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
Back in Rockport, they settled on a seafood restaurant called Barnacle Bill’s that had recently received a positive review in The Daily Scooner, Maroon University’s student newspaper. As luck would have it, they were seated at a table by the window with a view of the harbor.
“What looks good to you?” asked Max, perusing the menu while sipping the water their waiter had just poured before leaving them to make up their minds.
“I think I’ll have the grilled tilapia,” replied Tuesday. “You?”
“I’m leaning toward the fried oysters.”
“Interesting? How so?”
“Unless they’re farm-raised, which I doubt, they’re probably full of mercury, for starters.”
“Ah, yes. Our toxic planet where shellfish suck up all the heavy metals in the sea. Pretty soon we won’t be able to eat anything without being poisoned.”
“You’re joking, but it’s not far from the truth—if we keep going down the road we’re on.”
“I imagine mercury’s not very good for one’s pineal gland.”
“Or one’s life expectancy. You realize all those ‘silver’ fillings dentists put in people’s teeth are actually made of highly toxic mercury, don’t you?”
“I don’t have any.”
“Me neither. We’re lucky.”
“Maybe. Studies show they don’t actually leach mercury into the body itself.”
“Which studies are you reading, Max? Everything I’ve read suggests amalgam fillings are basically genocidal.”
“Genocidal? That’s a pretty strong word.”
“Mercury’s a pretty strong neurotoxin. Especially to be fixed permanently in people’s heads.”
“May I take your order?” asked their waiter, an efficient young man with cropped red hair who showed back up at their table with pen and paper at the ready.
“I’ll have the grilled tilapia,” said Tuesday.
“Anything to drink?”
“I’m good with water.”
“And you, sir?”
“I’ll try the fried oysters,” said Max, smirking at Tuesday.
When they were alone again, Tuesday said, “Look, just because we’re old friends doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything.”
“Right. We can agree to disagree. Like adults.”
“Now that that’s settled, tell me about this magical bracelet of yours.”
“Your voice is dripping with sarcasm. Do you really want to hear about this, Max?”
“Absolutely. I haven’t heard a good fairytale in a while.”
“Funny you should call it that. Because that’s pretty much what it is.”
“I’m all ears.”
“I want you to take a good look at my bracelet. See the way the white gold and yellow gold filaments twist around each other?”
“What of it?”
“There’s a poem in Irish folklore that tells the story of a magical object called the Bradelring. Would you like to hear it?”
“Sure. Why not.”
Tuesday took a deep breath, which she tended to do when being theatrical, and recited the lines:
Sight beyond springs
From the Bradelring
Two hairs of gold
Woven of old
The other bold
For mortal’s consolation
A kingdom of mirth
Lies in the earth
Though she dared not stay
And with her life did pay
Joy was not to be
By the Causeway sea
Sight beyond springs
From the Bradelring
“Let me get this straight,” said Max. “You actually think this bracelet is the mythical Bradelring?”
Tuesday nodded. The look in her lively eyes, which hardly batted their long lashes, was confident and probing.
Max felt slightly unnerved by the intensity of her gaze—much as he did years ago when Tuesday’s mother, Maizy, sized him up during their first meeting.
“How can you be certain?” he asked, willingly suspending disbelief for the moment.
“Lots of reasons. First, just look at it. It perfectly fits the description of the Bradelring. Two hairs of gold … Woven of old … One white … The other bold.”
“Just to play devil’s advocate, Tuesday. But how many bracelets that look more or less like yours must there be in the world? Thousands? Tens of thousands?”
“My thoughts exactly. But it’s not from just anywhere in the world, is it? You said yourself you found it at an archeological dig in Ireland.”
“I said probably Ireland.”
“Would you recognize the dig site if you saw it again?”
“I don’t know. It’s possible. Maybe.”
Searching in her backpack, she produced a slightly crumpled color copy of a photograph of an archeological site atop basalt cliffs overlooking a rocky, raging sea. “Was this it?”
“Where did you get this?”
“I googled ‘recent archeological digs in Ireland.’ This came up for Northern Ireland, where the Giant’s Causeway is located.”
“And you think that’s the Causeway mentioned in the poem?”
“I don’t know of any other Causeways in Ireland.”
“Is that it right there? The long honeycomb structure extending out from the cliffs?”
“Yes. According to geologists, it’s from volcanic activity. Some legends say a giant built it as a bridge to Scotland—where, strangely enough, a similar structure is positioned in line with it. But there are also other legends.”
“That it’s a road into the fairy kingdom inside the earth.”
“Ah, we’re back to the Bradelring.”
