Teruf is an exciting fantasy novel built around the Mayan prophecies regarding the year 2012, with contributing overtones from many of the world's great faith traditions. A boy of ten when the novel begins, Teruf Warwick begins to have strange dreams that are frighteningly realistic-and even more frightening as elements of them begin to "come true." His own boyish faults appear as dragons in his dreams, only to re-appear as fire breathing realities which he must battle the next day. As Teruf learns more about his unique purpose in the age-old battle between good and evil, he also learns that his parents have strange abilities and talents which are destined to come together in him. Events develop rapidly as Teruf travels to exotic locales and confronts ever-more dangerous foes, including murderous shamans in the jungles of Guatemala and a newborn spawn of the ancient god, Chac. In Argentina, he is introduced to his father's old friend, Malicium-"old," in his case, having an expanded meaning! The ancient Malicium becomes a mentor to Teruf, giving him wise and true counsel. Teruf's parents, Rubin and Chelsy, apear to be your typical fond parents and responsible citizens. Rubin, a scholar and a library archivist, is also his son's scoutmaster. Chelsy works as a nurse in a hospital in their hometown in Washington state, where she exhibits a gift for healing. This is not her only gift, however- she also has a strange affinity for animals, being able to understand and communicate with them, and even occasionally transforming into one of them.Their travels and adventure pursue from then on. As you read the first book in the series, "I believe you will see "Teruf" as an event in time that will ignite your enthusiasm."
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Teruf the DreamerBook I of Teruf's progression in Successsion Series
By Mark James Foster
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Mark James Foster
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Dream
It was just twilight. Everything was so still that it seemed as if Mother Earth herself was holding her breath. Teruf stood on a hill, looking out over a vast green valley. Peaceful as it was, he yet sensed that he was approaching a pivotal point in his youth, wandering through this pastoral landscape. Somehow, things were about to change. He turned his head just in time to confront a great ball of light that caught him off-guard and sent him stumbling and running uncontrollably downward into the valley. At one end of the valley, storm clouds arose, roiling with almost impossible speed and rising to obscure the sun. Lightning flashed all around as Teruf struggled to stay upright. Had he been hit by lightning? What else could it be? The ground began to tremble, and a terrifying sound from the direction of the approaching storm increased in intensity-a roar, accompanied by sounds of wrenching and crashing. Teruf stared, horrified, as a great wall of water-a dread flash flood-swept toward him, carrying with it huge trees, torn up by their roots and tumbling, scouring the valley of all life, leaving it dead and gray. Oh, no! He had learned about flash floods in Scouts. You had to make it to high ground, or there was no hope of escape. Teruf tried to run before the flood, to climb back up the hill, but his feet felt leaden, and the debris-filled water caught and carried him with it. Strangely, he felt no pain as he was transported on the crest of the flood to an unfamiliar area and deposited on a bank as the flood continued to run its course past him. Desolation flowed to the horizon, bleak, muddy and gray. As he stood there, dazed and shocked at the change he had witnessed, the ground began to rumble again, and the putty-colored mud in front of him began to bubble and belch. He jumped backward just as a great geyser shot up almost at his feet, showering water and mud down upon him.
In that instant, he was no longer a ten-year-old boy, a Scout. He had morphed into a young man. Somehow he was aware that he was twenty-three years of age-that his body had grown stronger and taller. He could remember being that ten-year-old, standing on the peaceful hilltop overlooking the green valley-could see it all again as it had been before the flood-verdant and calm and unsuspecting. He could feel as he had felt then, as well-pure and innocent, full of wonderment and well-being. Suddenly a voice spoke to him, searing itself into his very core. It was a familiar voice, calm and certain, but he had never heard it speak with such unrelenting power, flowing through him, touching every corner of his frame. It spoke only two simple words: "Dream Walker," but they poured through him, right and true. They could not be denied.
