A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors — Adaptation Excerpts
Adapted by Bob Italia
Transcribed by Rob Nimmo
The next day, everyone met in the group session room. The teens seemed sullen, fragile, disconnected—without hope. Even Gordon looked beaten, less self-assured than usual. “I want to talk about what happened last night,” he said. “Let’s get all our feelings out in the open.” The group held silent for a moment, then Kincaid offered a grudging appraisal. “He wasn’t strong enough,” he said. “So he got wasted, that’s all.” “That’s all?” Jennifer said. “Is that what you think?” “He couldn’t hack it and he got nailed,” Kincaid stated. “Oh yeah,” Taryn said, “tough guy. How long you gonna last?” “Longer than any of you,” Kincaid said. “Go ahead and fight,” Kristen said. “That’s what he wants.” “Who?” Will asked. “You know who,” Jennifer said, looking at Kristen. “What does he want?” “To turn us against each other so we’ll be weak,” Kristen replied. “Bull,” Kincaid said. “No, she’s right,” Nancy insisted. All eyes fell on Nancy. Simms shot her a dirty look. “I think we’re all missing the point here,” she said. “Philip’s death was a sleepwalking accident. Nothing more.” “I could see him up there,” Will said softly. “His face. He was wide awake… all the way down.” “Then it was suicide,” Gordon said. “Philip quit. He gave up.” Joey shook his head. He was getting agitated. “Joey says it wasn’t suicide,” Jennifer said. “Joey, listen to me!” Gordon said forcefully. “Philip killed himself. And that’s a cowardly thing. An empty thing. He let himself down. He let all of us down.” Joey blinked back his tears. “It was murder!” Taryn shouted. “Can’t you understand that? That creep murdered him!” “You never know when he’s going to come,” Jennifer said. “Sometimes for days, nothing… then—“ “I’ve heard quite enough of this,” Simms said. “How long before you’re ready to face yourselves? How much longer can you keep blaming your dreams for your own weaknesses? There will be no repeat occurrences of last night’s events. From now on, your doors will be locked during sleeping hours. We’ll begin a policy of evening sedation—for everybody.”
The group reacted in terror. Thompson shot Gordon a sharp look, shaking her head. “No you won’t!” Kincaid said. “No one’s gonna drug me!” Simms rose angrily from her chair. “You just bought yourself a night in the Quiet Room, mister. Now sit down!” “No, you sit down!” Kincaid said. Simms pressed a button, summoning help. Gordon rose, prepared to protect Simms if necessary. Max and another orderly entered the room. Kincaid kicked a chair at them. “Nobody’s gonna put me to sleep!” he roared. The orderlies got Kincaid into an armlock and wrestled him out the door. Simms followed the struggle out into the hallway. Gordon and Nancy joined her. Flushed and livid, Simms watched Kincaid being dragged away. She turned to Gordon. “We’ll begin evening sedation tonight,” she said. “Starting with him.” “You can’t,” Nancy said. “They’ll be defenseless against their dreams.” “That’s precisely what they need,” Simms said. “Some uninterrupted REM sleep to release all this negative energy.” Nancy looked at Gordon. “Neil, please—” Gordon hesitated, wavering between Nancy and Simms. “Elizabeth, I’m prescribing Hypnocyl,” he finally said. “It’s a dream suppressant.” Simms stared at him in shock. “I know what it is. I just can’t believe what I’m hearing. What has she talked you into?” “Nothing,” Gordon insisted. “They’re my patients. It’s my decision. I want these dreams stopped until we get some answers.” “I won’t allow it,” Simms said. “I’ll go straight to Carver if I have to,” Gordon warned. “He’ll either back me up or accept my resignation.” Simms paused. “If something goes wrong, I’ll make sure you’re held responsible—fully responsible!” Simms stormed away. “I can’t believe I just did that,” Gordon said. “Do you think we can get the Hypnocyl in by tomorrow?” Nancy asked. “We’re gonna try.” Gordon turned and walked away, then paused to look back. “I hope you know what you’re getting us into.”
