A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors — Adaptation Excerpts
Adapted by Bob Italia
Transcribed by Rob Nimmo
The next morning, Nancy burst into the hospital with the Elm Street house under her arm. She hurried down the hallway—marching past Gordon without saying a word. “You’re late,” Gordon said. “Didn’t get much sleep,” Nancy said. She turned the corner and rushed to Kristen’s room. It was empty. Max appeared, coming up the hall. “Max, where’s Kristen?” Nancy asked. “She’s been waiting outside your office since breakfast,” Max replied. Nancy rushed around another corner and stopped. Kristen was sitting patiently in the hallway outside Nancy’s office. “I used to live in this house,” Nancy said to Kristen, holding up the model. “But…it’s just a house I’ve dreamed about,” Kristen said. “I dream about it all the time.” Nancy and Kristen entered the office. Nancy closed the door. “Have you ever done that before?” Nancy said. “Pulled someone into your dream?” Kristen thought for a moment. “When I was a little girl. Three or four. If I had a nightmare, I’d bring my Dad in. The dream would always get better.” She smiled. “He always used to tell me about it the next day—he used to think they were his dreams.” “When did it stop?” Nancy asked. “When I was a kid. My folks got divorced. After a while, I thought I’d imagined the whole thing. I guess I didn’t.” “It’s an amazing gift,” Nancy said. Kristen paused. “The man in my dreams. He’s real, isn’t he?” Nancy stared at her. “He’s real,” she stated.
Later that day, all the teens of the Adolescent Care Unit gathered in the group therapy room. Kristen felt a bit uncomfortable. She was the new kid and she wasn’t sure what to expect. Nancy entered the room and took her place next to Simms and Gordon. “Okay, group’s in session,” Gordon said. “Straight talk only in this room.” “Today I’d like to start by getting us acquainted with our new staff member, Nancy Thompson,” Simms said. “Let’s make her feel welcome.” The teens murmured a chorus of greetings. “Let’s see,” Gordon said, “you’ve already met Philip, Kincaid, and Kristen. Why don’t the rest of you tell Nancy something about yourselves? Will, how about you first?” Sitting in a wheelchair, Will looked down at his lap. “I’m Will Stanton, and um…I’ve had a little accident, as you can see.” “Accident, nothing,” Taryn said. “I thought this was supposed to be straight talk in here.” “Hey, so he took a jump,” Kincaid said. “At least he wasn’t sticking needles in his arms with a bunch of lowlifes.” “Save it, Kincaid,” Simms snapped. Then she looked at Jennifer. “Jennifer?” “I’m Jennifer Caulfield. When I get out of here, I’m going to L.A. to be an actress. I’m gonna be on TV.” “Yeah, Lifestyles of the Rich and Psychotic,” Kincaid said. Jennifer frowned, then looked at Joey. “This is Joey. He used to be a debater in school, but now he doesn’t talk much.” Joey grinned slyly at Nancy, nodding his head in agreement. “I’m Taryn White,” Taryn said. “I only came here because it was a better deal than juvie hall. Also, I guess ‘cause I’m going through some very strange times.” “Your dreams?” Nancy said. “Hey, everybody has bad dreams,” Taryn said. “Can I interject something here?” Philip said. “Just to save us all some time?” “Go ahead, Philip,” Gordon said. “According to our kind hosts, our dreams are a group psychosis. Sort of a mellow mass hysteria. The fact that we all dreamed about this guy before we ever met doesn’t seem to impress anybody.” The group murmured in agreement.
“So we go in circles making minimal progress with maximum effort,” Philip added.
“And you won’t make any progress until you can recognize your dreams for what they are,” Simms said.
“And what are they?” Nancy asked her.
“The by-products of guilt.”
“Tell them, Nancy,” Kristen said. “Tell them what’s really going on.”
“Yes, tell us, Nancy,” Gordon said.
“All I can say is this isn’t something that’s just going to disappear,” Nancy said. “You’re all going to have to face it. Fight it. And if you’re willing to work together, willing to stand up to your deepest fears, I think we can beat it.” The group’s expressions reflected a quiet mix of hope and fear. They were impressed—all except Kincaid. “My deepest fear is listening to any more of this rah-rah stuff,” he said.