Teruf Warwick awoke in his own bed, the dream he had just experienced as real and fresh as anything he had ever seen or heard. He knew from experience, however, that dreams could fade when the busyness of daily life crowded them out, and he didn't want to forget this one. It seemed very important that he remember. Maybe he should write it down. He blinked in the early morning light and rolled over, looking for something to write on. His Bear Scout book lay on the nightstand, with a pencil stuck between its pages. He turned to the last page, which was blank, and wrote down the dream he had just had. His father had taught him some things to look for when he had dreams-how to identify the important points. Even now, the whole dream sequence was beginning to feel like some interactive video game. It took him a few minutes, but he wanted to get it down just right. Then, realizing that he was running late in his morning routine, he hurriedly dressed and took care of his morning tasks. His mom wasn't home yet from the hospital where she worked, so he grabbed a breakfast bar and headed out the door for school.
He would need to tell his parents about this dream. He thought about them as he waited for the school bus. His dad, Rubin Warwick, worked as an archivist and reference librarian at the county library. He was quiet and kept to himself when he could, and people who thought they knew him well believed that he was quite the introvert. Teruf knew better. His dad's real nature was to be fun-loving and exuberant. And he was smart. As Teruf put it, "full of a bunch of knowledge." Anything you would like to know, it seemed his dad did know. If it was in a book, he knew it; if it wasn't in the books, it was out there in cyberspace somewhere, and his dad could find it. He was also full of practical knowledge about life in the outdoors, and knew how to survive almost anything.
After an extensive background search, the local Scouting Committee had approved Rubin Warwick to be both the Cubmaster and the Scoutmaster. Teruf knew his dad just personally wanted to make sure that not only his own son, but all the boys in the community, knew the things he could teach them. It would help not only the boys, but the whole community.
Chelsy Warwick, Teruf's mom, was pursuing her life's dream by being a nurse at the community hospital, where she seemed to enjoy helping and serving whoever came under her care. She was a great mom, and Teruf knew she had wanted more children-brothers and sisters for him-but that had not happened, and it seemed to ease her loneliness to help people in any way she could. Her hours were not always very predictable, but they all had learned to live with that.
To the neighbors, to all who knew them, the Warwicks seemed to be a busy and fairly typical American family. And that was exactly what those folks were meant to see, to believe. In actuality, there was a good deal more to the picture. Rubin Warwick, for example, was also teaching a school on the Internet-and to him, the possibilities were endless. Chelsy seemed to have a gift for healing people far beyond their physical ailments. As for Teruf, he was being carefully educated and groomed for his future-not only through the limited knowledge offered by the local school system, but also by his father's tutoring and his mother's training by example-both of which expanded his education exponentially.
All that day, Teruf found himself reliving his dream over and over, and it almost seemed that his memory of it became more and more vivid with each replaying of the amazingly green valley, the feeling of well-being, and then the sudden ball of light-now grown more brilliant than anything Teruf had ever imagined-that had sent him stumbling down into the path of the destructive, all-encompassing flood.
"Hey, Teruf! Earth to Teruf-come in, come in," said his buddy Ken, passing one hand back and forth before Teruf's face. Teruf looked around. He was sitting at their usual lunch table in the cafeteria, but his food lay untouched before him. He focused on it-fish sticks and fries, ice cream and both chocolate and regular milk.
"Huh," he grunted, and began shoveling the food into his mouth as fast as he could, to avoid having to throw it away to get back to class on time.
"Wow, Ken-you think maybe Teruf was hungry?" asked Al, who was just finishing up his dessert.
"Looks like it now, but I don't know-Teruf's been off on Mars all day!"
Been someplace, Teruf agreed silently, sending Ken a sheepish grin. But I don't think it was Mars. He realized he had no memory of anything he had presumably heard or studied all morning. Boy! He had to do better, this afternoon.
