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
Upon reemerging from Mellon Hall into the angled sunlight of All Saints Day afternoon, Max felt as if he had just spent four years in the Otherworld of Professor Icarus’s office during which he had completed his real college education.The feeling was similar to one he recalled from his boyhood, in the aftermath of his fight with Doug Biggins, when Tuesday led him to her home and he first met Maizy, who opened his young eyes to a variety of things.
How many times must one feel one has learned everything, Max wondered, only to find out later one has hardly learned anything?
He had another familiar feeling: hunger. Hollow from so much brain work in so short a time on so little food, he headed straight to Bayer Street—where he promptly fell of the wagon as he wolfed down a bacon cheeseburger and fries at Gaiters Café. He did, however, order a Perrier instead of a soda.
When he finally returned to Chatterton House, belly full and head still spinning from his meeting with Professor Icarus, it was probably around four o’clock. But that was just a guess (Max had forgotten to wear his watch) based on the low position of the sun in a sky growing cloudy as the early autumn evening approached.
Raul was nowhere to be found, but Pablo greeted Max with a welcoming expression when he entered his room and switched on the overhead light.
“Good to see you, too,” said Max. “Unfortunately, I don’t have time to chat right now.”
Pablo seemed to understand as Max cast off his backpack, opened his closet, and dragged out his mother’s old Seward chest stuffed with his past he had brought with him from Florida.
Sitting beside it on the floor and opening the lock (whose combination, being the last six digits of his childhood phone number, was indelibly printed in his memory), he soon located his mother’s age-stained essay which Professor Icarus had said might prove “illuminating.”
On the title page, under “Cryptids Explained: A Novel Interdimensional Theory,” the author was listed as Cynthia L. Holden, Ph.D., the “L” standing for Louise, which was also Max’s grandmother’s name.
Though no date was listed, the article clearly predated her marriage, after which, as a tenure-track anthropology professor at the University of South Florida, she published under the name Cynthia Holden-Diver.
The article was only thirty double-spaced pages—but it was positively overflowing with aha moments and took Max, seated with Pablo on his bed, the better part of three hours to take in fully.
Starting with a brief introduction to Reciprocal Theory and the idea that our reality, space-time, exists in inverse relationship with another reality, time-space, the essay went on to outline the work of a Scottish scientist named Ivan Sanderson, who wrote a famous article called “The Twelve Devil’s Graveyards around the World.”
This article examined a dozen different areas on the earth’s surface, all laid out in a geometric pattern, where unexplained phenomena—including spinning compasses, electrical malfunctions, time anomalies, and disappearances—had been routinely documented throughout recorded history.
Theorized to be “vortex points” where the planet’s crystalline structure created perforations, or wormholes, between the material and cosmic sectors, these areas went by imposing names such as the Dragon’s Triangle, the Devil’s Sea, and the Bermuda Triangle.
A shiver of recognition traveled Max’s spine at the mention of the Bermuda Triangle. Naturally, being from Florida and having read many books on the paranormal as a kid, he had heard of the Bermuda Triangle.
Like most people, though, he assumed there was nothing particularly supernatural to the stories of planes and ships disappearing in this legendary expanse of ocean flanked by the islands of Bermuda, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.
But Max’s mother painted a very different picture. In the second half of the 20th century alone, nearly one hundred boats, two hundred planes and two thousand people had gone missing in the Bermuda Triangle, never to be seen or heard from again.
These astonishing numbers represented only the most bizarre cases—for which no ordinary explanations were ever offered, and which amounted to a mind-boggling statistical improbability given the relatively small “triangle” in question.
While it was never framed in such terms in the official Navy statement or subsequent press reports, the truth was immediately obvious—glaringly so—to Max: his father had mysteriously disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle!
Logically, this had to be the case. Captain Diver’s “classified” missions in the Tempus Fugit inevitably, like clockwork, centered on this region.
But more than this, Max knew it in his heart. He vividly recalled his dream shortly before his twelfth birthday in which his father, followed by his eighteen-year-old self, vanished into a stormy vortex smack in the middle of … the Bermuda Triangle.
Once again, Max visualized pounding with his fists on the Skyhawk’s cockpit in an attempt to warn his father, who though adjusting his haywire instruments and speaking into a dead radio, didn’t seem particularly alarmed. To the contrary, the look on his face was perfectly calm, even resolute.
It was almost as if Captain Diver was trying, had been trying, to find just such an access point into the cosmic sector. But if so, why?
A team of Russian scientists, according to the article by Max’s mother, had discovered a “planetary grid” centered on the twelve Devil’s Graveyards originally identified by Sanderson.
The grid lines—known as “ley lines” in Europe, “aka threads” in Polynesia, and “songlines” in Australia—were theorized to form a network of subtle energy (which could be tapped into for various purposes) along which animals migrated, unique flora and fauna thrived, and ancient civilizations built their sacred sites. Among these were the Great Pyramid, the Pyramid of the Sun, Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, and the statues of Easter Island.
Just as there were many strange disappearances in the vicinity of the Devil’s Graveyards, there were just as many odd appearances in these areas and along the interconnected web of lines that formed the planetary grid.
From all over the world, researchers had catalogued dozens of reports of lake monsters sighted near the Devil’s Graveyards or the planetary grid with serpentine tails, elongated necks, and flippers in place of lower limbs.
The Loch Ness Monster, or “Nessie,” first mentioned by Saint Columba as far back as the 6th century and seen by as many as four thousand people since just the 1930s, was the most famous example.
