We met together at a small, architecturally sound gardener's building, enclosed on three sides by walls and a ceiling. The building housed a park bench upon which two of us sat. We looked more alike than we could have imagined.
“There are probably more of us,” I began.
“Yes, but how? How could we be so related?” a sister asked.
“They entered our biological parents' homes just as they enter ours,” another sister replied.
“I think we were somehow drugged, just as our biological parents were. Then, those responsible entered our homes in the dead of night, stealing gametes from our bodies as we slept, entering the homes of others and manipulating the genetic flow of populations with the traits they wanted to see.”
“So I have children I do not know?” a sister said in shock.
“I suspect we will meet them someday,” I replied. “Whether or not we will recognize them is entirely another issue that we will have to address when it occurs.”
“But why us?” another sister asked.
“In others who knows the reason,” I replied, “But all of us recognize we have the ability to influence the reality of others through our dreams. What happens in our dreams, becomes the truth in the lives of those whose dreams we enter.”
“So either our real mother or father dreamed like this, too?” a sister asked.
“Perhaps both,” a sister replied.
“Who are they, those that do this to us?” asked yet another sister.
“I do not know their names,” I continued. “Do any other of you remember anything about them entering your homes as you slept?”
“I do,” answered the first sister as the other seven sisters shook their heads yes. “I remember asking myself why couldn’t I wake up while this was being done to me.”
“Yes, I, too, brother,” said another sister to my recognition and her own.
“I remember it almost as if watching them from outside my body, but I could not make out their faces nor much about their features in the night. Other times I would see people I knew and the light in the room was on. But the words coming out of their mouths were not the words I would recognize as being something those I knew would have said.”
“That’s because you were still sleeping,” I replied. “It was the words of those doing this to you that you were hearing. But for reasons I fail to understand your brain was interfacing a dream with reality.”
“How could this be possible?” she asked.
“Have you ever fell asleep with the television or radio on in the background and had the words from the program interface with your dreams?” They all agreed they had.
“I don’t remember everything about the times it was done to me, brother,” a sister said. “Only that when I awoke for real, there was no one in my home but me. The doors and windows remained locked, there wasn’t anything that I could detect abnormal except that my body didn’t feel quite right.”
“Me, too,” the first sister said moving her hand over her mouth as if she had just admitted to something she wished she hadn’t admitted to.
“And I,” said another sister.
“So our genetic populations may not be as diverse as we are taught?” a sister asked.
“It appears that way,” I replied.
All of us stared across the gardens whose seeds had been manipulated by humans for over ten thousand years, who really knew how long it had been going on with the plants. It made sense that there were those who intentionally brought people together to infuse the traits they wanted to see, as well. We stopped talking in that moment and watched as other university students walked between classes a short distance away, wondering, in fear and fascination, about our discovery of our family and those whose names we did not know. Mostly though, we all knew we had to find a way to stop them from doing this to others without consent.