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
“Wake up, Maxwell. We must make haste.”
Maxwallah’s resonant laughter filled the shadowy bedroom lit only by the bluish light still emanating from Max’s paint. “I see you also spoke with him.”
“I spoke with somebody.” Max yawned and sat up sorely in bed still in his loincloth. His twin was standing beside him already dressed in his buckskins and raven poncho. “Is it common to talk directly with Great Spirit?”
“Not that I am aware.”
“He told me about the toh-pey.”
“He told me, too. You performed splendidly, by the way.”
“It is not like my mother to offer compliments, but I could tell she was proud of you.”
“Heck, I was proud of me.”
“What was it like to fly?”
“It felt like … dreaming.”
The twins smiled at each other knowingly. “Of course,” said Maxwallah. “Having flown, are you ready to sail?”
“Yes—or I will be after I wash off this god-awful paint.”
“I never cared for the feeling of it myself. Just make it quick.”
Left alone again, Max stumbled into the bathroom, switched on the light, turned on the bathwater, and activated the mirror. The blue Max, now with a blue tattoo of Leaping Dolphin, with sage in his hair and runs in his paint, stared back at him.
Even though extended-wear contacts could be left in as long as two weeks continuously, Max, being fastidious, and on the heels of so much activity, had the thought to go ahead and clean them. He tried to remove his contacts to do just that—only to discover they were gone!
They simply weren’t there—yet he could see perfectly. When (to say nothing of how) they had been lost was a mystery. The last time he had been aware of them was just after he awoke on the beach near the Angel’s Eye. “That’s weird,” he said, double-checking to make sure they weren’t still pressed against his eyeballs.
Recalling Tuesday’s otherwise inexplicable vision change from wearing the Bradelring, he wondered if a similar transformation had occurred in him.
He also remembered the Hanged Man card from the Tarot and its insistence that, in order to solve his problems, he needed a change of perspective. Apparently, this was meant literally.
Thankful, in any case, to have 20/20 vision after a lifetime of myopia, he hurriedly bathed himself—but this only led to another disconcerting revelation. He was just finishing toweling off—when he realized his skin, now clean of paint, was still glowing!
Though the effect was barely discernible in the bathroom light, there was no doubt his epidermis was ever so slightly luminous. Transfixed, he stared at his glowing self in the mirror. Clearly, whatever had changed in him was just as much inner as outer.
He seemed to glow more brightly in the dim bedroom, where he left the light off to test his vision further. Even in the reduced luminosity, he could see quite normally.
As he put on his jeans, sand dollar choker, hide shirt, leather belt with obsidian sword in its scabbard, knee-high boots and dolphin poncho, he had the distinct impression he was girding himself for the last leg of what had been, in truth, a metamorphic journey.
Slipping his mother’s scarab hairpin and his caul in his pockets, he glanced one last time at the fresco above his bed—before making his way down the hall and through the foyer.
As soon as he entered the living room, Maxwallah and his mother (who was also dressed as the night before, with the addition of her own bone-hilted sword) stood up from where they had been waiting on the couch.
Remarking the light coming from Max, Artemisia approached with wide eyes and, bowing her head almost imperceptibly, said, “Greetings, Umbodi.”
“It’s still me, Artemisia.”
“Perhaps. But what defines ‘you’ has changed.”
Max felt a familiar nudging against his shins and looked down to find Fey-leh rubbing against him. He picked her up and, caressing her head, said, “I assume Fey-leh will not be accompanying us?”
“You assume correctly,” said Maxwallah. “Even Zana could not convince her to set out to sea.”
“I regret not having more time to spend with you, Fey-ley,” said Max, staring into her unblinking eyes.
Her countenance implied she felt the same.
“Speaking of, where is Zana?” asked Max, setting the bobcat back down.
“She accompanied Karul to the harbor,” replied Maxwallah. “There were many supplies to transport for our voyage.”
“Mardah was up half the night in the kitchen cooking for us,” said Artemisia. “We will breakfast onboard. If we are to arrive at the Loud River by evening, we must be off.”
On their way out the front door, Maxwallah shouldered his backpack, bow, and quiver. Meanwhile, Max gazed one last time on the warm (in more ways than one) interior of the house.
Following his hosts out into the bracing predawn, he discovered that the moon had set beyond the zoaz forest. The night, though drawing close to day, was darker now than ever.
