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
Avalon House, like other dormitories at Maroon University, had a public lobby on the ground floor, while access was only granted to the students’ rooms above via electronic cardkey. Raul was confident, examining the slot in the security door, that he could hack its amateurish code in a matter of minutes.
He even was in possession of highly sophisticated equipment for doing just that—not on his actual, GQ-clad person, sleepily reclining in a loveseat by the window staring out at the upcurling mist on this chilly, late October morning, but stashed in his closet.
But why go to all that trouble, and risk getting expelled, and possibly even prosecuted, when all one had to do was simply wait for Tuesday to appear?
Nine o’clock was dreadfully early for Raul, who was anything but an early riser. There was a compelling reason for him to have dragged his sleep-deprived self out of bed into the brisk exile of the morning, performed his time-consuming toilette, and hoofed it across campus to sit twiddling his thumbs.
That reason was Max. Far from having overcome his depression, or his terribly upsetting paranormal displays in the dead of night, he had actually sunk a good bit deeper in both arenas.
The straw that broke the camel’s back came just last night—when Raul and Pablo were startled awake by clicking and chanting, yet again, only to witness Max himself floating a foot and a half above his bed. His blankets were still draped over him. He looked rather like a human tent, with his own suspended body serving as the central pole.
“Are you seeing what I’m seeing, Pablo?” Raul asked, clutching the teddy bear, whose eyes were also wide with fright, for dear life.
Realizing he couldn’t in good conscience allow this kind of thing to continue without seeking help, Raul considered his options.
Confronting Max was out of the question. How does one go about confronting a person who appears to have no memory of what he’s doing?
Ratting on Max to a student counselor or, worse, a university psychologist was even less acceptable. That would be like feeding Max to the wolves. Hadn’t the poor boy experienced enough trauma for one life already?
That left only one option, really: Tuesday. An intimidating strategy, no doubt about it, fraught with tremendous potential for judgment, ridicule, and outright rejection.
But what else could Raul do? Tuesday represented a living link, the only one Raul could access, to Max’s past. Possibly, she held the key to helping him overcome whatever demons he was battling—on his own terms and in his own way. Then, perhaps, Raul could finally get some sleep again.
But he almost let her slip past him. In the middle of his reverie, she had exited the security door, traversed the lobby, and was nearly out the front door, before he spotted her—or rather, her blonde hair coiling down marvelously over her backpack nearly to the level of her baggy jeans. “I say, Tuesday!” he called, popping up and trotting after her.
“Raul? What on earth are you doing here?” she asked with the door ajar, her attractive face configured to just this side of a grimace.
“You’re looking quite smashing this morning,” Raul commented, unable to resist.
“Please don’t tell me you came here at this hour to hit on me.”
“Actually, that wasn’t my primary intention. Do forgive me.”
“So why are you here?”
“Max. I’m here because of Max. Look, I know you and I have our differences.”
“You and I don’t have anything, Raul.”
“Sadly true. And I also know the two of you experienced some kind of falling out—”
“Did he say something to you?”
“No. That’s not like him. I just … picked up on it.”
“Fair enough. Look, Raul, in case you didn’t notice, I’m in a hurry to get to class. And I still don’t understand why you’re doing this?”
“Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit.”
“Care to translate?”
“It’s a Latin proverb. I learned it at boarding school. It means, ‘Thus, silence gives consent; he ought to have spoken when he was able.’”
Tuesday reassessed Raul bedecked in an obviously premeditated ensemble of Italian loafers, designer jeans, gray long sleeves, black leather jacket, and Ray-Bans.
His couture was like camouflage designed to distract all but the most penetrating gaze. She seemed to see right past it into his heart of hearts and know that his outside and inside didn’t match. “I’m impressed,” she said. “But still in the dark.”
“Max needs you, Tuesday.”
“Uh, I’d say I’m exactly the opposite of what Max needs. He made that painfully clear.”
This she said as she continued out the door and began walking at a fast clip across campus, forcing Raul to keep up with her long strides. “I’m not saying he knows he needs you. I’m just saying he does.”
“Please feel free to elaborate.”
“With pleasure. It all started with this bloody bowl of oatmeal—”
“A Proustian thing. Like Marcel’s madeleine. He ate it, it made him remember his father tenderly, and then he completely fell apart.”
“Ah. The fourth stage of grief.”
“Exactly. Depression. Very bad. Saudade, really.”
“Sorry. It’s a Portuguese word for intense, crippling heartache. If I know nothing else, I know saudade when I see it.”
“You speak Portuguese?”
“I’m bilingual. Trilingual really, if you count eight years of French. But that’s not what this is about. There’s more, Tuesday.”
“Much more, I’m afraid. Not to put too fine a point on it … but I’m living the bloody Amityville Horror. The dormitory version.”
Tuesday pulled up short on the sidewalk and asked excitedly, “Are you trying to say Max is finally dreaming again?”
“Dreaming? Like bloody hell. I wish it were only dreaming. We—meaning you and I—need to perform an intervention, Tuesday.”
“Look, either your old friend needs to be institutionalized and given heavy doses of medication, which I don’t condone, or he needs to be … exorcized.”
“His siddhis are starting to come out again, aren’t they?”
“I wasn’t aware Max owned any cities.”
“No, silly. Siddhis. S, i, d, d, h, i, s. A Sanskrit term for superhuman powers typically accessed by yogis or other enlightened beings.”
“You read Sanskrit?”
“I should think a dead language would be rather boring, socially speaking. More to the point, Max seems anything but enlightened. And you said these powers are beginning to emerge … again?”
“He started bringing back objects from his dreams when he was eleven, right around the time we first met. He brought back this bracelet and gave it to me.”
“That’s a spiffy piece of jewelry.”
“Thanks. Then one day at school, when this bully tried to pick on him, I witnessed Max’s astral body step out and beat the guy to a pulp. Snapped his collarbone like a twig.”
“Ouch. And he looks so perfectly harmless. Hardly more dangerous than a puppy. Remind me never to offend Max in any way again.”
“My mother, who’s a witch, and I theorized that Max was beginning to access the siddhis, which is sometimes done spontaneously. But then his father was lost and all delving on Max’s part into the supernatural went by the wayside.”
“Your mother’s a witch?”
“A Wiccan, yes.”
“Where do you people come from? I mean, I go my whole life only hearing stories about such things—and now I half expect to meet a centaur at any moment. Is Max really levitating objects, including himself—or am I actually the one who needs to be institutionalized?”
“Max is acquiring telekinesis, huh?”
“Acquiring? I’d say it’s a fait accompli. And a royally frightful one, at that. But is it real—or merely the product of my admittedly stressed imagination?”
“Oh, it’s real. You don’t know the half of it,” said Tuesday with a furtive glance at her bracelet.
“I’m not sure I want to know the rest.”
“Don’t you have class this morning, Raul?”
“Me? Well, technically, yes. Why do you ask?”
“I noticed you don’t have your backpack.”
“Actually, now that you mention it, I don’t own a backpack. They’re such tacky things. Except for yours, of course.”
“Of course. So how do you carry your books and notebooks?”
“I don’t. Usually. As a general rule. I work from memory, you know.”
“How’s that working out for you?”
“Let’s just say if I had myself as a student, I’d fail me.”
“How droll. Raul, you’re an acquired taste.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment. So will you come to Max?”
“What do I say to him?”
“You’ll figure it out. You’re his best friend.”
“I was his best friend.”
“But you’ll come?”
“I’ll be there this afternoon.”
“Thank God. I owe you one. I’ll be loitering around to make sure you’re let in.”
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.