A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors — Adaptation Excerpts
Adapted by Bob Italia
Transcribed by Rob Nimmo
Elm Street was dark and deserted. Kristen Parker stood in front of a deserted house, watching a group of children play on the lawn. The boys were dressed in suits and the girls were in party dresses. They jumped rope and sang an eerie song.
“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you,
Three, four, better lock your door…”
Transfixed, Kristen approached a little girl on the porch. The girl was sitting on a red tricycle near the front door. “Hello,” the little girl said. “What’s your name?” “Kristen. What’s yours?” The little girl giggled and smiled shyly, but she didn’t answer. Kristen looked at the house. “What is this place?” Suddenly, the wind kicked up, moaning. Wind chimes tinkled in the breeze. Kristen looked at the chimes and saw that they were long razors. She gasped. The front door of the house creaked open, revealing darkness within.
“I have to go now,” the little girl said sadly. “Bye.” Ringing the bell on her handlebar, the girl peddled her tricycle through the door. “Wait!” Kristen cried. “Don’t go in there!” The little girl was swallowed by the darkness inside. Fighting her fear, Kristen stepped inside. The house was barren. The walls were rotted and the windows were broken. Leaves skittered across the dusty floor. Kristen could hear the jingling of the tricycle bell and the giggling of the little girl echoing faintly from deep inside the house.
Kristen stepped into a long, twisted hall and caught a glimpse of the little girl vanishing around a corner. She cautiously followed the girl, noticing that the walls were streaked with red. When Kristen rounded the corner, she faced a heavy steel door that closed with a solid metallic clang. The riveted metal seemed out of place in the rotted wood house. Kristen slowly pulled the door open, revealing a metal stairway that led down into the darkness. She carefully made her way down the steps. At the bottom, Kristen found herself in a dark, eerie room. Ancient rusted boilers stood cold and silent in the shadows. Then the soft jingle of the tricycle drew Kristen’s attention. The little girl pedaled out of the darkness and came to a stop before Kristen. “This is where he takes us,” the girl said.
Suddenly, Kristen heard the screech of metal. She whirled around and saw a rusted furnace door swing open. Inside, charred bones lay in heaps of cold ash. A tricycle lay in the carnage, identical to the little girl’s—only charred. Kristen was horrified. Just then, the metal door slammed loudly. Thudding footsteps approached, booming closer. The little girl looked up at Kristen with sad eyes. “Freddy’s home,” she said with an eerie calm. The boiler burst to life with roaring flames. The tricycle’s paint bubbled and scorched with intense heat.
Kristen scooped the little girl into her arms and ran in blind terror. She glanced over her shoulder and saw Freddy Krueger looming from the row of boilers. His maniacal laughter echoed through the smoky chamber. Kristen ducked through a doorway into another room, still carrying the little girl. Then she gazed in horror. Hundreds of bodies hung from the ceiling, strung up in the darkness like butchered meat. Kristen looked down at the little girl cradled in her arms. The girl was now a charred, brittle corpse. Suddenly, her tiny mouth burst open, emitting a ghastly, ear-splitting scream.
Kristen bolted upright in her bed, panting in terror, her face bathed in sweat. She looked around—finally recognizing her room. Somewhat relieved, Kristen got out of bed and walked unsteadily to the bathroom. She clicked on the light and looked at her reflection in the mirror. Still trembling, she ran the water in the sink and splashed her face, trying to calm down. Steam rose as the water became too hot. Kristen tried to turn off the water, but the pressure increased. Steam filled the room. Frowning, Kristen fiddled with the four-pronged handle. As she turned it, the handle sprang to life, grasping her hand. Kristen gasped and looked up. Freddy’s face grinned at her from the mirror. Then the other faucet handle began flexing and stretching, turning into Freddy’s claw hand. Kristen screamed, struggling to break free. The claw hand rose up, poised to slash Kristen’s exposed wrist. Then the blades slashed downward.