He noted his frosty breath and smelled cedar smoke as they exited through the front gate, shut it behind them, and trekked down the winding road lined with coconut palms toward the village. Actually, the walk wasn’t very far—and it got interesting before it could get tiring.
Having traversed Aru-vato’s sleepy commercial district, they were greeted by an unexpected sight near the harbor. Hundreds of people, many holding lit candles in a sort of vigil, lined the street. “What’s happening?” asked Max.
“They are here for you,” replied Artemisia.
“Me? How—and why?”
“The how is simple,” said Maxwallah. “Word of a miracle healing such as you performed for Mardah travels fast in a small town.”
“And the why should be obvious,” said Artemisia.
Indeed, it was. Soon people were crowding in on the three travelers, especially Max, addressing him as the Umbodi and touching him worshipfully. “I feel like a rock star,” he yelled above the noise of the crowd while being jostled.
“What is a rock star?” yelled Maxwallah.
“Don’t worry, you’ll find out soon enough.”
To his enormous surprise, Max noted that people merely making contact with him were being healed before his eyes—despite the fact he didn’t once go through the protocol Maxwallah had taught him for working with the energy.
A leper’s skin lesions disappeared; a man with palsy stopped shaking; a blind woman suddenly saw again. He wondered if he might be witnessing some sort of “placebo effect” where people were cured by their own belief in him—or if he really had become the energy.
Holding a basket of food, Mardah was waiting for him on the wharf in front of a large yacht with sails and “Ily-bintu” painted on its stern.
She wasn’t alone. Standing beside her holding her hand, dressed in the vaguely medieval garb typical of the region, with dark skin and darker eyes the size of golf balls, was … Raul!
“Karul?” gasped Max. The young man nodded affirmatively while Max shook his head. “I should have known.”
“Karul will be sailing with us,” said Artemisia. “Ships are in his blood. His father, Sanchi, was Jonah’s first mate.”
“Sanchi helps us now,” said Maxwallah. “You might have seen him, an older man, tending to Aru-melo when we first arrived night before last.”
“I did,” said Max. “And I think I saw Karul, too. You closed the gate behind us.”
“Please. Call me Maxwell.”
“Thank you for healing my wife … Maxwell. I can never repay you for your kindness.”
“Actually, you can.”
“Be happy together.”
The couple looked at each. It was obvious they were very much in love. “Done,” said Karul.
“I brought these for you,” said Mardah, handing Max her basket as a sweet, homey scent like that of warm muffins rose to his nostrils. “Caramel cakes made with coconut flour. I hope you like them.”
“Thank you. I’m sure I will.”
“We must hurry,” said Artemisia. “I feel the wind beginning to stir.”
Max felt it, too. He left Karul and Mardah to say their goodbyes, joined Artemisia and Maxwallah onboard, and turned to face the growing crowd filling the wharf and spilling into the streets of Aru-vato.
“Thank you so much for coming to see me off this morning,” he said in his best public-speaking voice. “I want you to know I see myself in you.”
A murmur traveled through the crowd. His words were apparently something of a surprise.
Max continued, “I know, seeing me … like this”—by which he meant shining—“makes it hard for many of you to see yourselves in me. But I ask, humbly and sincerely, that you make the effort—for Great Spirit lives in everyone. May you and your lovely town be blessed.”
Turning to descend into the ship proper, he found a massive hand, Zana’s, waiting to help him step down. He accepted with a nod of thanks as Karul joined them at the last minute and the Ily-bintu set sail out into the Inland Sea.
Copyright © Sol Luckman. All Rights Reserved.
Introducing Sol Luckman’s latest multi-award-winning 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, Spanish, and soon in French.
Building on this deep dive into lucid dreaming, parallel universes and Hindu mysticism, Sol’s new novel, CALI THE DESTROYER—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—was selected as Winner of the 2022 NYC Big Book Award and 2022 National Indie Excellence Award for Visionary Fiction, Silver Medalist for Visionary Fiction in the 2022 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest, Finalist in both the New Age and Visionary Fiction categories of the 2021 International Book Awards, Finalist in both the Paranormal/Supernatural and Fantasy categories of the 2022 IAN Book of the Year Awards, and Distinguished Favorite for Audio Fiction in the 2022 NYC Big Book Awards.
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.