That night, Nancy and Gordon went to dinner at a Thai restaurant. “This is nice,” Nancy said. “Never been here before?” Gordon asked. “Must have opened while I was away at school.” “Best Thai food in Springwood,” Gordon stated, “which isn’t saying much.” He paused. “Your parents still live around here?” “My mother’s dead,” Nancy said. “Died in her sleep. My father and I…well, the family just seemed to fall apart.” “Sounds like a rough time.” “It was,” Nancy said before pausing. “Neil, do you believe in other realities?” “I’ve been to Pittsburgh. Does that count?” “I’m serious,” Nancy said. “Okay. I believe in different levels of consciousness, that sort of thing. But if you’re into UFO’s or Atlantis, you’ve lost me.” “What if I told you your patients are in real physical danger from their dreams?” “That’s a new one. Is that what they’re teaching now at Stanford?” “That’s what I know.” “The nightmares are nothing but a symptom of their real problems,” Gordon said. “All right. Then let’s eliminate the symptom for the time being.” “With Hypnocyl?” “That’s right,” Nancy said. “You want me to prescribe an experimental psychoactive drug to a bunch of suicidal teenagers?” “Just until we get things under control.” Gordon shook his head. “Dream deprivation is nothing to fool around with. You have no business taking the stuff yourself.” “I used to be like them, Neil. I know what they’re going through.” “So do I,” Gordon stated. “Do you? You told me they’re survivors…and they are. But how much longer they survive is up to us.” “I’m sorry, Nancy. The answer is no.”
Philip and Kincaid were asleep in their beds. Philip began moaning softly from a troubled dream. Suddenly, one of Philip’s marionettes on the moonlit wall raised its gray, mis-shapened head. The crude clay figure rippled and changed into the distinct likeness of Freddy. Razor-sharp claws grew from the stubby clay fingers. The marionette swiped its claws at the strings, cutting itself loose. Then the marionette landed in a cat-like crouch. As it straightened, it started to grow. Philip stirred and opened his eyes. Freddy was standing at the foot of his bed, shrouded in an eerie fog. Philip opened his mouth to scream, but Freddy held a finger to his lips, signaling for silence. Philip gasped for breath, suddenly paralyzed. His blanket was snapped off the bed, revealing strings attached to his arms and legs. The strings grew taut, and Philip was lifted from his bed. Kincaid opened is eyes and saw Philip walking out of the room. Philip looked like he was sleepwalking. “Hey, Philip,” Kincaid said. “Wake up, man.” Philip couldn’t respond as he was led out the room. Kincaid rolled over. “Have a nice stroll, man.” Philip was slowly puppeted down the hallway. Tears rolled down his cheeks as his eyes looked wildly for a way out of his nightmare. But it was no use. He had no control over his movements. Philip was led to an outer wall—and he dissolved right through it.
Joey was sitting by the window in the dark. It was his turn to stand guard while the others slept. Suddenly, a movement caught his eye, and he glanced out the window to the bell tower. Then his eyes widened as he saw the small, pale figure of Philip standing on the ledge. Frantic, Joey turned from the window and dragged Will out of his bed. Will was groggy and disoriented. “Are you crazy?” he said. “What are you doing?” Unable to speak, Joey dragged Will across the floor to the window, pointing. Will looked out and saw Philip on the bell tower ledge. A cold dread overwhelmed him. “Oh, no. Get help!” Joey raced to the nurse’s station, gesturing in panic. He hopped around frantically, motioning for the nurse to come. “Joey, what’s the matter?” the nurse said. Joey grabbed a metal tray off the counter. Then he ran down the hall, slamming the tray against the walls. All the teens appeared from their rooms in a state of confusion. Staff members came running into Will’s room. Will was pounding on the window, hollering. Joey ran in as others poured in after him. “Philip, wake up!” Will shouted.
Philip teetered on the ledge. He looked up, eyes pleading and wet with tears. A giant transparent figure of Freddy loomed in the night sky. He was leaning over the building from behind as if it were a marionette stage, laughing maniacally as he tugged Philip’s strings. Freddy drew back his clawed hand—then slashed out, slicing the strings. Philip screamed, his arms windmilling frantically as he fell from the ledge. The teens saw Philip plummet from the tower. There was a horrible thump as Philip hit the ground. Some teens were screaming, some crying. All were horrified beyond words. The staff members were helpless as bedlam reigned.