The twins and I spent the rest of our time together exploring the plantation as much as we could without moving the wormhole, because it was too difficult for me to move it by myself. Luckily we had a good vantage point from the front lawn outside the main house and almost everyone and everything passed by. I showed the girls the animals and the people, especially my grandfather and half-siblings, as well as the slaves. We were limited to whoever happened to be on that lawn, so they never saw most of the slaves, but my MaryLynn did pass by once. She was a beautiful little girl even then.
"First girlfriend me," I told my girls, pointing at MaryLynn, but they did not understand me; they were too young now and did not know enough sign language for that.
My younger self came back almost every day and we would watch him play on that lawn with Keisha as the girls grew progressively younger. One day I noticed a sticky substance on Kair's hands and when I licked it, I realized that it was celery juice. Celery juice is the most vile thing in existence and Edward had discovered that it stopped Eliza from biting her hands if he coated them in the stuff. And so I realized that my girls were now into their first few months of life, because it was common for newborns to bite their hands on accident.
When I inspected Kare, she also had celery juice on her hands and both girls had on hats and matching booties, something Alice would insist on for the first few months, depending on how adept the children were at removing or shredding them. Jackson had tolerated the booties and hats the longest, letting Alice dress him like that for three solid months, while Scryan had tried to eat his booties during his very first day of life. No one wanted to have to pump his stomach, so excess clothing was not utilized.
Just as I was thinking about the booties and hats, Kare ripped her hat off of her head and Kair started to chew on her right bootie. I removed the offensive garments and put them in the backpack, with the remains of today's blood meal, before deciding that today was a good day to start teaching them the basics.
"Past father me," I signed, pointing at myself. I repeated the phrase several times until the girls copied me and then began to work on their finger and hand position, ensuring that they had each word down perfectly, before moving on to the next phrase.
We went over the signs for blood, worm hole, and home that day. The next day we went over father, love, you, and me, but I kept having to stop and tell the girls not to bite themselves, because their hands would invariably drift into their mouths. Then I taught them the word destroy when they tore their leather leash and I had to send them home early to get another one.
The day after that I taught them their names and the following day they seemed too little to do anything but hold and cuddle. I held them for about a week in their time, only trying to teach them to keep their hands away from their sharp teeth and not break their leash, and then they were gone.
My little tiny babies left and toddlers came back in their place and I wanted to cry. I was sad, because my precious time with my babies was over, but I was also overjoyed with relief that I was finally being rescued. The intense emotions caused a distinct tingling in my eyes. The girls looked to be about the size of three year old humans and the size Allison was when she was two hundred years old, so I guessed that they were around two hundred.
"Hello past father," Kair signed and Kare jumped into my arms. The leather leashes were gone now, so there was no cord joining the girls and preventing them from accidentally getting separated. But the leather bracelets were still decorating their wrists.
"Hello R and Air," I signed back, as soon as my hands were free again after setting Kare down. "Happy see you me. Love you."
"Love you," they both signed back.
"Rescue me you?" I asked, putting all of my limited hope into this question. I was never good with hope, so I did not have much of it, but I did have some.
"Yes," Kare signed.
"Take off home?" I asked. "Break down worm hole?"
"Yes," Kair signed. "Great Grandma home."
"Yes, Great Grandma help," Kare added.
"Lead way," I signed with a smile on my face. I did not know who the girls were talking about when they signed Great Grandma, but as long as it meant that I would be out of this blasted wormhole and free to breathe air again and drink fresh blood, it was alright by me. And I was extremely excited about the prospects of seeing Alice again. This was not our longest separation, but it was the longest without any contact what so ever.
"Follow us," the girls signed simultaneously and then went to work repositioning the wormhole. They did not move it far, just a few hundred yards to the east of the plantation to the untamed marshland. The creek I had played in as a boy was over this way, only the water was clearer and cleaner; this water was a brownish green muck that only the alligators and the fish would dare swim in. It was curious that the water could run so clear there and be so vile here when the two were only a few yards apart.
Once we were in position, Kare signed, "Past go."
I did not want to go further into the past, because we were already so far back in time that I was just a little boy. There was not much left to see of my human life and right now what I really wanted to see was my present. "Future go? Present go?" I asked confused.
"No. First past go," Kare signed.
When I did not reply, Kair added, "First pick up hosts. Then future go."
I still did not quite understand what the plan was, but I decided to just go along with them. The note I had, said something about finding their hosts. "Lead way," I signed and followed them into the past.
We traveled for a long time, but not nearly as long as we had the first time, because the slope of this hill was mild in comparison to the mountain we had climbed to get from the present to my baby brother Jeremiah's time. At least a few years ticked by, but I was not at all aware of just how many years passed.
As time passed the swamp land changed. The land dried up and a few small hills rose out of the marshes, forcing the water into defined channels. The land was still wet and boggy, but it was just enough of a difference that humans could now walk across most of the area, whereas before there was at least a foot of water covering the entire field. I could see humans walking across the area now.
