A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge — Adaptation Excerpts
Adapted by Bob Italia
Transcribed by Rob Nimmo
There were only a dozen teenagers on the bus, but the noise level was deafening. The girls were yapping and the boys were horsing around. Someone was adjusting a ghetto-blaster, trying to decide among several loud stations.
The bus turned a corner, heading out of the development and past some older homes spaced more widely apart. The driver downshifted and pulled over to the curb. Then he reached out to push the door lever open. A large group of teenagers walked down the aisle and off the bus. The gears grinded and the bus pulled away. Now there were only a few teens remaining—two girls sitting together toward the center of the bus, and a lone, nerdy-looking boy sitting at the rear.
One girl stared at the boy for a moment, then turned to her friend and whispered something. The friend turned around and looked at the boy. Then both let out an uncontrollable rush of mean giggles. Embarrassed, the boy looked down at the books in his lap while the bus, its engine revving, picked up speed.
One of the girls stood, ready to get off. She could see her mother and dog waiting just ahead along the curb. But the bus raced past them and continued to pick up speed. The girl’s jaw dropped. “Hey!” she shouted to the bus driver. “Hey, that was our stop!” The bus turned a sharp corner. The girl almost fell. The other girl gripped the seatback and lifted herself to her feet. “Hey,” she cried, “let us off!” The bus driver, wearing a battered old fedora, ignored their cries as the bus continued to pick up speed.
The sky had suddenly turned fowl and wicked. A wave of threatening clouds swept overhead. The wind churned a row of weeping willows into a tangled mess of yellow tendrils. The bus whined as it reached the top end of third gear. All its lights were flashing wildly. It flew past the last house in town and headed into open country. One girl stepped into the aisle and made her way toward the front of the bus. Then she stopped suddenly and gasped as she watched the driver’s arm throw the stickshift into fourth gear. His hand was clad in a strange glove that had a menacing set of razor-sharp, steel talons. His sleeve was charred and smoking.
The bus swerved wildly as it skidded around the corner, throwing its few passengers into collision courses with the walls and each other. Then a flash of lightning crashed through the air. As the thunder subsided, the sky fell dark. The bus screamed along, banging through rocks and ditches, crashing through a wall of overgrown brambles. Thick clouds of steam poured from under the hood and streamed past the rear of the bus.
Suddenly, one of the tires smacked into a jagged boulder, snapping the wheel from its axle. The front of the bus bounced to a violent halt, the bumper digging a long trench into the earth. The teens picked themselves from the floor. It was very hot and smoky inside. Sweating and scared, the teens moved closer to each other. The boy tried frantically to open a window, but it would not budge.
Then he looked out the window and gasped.
The ground beneath the bus began splitting apart. Huge chunks of earth sheared themselves loose from the edges of the fissures that encircled the bus. They tumbled into oblivion. In moments, the bus was stranded on the narrow tip of a towering, crumbling ridge. It teetered precariously, touching the smoky abyss in every direction.
One girl was on her hands and knees in the aisle. She looked up toward the driver’s seat. Seeing something hideous, she gasped and scrambled to her feet. Then she began backing off. The bus shifted dangerously, throwing the girl into the edge of a seat.
The driver slowly made his way toward the back. He was dressed in a filthy green and red sweater. Smoke rose from his body as if he had just stepped out of a horrible fire. His razor-sharp talons swept along the tops of the seatbacks, cutting deep gashes into the green vinyl upholstery and scraping terribly over the tubular steel support poles. Terrified, the boy stared at the awful talons, then looked out the window at the deadly drop. Sweating and panicking, the girls backed away, going from window to window, trying desperately to pull them down. But the windows were all locked tight. One girl reached for the emergency door lever at the rear of the bus. The lever came off in her hand. The driver grinned evilly as he approached. Petrified, the teens huddled together, screaming. The driver lifted the awful, taloned glove. A flash of lightning illuminated his hideous face—the face of Freddy Krueger! He raised his weapon arm higher and higher—then struck!
Suddenly, an alarm went off. Jesse Walsh sat up in his bed. Sweaty, scared and disoriented, he slammed his hand on the alarm and tried to shake the nightmare out of his head. Then he looked into a mirror. He was relieved to find that he no longer looked like the nerd in his dream.
