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
Coming to his senses, Max indeed sensed from the faraway murmur of the surf that the tide had gone out. He also sensed he was still sprawled facedown like a sunbaked jellyfish exactly where he had washed up.
While it may be difficult for those dwelling in space-time to comprehend, the Otherworld really is another world—one whose rules, though coherent in their own framework, run exactly opposite to ours.
Where denizens of the material sector experience hearing, for instance, as an external, physical sense, those inhabiting the cosmic sector “hear” the world through an internal, intuitive process more like what we might call a “sixth sense.”
Conversely, intuition, feelings, forebodings, clairvoyance, hunches and other immaterial phenomena are—from the perspective of the Otherworld—tangible sensations akin to our five senses.
Owing to such radical differences between sectors, for the average space-time person, navigating the inverse universe of time-space (where everything seems inside out) is fraught with unimaginable difficulties.
Happily, having been born with the blue Max’s caul, and thus “hardwired” for the cosmic sector, Max wasn’t the average material-sector person.
Still, in the initial stages of adjusting to time-space, even he was discombobulated. For starters, he had quite a time just figuring out how to get to his feet.
At length, applying his mind to the problem, he realized that in order to stand up in the cosmic sector, one had to reverse the thought process (as in dreams) and stand down. His hands and neck smarted from sunburn as he struggled upright—or rather, “downright.”
After solving this conundrum, the next challenge Max faced involved his eyesight—or lack thereof. His vision was still so blurry he wondered if he had lost his contacts when he splashed down.
Panicking like someone who fears his wallet has been stolen, he touched the corners of both eyeballs, where the ultra-thin, extended-wear lenses remained in place.
Wondering whether he even needed contacts in time-space, he became aware that his eyesight was gradually improving. Before long the ocean ceased to be merely a uniform turquoise and took on a variety of subtly nuanced hues.
To use an Internet analogy Raul would have appreciated, it was as if Max’s brain—particularly, in this case, his visual cortex—was in the process of switching “browsers.”
Within minutes he could make out even more colors in the water, the interference patterns between incoming and outgoing waves, the tiny fins of dolphins in the distance, the warped shadows from clouds on the horizon sailing across the ocean’s undulating surface.
Turning, he examined the dense jungle lining the shore. Besides taking in the “macro” in the form of gigantic trees and sinuous vines, Max was also keenly aware of the “micro”: the myriad shapes of leaves, the intricate patterns of bark, the shimmering lines of red and black ants working.
Everything was vivid to an extreme, surreal even, down to the smell of the ocean, the almost burning scent of salty wind in his nostrils. He had the bizarre impression this world was real—while the one he came from was fake.
Be that as it may, the Otherworld, drenched in the intense light of a tangerine sun, was unquestionably hot. Stripping off his mostly dry sweatshirt and tying it around his waist, feeling the sun’s rays on his shoulders, he set out across the sand toward the jungle in search of shade.
To his surprise, the experience of walking was the biggest novelty of all. He was definitely processing this new environment differently because the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other was an exercise in traveling through time. Literally.
To employ another Internet comparison, time-space appeared to operate via a mechanism akin to scrolling down a webpage. Fascinatingly, each step one took seemed to “upload” the next temporal frame of reality … as needed.
“That’s weird,” said Max while taking another step into yet another reality frame, only to be further shocked by the resonant, harmonic quality of his voice, which seemed to echo in surround sound.
He stopped and took a step back. Sure enough, the frame reverted to the previous one, like an old-timey movie reel playing in reverse. “Forward into the future. Backward into the past,” he murmured, considering the implications.
A high-pitched noise like a gorilla screaming somewhere in the jungle interrupted his thoughts. The sound sent shivers down his spine and stood every hair on his body on end. Attempting to put as much distance as possible between himself and whatever had made such a racket, he began moving forward again.
With each step, the jungle seemed to change slightly, becoming a little older perhaps. After roughly a quarter of a mile, gaps and clearings could be seen where strange blue coconut palms of vast dimensions dominated and wild yellow grasses grew.
In one such clearing, to his tremendous surprise and unspeakable joy, Max beheld the Tempus Fugit!
Running forward through time, the wild grasses growing taller and going to seed as the season changed from summer to fall, Max found the red and blue Cessna Skyhawk long deserted.
Exotic weeds had grown up around the landing gear; rust had eaten through portions of the lower frame; and creepy orange spiders had built translucent webs under the wings. There was no indication anyone had been near the place in ages.
He climbed up and looked inside the cockpit. Nothing. He searched the clearing with his eyes. Nothing.
Well, not exactly nothing. Something was sailing toward him overhead. He first saw only its shadow rippling across the clearing—an enormous, menacing darkness that blotted out the sun.
In that same instant, a second animal scream erupted from the jungle. This time, instead of frightening Max directly, it had the effect of alerting him to some other immediate danger—and not a second too soon. Glancing up, he beheld a huge … pterosaur swooping down!
Its red and yellow wingspan easily stretched to forty feet; its body, mottled with spiky fur, was the size of a horse; its beak was long and pointed like a spear; and its cry was like that of an eagle … on steroids.
Realizing he was under attack from what his mother would have called a thunderbird, Max had just enough time to drop to the ground and roll under the Skyhawk—before the great beast brushed across the cockpit, jostling the entire plane with a frustrated cry.
The ground shook as the pterosaur landed and dropped to all fours, folding its bat-like wings behind its forelegs and moving forward like a quadruped. A blue coxcomb waved atop its head like a flag as it thrust its pointed beak at Max where he lay terrified under the Cessna.
That might have been the unceremonious end of Max and his journey to the Otherworld—had something very unexpected indeed not occurred just then. Whack! A large rock sailed out of the jungle and struck the thunderbird powerfully on the flank.
The beast gave an infuriated, deafening cry and turned in the direction from which the missile had come. Whack! Another even larger rock ricocheted off its chest under the elongated beak.
The thunderbird seemed to experience a moment of indecision. Glancing at a trembling Max with inscrutable black eyes, then at the jungle from which yet another rock missed it just wide, the beast suddenly made up its mind—leaving its prey for another day and taking off across the clearing toward its aggressor at a thunderous gallop.
Composing himself, Max quickly assessed the situation. Clearly, his father wasn’t here. And he needed to take cover as fast as possible, which meant braving the jungle. There was nothing to be gained from hanging around just so he could be eaten.
The thought of becoming dinner for a flying dinosaur made him realize how hungry he was himself, which somehow brought breadcrumbs to mind.
“If you do enter the Otherworld in search of your father,” Professor Icarus had counseled in his final words to Max, “be prepared for anything. Anything. And make sure you drop a lifeline of breadcrumbs as you travel through time so you can find your way back to us again in the here and now.”
Max didn’t have any breadcrumbs in his pockets, but he had something that might work even better. Crouching in the grass beside one of the Skyhawk’s deflated tires, he looped his silver cord several times around it.
The idea was that the cord would stay fixed at that particular point in time, allowing him to simply follow it back when he was ready, since it should stretch out behind him as he moved forward into the future.
After verifying that the clearing was actually clear, Max took a swimmer’s breath and sprinted in the opposite direction the thunderbird had gone. At the edge of the jungle, he made sure his silver cord was still with him. It was—fluttering behind diaphanously in the wind.
“This is nuts,” he whispered, before taking another deep breath and plunging headlong into a jungle so leafy and vine-filled it reminded him of a scene out of a Tarzan movie.
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.