"AllaKaZoop!!" twin voices exclaimed as the pair of redheads waved their foil-covered wands. Suddenly, a large marshmallow appeared underneath Josh... a ten-foot tall marshmallow.
"AHHHHH...." sploooop! was all that everyone heard. A few seconds later, the muffled sound of Josh doing a very good imitation of a sailor was heard as Jason helped him dig his way out of the center of the giant marshmallow. Once he broke free, he immediately headed over and pulled his twin sons into a hug. "Thanks, guys!"
"We ain't gonna let you get out of being our Poppa that easy!" Timnah giggled.
"Besides, we ain't been able to play with our wands for THREE YEARS!" Jo'mmy added.
"We probably shouldn't discuss that in front of Grandma," Josh deadpanned, earning him twin giggles.
Now that her heartbeat was out of the four-digit range, Kate turned back to Enon. "Don't worry, we'll get things all sorted out for you."
"Promise?" Enon whispered.
"Poppa, our little brother's sad," Timnah stated seriously. "You gotta cuddle him better."
"Little broth...? On second thought, don't answer that!" Josh replied, figuring it was best not to question the decisions of their sons, seeing as they could make life difficult quickly. Ignoring the smirk on his Dad's face, Josh went over and knelt in front of Enon. "Come here, little guy," Josh said softly as he held his arms out.
Hesitantly, Enon shuffled into Josh's arms. As soon as Josh wrapped his arms around Enon, a crack of thunder rolled across the cloudless skies. "Poppa!" Enon exclaimed softly as he latched onto Josh like he was never going to let go. Jason considered joining the cuddle, but having two apologetic dragonlings apologizing for being careless with his beloved while they took turns carefully cleaning every speck of marshmallow off of him kept him rooted in one spot.
Having learned over the three years at the Waffle House not to cross Grandma, the twins set to work cleaning up the rest of the mess before she started commenting about it. Knowing that his bill autopay should have taken care of paying for the electricity, David went over to see why his generator still had lights illuminated on it. His eyebrows shot off of his face when he got to the control panel, as the run meter now displayed 29,967 hours on a unit that had just over a thousand hours on it before they left. Realizing that even with the strangeness that his family was getting used to this was impossible on the 20 gallons of fuel that had been left in the tank, he turned his head to check the fuel gauge. To his surprise, the gauge was covered by a plaque: "Upgraded by Quantum Quick Quupfitters, next refuel due in year 3525 local. For service, scream NUCLEAR COOKIES!"
David spun around, glaring at the author. "I knew this was too good to be true! What are you up to?"
--'Chill, Dave; this one's not going to backfire. Levi's cousin Peter and his Uncle Quint decided to give you a hand. There's two microfusion generators in there, so you'll be set until they finally get around to fixing power out here. Personally, I'd tell the power company to shove it, that generator will outlive all of you. It's stable, so it can't blow up or anything - the safeties safeties have safeties.'--
David spun back to look at the input voltage gauge, only to find that he could barely read it due to the cobwebs inside the gauge. One thing was obvious; the needle had not moved from zero in a very long time. Deciding that getting something positive from the insane authors he'd been stuck with was nothing to argue about, David waved his thanks before returning to his family. By this time, the twins had finished cleanup, and were now giving their Uncle Doug a ride in a wagon they had found in the garage. The dragonlings had finally released Jason, who was now helping Josh comfort the boy while the dragonlings stood 'guard'. Kate was at the mailbox, staring at it like it had grown a head.
"What's the matter?" David asked as he came over to see what was wrong.
David looked at the box, only to find a digital display embedded in the bottom that stated "Retrieving mail". Seconds later, it changed to "Mail delivery in progress", then a neatly bound packet of mail seemed to appear out of nowhere, quickly followed by another as soon as the first one was removed. David and Kate took turns pulling the bound packets out of the mailbox, and in no time had a pile the size of a car of mail that they had missed. Once the last packet appeared, the display changed to "No additional mail; Packages to be delivered to house interior."
