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
Thus, at long last, finally leaving bargaining behind, Max embarked on the fourth of the five stages of grief: depression.
Even after he began to feel better physically and his fever blister started to heal, he hardly did anything but lie in bed and stare into space. He hardly left the room, hardly ate, hardly took care of life’s basic necessities.
Raul, knowing Max only as a pre-med student who was far too serious about academics for his own health, assumed his roommate would shake off the doldrums and return to his habitual spirit-siphoning grind in a day or two. But he was wrong.
Though Raul might have made fun of Max’s lifestyle (or lack thereof), he didn’t actually dislike him. To the contrary, he intuited that Max—despite himself—had the potential to be fun someday.
Besides, having an essentially good heart, despite his cultivated air of nonchalance, Raul recognized another good (if terribly wounded) heart in Max.
When Max seemed to grow more despondent by the day, Raul began to worry. Worry wasn’t an emotion to which he was particularly accustomed—and it worried him.
To his surprise, he found himself doing little things to help his roommate hold it together. Making sure he had a glass of water beside his bed. Bringing him a sandwich from the cafeteria. Opening the shutters to let in a bit of light.
For the most part, Max appeared supremely unaware of these small but kind gestures—as he appeared supremely unaware of virtually everything except the hall of mirrors of his own suffering.
After a week of inactivity, in which he neither attended class nor cracked a book, Max’s melancholy, angular face had sprouted the makings of a dark mustache and beard.
“Like a tragic visage out of an El Greco,” thought Raul one evening as he and Pablo lay beside each other contemplating Max in supine stillness in his own bed. “I’m quite sure his sheets are badly in need of washing.”
Raul and Pablo had drifted off and were sunbathing surrounded by bronzed and oiled Brasileiras while sipping caipirinhas on Ipanema Beach—when an odd, repetitive sound interrupted their shared dream.
As it turned out, the sound came from Max, who, flinging off his covers while rolling to and fro in his own dream, was speaking in a language that Raul, linguist though he was, had never heard before.
The language sounded vaguely animalistic, more chanted than spoken, and perhaps more sung than chanted, with lots of bizarre tones and clicking noises, and Max seemed to be struggling to express himself in it.
But this “speaking in tongues” was the least unsettling part. Somehow, though Raul was fairly certain Max hadn’t budged from bed (which he practically didn’t do anymore), he was holding Pablo in the crook of his elbow as he writhed and sang!
“Now, that’s odd,” thought Raul, tiptoeing over and carefully extricating the stuffed bear from Max’s delirious embrace.
The following night, Raul and Pablo weren’t even asleep yet—when Max, rolling back and forth in his dream while undulating like someone swimming underwater, began his singsongy chant again.
Raul gripped Pablo tightly, but apparently needlessly. This time the blue teddy didn’t go anywhere—but the glass on Max’s dresser did.
Half full of liquid, it started to agitate, sloshing water up its sides. As Max uttered incomprehensible sounds and writhed like some kind of large aquatic mammal, the glass lifted up by itself and came to hover, gently spinning, four feet above the floor in the middle of the room.
Raul, who had a Catholic background and, despite his materialistic façade, very much believed in things like demonic possession, couldn’t help but cry out in alarm, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!”
Max suddenly grew still and fell silent, though he didn’t wake up, even when the glass stopped spinning and crashed to the floor, splashing water and glass in all directions.
“Stick close to me, Pablo,” Raul whispered, perfectly terrified. “I’ll protect you.”
The next morning, while sweeping the room around Max (who, though awake now, continued to lie lifeless on his bed like a slowly decomposing body), Raul plucked up the courage to ask his roommate about the previous couple of nights.
“I say there, old chap,” he began, clearing his throat and leaning on his broom in an awkward attempt at appearing natural while broaching an altogether unnatural subject. “I don’t suppose you have any memory of what you were dreaming about the past two nights?”
“Dreaming? I wasn’t dreaming. I don’t even think I slept. I haven’t been sleeping much.”
“Well, that’s true. Except for the last two nights—when you did sleep, and you did dream.”
“Don’t tell me I said or did anything embarrassing. I don’t think I could deal with any more shame right now.”
“No, nothing like that. You were … singing.”
“Chanting, sort of.”
“What was I saying?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?”
“I’m the one trying to ask a question here, Max.”
“Anyway, as I was saying, you were speaking in some strange language with lots of clicks.”
“You mean like some kind of African dialect?”
“Not exactly. More like … more like whale or dolphin speech. Do you have any memory of that?”
“None.” Raul seemed to hover with his broom—wanting, needing but not knowing how to say more.
Max finally asked, “Was there something else?”
“Yes, now that you mention it. You were … moving objects.”
“I was sleepwalking?”
“No. You were still. It was the objects that were moving.”
“What kind of objects?”
“Well, on the first night, it was Pablo. He somehow ended up in bed with you. Promiscuous little fellow.”
“Oh, I gave him a strong tongue-lashing.”
“I mean, how did he get in bed with me?”
“Precisely the question I asked myself! Pablo can be very stubborn. He was completely mum on the subject. So I bided my time. And the following evening, you answered my question yourself.”
“Yes. Most emphatically.”
Raul started sweeping again, first under Max’s desk. “You know,” he remarked, “your side of the room is rather like a train wreck at the moment.”
“Turnabout’s fair play.”
“So how did I answer your question?”
“Quite simply. You levitated your glass. That’s why there are glass shards everywhere—and also why I’m sweeping.”
“Because I … levitated my glass?”
“And then dropped it like a bomb on the tile floor. I admit I played a small role when I interrupted your chanting.”
“And this has to do with Pablo how?”
“I assume you levitated him as well. It’s called telekinesis.”
“I know what telekinesis is.”
“If you don’t mind my asking, Max, is there any history in your family of demonic possession?”
“Wait a minute. You’re serious, aren’t you? About me levitating things?”
“As a heart attack.”
“I don’t believe you. I won’t believe you.”
“Why on earth not?”
“We’re freshmen at an Ivy League university, Raul. We’re supposed to be getting a higher education. People in our shoes don’t go around levitating things!”
“Well, if it makes you feel better to maintain your illusion of normalcy, go right ahead.”
“Thank you. I am normal.”
“As you wish. Good God, this is absolutely disgusting, Max! Don’t you have any sense of decency?”
Cleaning up glass shards from under Max’s bed, Raul had swept out a giant dust bunny—in the middle of which, like a desiccated insect trapped in a spider web, was Max’s caul, carelessly discarded in the depths of his depression.
Raul disentangled it from its gnarly filaments and held it up between his thumb and forefinger with the nauseated look of someone holding a dead rat by the tip of the tail. “I assume you wish to keep this excrescence?” he asked. “A family heirloom and all that.”
“Sure. Why not.”
“What would you like me to do with it?”
“Just set it on my desk.”
“Where you can lose it again?”
“Sure. Why not.”
Raul stashed the caul in a secure place inside Max’s top desk drawer. “Done.”
“Don’t mention it. Just one more thing, Max.”
“Please don’t go levitating me. I have a terrible fear of heights. And despite what you might think, I do need my beauty sleep.”
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.