Afternoon was no better. The dream dominated his thoughts. He saw again how the beautiful green valley had been changed into a desolate, bone-laden, sand-encrusted river of mud. He envisioned anew the roiling clouds, black as Louisiana mud, shot through with brilliant spears of lightning that gave light both above and below the cloud bank. He knew what was coming next-the great geyser that had burst forth practically at his feet. He jumped from his desk to avoid it, scattering papers and notebooks and pencils to the floor, while he gazed upward at the powerful explosion of muddy water that towered above him.
Other students also jumped to their feet-moving away from Teruf as if they were afraid he would become violent, staring at the expression on his face as he watched something that only he could see.
"Teruf?" came the voice of Mr. Vromen, the teacher. Teruf tried to focus on him. He was also standing, looking at Teruf with some alarm. Teruf forced away the valley, the flood, the geyser, the bolt of light.
"Um-sorry, Mr. Vromen. I must have been daydreaming. Or something."
Teruf sat down and bent over to retrieve his belongings from the floor. Mercifully, the bell rang, and his classmates, many still giving him uncertain stares, hurried from the room. Teruf stood to leave, too, but Mr. Vromen held up one hand.
"I need to have you stay after school today, Teruf," he said. "And I don't think I have to explain why."
Teruf stared at the floor. "Yes, sir," he agreed. His face flamed. What had he done, all day? Had he made a fool of himself, over and over? It was humiliating to realize he had no clue. Would even his friends tell him how he had behaved? Could they possibly understand?
Ken and Al were waiting for him in the hallway.
"Man-what planet were you looking for?" Ken teased. "Or were you seeing angels?" His voice was light, but he was frowning as if he was worried about Teruf.
Teruf shook his head.
Al kindly tried to change the subject. "So, are we having Scouts tonight, dude?"
"Um-I guess so-same as always. I'll give you guys a call and tell you what time, okay?"
"Sure," Ken said, and walked away to catch his bus.
Teruf looked at Al, relieved that his friend still seemed to stand by him. "After detention, I'll stop by for you and we can walk over to my house together, okay?"
"Okay," Al agreed. "Good luck," he added, nodding toward the classroom door.
"Thanks," Teruf said wryly, and headed back to face the music.
Mr. Vromen sat on the edge of his desk and gestured to Teruf to sit in a desk in the front row. "That was quite the spectacle you put on today, Teruf. Were you begging for attention, or what? Could you fill me in, please?"
You think I made a spectacle, thought Teruf. What would you think if you could see the spectacle I was seeing! He hung his head, trying to think how best to reply. He remembered something his dad had taught him: no matter how far out the truth may seem, or even if it gets you in a little more trouble than lying would, it's always best to give the most truthful explanation you can to those who deserve it.
He looked up. "If you have a few minutes, I'd like to try to explain what happened."
Mr. Vromen looked wary, but agreed. "Go right ahead." "Well, last night I had this really weird dream, and it's kind of stayed with me all day. It ended up with this huge, big geyser shooting out of the ground right in front of me. I guess I was re-living that part of the dream, or something. That's why I jumped out of my desk. I was trying to get back, away from it. I don't know-maybe I fell asleep or something, and was dreaming it again. It seemed awfully real. But I'm sorry, honest. I didn't mean to do that."
"Hmph! That's a good one, Teruf-very original! I've never heard anything quite like it, before. But I'll tell you what. You don't usually cause any trouble, so I'll just ask you to please stay awake and not let anything like that happen again, all right? Now, why don't you head on home. And, um-get yourself a good night's sleep tonight, okay?"
"Yes, sir. Thanks, Mr. Vromen."
Teruf stood up and moved toward the door.
"Oh-and Teruf? Be sure to tell the other kids that detention was miserable, okay?"
Teruf grinned. "Yes, sir," he agreed.
