CHAPTER 71 (of 84) of the Serialization of SNOOZE: A STORY OF AWAKENING—Read or Listen to This Award-winning Metaphysical Novel FREE Online

Posted by

Could it be there’s no such thing as the paranormal … only infinite varieties of normal we’ve yet to understand?

[url=http://www.crowrising.com/reviews]Read Reviews[/url]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.


Now for the first time ever, this epic visionary tale is being officially serialized—in both readable and audible formats.

https://i1.wp.com/www.crowrising.com/images/stories/startsnoozeserial.png

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.”

If you’d like your own downloadable review copy to share your thoughts via Amazon, Goodreads and elsewhere, read details and contact the author with your request.


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.


IMPORTANT: Be sure to follow Snooze 2 Awaken and/or Sol Luckman Uncensored for alerts as new chapters of the 84 in total that make up Max’s extraordinary story become available.

Sweet dreams!

Book Cave

SNOOZE: A STORY OF AWAKENING

By Sol Luckman

CHAPTER SEVENTY-ONE

When Max opened his eyes, he wondered if he had. The darkness was so thick he could have sliced it with his sword. He was on the verge of creating a little light with the energy—when the walls began to glow again diffusively. “Well, at least I’m not blind,” he thought, making out the still slumbering figures of Maxwallah and Zana.

He wasn’t sure how long he had been asleep, but he felt rested. As quietly as possible, he sat up on his moss bed, then stood up on the stone floor, before leaving the guest room on tiptoes.

The hallway, pitch-black when he entered, soon started to glow—even as the guest room behind faded into obscurity. It was as if the rock of the cave system could sense his presence, or his consciousness, or both.

As soon as he entered the expansive blackness of the Great Hall, sure enough, its walls lit up as well. Alone in the cavernous room, he made his way down to the water’s edge—where he took a seat, removed his boots, and dangled his feet in the cool lake.

The act was instinctual, like a dolphin needing water. He only became self-conscious about it, and thought he might be doing something disrespectful, when he realized he was no longer alone.

A juvenile Sasquatch with dark fur, who turned out to be the young fellow who had insisted on playing with his curls, abruptly sat down beside him and dangled his own wooly feet in the water. “I am Rooty,” he heard his unexpected companion say in his mind. “You are the Umbodi, correct?”

“So they tell me,” thought Max with a wan smile. “It’s early. Aren’t you supposed to be going to bed?”

Rooty looked at him sideways, almost grinning himself, his deep-set eyes sparkling in his long, lively face. “You have the look of someone who knows he must do something but resists doing it,” he commented.

“Funny, you just summarized the story of my life.”

“Did I?”

“Yes. I never knew the Almasty were so perceptive in matters of human psychology.”

“Not all of us are. I am considered … different.”

“Different? How?”

“I am … exceptionally intelligent. I do not mean to sound vain. Intelligence can be a burden. Sometimes I would prefer ignorance.”

“Tell me about it. You know what they say: ignorance is bliss.”

“I have heard something like that before. But I am not sure it is true.”

“Me neither.”

“So tell me, Umbodi, what are you resisting?”

Max couldn’t help laughing. “I’ll tell you if you’ll tell me.”

“I never knew humans were so perceptive in matters of Almasty psychology.”

“I can’t speak for the rest of my species, Rooty, but I can read you like a book.”

“Perhaps because we are similar.”

“Perhaps.”

The young Sasquatch splashed his feet in the water and sighed audibly. “I know my words might paint me as a coward,” he said telepathically, “especially given that I am Silverback’s son—”

“No kidding? I thought you looked like him. Especially the shape of your eyes.”

“I am constantly told that. Being the eldest son of such a respected leader only makes matters worse. Everyone expects me to be courageous like him.”

“Sounds a bit like my father and me.”

“Really?”

“Sort of. He was a hero and I was a … weirdo.”

It was Rooty’s turn to laugh. “You do not strike me as a weirdo.”

“You haven’t gotten to know me that well.”

“Perhaps not.”

“So what exactly are you resisting?”

“I am terrified of undergoing my initiation.”

“You can’t be serious!”

“But I am serious.”

“Me, too!”

“You are serious?”

Max laughed again. “No. I mean, yes. But that’s not the point. I, too, fear my initiation.”

Rooty sat up straight with surprise and something akin to delight. “The Umbodi is afraid?”

“Scared to death.”

“Of what?”

“I don’t even know. I’m trying to figure that out. You?”

Jorks. I hate them. I am supposed to steal an egg from one of their nests soon so I can receive my adult name. I don’t even like jork eggs. Do you have any experience with jorks?”

“A little.”

“Any words of advice?”

“Just be fast.”

“I am fast.”

“Then you should be fine.”

“Thank you for the vote of confidence.”

“Don’t mention it.”

Buoyed up, Rooty hopped to his feet. “I do not know what your initiation entails, Umbodi, but I believe you will undergo it successfully.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because you, like your twin, have a warrior’s heart.”

