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
Max heard them before he saw them: a noise like serial shotgun blasts just before twenty or so thunderbirds appeared beating their monstrous, bat-like wings in loose formation above the treetops and over Muru-amah. “Don’t tell me they hunt in packs!” he exclaimed.
“They do—but not usually packs this large!” Maxwallah yelled back as, sword in hand, he followed Max and Zana down the pyramid’s face into the winding alleyway that led back toward the astronomy tower.
The warning cry, repeated deafeningly and echoing throughout the complex, had gone up among the Almasty. But Sasquatch bellows weren’t the only thing going up: the gauzy evening sky around the hunting jorks was raining upwards with rocks launched with tremendous force from various positions below.
Knees bent and head on a swivel, Zana—who had released Max from her iron grip the instant they reached the ground—was leading the way. Maxwallah, bringing up the rear, was on equally high alert. “What do we do now?” yelled Max just as a rock, falling from above with a ringing thud, narrowly missed crushing him.
“We get you into the Sacred Pool,” replied Maxwallah. “You will be safe inside the Cave of Origins.”
Max stopped, forcing his companions to do the same. “No way.”
“This is no time to argue, Maxwell.”
“I’m not sitting this out.”
“Do not be foolish. Jorks are extremely dangerous.”
“Look. If the Almasty are willing to risk their lives for me, I should be willing to risk mine for them.”
“You already have—by coming here.”
“That doesn’t count.”
Maxwallah looked at Zana, who returned his questioning glance with a shrug.
“Let’s get you to your bow and me to my sword,” said Max.
“Are you sure about this?”
Having made up his mind, Maxwallah acted with military efficiency. “Let us move then. The last thing we should do is stand here like scarecrows. Keep your eyes peeled and ears open!”
Max would never forget the frenetic sprint that followed. For the first time since reaching Muru-amah, running at full speed, his perceptions reverted temporarily to those of space-time as the cosmic sector’s reality frames blipped by in disorienting photo stills.
Silver cord fluttering behind. Sasquatches throwing stones from below the stinking elk tree. Mayhem of battle in the avenue of cherries. Ravens going berserk in their roosts atop the crumbling buildings. A jork, crash-landing, set on by the Almasty near the tower’s base.
Zana led the way like a furry bowling ball to the foot of the stairs—at which point she let the twins go ahead and followed, watching over them as they spiraled to the top of the tower.
No sooner had Max drawn his sword, and Maxwallah had replaced his pack with his quiver and nocked an arrow in his bow, than an enormous thunderbird—even larger than the one at the Tempus Fugit—swooped down on them seemingly out of nowhere.
Even Zana was unable to react quickly enough as the winged beast, blue coxcomb waving, thrust its spear of a beak at Max. Somehow he managed to deflect it with his blade, which flew out of his hand as he was propelled backward against the tower wall and saw stars.
Maxwallah fired an arrow into the thunderbird’s midsection, but he only wounded it and made it furious. Screeching, it beat its wings and came at him like a hurricane of flesh and bone.
Zana managed to slow its advance by pulling on its tail, allowing Maxwallah to shoulder his bow and draw his sword. Then it was on him. Still dizzy, Max watched as his twin was cornered between the wall of food the Almasty had brought and the pine-bough shelter.
The thunderbird thrust its beak at Maxwallah’s midsection. He leaped high and, spinning in a three-sixty, gashed its cheek—but not before its jabbing beak entered his shoulder and his sword clattered to the stone floor.
Even with his arm dangling, he was able to spout flames from his palm. The nearby shelter instantly caught and burst into a bonfire. Releasing the thunderbird’s tail, Zana backed away from the conflagration, expecting the beast to do likewise.
But whether it was the thunderbird’s injury or the energy emanating from Maxwallah, or both, the creature, maddened, closed in instead. Screeching furiously, it was preparing to finish its wounded and disarmed opponent—when Max staggered to his feet. “Hey, cuckoo, leave him alone!” he yelled.