That night, Jennifer sat in the TV room, fighting to stay awake. She clicked the channel changer, stopping on a Dick Cavett interview. His guest was Zsa Zsa Gabor. “Well, that is the great American dream, isn’t it?” Cavett said. “To come to L.A. and be a TV star?” “Well, I suppose it is,” Gabor replied. Jennifer’s eyes fluttered as the television image sputtered into snowy interference. “An actor has to study, to learn,” Gabor added. “I think that’s crucial.” “Who cares what you think?” Freddy’s gleeful voice interjected. Jennifer’s eyes flew open, her body stiffening. She stared at the TV screen. Nothing but static. Frowning, Jennifer rose and smacked the side of the television, trying to get the picture back. Nothing happened. Suddenly, two arms ripped from each side of the TV. The arms were a horrid combination of Freddy’s arms and television tubes and wiring. Freddy’s head grew and stretched from the top of the set, wearing the rabbit-ear antenna like some horrible insect. Jennifer screamed. “This is it, Jennifer!” Freddy said. “Your big break in TV!” The TV exploded into a shower of electrical sparks and shattered glass.
A few days later, Jennifer and Philip were buried in a rolling hillside cemetery. A gentle drizzle fell on a crowd of mourners clustered at the twin gravesites. Simms, Max, and Nancy were among the mourners. Gordon stood on a rise overlooking the funeral. He was under the shelter of a large oak tree, but still soaked by the drizzle. He stared down, grief-stricken, his tears masked by rain. “Don’t be ashamed, young man,” a woman’s voice said softly. “This is a place for sorrow.” Gordon looked around and saw the nun in white standing close by. She looked old, but carried herself with a strength that hid her years. Gordon wiped his eyes. “What faith do you follow?” the nun said. Gordon choked back a bitter laugh. “Science, I suppose.” “A sad choice,” the nun said. “There are times when it doesn’t offer much comfort,” Gordon said. “I’ve seen you before, Sister…?” “Mary Helena,” the nun replied. “You do volunteer work at the hospital?” “I come from time to time. When I’m needed.” Gordon turned his gaze to the funeral, lost in private grief. “I could have saved them,” he muttered. “Only one thing can save the children. The unquiet spirit must be laid to rest. It is an abomination to God and man.” “I beg your pardon?” Gordon said. “Neil?” Nancy called out suddenly. Gordon turned and moved to the edge of the rise as Nancy approached. The service had ended. The crowd was dispersing. “What are you doing up here?” Nancy asked. “I was just talking to—” He turned around, but the nun was gone. “To who?” Nancy asked. Gordon shrugged. “Doesn’t matter.” “C’mon,” Nancy said. “Let’s get out of the rain. As they walked away, the nun appeared atop the hill. She was fingering a rosary and whispering a prayer, watching them depart.
That night, in Nancy’s apartment, Gordon and Nancy sat in front of a fire, finishing a dinner of Chinese take-out food. Gordon was quiet, inside himself. He noticed an ornate beaded doll sitting on the coffee table. “What’s that?” he said. “It’s a Malaysian dream doll,” Nancy replied. “It’s good luck. Supposed to bring you nice dreams.” “I could use some right about now,” Gordon said. Nancy held the doll out. “Here, take it.” Gordon smiled faintly. “That’s okay. I was only kidding.” “I want you to have it, really.” Gordon took the doll. “Thanks.” He stood up and walked to the window, then stared out into the rain. “I used to think I could do something for the kids… make some kind of difference…but they’re slipping through my fingers.” “You’re doing the best you can for them, Neil.” “Am I? I’m running out of answers. A patient sleepwalks out of a security ward up to a tower with no access. A girl, alone in a room, dies by jumping six feet straight up into a television. Nothing makes sense anymore.” “Then maybe you’re ready.” Gordon turned and frowned. “For what?” “The truth.” “Try me.” Nancy hesitated. “Only if you’re willing to put aside everything you’ve learned and trust me. Can you do that?” Gordon paused. “I can do that.”