The most plausible explanation for Nessie, according to some biologists, was that this creature was a type of dinosaur, known as plesiosaurus, that—like the ancient coelacanth thought to be extinct until a fisherman hauled one out of the deep—had somehow survived into the modern age.
There was also the case of “Caddy,” an alleged cadborosaurus seen from British Columbia as well as along the Washington and Oregon coastlines. According to two alternative science publications, the bones of an eleven-foot Caddy were recovered inside a whale’s stomach.
In the Congo, a dinosaur-like animal resembling a small brontosaurus, called a sauropod, had been regularly seen by hundreds of eyewitnesses. Uncannily similar creatures had been described in reports from various other African nations.
What was apparently a dinosaur was spotted by nine individuals on Umbungi Island near one of the Devil’s Graveyards in the vicinity of Papua New Guinea. And at China’s Sayram Lake, over a thousand spectators had witnessed a large aquatic creature perfectly matching a dinosaur’s description.
Max was fascinated to learn that such sightings weren’t limited to cryptids inhabiting water; there were also numerous reports of what could only be explained as flying dinosaurs.
Max’s mother proposed that mythological dragons (which appeared in legends all over the world) and even the thunderbird sacred to Native Americans might actually represent winged dinosaurs such as pterosaurs and pterodactyls.
She examined several related cases—including thousands of “thunderbird” sightings across the western United States as well as Papua New Guinea’s “Ropen,” seemingly prehistoric creatures whose twenty-plus-foot wingspans exceeded that of any living bird.
Finally, she arrived at the most renowned cryptid of all: Sasquatch. There was overwhelming evidence for the existence of Bigfoot—from tracks, to hair samples, to the famous Patterson-Gimlin film showing an adult female Sasquatch walking through the woods of Northern California, to the so-called Minnesota Iceman.
The Iceman was a tall, hairy (except for his face, palms, and underarms), ape-like hominoid shot by a hunter and frozen in a block of ice that, before it vanished under suspicious circumstances, had been studied by none other than Ivan Sanderson, a credentialed zoologist, who suggested it might very well be a Neanderthal!
Other Bigfoot researchers claimed that Sasquatch, which went by scores of names in cultures across the globe, was a Miocene-era ape. Still other scientists hypothesized that Neanderthals, rather than being smooth-skinned like contemporary humans, as typically depicted, were actually covered in fur and resembled not so much us as … Sasquatch.
Whether Bigfoot was an upright-walking Miocene ape of huge proportions, or a modern-day caveman, or whether the Neanderthals were, in fact, huge Miocene apes still inhabiting the planet, the question remained: How?
Assuming that they were simply historical anachronisms, creatures that had managed—even on dying—to avoid detection and escape capture, mostly, one had to account for their elusiveness and lack of fossil evidence.
Some explained their elusiveness by pointing out that less than forty percent of the earth’s surface was fit for human habitation. That left fully sixty percent of the planet—much of which was poorly surveyed even if it had managed to be explored—as a potential habitat far from human eyes for any number of cryptids, including Sasquatch.
As for why no fossilized Bigfoot bones supposedly had ever been found, Max’s mother pointed out that practically no fossilized monkey bones had ever been discovered either, for the simple reason that fossils didn’t form in the heavily forested areas inhabited by monkeys. If Bigfoots lived in similar places, as often reported, it only made sense that they wouldn’t leave fossils either.
For those who argued that Sasquatches and Neanderthals were one and the same, the problem of fossilized bones was also elegantly solved, since bones had already been found: in caves all over the world since the dawn of anthropology.
While admitting the possibility that dinosaurs and Bigfoots could simply be natural inhabitants of our world, Max’s mother went on to propose an alternative hypothesis for their existence based on Reciprocal Theory.
Reiterating that a highly disproportionate number of cryptid sightings occurred near the Devil’s Graveyards or along the planetary grid, where an energetic exchange seemed to exist between space-time and time-space, could it be possible, she asked, that cryptids weren’t natural inhabitants of our modern world at all?
If contemporary people (to the tune of hundreds per decade) were constantly crossing over into the cosmic sector in such locations, wouldn’t it make sense—from a reciprocal perspective—that prehistoric animals from time-space might be balancing the equation by periodically popping over into the material sector?
Her theory didn’t just explain why cryptid sightings happened in geo-specific locations. If cryptids had a way of returning to the cosmic sector, using the natural planetary interchange between time and space, her theory might also account for their elusiveness.
She pointed out that virtually all the same unexplained phenomena associated with the Devil’s Graveyards—compass malfunctions, electrical breakdowns, time discrepancies—were often reported in conjunction with cryptid sightings.
Indeed, cryptids seemed to make electrical equipment go berserk—which might shed light on why so little convincing photographic evidence of their existence had ever been produced.
On finishing the article, a tsunami of exhaustion swept over Max. Though it was barely after seven, he found himself so depleted (mentally and emotionally) it was all he could do to stash the Seward trunk, brush his teeth, remove his contacts, strap on his sleeping mask, and tuck himself in bed with Pablo in the crook of his elbow.
His mother’s article had been illuminating, all right. But at the moment, especially so soon after his meeting with Professor Icarus, he was in no place to piece all the swirling data points together into a coherent mental picture.
His inability to focus extended into his dream—where everything, though seemingly belonging to a tropical setting, appeared blurry and distorted.
He could hear the ocean washing up behind him in bursts as he stumbled deliriously away from it across indistinct sea shells—and as a vast avian shadow, like a gigantic heat mirage, rippled menacingly across the sand.
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.