The jork paid no attention. In the middle of battle raging all around, above and below, Max closed his eyes, breathed deeply, and summoned his default memory. Filled with surrender and love, his innate tone ringing in his head, he watched with inner vision as the Cave of Origins opened in his heart and the web-like pipeline of resonance sprouted from it.
The energy of space pulsed down his arm into his palm. Spontaneously, with no forethought, recalling Star Trek, he directed his palm at the thunderbird and thought, “Photon torpedo!”
A searing burst of white flecked with violet shot out of his hand and struck the jork like a tidal wave of light—blasting it up and over the wall.
Zana shrieked and clapped as Maxwallah, dragging himself away from the bonfire’s heat, looked at his twin approvingly with a pale, drawn face. “The sign of a good teacher,” he managed to say with gritted teeth, “is to have his student surpass him. Thank you, Maxwell.”
Blood was streaming down Maxwallah’s arm, which hung limp as a dead snake. “You’re injured. Let me see.”
“It is nothing.”
“I’ll be the judge of that. Zana, keep an eye out for jorks, will you?”
She nodded and stood over the twins like an elephant guarding her babies.
“Here. Take a load off,” said Max, helping Maxwallah—who was clearly in a lot of pain—ease down against the tower wall.
“That was a pretty neat trick you just pulled,” said Maxwallah, grimacing as Max removed his bow, quiver, and raven poncho.
“‘Pulled’ is the right verb. As in, out of my posterior.”
“Need gives birth to innovation.”
“We say something like that, too.”
Night was setting in. Fortunately, the fire, just beginning to burn down, was still bright enough to see by. Max knelt, unlaced the leather stitches that held in place the sleeve of Maxwallah’s jerkin, and gently slid it down over his arm.
Putting on his best medical face, he examined the wound. There was a deep puncture oozing blood just below Maxwallah’s shoulder near his pectoral muscle.
“Is it bad?”
“It’s not good.”
“Am I going to die?”
“Definitely not. But I’m afraid, with a broken wing, you won’t be flying just yet.”
Max winked. Maxwallah, laughing painfully, said, “You do not plan to heal it with the energy, do you?”
“How else am I supposed to heal it?”
“But you must feel weak after what you just did.”
“Actually, I feel like … spitting bullets.”
“What are bullets?”
Max couldn’t help laughing himself. “Boy, my world is going to shock your pants off.”
Composing himself under Zana’s watchful eye, Max repeated the protocol for working with the energy—this time directing it with healing intention into his twin’s injured shoulder. Immediately, the bleeding stopped. Seconds later, the wound closed. In less than half a minute, the skin grew back with no scarring. “Voilà. Good as new,” he said.
“It still feels rather sore on the inside,” replied Maxwallah, rotating his shoulder gingerly.
“That’s to be expected.”
“Thank you, my brother, for staying and fighting. I underestimated your ability.”
“That’s okay. I’ve always underestimated it.”
“I said we would continue our training tonight, but I did not foresee it would be in this manner.”
“You’re not the only one.”
It was obvious from the preternatural silence in the complex the battle was over. Max, kneeling beside his twin helping him dress, intuited that others were coming to check on them. He stood up just in time to see Silverback and a younger Sasquatch with bright red fur named Sunburst appear on the landing.
“Silverback is glad to find the Umbodi and the Ombudo safe,” said the old Sasquatch telepathically.
“Thank you. We are equally glad to find you safe,” replied Maxwallah, standing up with a hand from Zana.
“Sadly, the Almasty are not all thus,” said Silverback with a mournful intonation. “Many are hurt—and one has undertaken the Great Crossing. Come.”
With these words, Silverback and Sunburst turned and descended the staircase. The twins replaced their swords in their scabbards and followed Zana with solemn expressions. Not knowing what to expect, this time Max brought up the rear.
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.