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
Defying the smoke, which had grown considerably thicker, Max flew as fast as he could with his father back down the Loud River. Something weird was indeed happening—yet it had nothing to do with Max per se. With every mile they traveled, Captain Diver appeared to grow younger.
On leaving the wildfire behind, Max’s father looked about eighty. When they reached the waterfall, he was closer to seventy. By the time they were out over the Inland Sea and the waterfall was a tiny speck behind, Captain Diver couldn’t have been more than sixty.
Max realized that his father, not being designed for the cosmic sector, had aged prematurely by traveling away from his entry point. Had he gone much farther, he would have died of old age.
Since time and space were inverted here, now that Captain Diver was no longer going silver, he needed only to be moved backward to become younger again.
Thankfully, having been born with Maxwallah’s caul, Max wasn’t subject to such drastic age variations in time-space. In fact, in many ways the cosmic sector had come to feel more like home than his own world.
There was still plenty of daylight left as they sailed above the crew of the Ily-bintu just dropping anchor off the coast near where the Angel’s Eye had been. Everyone clapped and cheered as the two continued on to the Tempus Fugit in the grassy clearing.
Gently setting down his father beside the plane, Max noted that his silver cord remained attached to one of the Skyhawk’s deflated wheels exactly where he had tied it following the jork attack.
He had made a gigantic circle in time-space. Yet he didn’t even need a breadcrumb trail to find his way back. This was where the Hero’s Journey had to end: exactly where it had begun.
“Where am I?”
Max glanced up at the sound of his fathers’ voice—his voice as he remembered it. Incredibly, Captain Diver looked almost exactly the same as the day he disappeared—with the same imperial Roman face as always. This close to the vortex, he hadn’t even aged a year.
“You’re almost home—that’s where you are,” said Max, unsuccessfully fighting back tears of joy this time.
His father looked at his glowing, grownup son standing before him. “You’ve … changed.”
“Oh, Dad. I’m still your Snooze.”
His son’s old nickname seemed to shine a light on Captain Diver’s face. “Then come here, Snooze. Your father needs a proper hug from his boy.”
Max definitely hadn’t forgotten what it felt like to be held by his father. “I’ve really missed you, Dad.”
“Likewise. I was experiencing the strangest dream—as if I had frostbite on the brain. I seemed to be sinking into ice. Then there you were calling me back.”
Their conversation was interrupted by the arrival of Artemisia. Captain Diver looked like he had just seen a ghost when he saw her running toward him, auburn hair flying, through the tall grass. “Cynthia?!” he gasped.
“Jonah?!” she cried.
With a lump in his throat, Max realized that until this instant she had only beheld his father as an extremely old and withered man. Her initial shock at his unprophesied appearance was now compounded by his uncanny likeness to her dead husband.
With the nearly tangible intuition of time-space, it occurred to Max that the real reason his father had risked himself by entering the cosmic sector, trumping any patriotic motivations, had been to find his dead wife.
The two embraced tearfully. Forever the realist, Max was painfully aware they couldn’t even speak the same language.
“Is this still a dream, Max?” asked Captain Diver with his own tears of joy streaming down his stubbly cheeks.
“Yes, Dad. It’s still a dream.”
Staring into Artemisia’s overflowing eyes, his father said, “Then it’s a beautiful dream.”
Maxwallah appeared beside Max and stood watching Captain Diver and his mother while drinking in the memory of his own father. “Soon we will both have our parents back because we will be one,” he remarked sagely.
“You’re so much wiser than I am, Maxwallah.”
Maxwallah winked. “How can that be? I am you.”
Despite the moment’s poignancy, Max managed to laugh. “Are you ready to put your money where your mouth is?”
“If you mean am I ready to complete the Circle of Life, the answer is yes.”
“Then let’s do it.”
Unable to understand each other, Captain Diver and Artemisia had maintained a passionately eloquent silence gazing into each other’s eyes. At length, silently acknowledging their shared fantasy must end, they separated.
“Dad, this is my twin, Maxwallah. He’s going to be … joining us.”