“Yes. The poem tells the story of a Fairy King who fell in love with a mortal woman and gave her the Bradelring as a wedding present. ‘Bradelring’ appears to be a play on words—meaning both ‘bridal ring’ and ‘braided ring.’”
“Just one problem, Tuesday. A bracelet isn’t a ring.”
“Not in the sense of being a modern-day wedding band. But it could be a ‘fairy ring.’ There are recorded instances dating all the way back to the 9th century of crop circles supposedly made by the ‘little folk’ called fairy rings. ‘Ring,’ in this case, might simply indicate a circle.”
The waiter reappeared with Max’s Coke and two steaming plates of seafood and refilled their water glasses.
“Bon appétit!” said Tuesday.
“Bon appétit!” replied Max. “You realize, don’t you, this isn’t the kind of case that would stand up in court? The evidence is, to say the least, circumstantial.”
“More? Then let’s hear it.”
“According to the poem, the bracelet increases the wearer’s psychic ability. Sight beyond springs … From the Bradelring.”
“You call that evidence?”
“No. This is the evidence. Think of a color.”
“Any color. But just one color.”
“All right. I’m thinking of a color.”
“Think of another.”
“How did you do that?”
“Think of another color.”
“This is some kind of parlor trick, right?”
“Just think of another color, Max.”
“One second. All right. Done.”
“Yes. But it’s a specific shade of blue.”
“That’s amazing. How did you do that, Tuesday?”
“Now think of a number. Any number between one and, say, a thousand.”
“Any whole number.”
“All right. I’m thinking of a number.”
“One hundred and eleven.”
“How did you do that?”
“It’s called ESP, Max. I’m basically reading your mind. We could do this all day—and I could tell you practically everything you’re thinking.”
“So what am I thinking?”
“You’re thinking this conversation can’t end fast enough.”
Max laughed self-consciously. “I guess I am thinking something along those lines,” he said, eating a fried oyster and gazing out at the boats in the harbor. “How’s the tilapia?”
“Delicious. How are your oysters?”
“Tasty. The mercury’s the best part.”
“So just to be clear. You honestly believe your bracelet is the fairy Bradelring from legend that increases the wearer’s psychic power?”
“Not only that. But it may also grant access to the fairy kingdom in the Inner Earth. There’s something called Hollow Earth theory that suggests the inside of our planet may be inhabited.”
“And there are secret military bases all over Mars. Come on, Tuesday. This stuff is straight out of Harry Potter. Take off the tinfoil hat for a just a minute and put on your critical thinking cap.”
“So I can—what? Be miserable like you? I’m sorry, Max. I didn’t mean for it to come out like that.”
“That’s okay. At least, now, I know what you think of me.”
“No, apparently, you don’t. I care very deeply about you.”
“You sure have a funny way of showing it.”
“I said I’m sorry. So are you going to help me or not?”
“Help you? How?”
“By determining whether this photo is of the site where you found my bracelet.”
“How would knowing that help you, Tuesday?”
“Because the poem suggests the mortal bride, having spent time in the Fairy Kingdom but being unable to stay, was buried beside the Giant’s Causeway.”
“You actually think that bracelet enhances psychic ability?”
“I know it does. I’ve done zillions of self-tests. I’m fairly psychic by nature, but I’m considerably more tuned in with it on than off. And apparently, it even healed my eyesight. My ophthalmologist was shocked, given my astigmatism, when I suddenly no longer needed glasses.”
“Now, that is interesting. That’s something I can put my finger on.”
“So you’ll help me?”
“Don’t get me wrong, Tuesday. I’d love to help you. But I just can’t do this … kind of thing anymore.”
“Can’t or won’t?”
“Take your pick.”
“After all I did to help you when you really needed it, this is how you repay me?”
“I didn’t realize our relationship was quid pro quo.”
“What relationship? Clearly, you don’t see me as your friend anymore.”
“Is that what your psychic powers are telling you?”
“Piss off, Max.”
The drive that afternoon back to Endurance was lonely for both Max and Tuesday, who, though seated side by side, remained miles apart.
The sky had darkened ominously and begun to sprinkle rain as Max dropped her off at Avalon House and watched his former best friend disappear into the lobby silently without so much as a glance back.
By the time Max got to Chatterton House, the rain was funneling down in chilling ribbons, wetting him to the skin in just the few seconds it took to traverse the parking lot and enter the lobby.
While changing into dry clothes in his room, he suffered a fit of sneezing. Sliding his finger over the first telltale tingling of a fever blister on his lower lip, he realized with a sniffle his sinuses were aching and he was running a low-grade fever.
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.