Monday Morning Magic
Fandom: Stranger Things
Category: Gen. Vignette. Hopper Focus.
Time Frame: Season One. After the Demogorgon, before the forest.
Spoilers: Stranger Things, Season One.
Summary: There were some things Hopper just didn’t question.
Word Count: 557
Flo's voice drifted through the door as her fist banged on it.
"Hop!" she called. "Line two!"
Hopper sighed and picked up the phone.
The voice on the other end of the line belonged to Mister Craig, the ancient janitor at the middle school, and it took Hopper a minute to understand what he was talking about.
"It's all gone," he said.
"It was here on Friday."
Hopper heard a sigh before Craig answered.
"Yes. The salt. For the sidewalks and the parking lots. It's gone. All but a half dozen bags."
Now it was Hopper's turn to sigh. He rubbed his forehead absently as Craig kept going.
"I came in this morning and it was just gone."
"And it was there Friday?" said Hopper, trying his best to sound official and professional. "You sure?"
"Absolutely. I was in here just before I left. It was all here."
"Huh," grunted Hopper.
"And it's fine for now," said Craig, "but you know we'll need it soon and..."
"Yeah, yeah, ok," said Hopper. "Probably just some kid pulling a prank. But I'll look into it."
"See that you do," mumbled Craig. Then he hung up, and Hopper was left with a throbbing headache.
Christ, he thought, was that only two days ago?
He just sat there for a minute, utterly exhausted, realizing that yes, it was only over the weekend that he'd entered an episode of The Twilight Zone.
Then he took a deep breath and dialed a number he wasn't supposed to know.
When a gruff voice picked up and demanded to know who he was, he cut right to the chase.
"You dumbasses forgot something."
"Excuse me?" said the voice.
"The salt," answered Hopper, in a similar exchange to the one he'd had with Craig.
A beat passed and a new voice came on the line.
Hopper grinned. "You guessed it."
"What's this about salt?"
"You forgot about it."
"What are you taking about?"
Hopper chuckled darkly. "Of course, I guess that's understandable. I mean, with the bodies and the damages and all. Really quite impressive how well you cleaned up. Something was bound to get forgotten."
"Sh! This is an unsecured line!"
"Oh, is it?" asked Hopper, all innocence.
He heard a resigned sigh, but said nothing. He just waited.
He didn't have to wait long. After a moment, the voice continued.
"What is it that you need, Chief?"
"Fifty bags of road salt. In the middle school storage shed. Tomorrow."
"I can't get that there that quickly.”
Hopper raised an eyebrow, but again said nothing. His response did the trick, despite his intended target not seeing his gesture.
There was another sigh.
"Fine. I'll figure it out."
"Knew you'd see it my way," said Hopper with a grin.
Then he hung up.
And lo and behold, Craig called back the next day to report that the salt had reappeared and Hopper cancelled his "investigation."
Hopper never asked how the goons at the lab had managed to get it there that fast, but he frankly didn't care.
If anyone asked, he'd wave his hands with a flourish and announce that it must have been magic, which as far as he was concerned, after the weekend he'd had, was the absolute truth.