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
Sure enough, they found Maxwallah perched high atop the ninth and final platform of one of two massive step pyramids located approximately a quarter of a mile across Muru-amah.
The climb to the flattened top of the apex was up a stone staircase cut with supreme precision at a steep angle up the pyramid’s rocky face. Zana bounded up the stairs two at a time like a gazelle, leaving Max to lumber upward behind wishing there was a guardrail. “I thought you were going to sit on the sun,” he commented, between staccato breaths, on reaching the breezy summit.
“I am sitting on the sun,” replied Maxwallah, grinning up from where he sat cross-legged sewing what Max noted was a leather jerkin. “This is the Pyramid of the Sun.”
“No kidding?” Still gasping for breath, Max continued, “I once found an obsidian arrowhead in a dream behind the Pyramid of the Sun in my world.” He reached in his pocket, pulled out the arrowhead from the orchard, and handed it to his twin. “It looked a lot like this.”
“Where did you find this?” asked Maxwallah, examining the arrowhead as Zana looked on curiously.
“In the old apple orchard at the foot of the mountain.”
“That makes sense. This is a Heywah arrowhead and that was Heywah land.”
“How can you be sure it was made by the Heywah? It looks just like one of yours.”
“You have a good eye. My arrowheads are indeed replicas of Heywah work. But I have never fired a shot in that orchard.”
“I want you to have it. Maybe it will bring you luck.”
“Maybe it will.” Maxwallah slipped the arrowhead in a pocket of his buckskin breeches and resumed his sewing. “Thank you, Maxwell.”
“Don’t mention it.”
“But I just did.”
“It’s just an expression. So, you’re working on my hide shirt?”
“Yes. I plan to attach the sleeves separately so they can be removed and reattached as needed. That leaves only your belt—and you will be properly attired to journey across the mountains.”
“Do you mean those mountains?” From that height, Max could see above the forest to a jagged row of snow-covered peaks rising like knuckles against the pastel sky of late afternoon.
“I do. Those are the Red Mountains. The Almasty report that the pass, though still blocked with snow in places, should be navigable again soon—assuming the weather holds.”
“What if it doesn’t?”
“Then I am open to suggestions.”
Scratching her ribs while emitting a toothy yawn, Zana plopped down beside Maxwallah. Max, careful not to tumble off the pyramid, faced in the same direction and sat down on the other side. In the far distance, across hills, desert and jungle, he could make out a large body of water glinting in the angled sunlight. “Is that … the Inland Sea?” he asked.
“It is indeed,” replied Maxwallah.
“Where’s Blue Lake?”
“It is beyond sight—across the water in the forest.”
“Is that smoke rising off to the side?”
“That is the wildfire I mentioned. It is spreading.”
“It all seems terribly far away.”
“To one on two legs, yes. But to one on two wings, no.”
“That’s just the problem: I don’t have two wings.”
“But you will be able to fly.”
“Yeah, you keep saying that.”
“I say it because I believe it. It is in the prophecy.”
“What else is in this prophecy?”
“The prophecy states that I, too, will be able to fly someday.”
“When I have journeyed into your world and the Circle of Life is finally complete.”
“Journeyed into my world?” Max had a brief, hilarious vision of Maxwallah in buckskins trying to pay for a bus ticket with an arrowhead—at which point he burst out laughing.
“What do you find so humorous, Maxwell?”
“I was just … seeing you in my world.”
“I imagine I seemed as comically out of place as you first seemed here?”
Recalling his unceremonious arrival in time-space and various mishaps that ensued, Max reflected on the truth of his twin’s observation. “That’s one way of putting it.”
“Do you think I would enjoy your world?”
“Enjoy? Honestly, Maxwallah, I’m not sure I enjoy it.”
“To hear you speak of it, it must have many problems.”
“You could say that.”
“Poverty. Hunger. Corruption. Tyranny.” Max gazed with a sinking feeling at the dark smoke rising on the horizon. “Environmental destruction.”
“All the more reason for me to complete the Circle of Life and for us to get busy helping make things better.”
“There you go again speaking in riddles. What the heck does it mean to complete the Circle of Life?”
“Completing the Circle of Life is the fulfillment of the Way of All Things.”
“I do hope you’re going to elaborate because, otherwise, this is starting to get old.”
Maxwallah set down his sewing, folding everything inside Max’s hide shirt and inserting the bundle in his backpack. “I will tell you a story, Maxwell.”
“Zana has heard this tale many times. Perhaps you will find it instructive in light of your question.”
“I don’t suppose you could just explain things without all the narrative?”
“What would be the fun in that? In the beginning, when there was only Great Spirit, there were no dimensions of space or time. Then Great Spirit, using his heartsong, created Black Thunderbird. Now there was one dimension of space and time, which became two dimensions with the birth of Star Mirror.”
“A standard creation myth. I’m listening.”
“With only two dimensions, the world remained flat and uninhabitable. So Great Spirit urged Black Thunderbird to gaze upon his reflection in the mirror of his brother’s heart. What he saw in that dark surface was not his own reflection, however, but that of his twin, Leaping Dolphin, staring back at him from his world on the other side of the mirror.”