As Teruf hurried toward Al's house, he was thinking that there was a lot of wisdom in what his dad had told him. Sure, he thought, he could have come up with some kind of lie, like saying that Ken or Al had put a tack in his seat. But then one of his friends would be in trouble, as well as angry with him for lying about them-plus it wasn't too likely that Mr. Vromen would have believed that story, anyway. Teruf's reaction had been too violent, and he had jumped back in fear and awe, not yelped in pain, holding a sore backside. No, his dad was right. The truth was good enough, especially for those who deserved to hear it. And it had worked, too-here he was, out of detention in a matter of minutes! He felt good. He had a victorious strut in his step as he marched up Al's front walk.
"So I just told him the truth," he explained, in answer to Al's question. "I don't know what he really thought, but I'm pretty sure he believed me. So I figure the truth's the best thing to go with, whenever you can. Especially with teachers."
"Yeah, and parents," agreed Al. "My mom has this, like, special sense for when I'm lying to her. And she doesn't say a word. She just has this look she gives me, and I swear, I can't stand it. I just blurt out the truth, and she nods, like, 'that's what I was waiting for.'"
Teruf waited for Al to finish his homework at the kitchen table, trying to read his library book but unable to concentrate very well, as thoughts of the dream kept intruding. It was getting annoying.
"So, Teruf," said Mrs. Pinskie, Al's mom, as they prepared to leave for Teruf's house and Scouts. "I hear you really got the class's attention today. Do you want to tell me about that?" Her eyes were teasing, but Teruf felt he understood Al's comment about not being able to lie to her. He gave Al a withering glance for telling on him, feeling his face turning beet-red. There was an unwritten code among Teruf's crowd that prevented them from telling parents about each other's problems at school. Al had broken that code. He knew he had, and he kept his eyes studiously on his Nikes.
"Well, ma'am, it was really no big deal," Teruf said. "I must have been just daydreaming or something."
Mrs. Pinskie chuckled and patted his shoulder as they turned to leave. "Teruf, you're so fun to tease," she told him. "You blush so easily. You boys be good, now."
Outside the door, Teruf raised his index finger and cocked it at Al. He didn't have to say a word. Al knew Teruf would find a way to get even-probably before the day was out.
"Sorry," Al muttered, with a small grin. "But you really were pretty spectacular. I had to tell somebody."
"Uh-huh," Teruf murmured, giving Al a half-playful punch on the arm. "Thanks, buddy."
They walked for a few minutes in silence. Then Teruf turned to Al, his face serious.
"Do you dream a lot, Al?"
"Dream? Yeah, I guess. But I don't remember most of them. I dream stupid stuff, though, like I'm falling toward this old blue carpet we used to have when I was little. I always wake up just before I hit. Or I'll dream that I'm floating down a flight of stairs. Or I'm trying to run from the Goetschler's big old dog, but it's like my feet are stuck in mud. Or we're having a test in math, and I can't even remember where the classroom is. Stupid stuff like that." He stole a glance at Teruf. "Nothing to make me jump up in class and break out in a sweat."
Teruf watched the sidewalk as they walked. "Yeah," he agreed. "I've had lots of those dreams, too. Except mine are usually about English instead of math. I'm having to give an oral book report, and I'm up in front of the class but I can't remember one single thing about the stupid book! And my falling dream is falling out of this tree we used to have in our back yard. I don't know if I ever really climbed it or fell out of it-I was just little when we lived there-but I still fall toward the grass and roots. It's weird. But I'll tell you what, Al-lately the dreams I've had have been way different. They're like-I don't know-like movies or something. Except I'm the main guy, and it's all happening to me. They're so dang real! And they stick in my mind. That's what happened today. I was jumping back from this huge old muddy geyser that like, exploded right at my feet. It was part of last night's dream." He stole a sidelong glance at his friend. "Not that I should be telling anything to my good buddy who tattles to his mommy about me."
Excerpted from Teruf the Dreamer by Mark James Foster Copyright © 2010 by Mark James Foster. Excerpted by permission.
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