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
Christmas came and went. On the twenty-third, Aunt Nadine came to dinner and gave Max a bulky new sweater, which he promptly placed on the stack of bulky sweaters (most given to him by his aunt, who hailed from the snowy Northeast) hiding the Lego box in his closet, rarely (if ever) to be worn in South Florida.
The next day, she flew to Connecticut to spend two weeks with her parents, Max’s maternal grandparents, who, being unable to travel following Grandad Holden’s recent hip surgery, sent Max a crisp one-hundred-dollar bill in a Hallmark card. Max stashed the bill in the Lego box with his other prize possessions and thanked his grandparents via telephone.
On Christmas eve, his paternal grandparents, Blake and Hettie Diver, who lived several hours up the road in Pensacola, showed up for two nights on their way to their time-share in the Keys laden with armfuls of presents.
Their haphazard generosity included a copy of Stedman’s Medical Dictionary (Max had once expressed an interest in medicine); a snorkel and fins; an old-timey Rubik’s Cube (which took Max only a few hours to solve); a set of three leather juggling balls; a right-handed Wilson infielder’s glove (unfortunately, Max didn’t play baseball, and was also left-handed); and a gallon jar of homemade rum balls Max loved above all other holiday sweets.
Being unused to a lot of company, both growing up as only children, Max and his father seemed somewhat relieved, though they didn’t speak about it, when Christmas was officially over and it was finally just the two of them again.
Captain Diver never gave Max a lot of presents—but the ones he did give rarely missed their mark. This year was no different. Father and son spent the better part of three days in the study, starting when they were alone again on the twenty-sixth, assembling and painting Max’s present: an exact replica (enormous for a miniature) of the International Space Station.
She was quite a jewel, endorsed by NASA, featuring genuine miniature solar panels, and required considerable skill and artistry to complete. When she was done, Max couldn’t tell who was more pleased—himself or his father.
Even so, the real fun of the holiday season was scheduled for New Year’s Eve, also celebrated as Max’s birthday. Normally, this wasn’t the case, given that the date was fraught with ambivalence for both Captain Diver and his son (and Aunt Nadine, for that matter, whenever she was around).
But this year, with Max turning twelve, though still bittersweet in many respects, the thirty-first couldn’t arrive fast enough. It was the most anticipated New Year’s Eve ever for father and son—who both acted rather silly in their overflowing excitement, truth be known—because this year they were entertaining.
Not that they themselves were entertaining—though a fly on the wall, watching them giddily clean the house as never before, might have found them so. No, they were entertaining company—and the company happened to be Maizy and Tuesday.
The Mondays had accepted the Divers’ invitation to join them for the day in celebration of Max’s birthday and New Year’s Eve. It was, in effect, Thomas’s first date with Maizy … which explains why he acted more like a teenager with raging hormones than himself for the better part of the holiday week.
Max was just as deliriously happy, but for different reasons. Despite his father’s adolescent jokes about their impending “double date,” Tuesday was more of a sister than a girlfriend—which made Max wonder whether she might actually become his sister someday. His sister-in-law, anyway.
Would their parents’ getting married reinforce or ruin their friendship? How would the two of them get along under one roof? Where would that roof be: Tupelo Street or downtown? What would it be like to have Maizy for a mother-in-law?
Max realized he was getting ahead of himself, but stranger things had happened—and that was no mere aphorism in his case. A stranger thing happened the night of the thirtieth, in fact. A much stranger thing.
In his dream, walking through yet another forest, he happened on the entrance to what appeared to be an enormous cave. And he wasn’t alone—he found himself staring at an eight-foot humanoid, which somehow struck him as familiar, towering over him in a mass of muscle and thick, ruddy fur.
His initial impulse was to flee into the forest. But figuring that the creature, whatever it was, could run faster than he could with its gigantic strides, and seeing that it wasn’t aggressive, he mastered his fear and looked directly into its oval face.
He was amazed to discover that it looked almost … human. Its eyes were slightly reddish; its pug-nose was large but perfectly formed in its hairless face of grayish skin; and except for a cone-shaped head, it could have been exactly what it looked like: a large, hirsute person.
“You’re—you’re Bigfoot, aren’t you?” he gasped in his dreaming voice.
There were reports and legends of Florida Bigfoots known as Skunk Apes, but this wasn’t Florida. On examination everything seemed much bigger, as if belonging to a different world that was much older.
The creature made no reply, except for what might have been the faintest of smiles pursing its dark, meaty lips. Turning, it gestured with a long arm and hand like the underside of a cowhide for the boy to follow into the yawning blackness of the cave.
Once again, Max awoke to daylight even as he was swallowed up by the darkness of his dream. “What was that about?” he wondered aloud. Trying to shake off the cobwebs, he got up, stretched, used the bathroom, and wandered down the hall.
It was just after seven-thirty, judging by the stove clock, when he found a note on the kitchen table from his father saying he had gone running on the beach—something he once did routinely but to which he had only returned over the past couple of weeks.
Wasting no time, remembering something possibly related to his dream, Max took advantage of his father’s absence to access his mother’s field journal in the Seward trunk.
He sat cross-legged on the floor beside the open trunk that smelled of must, opened the old leather notebook carefully so as not to exacerbate the slight rip in its binding, and flipped through the stained pages—soon locating the one he sought.
Sure enough, staring at him with the same deep eyes, wide nose and pointed head, was his mother’s sketch, done while on an expedition in the primeval redwood forests of the Pacific Northwest, of the creature she identified with a single word scribbled underneath: Sasquatch.
Max had been drawn to this particular sketch the first time he looked in the journal. Fascinatingly, and improbably, his mother’s illustration and the Bigfoot from his dream could have been the same creature.
Was this just a coincidence? Had he simply dreamed of this creature because he had once been imprinted by a drawing of it? Was his subconscious merely playing a trick on him? Or was there something … weirder at work here?
“You ready for the big day, Max?” Captain Diver, breathing hard in a Naval Academy sweatshirt drenched with sweat from his jog, asked excitedly, grinning and rubbing his hands together, from the doorway.
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.
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.