“Sounds sort of like you and me.”
“Later, even after retrieving the sun from Star Mirror’s solar system, Black Thunderbird remained unable to foster life on our planet because there was no moon to balance the sun and create the tidal rhythms necessary to biological organisms.”
Zana yawned loudly again and lay on her back listening while staring up sleepily at the sky. It flashed into Max’s mind that as a nocturnal creature, her own biological rhythms had been disrupted ever since his arrival.
Maxwallah went on: “It was at this point that Leaping Dolphin appeared to Black Thunderbird in a dream and told him a story.”
“Great. A story inside a story,” groaned Max, who wasn’t willing to admit that Maxwallah’s narrative had piqued his interest.
“This was no ordinary story. It changed everything. Leaping Dolphin told Black Thunderbird how the two were once one. At the moment of their creation, he described how they had split into two halves. They were, in essence, the completion of each other.”
“The completion of the Circle of Life!”
“Exactly. Living apart in opposite worlds, explained Leaping Dolphin, they would never be whole, never bring their dreams to life. When Black Thunderbird, who had no memory of being divided, demanded proof, his twin showed him a moon in his hand. ‘You may have the sun, but I have the moon,’ he said. ‘Without each other, they are worthless. But combined, they are beyond price!’”
“What did they do?”
“First, Black Thunderbird obeyed the Way of All Things—following the energy while carrying the sun—into Leaping Dolphin’s world, completing half the Circle of Life.”
“What about the other half?”
“Leaping Dolphin then followed the Way of all Things, carrying the moon, into Black Thunderbird’s world, completing the full Circle of Life—whereupon the twins, reunited as a whole being, could travel freely between their realities sharing the sun and moon with both. Thus life was created in both worlds simultaneously.”
Max ruminated on his twin’s words in silence. “Are you trying to say,” he began finally, “that you’re Black Thunderbird—who also took the form of a raven—and I’m Leaping Dolphin?”
“I am saying that history moves in cycles—just like the sun and moon. According to the prophecy, all of whose omens have now come to pass, a new cycle is set to begin in both our worlds with the merger of the Raven of the East and the Dolphin of the West.”
“Conflation. Unification. Think of it as the head being reunited with the heart—or if you prefer, the body being reunited with the soul.”
Suddenly, Max recalled one of Professor Icarus’s more enigmatic statements. The shortest distance between two points is to bring them together so there is only one point, he had said. Human beings are a “life unit,” a viable amalgam of more or less tangible matter and etheric antimatter. What the average person can see is a fraction of our totality. We are both a body here in space and a spirit, or soul, there in time.
“You’re starting to freak me out a little,” Max confessed. “You’re saying we’re supposed to fuse back into a single person?”
“A whole person. There is a huge difference. Right now you are a single person. As a whole person, you will have access to all that you are—and all that I am as well.”
“We carry out the work of Great Spirit, using our power to steer both our worlds toward a better future.”
“Talk about getting a savior complex.”
“It is not about us, Maxwell. If it ever becomes about us, we will have lost the Way of All Things. It is about those who will follow us.”
“You’re talking about other humans becoming whole?”
“Not just humans. The Almasty. Those inside the earth. And perhaps many others. Black Thunderbird and Leaping Dolphin could freely come and go between worlds, but for the average person this has remained impossible. Once we have established a bridge between our realities, others will be able to cross it with ease.”
“But why me? Why you?”
“Who knows. It is not given us to understand such things.”
“It’s not given me to understand much of anything.”
“To the contrary, I intuit that you grasp the situation perfectly well.”
Max heard snoring and realized Zana had drifted off. He glanced over at her passed out atop the pyramid from exhaustion—only to have his attention diverted by an even more peculiar sight.
In that direction, just across a rock-strewn field, rose the second, somewhat shorter pyramid he had first observed from the astronomy tower. On top, sitting perfectly still with backs touching surrounded by little pyramids of throwing rocks, were two Sasquatches, one of whom Max recognized as Rolling Boulder.
“That is the Pyramid of the Moon,” said Maxwallah in answer to his twin’s unspoken question.
“I figured as much. But why are there two Sasquatches sitting on top of it?”
“To protect us, of course.”
“While we’re all the way up here? What are they protecting us from?”
The instant Max said this, Zana, sniffing, sat bolt upright with eyes scanning the horizon. Half a second later, Maxwallah hopped to his feet and slung his backpack over his shoulders. “Get up!” he urged Max.
Zana was already standing. Grasping Max by the armpits from behind, she pulled him onto his feet and began forcefully guiding him down the steep staircase. “What’s going on?!” he cried.
“Jorks,” said Maxwallah, drawing his sword. “We’re under attack!”
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.
Building on SNOOZE’s deep dive into lucid dreaming, parallel universes and Hindu mysticism, Sol’s new novel, CALI THE DESTROYER, is a page-turner of a sci-fi tale set in an Orwellian future seeded in the dystopian present that radically rewrites Gnosticism as well as the origins of the earth and humanity.
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.