Captain Diver shook Maxwallah’s hand while staring at him in amazement. Just then Zana arrived. “And this is Zana. Don’t worry. She’s a friend.”
His father had the thunderstruck look of a kid at Disneyland. “Your mother was right all along,” he said. “Bigfoot really does exist!”
“She was right about a lot of things.”
“I won’t be seeing her again, will I? Your mother, I mean.”
“I’m afraid not.”
“So—how do I get home?”
“The same way you got here, Dad. By flying.”
“No. In the Tempus Fugit.”
“Why can’t I just fly with you?”
“Reentering American airspace in your own plane will be officially documented. The publicity will protect you while we expose and take down Dr. Morrow.”
“Dr. Morrow? I don’t understand.”
“It’s a long story. I’ll tell you everything on the other side.”
Wearing a deflated expression, Captain Diver glanced at the dilapidated Skyhawk crumbling with rust. “I don’t think the Tempus Fugit will ever fly again, Max. She’s seen better days.”
“And she will again.”
Max enclosed the Tempus Fugit in a membrane of energy, then moved it telekinetically with a flick of his wrist several hundred yards to the edge of the Outer Sea. Like his father, the plane grew younger and repaired itself as it approached its point of entry into time-space.
“That’s extraordinary!” exclaimed Captain Diver, his old blanket slipping from his shoulders to reveal his pilot’s gear as he sprinted across the sand toward the Skyhawk.
Karul was in a rowboat in the shallow water waiting to transport Maxwallah back to the Ily-bintu. The plan was for Maxwallah to be asleep and dreaming below decks before Max activated the Angel’s Eye.
Then, when the vortex opened, Maxwallah would simply pick up his Dreambody left by Max in the Interface and follow his twin’s silver cord all the way to where he lay dreaming in his mother’s girlhood bedroom in Mystic, Connecticut.
Ravens were thick on the beach and dolphins frolicked in the water as the twins exchanged last-minute words with the waves lapping against their booted ankles.
“I want you to have this back,” said Max, removing the caul from his pocket and placing it in Maxwallah’s palm. “Now you can be born with it.”
Maxwallah grinned. “Thanks. I already was.”
“Trust me, it will make navigating the material sector much easier.”
“See you shortly, Leaping Dolphin.”
It was Max’s turn to grin. “Not if I see you first, Black Thunderbird.”
When Maxwallah was safely onboard the Ily-bintu, Max approached Artemisia and Zana. They were riveted watching Captain Diver go through a memorized checklist to verify that the Skyhawk was good to go.
“You have the look of someone who has never flown before,” Max said to Artemisia while presenting her with his mother’s hairpin.
“What is this?” she asked, catching the glint of the scarab’s metal clasp in the evening sunlight.
“My mother’s hairpin. I’m not even sure why I brought it—but I want you to have it. Hopefully, the metal won’t interfere with your technology.”
“Hardly. It would take much more than this.” She managed to corral the lustrous coils of her hair with the scarab. “But I would wear it proudly nevertheless. How do I look?”
“Just like her.”
“Thank you, Maxwell. For everything.”
Turning to Zana, Max said telepathically, “I’m afraid I don’t have anything to give you, my friend.”
“Not to worry,” she replied while placing her huge hand on his shoulder. “The Almasty do not value objects.”
Max completed the circuit. “Then how about a simple goodbye? Something like—”
“The Umbodi sees himself in Zana?”
“Yeah. Something like that.”
“Zana sees herself in the Umbodi.”
Captain Diver was already in the cockpit completing his checklist. “There’s just one problem,” he called down to Max. “How am I supposed to take off in all this sand?”
“Leave that to me. You just get her started and ready to go.”
Max strolled back down to the water’s edge where he had a better view of the Ily-bintu. After several minutes, Karul raised a white flag, which was the sign that Maxwallah had fallen asleep.
Summoning his strength and courage, Max directed as much energy into his palm as he could hold, then cast it upward like a photon torpedo. There was an explosion of light high overhead—and suddenly the roiling vortex of the Angel’s Eye was staring down at him.