Suddenly, the bathroom door burst open. It was Kristen’s mother. The steam was gone, and the mirror and sink were normal. Kristen turned to her horrified mother, slowly waking from her dream. She held a bloody razor in her hand. Her wrist was slashed. “Mommy?” Kristen said, dazed and weak. Then she collapsed.
Isolated and somewhat Gothic, the Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital was an enormous structure built by the Catholic Church in the 1920s. A bell tower was the centerpiece to several rambling wings. Originally an insane asylum, the state-runned hospital was now modernized. An iron fence surrounded the sprawling grounds. Inside the hospital, Max, the burly black Chief Orderly, slowly made his morning rounds. He wheeled a rolling cart containing a variety of medications down the hall. He could hear a newscaster’s voice coming from the small portable radio dangling from the cart. “In local news, two more teenage deaths have occurred—both suicides. County health officials are at a loss to explain this alarming trend…” Grimacing, Max switched to a music station as 33-year-old Doctor Neil Gordon fell in step. He was reading a clipboard of patients’ charts. “Nothing like a little cheery news to start the day,” Gordon said. “Say listen, Doc,” Max said. “I got a new theory about all these suicides.” “Don’t hold back on us, Max,” Gordon said jokingly. “We need all the help we can get.” “Messed up chromosomes, man,” Max replied. “Think about it. Their parents all dropped acid in the Sixties.” Gordon smiled. “It beats Dr, Simms’ theory. She thinks it’s nothing but sex, drugs, and rock & roll.” Max turned down another hall and Gordon continued making his rounds.
A teenage girl approached. “Good morning, Jennifer,” Gordon said. “Good morning, Doctor Gordon.” “How’s your hand?” Gordon said. Jennifer extended her hand. It was scarred with cigarette burns. She pointed to three different welts. “Menthol, regular, and ultra-light.” “They’re healing up nicely,” Gordon stated. “I’ve been good. When do I get my cigarette privileges back?” Gordon smirked. “Don’t hold your breath. Jennifer shrugged, then walked away. Another teenage girl approached. She looked exhausted, dark circles under her eyes. “Hi, Taryn,” Gordon said. “You don’t look so hot, kid. Been getting any sleep?” Taryn ignored him as she floated past. Gordon jotted a note on his clipboard. “Didn’t think so,” he muttered.
Gordon stopped at the Quiet Room and peered through the small mesh-guard window. Kincaid, an enormous and powerful-looking seventeen-year-old with a shaved head, was huddled in the corner of the white padded room, gazing at nothing. Gordon made a notation on his clipboard. Suddenly, Doctor Elizabeth Simms, the hospital superior, appeared at his elbow. “How is he?” she asked. “Cooling down,” Gordon replied. “If he continues having these outbursts, I’ll have to have him isolated permanently.” “Don’t worry, it won’t come to that.” Just then Kincaid began singing softly under his breath.
“I ain’t gonna dream no more, no more,
I ain’t gonna dream no more.
All night long I sing this song,
‘cause I ain’t gonna dream no more…”
Gordon and Simms looked at each other, then they continued down the hall. “I read the report on our new staff member,” Gordon said. “What did you think?” Simms asked. “Frankly, I don’t understand why some grad school superstar is being treated like a seasoned pro,” Gordon replied. “She’s been doing ground-breaking research on pattern nightmares,” Simms stated. “Elizabeth, we don’t need any outside help. I know these kids. I don’t want some hot-shot taking chances with them just so she can get published.” Gordon was interrupted by an announcement over the speaker system. “Doctor Gordon to Examination—stat!”