There was a set of teenaged twins with curly blond hair, walking across the hills carrying a basket of laundry each. I thought at first that these girls were my girls, because their backs were turned to me. But then we followed after them, pushing the wormhole in the direction they were headed, stopping only when we found them washing clothes at the head of the stream, right below a small waterfall. The water here was even cleaner than it was downstream and did not resemble the muck of the future in the slightest.
We positioned the wormhole right next to the teenagers and were able to see their faces for the first time. I knew immediately that they were not my twins and that they were human, but they also seemed eerily familiar. They both looked like me and even more like my mother, but it was a few minutes before I realized where I had seen these faces before: there was a painting of one of them with my grandfather at the Allen Plantation. I had not gone inside the plantation house during our recent visit, but I still remembered that face from that painting. It was of my grandfather's wedding and he always said that she was my Grandmother Allen.
And now that I saw their faces, I put two and two together and realized that one of these girls was the great grandmother my girls had said would help us. "Great Grandma help us?" I asked Kair and Kare.
"Yes," signed Kare.
"Nana Mariam, Nana Mariel, we're here," Kair spoke out loud into the fabric of time. This was the first time I had ever heard her speak out loud in the wormhole, because of the risk of emptying her lungs completely. Whenever this happened the girls would either have to exit the wormhole at whatever time we were in, which they could not do this far in the past, or go home to the future to breathe. But if we were getting out of here very shortly, however that would occur, then that would not be a significant problem.
"It's Kare and Kair," Kare added. "Pull us out please."
The teenagers looked at each other and smiled, before putting their wash down on the shore and reaching into our wormhole. Bright shafts of ultraviolet and infrared light broke through the wormhole from their fingertips. Then their hands broke through and were inside our wormhole, while their bodies stayed firmly rooted in reality. Kair put each of her hands in the hands of one twin, while Kare did the same with the other. Mariam and Mariel tighten their grip on my girls before pulling them through to reality.
"Nana! We've finally got him!" Kair shouted excitedly.
"Nana, help us rescue Daddy!" Kare shouted at the same time.
"Calm down, one thing at a time," the twin holding Kare said. She had on a beige colored dress, while the other one was dressed in a tan colored dress.
"Now what's goin' on sweat pea?" the girl holding Kair asked.
"Daddy's trapped in that wormhole," Kair said.
"Pull him through Nana, please?" Kare begged.
"Where?" "How?" the teenagers asked simultaneously.
"He fell in and can't get out," Kare answered.
"He's right here. You've gotta help us pull him out. Pretty please?" Kair begged.
"Okay, let's try," the girl in the tan dress said.
The teenagers set the toddlers down, before reaching into the wormhole for me. I inched closer to them, placing my left hand in the hand of the twin in the beige dress and my right in the other twin's left hand. The girls felt around with their free hands until they made contact with my body. One twin wrapped her arm around me, while the other one grabbed hold of my arm, and then they started pulling. I planted my feet firmly in the mesh of time and tried to use the leveraged to force myself out of the wormhole to freedom. I pushed with all of my might and the twins pulled with all of theirs, but in the end they gave up without pulling me through.
"We'll have to get Monroe," the twin with the beige dress said.
"I'll go, Mariam, you stay with Arianna and Ariel," the girl in the tan dress, presumably Mariel said. She seemed to be indicating my twins when she said Arianna and Ariel, but I was not sure why, other than the fact that these names started with the same syllable as my twin's names; Arianna started with air, while Ariel started with are.
"Don't lose him Mariel," Mariam said, picking Kair and Kare up from the ground, while Mariel ran off to find Monroe.
"Is it really him? My grandson from the future?" Mariam asked my girls, once her sister was gone.
"Yep, we've got Daddy!" Kair proclaimed.
"He's a good daddy; you'll like him," Kare added.
"How did he fall into a timehole?" Mariam asked.
"We were in his tummy before we came out. The hole opened up and we all fell in," Kare answered.
"You were in Daddy's tummy?" Mariam asked confused.
"Yep," Kair answered.
"Of course," Kare added. "We're Daddy's twins, we told you that."
"Sorry, I just assumed you were Daddy's twins but were in your Mommy's tummy," Mariam replied.
"You're funny! Why'd we be in Mommy's tummy when we're Daddy's?" Kare asked.
Mariam did not get a chance to answer, because Mariel came running back with a young man, who I presumed to be Monroe. He looked like me and like the teenagers and I could feel a family tie between the three.
"Where's the hole?" the young man asked.
"Right here, Monroe," Mariam answered, setting my girls down.
Mariam reached into the wormhole again, but it took her a minute to find my hand and arm again. Mariel quickly joined her, locating my other hand and arm. As before, their hands completely entered the wormhole, sending rays of light scattering, and clasped mine tightly. Monroe inserted himself in between the twins, but his hands did not penetrate on his own, so each twin lead one of his hands through. He grabbed hold of my waist and each twin hooked an arm under my armpits and then the three pulled in unison, I kicked and pushed with my legs, and I finally slid out of the hole.
Author's note: Remember when Allison said if you combine Alice and Jasper's genetics, you can get time travel? This chapter should help explain how: Jasper has opening up wormholes in his family history and Alice has looking forward through time.