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The email back from 23andMe was a bother. Molly Alana McGinn had not really wanted to do the DNA test, but her mother had paid for it for her birthday and she felt compelled to follow through.

She’d ordered the kit, filled out the questionnaires and sent her spit back to be analyzed. In a few weeks, she’d expected to get the results back that let her know she was all but a wee bit Cro-Magnon and that she was pretty much Irish through and through—as if her red hair, freckles and name weren’t enough to tell anyone that without having to pay $99.

So, the email irritated her. In so many words it said that her sample had been contaminated and was unreadable. Could she please submit another sample in the kit being mailed out and please be careful not to contaminate this sample with any pet fluids.

Pet fluids?

Molly owned no pets. In fact, she loathed animals, domestic or otherwise. They went against her fastidious nature. She was a bit of a control freak. Scratch that. She was a total control freak. Why not? What was the use of being human, if you couldn’t organize and manage the world around you?

She was into the whole dominion over the earth thing. That’s why this 23andMe snafu was riling her. She’d followed their directions perfectly. If there was a mistake, it was on their end.

If she could’ve, she would’ve ignored the whole thing. But Molly couldn’t control her mother, a force in her life she’d tried to manipulate and escape, and failed miserably in both. Her mother was a force beyond nature.

Molly responded to the email with a quick burst of her insensate indignation for the bother, but, when the new 23andMe kit arrived in a few days, she wrathfully acquiesced by hocking a venomous loogie into the vial and plopping it back in the mail.

This time she received a phone call.

“Ms. McGuinn this is Frieda Tern from 23andMe. I’m calling about a potential problem with the latest sample you’ve supplied. Is this a good time to talk?”

“Gawd. Did you guys mess it up again? This has been such a hassle, and I don’t even want to do this. It’s all my mother’s idea of getting in touch with our ancestry.”

“I’m sorry you feel put out, but we’d like to reach out to you because of the anomalous findings with the samples you’ve twice sent.”

“Anomalous? How so? You’ve never seen Irish DNA before? I’m as Erin Go Bragh as they come—ginger freckles and everything.”

“I’m sure that’s the case. However, before we go any further I’d like you to verify that the saliva samples 23andMe received came from you.”

“What? Of course they were from me. You need me to spit in one of your tech’s eyes to prove it?”

There was a pause before Frieda Tern responded. “That won’t be necessary. Thank you for the verification. Speaking to you has helped confirm our findings which we will email to you shortly.”

“Well, save me the big mystery, friend Frieda. What did you find out about my ancestry that’s so interesting. I’m sure my Boss Mom will just die when she hears her little girl is so unique!”

“With pleasure, Ms. McGuinn. The fact, and it has probably not escaped anyone that has interacted with you, is that you are simply not human.”

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