A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors — Adaptation Excerpts
Adapted by Bob Italia
Transcribed by Rob Nimmo
Gordon drove Mr. Thompson’s Nissan to a vast auto junkyard on the outskirts of town. Towering stacks of gutted cars glittered in the moonlight like the crusty bones of a dinosaur graveyard. It was an awesome, twisting maze. Gordon pulled up to the gate. The headlight revealed a faded sign on the tall chain link fence: PENNY BROS. AUTO SALVAGE. “In there,” Mr. Thompson said. “Charlie Penny owns the place. We knew no one would ever find it. I’m not even sure I can find it again.” “How do we get in?” Gordon asked. “They used to keep a spare key.” Mr. Thompson stepped out and crossed the wood slat structure that served as the junkyard’s office. He reached under the porch, then stepped into the headlight beams and unlocked the rusted padlock. He turned, motioning to Gordon to bring the truck through. Gordon pulled the truck in and stopped at the mouth of the maze. Mr. Thompson secured the gate and returned to the truck. “All right. It’s deep in the heart of this place. Take it slow.” Gordon eased on the gas and the truck began the slow journey.
Nancy closed the door of the Group Therapy Room and turned to the teens. They looked to her, waiting. “Okay, straight talk only in here,” she said. “What about Kristen?” Taryn said. “We can’t get to her,” Nancy stated. “I’ve tried.” She dimmed the lights and stepped to the pendulum device. “I was hoping we’d have more time to learn to use the dreams, but Joey’s in there. And Kristen’s going in with or without us. They need us.” “You mean we’re gonna try to go in with her?” Will said. “To link up?” “It’s now or never,” Nancy said. “I won’t kid you. This is as dangerous as it gets. If you die in the dream, it’s for real. Nobody has to go in that doesn’t want to.” The group fell silent. Their faces reflected conflicting emotions. “I’m in,” Will said. “Me, too,” Taryn said. “Let’s go kick that creep all over dreamland,” Kincaid added. Nancy turned the pendulum on and sat with the group. “Now remember,” she said, “whatever happens, stay together. That’s the only way we can beat him.” The group stared intensely at the pendulum. “Clear your minds of everything.” Nancy said softly. One by one, the group fell into a trance.
Gordon pulled the Nissan slowly around a tight corner and stopped in a small clearing deep in the labyrinth of stacked autos. He and Mr. Thompson got out, the weak headlights illuminating the towering heaps of rusted metal surrounding them. Thompson peered around, then pointed. “That’s it. The Caddy.” The rear end of a ravaged ’59 Cadillac stuck out from beneath a huge stack of automotive carcasses, its rusted tailfins jutting like the spines of a prehistoric beast.
Gordon crossed to the car and ran his hand over the corroded surface of the trunk. He tried to lift it, but it was locked tight. Mr. Thompson glanced at the Nissan, then gazed nervously into the darkness. Gordon found a rusted tire iron and jammed it under the trunk lid. Then he leaned his head closer to the trunk as he strained against the tire iron. Suddenly, the lock exploded in a cloud of dust. Gordon gazed at an ancient, crusty burlap sack lying in the shadows of the trunk. Then he saw Mr. Thompson getting into the Nissan. “Going somewhere?” he said. “I showed you where the damn thing was. I didn’t say I’d stick around.” Gordon tossed Mr. Thompson a shovel. “We’ve got work to do.” “What are you talking about?” Mr. Thompson said. “You’re about to attend a funeral—one that’s long overdue.”
In the Quiet Room, Kristen slumped in the corner. There was no more fight in her and she began fading. “N-Nancy,” she whispered. Then Kristen’s eyes fluttered open. Nancy and the others were in the Quiet Room with her. Kristen looked around, crying with joy that her friends were with her. She hugged them in turn—a sweet, tearful reunion. “I knew you’d come,” she said. “You didn’t think we’d let you go alone?” Nancy said. “No way,” Kincaid said. “We’re a team.” Kristen wiped her tears. “Joey needs us. I can feel him.” “How do we find him, Kristen?” Nancy asked. Suddenly, four huge razors slashed through a padded wall as if it were canvas. Shreds of cotton padding filled the air. Everybody moved to the center of the room. “Whatever happens, stay together!” Nancy shouted. Cotton padding billowed through the air as the razors slashed through the walls again and again. The Quiet Room became a white void of ripping and slashing—a vicious blizzard of whirling padding.
