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
With a sensation like that of water swirling unstoppably down a drain, or Alice spinning down the rabbit hole, Max gasped, “Dr. Morrow?”
“Max! How very good to see you again after all this time!”
“Good to see you, too. I take it you’re … no longer with the Navy?”
As Max slipped the sand dollar in his pocket with one hand, Dr. Morrow shook his other hand with a firm grip. “Well, you see, I was never really with the Navy, Max. I was contracted to do some … experimental work.”
“You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”
“Sorry. It’s … Halloween.”
Dr. Morrow laughed. “You always had a sense of humor, even as a little child.” The doctor’s slight European, probably French, accent came through as he pronounced little “leetle.” “How do you like my new setup?”
“I’m impressed. It’s very high-tech.”
“Very high-tech. Would you like to see my office?”
Max followed as Dr. Morrow led him down the hall away from the reception room, stopping to punch a code into an electronic keypad beside a door—which opened following a series of low tones—labeled “Program Director.”
“I take it you’re a student here,” he said as he sat down in the leather chair behind his desk. Placing Max’s file on top of the desk, he peered over his computer monitor and motioned for Max to have a seat as well.
“Pre-med? That doesn’t surprise me. You come from extremely bright stock.”
It was all Max could do to process this latest bizarre turn of events. Meeting Dr. Morrow again under such circumstances after all these years was enough of a jolt to his system.
But then to find himself staring at a framed photograph on the wall of his father and the doctor standing in front of the Tempus Fugit at the Cape Carnival Jetport was positively a time warp.
“You still play tennis, Max?”
“If memory serves me, you made it to the state quarterfinals last year.”
“How did you—”
“Oh, I tend to keep tabs on people like yourself who are so … gifted.”
Like a replay of yesteryear, “gifted” echoed in Max’s reeling brain. Again he recalled his night of tests at the Navy hospital and overhearing Captain Diver’s conversation with Dr. Morrow, who first indelibly described him as gifted—a loaded term that ever after struck Max as two parts blessing and one part curse.
“I assume you already knew I was a student here?”
“Then you probably also know I still play tennis sometimes. Just not competitively.”
“Perhaps we could hit balls together one of these afternoons? You’ll have to promise to take it easy on me. I’m no spring chicken.”
“I’d enjoy that. But I don’t imagine you asked me in here to chat about tennis?”
Dr. Morrow shifted in his seat and stared with his owl eyes over the top wires of his glasses. “How very like your father you are.”
“That’s a new one. I’m usually compared to my mother.”
“I never knew her, I’m afraid, though I can see the resemblance. But you have your father’s no-nonsense demeanor,” observed the doctor with a glance up at the photo of himself beside Captain Diver.
“I’ll take that as a compliment.”
“You should. He was a pragmatist, your father.”
“I remember that about him.”
“I was afraid you might be an idealist, given your choice of university.”
“I used to be.”
“Idealism can be a necessary developmental stage. But in my line of work, there’s ultimately no place for it. I’m after results, not pie-in-the-sky.”
“Then we’re on the same page.”
On a day when the odd had become the strange on its way to the bizarre and beyond, the enigmatic direction of this conversation seemed perfectly, if eerily, fitting. Max had a strong sense Dr. Morrow was feeling him out, testing the waters, before committing to a certain level of disclosure.
Begging the question: disclosure of what?
“What did you dream about inside the scanning device, Max?”
“I know you dreamed. Your readings clearly indicate you experienced a lucid dream. A real whopper, by the look of it.”
“I met myself on a beach.”
“I see. A dream of self-reflection. What did you look like to yourself?”
“I was … blue.”
“Very much alive. Painted.”
“And had you met this version of yourself before in previous dreams?”
“How many times?”
“Did you speak to each other?”
“Were you given any sort of message?”
“Do you remember it now?”
Max distinctly recalled the blue Max’s message about his father being in danger of reabsorption, whatever that meant. But for one reason or another, under Dr. Morrow’s focused scrutiny, he opted to keep this information to himself. “No.”