Gordon and Simms rushed down the hall to the Examination Room. There, Kristen was going berserk, fighting the staff as they tried to restrain her and wrestle her onto a gurney. Kristen’s mother, Elaine, was near hysteria. She was loudly berating a nurse. “Don’t give me that!” she shouted. “She’s just trying to get attention, that’s all! I’m not playing her little games anymore!” The frantic nurse looked at Gordon. “Suicide attempt,” she said. “They just brought her down from County General.” “What’s her name?” Gordon said. “Kristen Parker. She was fine until we tried to sedate her.” Her face contorted with terror, Kristen kicked and bit and scratched as the orderlies tried to pin her. “Kristen,” Gordon shouted, “we want to help you!” Suddenly, Max entered the room. He shoved the orderlies out of the way, spun Kristen effortlessly around, and pinned her arms firmly from behind. She tried to struggle, but Max was too strong. Kristen weakened. “Calm down, baby sister,” Max said compassionately. “That’s enough nonsense for now.” Gordon took the hypodermic needle from the nurse and approached Kristen slowly. “Kristen, I’m Doctor Gordon. I’m not going to hurt you. I’m just going to give you something to help you sleep.” Instantly, Kristen kicked Gordon in the stomach. Max was thrown off balance and crashed into a rolling cart. Medical instruments crashed to the floor. Kristen grabbed a pair of surgical scissors. “Back off, Max!” she shouted. Then she huddled into a corner, ready to skewer anybody who approached. The room grew tense. “Kristen,” Gordon said, “put the scissors down. Nobody’s gonna hurt you!” Kristen made no move to drop her guard. She started rocking back and forth, moaning a little song:
“Five, six, grab your crucifix,
Seven, eight, gonna stay up late,
Nine, ten, never…never…”
Kristen grew confused. She couldn’t find the right words. Then a voice called out from the hall,
“…never sleep again!”
The room fell into an eerie silence. All eyes fell on Nancy Thompson standing in the doorway. She was a young and beautiful woman now. But her hair still bore the white streak from her nightmare on Elm Street many years ago. “Who taught you that rhyme?” she said to Kristen. Kristen’s eyes locked on Nancy. The staff members parted as Nancy walked to Kristen. She took the scissors from Kristen’s hands. Kristen fell into Nancy’s arms, sobbing.
Later that day, Gordon and Thompson had lunch in the deserted cafeteria. “Tell me about the kids,” Nancy said. “You’ll get to meet them all tomorrow,” Gordon said. “They’re…survivors, in a way. All severely sleep-disordered. Insomnia, narcolepsy, bedwetting…” “But nightmares are the common thread?” “Right. They seem to share a group delusion, a ‘bogeyman’, for lack of a better word. They’re so traumatized, they’ll do anything not to sleep.” “Anything?” Nancy said. Gordon stared at his coffee cup. “We lost a kid about a month ago to Fairview. I don’t know where he got the razor.” He paused. “Ever work with war veterans?” Nancy shook her head. “These kids act like they’ve got D.S.S.—Delayed Stress Syndrome. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear they’d seen heavy combat.” “I wouldn’t be so sure they haven’t,” Nancy said. “What’s that supposed to mean?” Thompson shrugged, not answering.
“By the way,” Gordon said, “that was great work with the new patient. Pretty smooth for an intern.” “I’ve had some experience with pattern nightmares,” Nancy stated. “So I’ve been told. Practically an obsession of yours.” “Call it a passion,” Nancy said, glancing at her watch. “I’ve got to get going.” “Make sure to check in with Max,” Gordon said. “He’ll give you the 25 cent tour.” Nancy gathered her things. Her purse fell over, scattering its contents. A bottle of pills rolled out. Gordon helped gather the items, then picked up the pills. The label read HYPNOCYL. Nancy took the pills and stuffed them into her purse. “Thanks. See you in the morning.” Nancy was nearly out the door when Gordon called to her. “Ms. Thompson?” he said. “Call me Nancy.” “Only if you call me Neil.” Gordon said. “What was that nursery rhyme all about?” “Just something children sing,” Nancy replied. “To keep the bogeyman away.”
As Nancy turned the corner, a nun in a white habit appeared at the end of the hallway. She seemed to be staring at Gordon. A group of people blocked his view, then stepped away. The nun was gone. Gordon frowned, then dismissed the incident as he downed his coffee.