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
Having placed his food and juicing supplies from Bread and Circus in the Chatterton House kitchen’s refrigerator, Max approached his room distractedly, replaying the day’s gauntlet of intense events in his mind’s eye.
In the span of a few short hours of Halloween, he had met his mother’s old boyfriend, after whom he was apparently named; allowed his brain to be scanned as part of a psychic “tryout”; met the blue Max in the Interface only to be told that his father—somewhere, somehow—was in danger; and in yet another blast from the past, been invited to study with Dr. Morrow, of all people, to harness the power of his dreams.
But Halloween still wasn’t quite through with him. As Max stood before his door fumbling in his pocket for his room key, the past reached out once again with the sound of unfettered laughter like ringing bells coming from inside: Tuesday’s laughter.
Of all the things that had happened that day, the unmistakable trill of Tuesday’s laughter was perhaps the most poignant—instantly taking Max back to his twelve-year-old self and the start of his uncommon friendship with a unique, round-faced girl wearing saucer-thick glasses.
Max didn’t know why she was laughing, or even what she was doing in his room—but for a brief timeless time, transported by that familiar sound of happiness, he didn’t care.
In that moment, he recognized, in no uncertain terms, that he had been away from himself far too long—for years, truth be known. With an unexpected glimpse of his own lost joy, he intuited that he was finally, slowly, starting to make his way back to his center.
The laughter crested like a wave, washing over him, as he inserted his key, turned the knob, opened the door, and entered his room—only to find Tuesday still in her Easter Bunny costume seated on his bed clutching Pablo while giggling hysterically at an avian figure resembling a giant ostrich stomping on the opposite bed.
“Raul?” Max said.
The ostrich peered down at him with enormous painted eyes like dotted ping-pong balls and jerked its head like a massively overgrown chicken.
“Isn’t he an absolute disaster?” cackled Tuesday, meaning the ostrich, as she doubled over again with spasms of laughter.
“What exactly are you doing, Raul?” asked Max.
“I’m dancing, mate. Isn’t it bloody obvious?”
Raul said this while going into a full-blown “chicken dance,” flapping his feathered wings as his headdress bobbed and the multitude of beads on his elaborate costume sparkled and clicked.
“I can see you’re doing something you consider dancing,” said Max. “But what’s with the outfit?”
“It’s from Brazilian Carnaval,” said Tuesday. “Let’s go to Rio, Max. We must visit a place where the men dress up and dance this way.”
“Where in the world did you get it?” asked Max.
“Uh, Rio,” said Raul, sambaing down off the bed and shaking a leg for good measure. “You know, the place where I grew up.”
“You grew up in lots of places.”
“True. But Rio will always feel like home. Spiffy jacket, by the way.”
“You like it?”
“I love it. That’s why I bought it. Now give it back, you bearded thief.”
Max set Dr. Morrow’s waiver on his desk, took off Raul’s leather jacket, and tossed it to him. “Thanks, Raul.”
“Don’t mention it. And just so you know: that Jim Morrison circa 1970 look does not suit you.”
“I beg to differ,” said Tuesday. “How was the rest of your day, Max? Did you go grocery shopping?”
Taking the sand dollar from his dream, now completely dry, out of his pocket, he tossed it to Tuesday. “Yes, I went shopping.”
“Where did you get this?” she asked, turning the sand dollar face-up in her hand. “I assume Bread and Circus doesn’t sell these?”
With a glance at the Bradelring, Tuesday concentrated for a moment. Then, eyes widening, she exclaimed, “Dr. Morrow?!”
“Whoa. I never saw that one coming. You must tell me everything, Max.”
“Would someone care to explain who the bleep Dr. Morrow is?” said Raul.
“He’s Max’s old doctor,” said Tuesday.
“Well, this might come as a surprise, Brer Rabbit, but I managed to figure out that much on my own.”
“Have a seat, Raul,” said Max. “If you can sit without ruffling your feathers, that is. You might as well hear this, too.”
Raul carefully installed himself on his bed while Max sat in his desk chair and began to share the story of his afternoon. When he finally finished, the three friends sat in silence for a moment, processing.
“Max, I hope you won’t take this the wrong way,” said Raul at last. “But you’re what I can only describe as a strange attractor.”
“I didn’t think you knew anything about science,” responded Max.
“I know things about science. I just don’t trust science. Unless we’re talking computer science. Then I can see some integrity in it. Code doesn’t lie.”
“What about you, Tuesday? What do you think?”
“I think … it’s a lot to digest all at once. Do you really believe your father could still be alive?”
“I don’t know. Maybe. Do you?”
“Maybe. But how?”
“Simple,” said Raul. “That is, if he’s alive in the dream world.”
“Okay,” said Max. “Just to go with that idea for a second. Why would the blue Max say he isn’t made for that world? Why would my father be in danger there?”