“Not any of it?”
“You would tell me if you remembered?”
“Of course. Why wouldn’t I?”
“Indeed. I was wondering … By any chance, are you afraid of your power, Max?”
“Afraid of my … power?”
“Sorry to be so direct. But let’s not dance around this important subject.”
“Because fear is the only thing that’s holding you back.”
“Fear? Of what?”
“Fear of yourself. Fear of what you can become. There’s absolutely no reason to fear power, Max. The only thing to fear is—”
“I was going to say powerlessness.”
“Why are you so sure I can access such power?”
Dr. Morrow grinned like a poker player holding a winning hand. “Your brain tells me. Your gamma waves are completely off the charts—like nothing I’ve ever encountered. This indicates a state of being where the dreamer begins to physically bridge this reality with … another reality. You know what I’m talking about, Max, don’t you?”
“I think I do.”
“How long has this been happening to you?”
“A long time.”
“Since around the time I studied you as a boy, I presume?”
“More or less.”
“Have you brought back objects?”
“Ever levitated or experienced telekinesis?”
“Have you accessed the Interface?”
“You mean the membrane between the waking and dream worlds?”
“Extraordinary. And have you ever gone beyond? I mean, have you actually entered the dream reality itself?”
“Well, maybe just the edge. When I was very young.”
“Why haven’t you gone further?”
“I’m not sure. I guess … it frightens me.”
“What about it frightens you?”
Max wanted to say, Everything. Instead, he asked, “If I go there, how do I know I’ll be able to come back?”
“You don’t. But there are techniques to increase your chances of returning safely. I can teach you some of these methods—some of which I developed, others of which I merely enhanced.”
“Are you ‘gifted,’ Dr. Morrow?”
A look Max interpreted as frustration crossed the doctor’s pale, angular face. “Sadly, no. Unfortunately, my life has followed the old adage, Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”
“So have you ever successfully taught others to do this?”
“Successfully? That depends on your definition.”
“Okay. Have you ever had any students return from the dream world?”
“One was enough to prove it’s possible.”
“What happened to this person?”
“She left the program some years ago.”
“In what kind of mental condition?”
“She was still functional.”
“Yes, I’d say … functional.”
“And you want me to take that risk?”
“Not just for me, Max. For science. And I truly believe there’s very little risk, given your heightened brainwave patterns. How can I explain? It’s as if you … belong in the dream world.”
“Well, that’s a relief. Because I certainly don’t feel like I belong here.”
Dr. Morrow smiled again. “Will you at least consider my offer?”
“I’m considering it right now.”
“Excellent. Do you have any other questions before I let you go?”
“Yeah. Just one.”
“Was my father one of your students who didn’t make it back?”
Dr. Morrow scratched his chin thoughtfully as he seemed to reassess Max. If this last question had surprised him, he didn’t show it. “I can understand why you might think that,” he said finally, “in light of our conversation today.”
“So was he?”
“No. Tragically, your father was lost at sea and presumed dead.”
“Is that what you believe?”
“That’s what the Navy believes. That’s good enough for me. Do you have reason to believe otherwise?”
“No. I was just asking.”
“Fair enough. For what it’s worth, Max, I miss him, too.”
“That’s kind of you.”
“It’s not kindness. It’s selfishness. He was someone I could trust.”
Dr. Morrow stood up and Max followed suit. The two shook hands again over the computer monitor. “Be sure to check with Dr. Ishtar on your way out,” said the doctor. “She has a program waiver for you to read and sign.”
“Who said I’d made up my mind?”
“You have, haven’t you?”
“I guess that’s for me to know and you to find out.”
“I won’t lie to you, Max. It’s thrilling to imagine what incredible work we could do together. With your brain and my expertise, we could make beautiful music.”
“I don’t doubt it.”
“It was a pleasure seeing you again. I hope you’ll give my regards to your Aunt Nadine. She was quite a tough old bird with me. I respect that.”
“I will. Goodbye, Dr. Morrow.”
“Talk to you soon, Max.”
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.