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
The start of that week was a busy one for Max. Monday he awoke to find a message on his cell phone from Dr. Morrow asking whether he was up for a little tennis and politely inquiring whether he had made his decision about participating in the doctor’s “program.”
Ever since discovering he was Project Thunderbird’s “foremost recruiting objective,” Max couldn’t help suspecting that Dr. Morrow had selected Maroon University for “psychic screening” for an ulterior reason: to gain access to him.
Chances were, if he hadn’t wandered into Lumina Hall serendipitously of his own accord on Halloween, Dr. Morrow would have eventually approached him—directly or indirectly.
For what it was worth, there was no indication in the doctor’s voice that he was aware of his recent security breach. Nevertheless, given his track record, there was also no telling what he might be willing to try to bring his young recruit into the fold.
Max took the phone message as a sign that if he was going to do what he knew he needed to do, he needed to go ahead and do it—pronto.
The next day, he had two important appointments. In the morning, having considered doing so for months, and suspecting they might come in handy, he finally got around to acquiring extended-wear contact lenses that could be kept in as long as two weeks at a time.
In the afternoon, he met with an estate planning lawyer in downtown Endurance to draft his will. Not that he planned on giving up the ghost anytime soon. But he was about to disappear off the radar—and there was at least a chance he might not come back.
In the event of his demise, he bequeathed a living stipend to his Aunt Nadine sufficient to meet her needs to the end of her days. The rest of his assets—to the tune of millions—he divided between Tuesday and Raul.
Before leaving the lawyer’s office, he had three notarized copies of his will made. Back in his room, he stashed the original in the Seward chest and sealed the copies in separate envelopes, which he addressed to his three beneficiaries and placed in a file folder on top of his desk.
The following morning, remembering his promise to Professor Icarus, he made a copy of his mother’s article and proceeded to hand-deliver it to Mellon Hall.
He hoped to have one final chat with Professor Icarus—but unfortunately, the professor wasn’t in. So Max slid the essay, sealed in a large manila envelope on which he had written “For Andrew,” under the door.
As for his other promises to Professor Icarus, if Max was able to leave enough of a breadcrumb trail to make it back to this reality, he had every intention of doing everything in his power to salvage the semester and stay in school. Maybe he would even drop medicine and become an anthropologist …
But first things first. Stomach empty and growling, he strolled over to Bayer Street and wolfed down a shawarma and fries—remarking that after falling off the dietary wagon, he had just rolled under it.
When he got back to Chatterton House, finding Raul out and about, he packed a duffel bag with some spare changes of clothes, his toiletries, the sleeping mask Tuesday had given him, his caul, and his mother’s scarab hairpin.
With the bag over one shoulder and the box containing Maizy’s old thunderbird kite under the other arm, Max was already across the parking lot to his Explorer when he heard Raul call after him, “I say there, old chap. Aren’t you forgetting something?”
“This is just like you, Max,” said Tuesday. “Luckily, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected.”
Max had hoped to slip away quietly—not because he didn’t want to say goodbye to his friends, but because, after so many losses, he didn’t think he could bear to.
Stashing the duffel and box in the back seat and tossing his jacket on top of them, he watched as Tuesday and Raul (dressed for the cool weather themselves) approached, grinning and shaking their heads in unison.
“You’ve been quite the busy beaver the last few days,” said Raul. “It was obvious you were up to no good.”
“Look, guys. I have to do this part alone,” said Max.
“Of course, you do,” said Tuesday. “We’re not here to dissuade you.”
“We just wanted to give you a proper boa viagem,” said Raul—producing Pablo with a theatrical flourish from behind his back. “I thought our little friend here might be able to keep you company while you … travel. I noticed you two have taken quite a liking to one another.”
Raul’s gesture of kindness was so unexpected, and so heartfelt, tears welled up in Max’s eyes as he accepted the blue teddy from his roommate along with a hug smelling strongly of Calvin Klein cologne.
“Take care of yourself, mate,” said Raul. “And don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”
“I can’t think of much that would preclude, frankly.”
“Ha, ha. Just be sure you keep your wits about you on the other side.”
“I will. Thanks, Raul. For all your help. I mean it.”
“Oh, stop it. What on earth are friends for—if not occasionally misbehaving badly together?”
“I misjudged you when we first met. Despite appearances to the contrary, you’re really a first-class human being.”
“Ditto and ditto, Max.”
“And I brought you this,” said Tuesday, tears in her own eyes, as she placed a tin of Altoids, still shrink-wrapped, in Max’s palm. “Feel free to share them with Pablo.”
“You’re the best, Tuesday.”
“I know. I can’t help it.”
“Do you really think I’m up for this?”
“I really do. You were born for this.”
“I expect a detailed report when you return. Who knows, maybe I’ll write a book about Max’s journey to the Otherworld. I’ll call it Where the Wild Things Are.”
“Take care of yourself, hear?”
“I’ll do my best.”
“And say hello to your father for me.”
“Maybe you can say hello to him yourself soon.”
“I like that better. Let’s visualize a happy reunion all the way around.”
Max and Tuesday embraced like the longtime friends they were. “Thank you, Tuesday. I don’t know what I would have done all these years without you. Certainly, I didn’t deserve you.”
Tuesday had stopped trying to hold back her tears, which were streaming down her pink cheeks. “To the contrary, Max. You know as well as I do we were meant to be best friends.”
His own vision blurry, Max turned and climbed in the Explorer. Buckling Pablo in the passenger seat, he slipped on his sunglasses, opened the Altoid tin, and popped a mint in his mouth—then started the engine and backed out of his parking space.
Rolling down his window as he came alongside Tuesday and Raul, who were both wiping their eyes on their sleeves, he said, “Oh, I almost forgot. I left something for the two of you in a file on my desk.”
No sooner had Max spoken these words than he stepped on the gas. His tires squealed and smoked as he pulled out of the parking lot. Smiling, he caught one last glimpse of Raul and Tuesday, arm in arm, as he set off under partly cloudy skies for Connecticut.
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.