“You’ve got me,” said Tuesday.
“Me, too,” said Raul.
“Why don’t you put these questions to Professor Icarus?” asked Tuesday. “If anybody might be able to answer them, it’s him.”
“You read my mind. That’s exactly what I’m going do.”
“So what’s with the waiver you mentioned?” asked Tuesday. “You said Dr. Morrow gave you one to sign?”
“It’s right here,” said Max, handing her the paperwork.
“I don’t believe in signing things,” said Raul. “Period.”
“What about your credit card payments?” asked Max.
“I prefer to use cash or bitcoin whenever possible.”
“Bitcoin. The cyber-anarchist’s crypto-currency.”
“I’m not sure I understood a word you just said.”
“That’s okay. It doesn’t matter. Earth to Tuesday. Come in, Tuesday. Do you read?”
“I could read, if you’d be quiet for half a second,” she said, scanning the third and final page of Dr. Morrow’s waiver. “Wait a minute. This is weird.”
“What about this isn’t weird?” put in Raul.
“No, I mean this waiver. Have you read it, Max?”
“Not yet. What does it say?”
“That by signing it, you give permission to be injected with an experimental microchip as part of the good doctor’s protocol.”
“An experimental what?” asked Max.
“See what I mean?” said Raul. “Weird, weird, weird.”
“A microchip,” repeated Tuesday. “An experimental one, at that.”
“What for?” asked Max.
“It doesn’t say.”
“I’ll tell you what for,” said Raul. “To mind-control your sorry ass.”
“Or worse,” said Tuesday.
“Come on,” said Max. “You guys can’t be serious. Does it really say that—or is this some kind of sick Halloween joke?”
“Read it and weep,” said Tuesday, handing Max the waiver. “Line 33.”
“I’ll be darned,” said Max, finding the line and shaking his head in near disbelief. “You think it’s talking about some kind of RFID chip?”
“It clearly states ‘experimental,’” Tuesday reiterated. “RFID chips have been around for years.”
“And even if it were an RFID chip,” said Raul, “do you really want to be tagged for easy geolocation like an animal in the wild?”
“This truly is bizarre,” said Max.
“My sentiments exactly,” said Raul.
“What do you think, Tuesday?”
“You want me to be frank?” she asked.
“No, I want you to be Tuesday.”
“Seriously. I’d love to hear your opinion.”
“All right. I don’t trust this program. And I don’t trust Dr. Morrow.”
“Me neither,” said Raul. “Something just isn’t right. It smells like something you wouldn’t care to step in, if you know what I mean.”
“But guys, don’t you realize that Dr. Morrow worked with my father?”
“So? Look what happened to your father,” said Tuesday.
“Are you saying Dr. Morrow might have had something to do with my father’s disappearance?”
“I don’t know what I’m saying. But I know what I’m feeling.”
“What are you feeling?”
“Goosebumps. I don’t like anything about this situation, Max. The whole thing gives me the creeps.”
“Hear, hear,” chimed in Raul.
“Maybe you’re just feeling Halloween,” said Max.
“Maybe,” Tuesday conceded. “Speaking of, it’s starting to get late. Raul and I were planning to head over to a big costume party at Sigma Chi.”
“Free beer,” explained Raul.
“Thank God. I was afraid you guys were going Greek.”
“No, my friend. I’ll always be Brazilian.”
“Care to join us?” asked Tuesday.
“No thanks. I’ve … got a lot on my mind.”
“I realize you do, Max. And I want you to know I’m here for you whenever you need me.”
“I know. Though I don’t always show it, I really appreciate it.”
“Just promise one thing, okay?”
“Promise you won’t commit to this program before we’ve had a chance to vet it more carefully.”
“That’s a good lad,” said Raul. “We certainly don’t want to see you lobotomized before your time.”
“Oh, and I almost forgot,” said Tuesday, reaching in her Easter basket, which she had stashed on the floor at the head of Max’s bed, and handing him a bar of organic chocolate. “Happy Halloween!”
“You’re the best, Tuesday.”
“I know. I just didn’t want you falling off the wagon and eating a bunch of toxic candy. Remember your pineal.”
After Tuesday and Raul headed off to their party, Max took advantage of the virtually empty dorm—most of whose denizens were out celebrating—to make himself a ham and gouda on sourdough and a tall green juice and then dine, slowly and thoughtfully, seated alone at the kitchen table.
When he had eaten Tuesday’s chocolate bar for dessert, he cleaned up after himself—then returned to his room to clean himself.
After a relaxing hot shower, feeling slightly lonely, though not particularly sad any longer, he picked up Pablo where Tuesday had left the blue stuffed bear on his bed.
Switching off the light, with Pablo in the crook of his arm, Max snuggled up under the covers, before falling into an exhausted slumber in which, thankfully, neither he nor his companion dreamed of anything.
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.