FBI Criminal Investigation Specialist Christina Bryson took the phone from her ear, pressed end, and placed it on the desk. Her hands were trembling so she took another long drink of whiskey, relishing the slow burn spreading through her chest. She placed both hands on the desk, closed her eyes, and tried to remember the deep breathing exercises she'd learned from a long-ago employee wellness seminar she'd been forced to attend.
Her calm did not last long, however, because soon her phone was buzzing away on her desk.
"Hello?" she said, bracing herself.
"How DARE you hang up on me!" Mother Nature. Eff.
"I didn't!" protested Christina. "We must have gotten disconnected because of the, uh, storm?"
"Whatever, ho," said Mother Nature. "You didn't even let me get to my point. I have Nick!" Christina gasped. "That's right, you hussy! I saw that Nick was getting a little too interested in you, so I took him. And now you're after Hubie, too? I mean, I knew you were an alcoholic, but I had no idea you were such a slut. Although, I suppose the two often go hand in hand, you know, especially without a strong father figure. Did you get along with your father? Oh, you did, I see it right here in your file. I borrowed your FBI file, I hope you don't mind. Anyway, I guess that just means you're a slut for no reason, which is sort of sad at your age, don't you think?"
Christina bristled at the accusations. She and Nick had always had a purely platonic relationship, just like she liked it. She stayed far away from office romances ever since she'd had that brief affair at Quantico with the wingnut who thought aliens abducted his sister. And the worst she'd done with Hubert was a little eye sex! Honestly. Christina wanted to reach through the phone and strangle Mother Nature, but instead, she put her FBI face back on.
"Excuse me, Ms. Nature, but my relationship with Nick is completely professional. And as for the idea that you kidnapped him, I'm just not sure I believe that. Are you really capable of such a thing? We believe there were multiple kidnappers and you, well, you're just one person," she said.
"JUST ONE PERSON?!" Mother Nature howled. "I can control the weather! The WEATHER. You think that's easy? Because it's not. But I do it EVERY DAY, year after year, without complaint because THAT'S HOW MUCH I CARE. But whatever, OBVIOUSLY, it would be way too hard to cajole a couple of morons to kidnap someone for me."
"Who then?" Christina asked.
"I stole some flying monkeys away from the Wicked Witch of the West," she explained.
"It was surprisingly easy. All I had to do was offer them 401k. That Wicked Witch is such a tightass," said Mother Nature. "You know, we once went out for drinks and I had to pick up the tab? I mean, sure, she claimed that since I drank all those Cosmos and she only had water, I should pay blah blah blah but whatever happened to splitting the bill? We don't talk so much anymore, you know. It's sad, really. We were quite close once. I think she was always jealous of my luck with the fellas, if you know what I mean. Oh, of course, YOU know what I mean, how silly of me." Christina contemplated hanging up again.
"So...what do you want?" asked Christina. "I assume you're holding him for some kind of ransom?"
"That's right!" shrieked Mother Nature, all business again. "I want you to bring Hubie to me, and then I'll consider releasing Nick. I'm over him anyway."
"Hubie," whispered Christina, with a slight twinge of jealousy that she quickly brushed away. She cleared her throat. "No problem. Anything else?"
"Um...YES! Bring me some...bananas, yes, bananas for my monkeys. And Jake Gyllenhaal."
"You know he's dating Reece Witherspoon, right?"
"I heard they broke up."
"No," said Christina. "I'm pretty sure they're still together."
"OK, fiiiine," sighed Mother Nature. "Just Hubie, then. AND THE BANANAS."
"OK, OK. Where do we make the trade?" asked Christina.
"I'll call you back with that, I have to go," said Mother Nature.
"Why can't you just tell me now?" asked Christina.
"I SAID I HAVE TO GO!" Mother Nature yelled and hung up. Christina frowned at her phone and placed it back on her desk. She wanted to lie down to sleep off the bit of hangover still hanging around but knew there was no time. She put her head down on her desk to gather her thoughts, her many confusing thoughts, until her reverie was interrupted by a knock on the door.
She dragged herself away from her desk and threw open the door with a grumpy WHAT, but her greeting caught in her throat when she saw who was standing before her.