Deciding it was better not to ask, David and Kate turned to start sorting the pile, only to find that the twins and their youngest son had joined them. "I help, DaDa!" Doug exclaimed proudly as he and the twins randomly threw mail bundles into the wagon, knocking over piles in the process.
"I'm going inside to get a place set up to sort it," Kate sniggered. "It looks like you and the boys have loading under control!"
"We'll be right in with the first load," David smiled as he started helping. "With the helpers, I've got, this shouldn't take long!"
"Famous last words," Kate muttered under her breath as she beat a hasty retreat to find normalcy.
Meanwhile, Josh and Jason had decided to give Enon a grand tour to get his mind off of his lack of memory while the dragonlings retrieved a small snack. During the walk around the property, Enon spotted something white in the distance. Deciding to check it out, the three, headed over in the direction, becoming more curious the closer they got. "Whoa!" Enon exclaimed as they got close enough to make out the object.
"How are the bones sticking together?" Jason wondered.
"Why is it swinging like that with no breeze?" Josh mused.
"Look, that rock cut a groove in its head!" Enon noted.
Noticing the rusted weapon laying on the ground, Jason took a closer look. "I think this is the person who shot me, that's the right kind of gun!"
"In that case," Josh grinned as he dropped his pants and underwear, "Later, sucker!" Josh then began emptying the three years of urine that had built up in his bladder onto the skeleton, quickly joined by Jason and a blushing Enon.
"Daddy? Poppa?" Enon asked quietly, having finished yet absorbed in what he was seeing, "Why are your weiners so big and hairy?"
Having already gone through this with the twins, Josh and Jason smiled. "That's what happens when you grow up," Josh replied calmly. "In a few years, yours will start changing too."
"Does it gotta? Yours look funny," Enon stated, still watching as he tried to figure out how his would end up looking like theirs. He was still watching as his new parents finished, his eyes going wide as he saw them shake and milk the remaining drops out. "Why'd you do that?"
"It makes it so that you don't make a big wet spot in your undies," Jason explained, glad that the situation was helping Enon relax and open up.
"Oh. I guess I should do that, huh?" Enon asked.
"It's a good time to start doing it," Jason replied with a nod.
With a look of concentration on his face, Enon tried to mirror exactly what he'd seen his new parents do, smiling as he managed to get a couple of stray drops out. "I did it!"
"Great job!" Josh and Jason chorused as they closed up their pants then pulled Enon into a hug. Once the hug broke and Enon was dressed again, they headed off, the now-soaked swinging skeleton just a memory in the backs of their heads.
As they wandered, Enon was kept entertained by Josh explaining some of his adventures as a young boy playing by himself in the fields. They were so involved in their discussion that they almost ran into a rainbow-haired kid standing around a corner with an almost-exact duplicate of Enon.
"Whaa... who are you?" Jason exclaimed as he grabbed a tree to keep from falling over.
The larger boy smiled. "I'm Ezra, my big brother Levi said you were found by Enon, so I brought his twin brother so that they'll be together again." Guiding the little twin to stand in front of him, Ezra continued, "This is Orez. Neither one of them are going to remember any of their past until it is needed; that's something that was decided a lot higher than I can affect."
Seeing as Josh was making sure that Enon felt safe, Jason took his turn kneeling down and holding out his arms. "Welcome home, Orez!"
The process repeated itself, including the thunder, when Orez made contact with Jason. Josh and Enon joined in the cuddle, not even noticing the swirl of static sparks once all four were in contact. They also didn't hear Ezra whisper 'It is done, Uncle G' before vanishing to do whatever needed to be done.
Once they finished bonding, they separated and looked around for their surprise guest.
"Daddy? Poppa?" Orez asked softly, "Why can me and Enon hear each other in our heads?"
Josh grinned as he looked their newest addition in his blue-green eyes. "I think that's because you're twins. Your big twin brothers do it too."