Jesse got up and made his way past the half-empty cardboard cartons that littered his room. He got dressed, then headed for the kitchen. “Morning,” he mumbled to his mother who was at the stove cooking eggs. “Morning, honey,” his mom replied. Jesse poured himself a glass of milk from the refrigerator. Then he joined his dad and his sister Angela at the breakfast table.
“You got your room straightened out yet?” his dad asked.
Jesse yawned. “It’s getting there.”
His dad frowned. “We’ve only been living here six weeks now. I want that room unpacked by tonight.”
His mom approached with a plate of eggs and set it on the table. “Angela,” she said, “what are you doing?”
Angela struggled to put her hand deep into a box of FU-MAN CHEWS breakfast cereal. “I’m trying to get the Fu-Man Fingers!” she whined.
Jesse stared at the box and frowned. Printed on the box was a cartoon caricature of an Oriental doctor pointing to a bowl of cereal with one of his long, sharp fingernails. A burst above the product name read: “Free Inside—Fu-Man Fingers!” It showed a hand wearing several extra-long, red plastic fingernails.
“Jesse?” his mom said.
“Huh?” Jesse replied.
Jesse rubbed his temples. “Oh…uh, no, just some milk, Mom.”
“You okay?” she said.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just really hot upstairs.”
His mother nodded, looking at her husband. “I know it’s warm. I wish you’d call someone to check out the air conditioning, Ken.”
“I know what’s wrong with the air conditioning,” Ken said defensively. “Just needs a shot of freon, is all.”
“Dad’s trying to fix something again,” Jesse stated. “Hit the deck!”
There was a short silence as they all looked back to their plates.
“So, school going all right?” Jesse’s mom asked.
Jesse shrugged. “Okay, I guess.”
Jesse looked around uncomfortably. “Yeah, you know how it is…”
Angela grabbed onto the prize at the bottom of the box and gave it a yank. A bagful of Fu-Man Fingers came out in her hand with half the box of cereal. Suddenly, the doorbell rang. His mom turned to answer the door, but Jesse jumped up and cut her off. “That’s Lisa,” he said. “I gotta get to school.” He rushed out of the kitchen. “Who’s Lisa?” Ken called out. Jesse opened the front door. Lisa Poletti stood in the doorway. “Hi,” she said with a smile.
Jesse’s eyes lit up. “Hi,” Jesse replied. Jesse stepped outside and led Lisa to his car—a beat-up, blue Ford Falcon parked curbside. “Your timing was perfect,” he said. “I was getting the third degree in there.” “How come?” Lisa asked. “Ah, nothing,” Jesse replied. Jesse opened the car door for her. She stepped in and sat down. The car interior was worse than the body. The upholstery was torn to shreds. The dashboard was cracked and peeling and there was a big hole where the radio used to be. A cheap, A.M. transistor radio hung by its wrist strap from the rear-view mirror. Jesse hopped in and shifted around to get comfortable. He reached under the dash and pulled out a couple of bare wires. Amused, Lisa watched him routinely twist the wires together. “Aren’t you afraid somebody could steal your car like that?” Jesse laughed. “Look at this car. Are you kidding?” He sat up and flicked a toggle switch crudely drilled into the dashboard. Then he moved his finger to another alien button in the dash and pushed it. The starter turned over slowly. The engine backfired as the car sputtered to life. Jesse gave the thumbs up sign to Lisa and put the car into gear. The car backfired, then rumbled up the street.
Meanwhile, in Jesse’s backyard, Ken had the top of the power lawnmower off. He was adjusting the carburetor with a screwdriver. Ken’s wife came out the back door. She looked worried. “Shouldn’t you be getting to work now? It’s almost nine o’clock.” Annoyed, Ken shut off the mower. “It’ll just be another minute.” He picked up a wrench. “You’re going to get grease all over your suit!” she said. “Me? Nah.” Ken looked over his domain with satisfaction and took a deep breath of fresh, suburban air. “I love it, don’t you?” “What?” his wife said. “Our new house. The neighborhood.” She sighed heavily. “Of course I do, Ken.” “So what’s the problem, Shirl?” Shirley pointed behind her. “It’s just I’ll be a lot happier when you finish getting those bars off the windows.” Ken nodded as he looked at the bars on the upper windows. Ken had bought the old Thompson house on Elm Street—complete with the security paraphernalia that kept Nancy Thompson prisoner five years earlier! “The people who lived here before must have been truly paranoid,” Shirley said.