No sooner had Rooty left Max to contemplate this intriguing observation, than Maxwallah and Zana showed up rubbing the sleep out of their eyes. “You’re up early,” observed Maxwallah.

“I have a lot on my mind.”

“Want to talk about it?”

“I just did.”

“Pardon?”

“Nothing. How was your sleep?”

“Needed. How was yours?”

“Sufficient.”

Zana yawned and stretched her long, shaggy arms high in the air. “I practically had to shake Zana to wake her,” said Maxwallah. “I’ve never seen her so exhausted.”

“She has been burning the candle at both ends, as we say.”

“We say that, too. Are you ready to head out?”

“As I’ll ever be. How much longer to the other side of the mountain?”

“We should be there by noon—if we hurry. That will leave us the second half of the day to reach Aru-vato.”

“What is Aru-vato?”

“My village. The name roughly translates as ‘Sun Town.’”

“Sounds lovely.”

“It is a pleasant place beside the Inland Sea.”

Without further ado, Zana leading the way, the three companions set out again through the network of caverns. Most of the Almasty were asleep now, but before long they encountered Silverback and Spelunker waiting for them at a crossroads.

The two Sasquatches presented the new arrivals with three bandu eggs apiece for breakfast. They ate them standing up, discarding the shells and chasing them with water from Maxwallah’s flask.

Then, for hours, they marched relentlessly forward and downward behind Silverback. The cave walls lit up mysteriously as they approached, only to fade again into blackness behind.

Just when it seemed the cave system would never end, it did—blindingly. They emerged through a vertical crack in the side of the mountain onto the mountainside itself.

The blue dome of the sky greeted Max like an old friend. He felt the sun’s warmth and a gentle breeze on his cheeks. He was happy to note the absence of snow—and that the temperature seemed balmy even in comparison to that of Muru-amah.

They were still above the tree line—but only just. Barely a hundred yards below, the pine forest rose up again out of the shifting rock and soil of the mountainside.

“Here Silverback must leave the Umbodi and the Ombudo to their destiny,” said the old Sasquatch telepathically. “It has been an honor to walk with you.”

“The honor has been ours,” replied Maxwallah.

“We wouldn’t be here without you,” said Max, adding, “That applies to you, too, Spelunker.”

The two Sasquatches waved as the three companions carefully made their way down the slope to the edge of the trees. They were still waving when Max, entering the forest, glanced back one last time.

Maxwallah and Zana obviously knew this territory well. They guided Max unerringly down through the trackless woods as afternoon wore on. Slowly, the woods themselves changed, becoming less deciduous and more subtropical with every mile.

At length, entering a grove of slender coconut trees, Zana shook down a pair of coconuts and smashed them on a nearby rock so everyone could enjoy a sustaining snack.

Soon they were off again. By late afternoon, they were bushwhacking through jungle. The air was so humid the twins had to remove their ponchos and buckskin shirts and stuff them in Maxwallah’s pack—at which point mosquitoes, which had been mercifully absent since before Muru-amah, began feasting on them.

But not for long. Locating a fern with aromatic fronds, Maxwallah rubbed his hands on its velvety blades, then massaged the oil into his exposed skin and instructed Max to do the same.

The mosquitoes didn’t bother them again after that—but the rain did. Less than an hour later, it seemed to come out of nowhere: a warm, drenching downpour that made it difficult to walk or even see.

Max was on the verge of giving up and sitting down in the mud until the storm passed—when he could have sworn he heard neighing. Apparently hearing it as well, Maxwallah and Zana stopped in their tracks. The neighing happened again—this time a good deal closer and louder.

Max’s fear of being attacked by an unknown predator mimicking a horse was allayed when an actual equine head the color of California poppies poked out from behind the dense vegetation.

“Aru-melo!” cried Maxwallah, rushing forward through the downpour and hugging the beast’s thick neck sporting a dripping-wet mane. “I was starting to think you had gotten lost!”

“You … know this horse?” asked Max, approaching the great orange beast timidly.

Know him? He is one of my closest friends.”

“Why—how—is he here?”

“I asked Artemisia to send him to us a day after receiving the raven’s message.”

“Fair enough. What was his name again?”

“Aru-melo. It means ‘Solar Flare.’”

“Sounds about right.”

Maxwallah handed Zana his pack and mounted the saddleless horse with practiced skill. “Come, Maxwell. If it is in his power, Aru-melo will not allow harm to befall you.”

“You don’t expect me to climb on that thing, do you?”

“He is not a thing. Relax. Zana will assist you.”

Slinging Maxwallah’s pack like a child’s toy pack over one shoulder, Zana lifted Max off the ground before he could object and set him firmly on Aru-melo’s powerful rump. “Hold onto my waist,” said Maxwallah even as Max held on for dear life. “But not quite so desperately.”

“Sorry.”

“That is better.”

“He certainly smells like a horse.”