He realized the Eye was designed to be adjusted for temporal specificity, so he made sure the wormhole was set to take his father and him back to his present.
By the time he returned to the Tempus Fugit, good as new, the plane was purring like a cat. Captain Diver had just smiled and given the thumbs-up—when Max sensed danger.
Scanning the horizon in a circle, at first he saw no cause for alarm. Then, all at once, from the jungle up, the sky seemed to fill with jorks!
There must have been a hundred of the terrible beasts, irresistibly attracted to so much energy in one spot. Following the Way of All Things, many shot straight for the Angel’s Eye—while others, spying prey on the ground, zeroed in on Max and company.
“This is a nightmare!” cried Artemisia, as she watched half a dozen thunderbirds break away and head toward the Ily-bintu.
Zana herself seemed to despair at this aerial onslaught that eclipsed even that of the battle at Muru-amah. Nobody had to tell Max things didn’t look promising. “I need you two to get back to the ship!” he yelled over the sound of thunderbird wings growing louder.
“How?” yelled Artemisia. “There is no rowboat!”
“Can you swim?”
“How about you, Zana?”
“Then start swimming—both of you. As soon as you’re back onboard, sail the heck out of here. I don’t have any idea how long these jorks will stay … pacified. Whatever you do, just don’t wake up Maxwallah!”
Artemisia and Zana sprinted into the waves and started swimming for the Ily-bintu with all their might. Meanwhile, realizing Karul couldn’t hear his voice so far out, Max contacted his mind. “Karul?”
“Maxwell? Is that you?”
“This is … strange.”
Max saw the young man appear on the foredeck straining to see him on the beach. “I imagine it is. Look, we don’t have much time. Do you know how to work that Pacifier?”
“Fantastic. I want you to fire it at me.”
“You want me to … what?”
“Hit me with it. Give me everything she’s got.”
“Are you sure about this?”
“Just do it. Now!”
Karul appeared to spin the ebony “pit” on top of the white “avocado” like a ball bearing in his direction. A shimmering beam of energy erupted from the device, making the air dance all around like a heat mirage as it zapped Max with a direct hit.
He was ready. Similar to an aikido master channeling and amplifying his opponent’s own energy against him, he absorbed the Pacifier’s beam—only to project it back outward in a rapidly expanding sphere.
The effect was like a peace bomb exploding. Wave upon wave of pacifying energy pulsed to the farthest horizons. Disoriented, the thunderbirds simply sailed away on the breeze.
His father, somewhere between shock and disbelief, had watched everything from behind the cockpit’s windshield. It was Max’s turn to give him the thumbs-up. “Are you ready, Dad?” he asked Captain Diver telepathically.
“Is that you, Max?”
“Yeah. Listen, we don’t have a lot of time before that vortex closes. I’m going to lift you into the air and keep you there until you get your speed up. I want you to head straight into the wormhole. I’ll be with you all the way.”
“You know, Max, when I was a fighter pilot, I could have used a wingman like you. Thanks for choosing me to be your father.”
“How do you know I chose you? Maybe it was just fate.”
“Maybe. Then again, maybe fate is just a choice you forgot you made.”
Placing this hypothesis in his file of Things to Ponder Later, Max raised the Tempus Fugit high above the beach and propelled it forward toward the Angel’s Eye.
As soon as the plane was moving fast enough, he released it. There was an awkward moment in which the Skyhawk seemed unstable; then he was thrilled to watch his father steering confidently—as if he had flown just yesterday—into the vortex.
He was on the verge of joining him, when he heard his name being called. “Diver!” whistled a nearby dolphin. This initiated a chorus of dolphin whistles: Diver! Diver! Diver! Diver! Diver!
Diving down, Max leapt up—and soon was on the Skyhawk’s tail journeying from time back into space. The last thing he saw in the cosmic sector was a sopping Zana helping an equally dripping Artemisia climb aboard the Ily-bintu.
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.