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
As evening approached, they traveled across a high-desert landscape of crooked arroyos, vast outcroppings of chamisa in orange bloom, and sprawling sage bushes with fragrant blossoms of a violet hue buzzing with swollen honeybees.
In terms of wildlife, the desert was hardly deserted—and took some getting used to for this reason. With disconcerting regularity, they happened across enormous tarantulas, oversized scorpions, and even rattlesnakes of sobering proportions sidewinding across the blood-red earth.
Once, they witnessed a huge roadrunner with salt-and-pepper feathers seize and devour what looked like an overgrown coral snake. Max felt as if he were watching a National Geographic special. Even Zana seemed impressed by the proliferation of dangerous fauna.
Thankfully, in this arid clime, there appeared to be no more mosquitoes, though Max still itched from their puffy bites. Meanwhile, the jungle heat had been replaced by continuous wind that whistled in his ears and chapped his skin, which was already peeling in places from sunburn.
Still, without Zana leading him wherever she was leading him, he could easily be dead. The idea of death made him think of his father. He wondered how he would manage to find him before it was too late (if it wasn’t already) in the seemingly endless temporal expanses of this confusing reality.
With each step across the desert, they neared a range of jagged, alpine mountains that towered ahead like hunchbacked giants under an elfin slice of moon steadily surmounting the horizon.
Staring up at the glowing crescent in a partly cloudy sky gradually being drained of color by twilight, Max realized that the moon had shifted phase—from full to waxing—in less than twenty-four hours, by his calculation.
Assuming the moon itself wasn’t inconstant, this suggested that one had to either stay put or travel specific distances based on a lunar ratio along the x or y axis for the moon to progress through its natural phases from one night to the next.
Bizarre as this phenomenon was, Max’s growing thirst in that landscape of dust overshadowed it. Before long, mercifully, they left the desert and—as nightfall erased the contours of the world—made their way up through sloping juniper woods in the pale moonlight.
Not only did the mosquitoes remain absent with night; there were no more fireflies either. Zana, who could see better than a cat in the dark, slowed her pace to baby steps and allowed Max to stumble along behind clutching her pungent fur to keep from falling.
Just when he was on the verge of collapsing from thirst and fatigue, he was revived a little by a most peculiar sight. Some of the larger trees up ahead on the mountainside, whose bloated shapes suggested a kind of piñon, were glowing.
He rubbed his eyes and did a double take. Sure enough, the elephantine trees gave off a faint luminescence in sinuous lines resembling shining veins just beneath their bark.
Zana, with her familiar whoop that indicated something good, set down her rocks and strode straight over to a glowing tree. As if snapping a dry reed, she broke off a branch the size of a walking stick, before ripping off its leafy appendages like so many threads to make it smooth.
Unceremoniously, she handed the stick to Max, who grasped it with amazement. Wherever the bark had been broken, including the large end as well as the smaller twig-holes, illuminated sap—shining like molten lava—oozed out. “This is good, Zana. This is very good. Thank you.”
In the torch-like glimmer, her eyes flashed as she showed her teeth and burst into peels of thrilled laughter. Meanwhile, the sap—moving slowly and giving off a scent like copal—dripped, glowing, over Max’s fingers.
“That takes care of light. So what are we going to do for water?”
Zana nodded, her ridged brow furrowing seriously, as if to say, “Yes. Water is our priority now.”
It didn’t take long to find some—and believe it or not, Max was the one who discovered it when the light from his stick reflected off a pool in the concave surface of a rock.
On examination the pool was fed by a tiny spring, which meant the water was most likely potable. He threw down his stick, stuck his face in the chilly water, and drank as much as he could—before sprawling on his back like someone who had just finished a marathon.
After drinking her fill, Zana stood surveying the woods and sniffing occasionally. She didn’t seem inclined to call it a night. Sure enough, after a few minutes she grunted and nudged Max where he lay with a hairy foot.
“Do I have to get up?” he groaned.
She growled. Max interpreted this as a yes. He sat up stiffly, downed a few more mouthfuls of water while kneeling, then grabbed his stick and used it to hoist himself back onto his throbbing feet. “Any chance you’d be willing to carry me up the hill?”
Ignoring him, Zana set off again and he followed as best he could. Actually, the going wasn’t too difficult, as they soon discovered a wide path—complete with stone steps here and there in various states of disrepair—winding up and up into the dark.
As night deepened and their elevation increased, the air grew chillier. Max was wondering how much colder it would get, and whether he was at risk of hypothermia or frostbite, when he felt the air suddenly turn warmer again.
The difference was barely noticeable at first. But as they climbed, strangely, the temperature increased by several degrees—until they came to a monumental stone archway beneath which the path traveled blackly.
Following Zana under the archway into a sprawling complex of ancient ruins reminiscent of Machu Picchu, whose vast outlines were revealed by the light from Max’s stick, he had the distinct impression that the warmth he felt came from this place.
He also sensed that the heat wasn’t chemical, but energetic. It was as if the site were some type of gigantic power plant for subtle energy—which here in time-space, if Reciprocal Theory was correct, must derive from his world, space-time.
For a moment, he allowed himself to ignore his dire circumstances and pursue this hypothesis. He surmised that while time was the underlying energy powering the material sector, space was its mirror equivalent flowing into and sustaining the cosmic sector.
In both cases, this interchangeable energy—which cohered into waves, atoms, molecules, and physical structures—made life possible. In space-time, this energy was known as gravity. Perhaps in time-space, it was called … levity.
“Hello? Zana?” His musing evaporated the instant he realized he was alone. “Zana? Are you there?!”
Echoes. Then silence. The wind was no longer even blowing. The whole site—with its crumbling walls and towers casting ominous shadows in the tenuous light from Max’s stick—was as quiet as a church … or a graveyard.
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.