"Okay," Enon and Orez replied in unison, then exchanged amazed looks before giggling. Being told something about them was normal relaxed them both, so they picked a parent and cuddled into their side as the group continued their tour.
Back in the house, David and Kate were busy sorting the mail, while the twins kept Doug occupied. Tzorn and Zarsim took turns with the junk mail, quickly turning it to ash as David replenished the pile in the trash can on the patio. Fortunately, whoever bundled the mail put everything in groups by the sender, so it was easy to separate into keep and trash.
While not really explaining a thing, both adults relaxed when they started opening the letters in the pile that looked like they were from lawyers, as each had a post-it note inside the still-sealed envelope stating "Already handled for you, Levi" attached to the letter. The first two piles quickly gave the reason for their generator upgrade; it seems that even six months later, the electric company had still not restored power to the farming properties. They were able to follow along as they saw that a class-action lawsuit had been brought against the utility, and was finally won in the last year.
The power utility had decided that repairing customers who were suing them was of a lesser priority than paying bonuses to their executives; that decision came back to bite them when the judge ordered they pay $500.00 per day to each customer who had lost power and was not restored within a week due to their gross negligence. Needless to say, the utility tried to get out of it by filing bankruptcy. That didn't help much, as they forgot to read the fine print on the court order. All of their assets had been liquidated, with the proceeds going to pay the ongoing fines. While the town had managed to buy enough of the powerplant equipment to take care of themselves, they were still trying to get the farm's power again.
A note in the final envelope that was attached to a check stub told David that the money had already been deposited in the family savings account, all $550,000.00 of it. After meeting the employee on the way to the Waffle House, David concluded it couldn't have happened to a nicer company.
The next pile concerned the Con-Agra company that had hijacked most of the farmland in the region. It appeared that the extended power outage cut into their profits more than the home office would tolerate. It was when they went to sell the land that they realized the time-bomb that the area farmers had inserted into the contract - the farmers had the first option of getting their land back, at their original selling price minus 10% for each year that it had been actively factory farmed. Deciding to cut their losses, the Con-Agra sent out letters stating "We're outta here, have fun!", then abandoned the area.
Due to the fact that the base of operations for the Ag conglomerate had been built on the section that had belonged to David, various notes from Levi let him know that the buildings were now powered just like his house was. Since the rest of the restored family farms in the area were being supplied fuel at the County's cost until they had power restored, the sudden need for processing and storage of their crops put David in the surprise position of becoming the operator and owner of the local farmers' co-op. Even that had been settled by Levi, as management and staff had been put into place to serve the surrounding farms. David was left in the position of not being required to do anything but to collect the 3% of all fees that he was allotted as the landowner; everything else was self-sufficient.
The local cellular provider had fared much better. Despite crediting all of the local accounts for the lack of service, they had gained a shiny new high-powered tower out of the insurance money from the explosion. Not only were they back to normal, but they were now leasing tower space at the former Con-Agra property for a repeater, which increased their coverage considerably, while giving David more income.
Other letters indicated some of the smaller things, things like the internet speed having been upgraded automatically multiple times. There were also letters from Jason's parents - some for Jason, and some for David and Kate. The letters to David and Kate pretty much documented various happenings around the area, while also making comments about how the authors were lazy bums for not writing anything about their son.
The fact that both of them had lost their jobs was not only expected, but actually a relief with the recent changes to the family. With the various forms of income they now had, David was sure that they would be able to continue their lifestyle without having to cut any corners. Besides, he now had a farm to run.
They had just finished sorting the remainder of the mail when Josh, Jason, Enon, and Orez came in the back door, giggling at the antics of the dragonlings on the patio.
"Josh? Jason?" Kate asked, "Did you run Enon through a copier while you were out?"
"Nope," Josh grinned. "Levi's big brother dropped him off! This is Orez, he's Enon's twin brother!"
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