeval forest than a real residence on a contemporary street corner.
Yet despite its two medieval turrets and three bay windows seeming to lean out and peer down over them like bulbous eyes, the overall feeling the old relic of a place gave Max was one of exhilaration rather than apprehension. “We’re here!” announced Tuesday.
“You actually live here?”
“I take it it’s a little different from your place?”
“That’s putting it mildly.”
Tuesday’s hair bounced as she skipped up the uneven wooden steps onto the slanted porch that was home to a small forest of potted plants, many of which struck Max—who had never seen most of them before—as … exotic.
Experiencing an unexpected energy surge, he climbed the steps and followed Tuesday in the front doorway, where they were immediately met by a huge black tomcat with exceedingly long whiskers.
Tuesday set the two backpacks on a nearby beanbag and scooped up the tomcat, scratching him behind the ears—which, judging by his loud purring, he enjoyed tremendously. “Max, this is Merlin.”
“Take him. He won’t hurt you.”
Max, who had never had a pet of any kind, could only think to say, “Are you sure?”—before Merlin was in his arms staring up at him impatiently.
“Scratch him behind the ears.”
Max started scratching—and Merlin started purring.
“I can tell he likes you,” said Tuesday.
“Tell him I like him, too.”
“There’s no need. He understands English perfectly well.”
If the vortex from Max’s dream had seemed like a different world, the inside of the Monday home was a different world. But he had very little time to take it all in, other than to note a particular smell like that of old books mixed with boiling herbs and fresh paint, before he was greeted by the owner of the house.
With waves of scarlet hair framing her Botticelli face and a multicolored scrollwork of tattoos too complicated to process decorating both graceful arms to the wrists, she emerged like a sunlit ruby from behind an Arab-looking curtain on the other side of a shelf stacked with antique tomes.
“Max, this is my mom,” said Tuesday. “Mom, this is Max. You remember, my friend from school. He needs your help.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Monday,” said Max, almost too flabbergasted—by everything, but especially Ms. Monday—to speak.
“Good gracious,” she said, foregoing formalities and ignoring, for the moment, Max’s injuries, as she stared intently at him with Tuesday’s same incisive gray eyes. “Your aura is huge!”
“My aura?” Max managed to respond.
“The subtle energy field around your body,” said Ms. Monday. “It’s absolutely enormous—and almost blindingly bright. I’ve never seen anything to compare.”
“Mom,” said Tuesday, reprovingly. “Can we get to his aura in a little while—like, after we tend to his wounds?”
“Right you are. How on earth did this happen? He looks awful!”
“He got in a fight at school.”
“Well, judging by the look of things, he didn’t win.”
“Yes, in fact, he did. That’s part of why he needs your help.”
With any other people and in any other situation, Max would have been irritated at being discussed in the third person to his face like a toddler. But for one reason or another, it didn’t bother him, coming from these two kind people in that one-of-a-kind house.
And then, just as he was able to identify the odd sensation of gratitude in his heart for having someone besides his father sincerely care for him, he blanked out cold from shock and exhaustion on the hardwood floor.
Copyright © Sol Luckman. All Rights Reserved.
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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.