“That he does. It is one of my favorite smells. Come, Zana. Evening approaches. Let us make haste.” Maxwallah clicked his tongue and Aru-melo, snorting steam as he neighed, set off through the soggy jungle at a fast trot, followed easily by Zana. Despite the rain, they put miles behind them in short order.

Gradually, the rain lessened; the jungle transformed into a forest of oaks and locusts; and before long they were following a beaten path alongside a winding stream through nothing more than a sprinkle.

Finally, the rain stopped. The sun emerged from storm and shadow, darkness dreary and wet, and illuminated the sparkling landscape. It lasted long enough to dry them a little, then disappeared behind the low clouds on the horizon.

They crossed a wooden bridge over the stream and traveled along a dirt road past the first contemporary human dwellings Max had seen in the cosmic sector: earthen farmhouses, set amid terraced farmlands, featuring plaster in a variety of bold colors and terra cotta tiles on their roofs.

As evening approached, lights shone in the windows and cedar smoke rose in lazy spirals from the chimneys, filling the increasingly arid air with a spicy pungency reminiscent of cumin.

Nodding along behind his twin on Aru-melo daydreaming of sipping hot cider beside a warm fire, Max realized he was shivering. “I think I need to put my shirt and poncho back on,” he said through chattering teeth.

“Me, too,” replied Maxwallah.

They dismounted near the entrance to a farmhouse. Maxwallah handed Zana his bow and quiver. Understanding, she presented his pack long enough for the twins to fish out and put on their damp (though thankfully still warm) clothing.

From the farmhouse porch, a mastiff caught wind of them and ran forward barking ferociously—only to put its tail between its legs and beat a retreat when Zana bared her teeth and hissed. “Zana does not like dogs—or wolves,” commented Maxwallah while strapping back on his bow and quiver.

“So I gathered.”

“Shall we?”

“Let’s do it.”

Once again they mounted Aru-melo and trotted on in the deepening dusk. It wasn’t long before Max noticed there were more and more houses and fewer and fewer farms. Then, smelling sea salt, he realized they were traveling through a small town. “We’re in Aru-vato, aren’t we?”

“We are indeed.”

“Why didn’t you say so?”

“I thought it was obvious.”

Initially, Aru-vato seemed dark and deserted. But with night setting in, the streetlamps came on. This, in itself, wasn’t strange; what was weird was the nature of the streetlamps. They were made entirely of polished stone—and they were glowing bright yellow. “Whoa,” said Max. “I thought, judging by your weaponry, that your society—”

“Lacked technology?” interrupted Maxwallah.

“Something like that.”

“Our technology is different from yours.”

“I can see that.”

The light from the streetlamps revealed quite a few normal-looking people (if dressed in medieval fashion) going about their business: shopping, riding horses, chatting, conversing on the sidewalks, smoking long-stemmed pipes.

Without stopping, Maxwallah nodded and exchanged formalities with a number of them. To Max’s surprise, nobody so much as batted an eye at Zana’s presence.

Oddly enough, it was Max himself who attracted the most attention. He distinctly heard the word “Umbodi” whispered and repeated several times before they left the town and wound along a lamp-lit street up a hillside.

Ravens croaked from their roosts high in the coconut trees lining the road. They passed through an open gate made of massive vigas and latillas into a terraced estate with views of Aru-vato and what must have been the Inland Sea stretching into darkness beyond the harbor in the middle of which stood a glowing lighthouse.

Beside them extended terraced gardens and orchards that could barely be made out. And ahead, getting closer and closer, was an enormous house made (like the others Max had seen) of earth and tile—only on a much grander scale.

The porch light was on and the figure of a woman in a flowing dress was shadowed atop a wide staircase. Maxwallah clicked for Aru-melo to stop and said, “Welcome to my home.”

“Some home.”

“Let us go greet Artemisia.”

Maxwallah dismounted. As Zana set Max gently on the ground, he recognized the scent of sage—only to realize it was the same scent infusing his poncho when he had first put it on.

Maxwallah climbed the stairs and embraced the woman. Max followed until he was standing beside her in the porch light. She was, bar none, the strangest creature of all the strange creatures he had beheld in time-space.

Shocked by her smiling face with its delicate features, slightly raised nose and mischievous hazel eyes framed with curls of auburn hair, he recalled his vision of his mother during his twelfth birthday party under the New Year’s Eve fireworks on Oceanside Beach.

If Cynthia Holden-Diver had lived into her forties, this was exactly—exactly—how she would have looked. To make matters more bizarre, she was wearing a sand dollar necklace!

“I would like you to meet my teacher,” said Maxwallah. “Maxwell, this is Artemisia. Artemisia, this is Maxwell.”

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.

https://i1.wp.com/www.crowrising.com/images/stories/cali3-dcovercomposite.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/www.crowrising.com/images/stories/caliorderbutton.png

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alter Ego

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.

http://www.crowrising.com/images/stories/caliaudiobooknowavailableweb.jpg

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.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.