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
Chatterton House residents rarely used the kitchen, preferring to dine in the Maroon University cafeteria or at one of the numerous restaurants along Bayer Street. Many students, in fact, had small refrigerators in their rooms and never so much as visited the kitchen.
Especially at eleven-thirty at night, Max knew there was a good chance of having total privacy for discussing Raul’s plan to uncover the secrets of Project Thunderbird—even while whipping up a batch of tapioca pudding.
“Now, the first thing you must do, meu amigo,” said Raul, holding up the bag of Bob’s Red Mill tapioca, which Max had purchased at Bread and Circus, like a chef on TV, “is soak the tapioca pearls in water.”
“Are you seriously going to teach me how to make tapioca pudding—right now?” asked Max, who had pulled on a pair of tennis shorts and one of Aunt Nadine’s old sweaters for the occasion.
“Of course,” replied Raul, as he finished washing and drying his hands, then proceeded to roll up his designer shirtsleeves and crack his knuckles in preparation for this culinary exercise. “I promised I would, didn’t I?”
“I suppose you did.”
“Hand me a bowl, will you? After washing your hands. No telling where those fingers have been. There’s a good lad.”
Reluctantly, Max did as he was told. He was slightly annoyed by Raul (as usual) but even hungrier. Truth be known, he had always had a weak spot for tapioca pudding—and especially loved it when it was still hot.
“What can I do?” asked Tuesday. “Shall I get out the eggs and milk?”
“Thanks, that would be a big help,” said Raul, measuring out a cup and a half of filtered water and adding it to the two-thirds of a cup of tapioca pearls already in the bowl. “What time is it, Max?”
“How should I know? Do you see a watch on me?”
“Don’t be daft. Just check the time on the stove clock. I can’t see it from here.”
“It’s eleven thirty-four. No, thirty-five now.”
“So the pudding will go on no sooner than five after.”
“What about the other ingredients?” asked Tuesday.
“Right. We need vanilla extract, salt, and some kind of sugar.”
“How about Sucanat?” asked Tuesday, holding up a half-full bag she had found hidden at the back of one of the cabinets. “At least, it’s better for you than refined sugar.”
“So is cocaine, apparently,” said Max, rolling his eyes and plopping down at the table.
“That should work,” said Raul. “We can’t be too careful with young Maxwell’s brain. So much depends on his pineal gland, glazed with rainwater, standing beside the white chickens.”
Tuesday giggled while searching for the vanilla. “I’m impressed,” she said. “First a Carl Sandburg, and now a William Carlos Williams reference. For someone who doesn’t read, how do you know so much about poetry?”
“Oh, I read, my dear. I just don’t read what I’m told to read.”
“I can respect that.”
When they had located the final ingredients, with twenty minutes to spare before the next step in the recipe, Tuesday and Raul joined Max at the table to discuss their plan.
“Assuming there’s documentation on Project Thunderbird,” Raul began, “the first questions we must ask ourselves are, one, who would have it and, two, where would it be kept?”
“Easy,” said Max. “Dr. Morrow would have it—most likely somewhere in his office.”
“Probably on his computer,” added Tuesday.
“That would be my guess,” said Raul.
“Which brings us to our next round of questions,” said Max. “How do we break into his office? And if we can get that far, how do we access his computer files?”
“First things first,” said Raul. “Before we talk about Morrow’s office and his computer, we have to get into the building.”
“Piece of cake,” said Tuesday, her large gray eyes twinkling mischievously. “It’s not as if it’s a high-security fortress. It’s just the Psychology Department.”
“Then let’s use psychology,” said Raul, his own dark eyes widening. “When, given the venue, would be the optimal time to engage in this bit of skullduggery?”
“Over a weekend,” said Max. “A Saturday night when nobody’s on the premises.”
“That’s certainly when I would do it,” agreed Raul. “If six years of boarding school taught me anything, it was how—and just as importantly, when—to sneak around. What time is it?”
“Eleven forty-two,” said Tuesday with a glance at the stove clock.
“Good. We’ve still got thirteen minutes before I have to beat the eggs.”
“So when should we … sneak around?” asked Max.
“You should enter the building in the late afternoon while it’s still open—then hide under a table in an unused seminar room until after the janitors have shut down the place for the night.”
“Me?” said Max. “What about you?”
“I’m your eyes, old boy.”
“How am I supposed to get back out again?”
“The front doors of a public campus building should open from inside without a key. It’s a fire code requirement.”
“Well, at least I won’t burn to death in the event of arson.”
“I’ll come with you, Max,” said Tuesday.
“That would be for the best,” said Raul, “assuming you’re willing to put yourself on the line, Tuesday. Somebody should be there on the ground to watch Max’s back.”
“I said I’ll do it,” said Tuesday, sitting up straight and summoning her courage. “If I get kicked out of college, I’ll just—I don’t know—become a writer or something.”
“Getting kicked out of this place may be the least of your worries if the CIA’s involved,” warned Raul.
“You don’t have to go with me, Tuesday,” said Max. “I can do this myself.”
“How very Lone Ranger of you. But after the last time I didn’t insist on helping you when you clearly needed it, I’m not going to make the same mistake again.”
“Fair enough. So, Raul, you said you’re going to be our eyes. What does that mean, exactly?”
“It means I’ll outfit the two of you with encrypted wireless earpieces so we can stay in contact. After I hack into Lumina Hall’s surveillance system to provide you with passage into Morrow’s office without being filmed, I’ll be able to monitor the entire building for signs of trouble.”
“And how do we get into his office?”
“That depends. How’s it locked?”
“By some kind of cardkey system.” Max thought back to his surreal afternoon of psychic screening. “There are at least two devices—one for an inside door, and another for Dr. Morrow’s office.”
“What floor are we talking about?”
“The third. Suite 386.”
“And how’s the main door to the suite opened?”
“Possibly by another cardkey.”
“Not to worry. I can find out easily enough by taking a peek with the third-floor security cameras.”
“What about hacking into Morrow’s computer?”
“Could be tricky. But it’s manageable.”
“And this can be done without any trail leading back to us?” asked Tuesday.
“If it’s done right.”
“You really can do all of this?” asked Max, who was nearly as blindsided by Raul’s revelations as by any of his other recent surprises over Halloween and All Saints Day.
“No problem. Like taking candy from a baby.”
“Let’s just say my father works for one of the world’s premier information security firms. Sometimes he leaves toys around the house. And sometimes his toys go missing.”
“He has to know you took them, doesn’t he?” asked an equally astonished Tuesday.
“Of course. But I think, in secret, he’s actually rather proud of his eldest for pursuing the family business, so to speak. We have what you might call an unspoken gentleman’s agreement to keep our little open secret … secret.”
“Miracles never cease,” said Tuesday.
“So is this the end of our planning?” asked Max.
“Hardly,” said Raul, standing back up and grinning like a mad genius. “This is merely the end of the beginning of our planning. But I think, for tonight, we should give it a rest and shift our focus to tapioca.”
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.