“Hold hands!” Nancy cried, shielding her eyes. “Find each other!” Screaming and panicking, Kristen spun around, lost in the blizzard. “Nancy!” Then the blizzard of cotton padding dissipated. Kristen looked up as if waking from a dream. She found herself sitting at the drafting table in her bedroom at home. The crude paper mache Elm Street House model was in front of her, still under construction. Nothing has changed. She’s still home, safe. She began wondering if it all had been just a bad dream. Kristen’s mother entered the room. She was wearing a beautiful evening gown. “What are you still doing up?” she said. “It’s past one.” “I thought I’d wait for you,” Kristen said. “Well, I’m home now, so you can go right to sleep. C’mon, angel.” Elaine turned down the covers. Kristen crawled into bed and threw her arm around her mother’s neck in a spontaneous hug. “What’s that for?” Elaine said with laughter. “I’m just glad you’re home.” Elaine gave her a kiss and tucked her in. Then she went to the door and reached for the light switch. “Mom?” Kristen said. “What?” “I had such an awful dream.” “Elaine?” a man’s voice said from downstairs. “Where do you keep the bourbon?” “I’ll be right down,” she called out before looking at Kristen. “Kris, I’ve got a guest.” “Can we talk? Just for a minute?” “Can’t it wait till morning?” “Please, Mom. I just don’t want to be alone.”
Suddenly, Elaine disappeared. Freddy stood in the doorway, wearing immaculate formal wear. “You should listen to your mother, Kristen.” Freddy lunged at her. But Kristen rolled out of bed. She bolted from the room and ran down a dark, filthy corridor. When she turned around, she saw Freddy standing there, grinning horribly, his fingerknives raised menacingly. Kristen screamed and hurtled out a window in an explosion of glass. Suddenly, she found herself falling through a skylight in the living room. She dropped to the floor, bruised and battered. Then she gazed around, lost and alone. “Nancy!” she called out. “Kristen?” Nancy’s faint voice replied. Kristen turned a corner and saw Thompson at the end of the hallway. “Nancy!” They rushed toward each other—but stopped as they heard a strange crunching sound. “What’s that?” Kristen said. “I don’t know,” Nancy replied. The sound came again—a horrible cracking and snapping. The wall began to bulge. Something was trying to press through to cut them off from each other. Nancy and Kristen backed away warily.
Suddenly, there was an explosion of wood and plaster. Kincaid stepped through. “Yo. I thought I heard voices.” Nancy and Kristen yelled with delight. Kristen threw her arms around him. “Kincaid, I could kiss you!” “What’s stopping you?” he said. Kristen gave him a chaste but sincere kiss on the cheek. Kincaid grinned. “Cool. So where’s Joey?” I don’t know,” Kristen said. “It’s like a maze in here.” “Then it’s time to stop guessin’ and start messin’.” Then he raised his voice. “Freddy, where you hiding? You’re hot stuff with a little mute kid. Let’s see you take a piece of me!” Instantly, the lights flickered and dimmed. Then they heard a deep, reverberating groan of metal. As they peered down the hall, two huge, rusty boiler room doors slowly opened, revealing a staircase. Orange light flickered below. Nancy, Kristen, and Kincaid approached the doors and slowly descended the stairs. They stopped before an immense gate.
“This is it,” Nancy said. “Are you ready?” Kristen and Kincaid nodded. Nancy opened the gate, and they entered the boiler room, its air red with heat and haze. At the far end, Freddy was sitting on a throne of skulls and bones. Joey was nearby, suspended over a pit of flames. “Look, Joey,” Freddy said with a low, guttural chuckle, “some of the little piggies have come home.” Joey turned his terrified, pleading eyes to his friends. He opened his mouth in a mute, terrified scream. “Let him go,” Nancy said. Freddy grinned and nodded. “Your wish is my command.” The rope holding Joey’s left wrist unraveled and he dropped precariously into the pit. Then the other ropes began loosening. Nancy lunged to the edge of the pit, reaching for Joey as Freddy laughed maniacally. She snatched Joey’s wrist and hung on. Enraged, Kincaid grabbed Nancy by the belt and hauled them both out of the pit. Then he ripped a six-foot section of pipe from the wall and raced toward the throne. Swinging the pipe in a wide arc, Kincaid smashed Freddy across the back, driving him to his knees. Kincaid raised the pipe for a second blow, but Freddy leaped up with a roar and grabbed Kincaid, hauling him high over his head.
Back in the auto graveyard, Gordon lifted the burlap sack from the trunk of the ’59 Cadillac. As he prepared to dig a grave, Gordon dropped the sack. Freddy’s bones clattered.
Still holding Kincaid high in the air, Freddy flinched in pain. He looked up in fear, suddenly aware that somebody had disturbed his bones. But soon his fear was slowly replaced by an evil cunning grin. Then Freddy vanished. Kincaid found himself struggling and choking in mid-air. He then dropped to the ground, gasping for breath.
Gordon crawled from the shallow grave and threw the shovel aside. “What was that?” Mr. Thompson said, looking around. “What?” Gordon asked. “Listen.” Gordon heard a faint sound of a car horn blaring on the night breeze—a long, drawn-out wail. “Somebody else is out here.” “No,” Mr. Thompson said, “we’re alone.” Another horn sounded—closer to them. Then another. Gordon and Mr. Thompson gazed around in mounting fear as the stacks of long-dead autos slowly came to life around them. The wrecked cars began to vibrate and shudder as the broken headlights sputtered to life. Windshield wipers slapped madly back and forth, screeching across shattered glass. Horns blared. An exposed fan blade whirred like a buzzsaw.
Mr. Thompson backed away, then turned and ran. But a stack of cars toppled before him, blocking off escape. “The whole place is coming to life,” he said in a hoarse whisper. Both men turned to look at the burlap sack. There was a slight stirring from within. Gordon rushed over and grabbed the sack to throw it into the grave. Suddenly, a skeletal hand wearing finger-razors tore through the rotted burlap and latched onto Gordon’s wrist. The sack ripped open as Freddy’s charred bones leaped to life—a hideous shambling skeleton screaming in unearthly rage. “It’s really you,” Mr. Thompson said in disbelief. The skeleton turned and grinned hideously at Mr. Thompson. Mr. Thompson grabbed a piece of pipe and rushed the skeleton. “I’ll send you back to hell where you belong!” The skeleton met Mr. Thompson’s rush head-on, blocking the pipe and yanking Thompson off his feet. It hurled Thompson through the air with an incredible force. Mr. Thompson slammed into the ’59 Cadillac. Then he tumbled to the ground. He didn’t move.
Gordon grabbed the shovel and swung at the skeleton. It ducked, then ripped the shovel from Gordon’s hands and knocked him into the grave. The skeleton shrieked with unholy laughter and began shoveling the loose dirt onto Gordon. Suddenly, the skeleton tossed the shovel aside. Then it raised its arms into the air and let out a vicious howl. Freddy’s skeleton collapsed in a heap. The skull fell over the edge of the grave and tumbled down, coming to rest beside Gordon’s still form.
Nancy, Kristen, Kincaid, and Joey exited the boiler room, limping and battered. “Kristen,” Nancy said, “can you pull us out?” “They sedated me,” Kristen replied. “We’re stuck here till it wears off.” They continued on, looking for Will and Taryn. They entered a room filled with manikins and ornate three-way mirrors. Suddenly, there was a wavering light in front of the mirror. Then Freddy materialized. An army of Freddies appeared in the three-way mirror. “Sorry to keep you waiting,” he said. “Perhaps if there were more of me to spread around.” Freddy ran into the room, magically followed by rows of his reflections. The room was filled with dozens of Freddies. With a battle cry, Kincaid plowed the charging Freddies, bowling them over. Cringing, Joey cowered behind the manikins. More Freddies poured into the room. Nancy was backed into a corner, surrounded by a group of them. Shaking with emotion as his friends were overwhelmed, Joey opened his mouth and let out an incredible, deafening scream. “NOOOOOOOOOO!” Joey had found his dream power. Instantly, the mirrors were blown into glittering fragments, exploding in sequence through the room. Nancy, Kristen, and Kincaid covered their ears as the mirrors shattered around them. The real Freddy screamed as his mirror vibrated and warped—then exploded.
In complete silence, Nancy, Kristen, and Kincaid rose from the debris, shaken but alive. They stared at Joey in disbelief. “Wow,” Joey said softly. “Did I say that?” “You sure did,” Kincaid said happily. “You blew him away!” Nancy embraced Kristen. “It’s over,” Nancy said tearfully. “It’s over.” Then she turned and saw her father floating toward her. “Daddy?” “I’ve crossed over, Princess,” he said. “Crossed over?” “But I couldn’t go until I told you how sorry I am for all the things I’ve done. I love you so much. I’ll always love you. Goodbye, princess.” Nancy embraced her father one last time. “I’ll always love you, Dad—” Nancy’s words were cut short. She looked up and saw her father’s face disappear, replaced by Freddy’s. He was wearing the glove, ready to strike. “Neil!” she cried in despair. But it was too late. Freddy whirled to face Kristen as Nancy slumped to the floor. “You’re mine now, little piggy!” Overcoming their shock, Kincaid and Joey ran toward Kristen. But a boiler door slammed in their faces, shutting them off from the rest of the room. Freddy loomed above Kristen. He raised his claw high, his finger-razors pointed down at her face. He grinned. Just then, Nancy burst up behind him and grabbed his wrist. “You can’t have her!” she shouted.
In the auto graveyard, Gordon’s eyes flew open as he heard Thompson’s cries. “Nancy?” Barely functioning, Gordon dragged himself from the grave and shoved the rest of Freddy’s bones into the hole. Then he fumbled with the bottle of holy water, unscrewing it with his one good hand. “Please, God,” he whispered hoarsely, “For the children. For Nancy.” Gordon removed the cap and flicked a stream of holy water onto the bones.
Freddy pried his wrist from Nancy’s grip and crawled after Kristen. Nancy desperately tried to hold him back, fighting every inch of the way. Suddenly, Freddy arched back and screamed. A pattern of holes ripped across his body. Bright shafts of light burst through. Freddy struggled to his feet and staggered back, riddled with glowing holes. The holes expanded, consuming Freddy as his screams echoed across the dreamscape. The shafts of light merged into one white hot ball—then exploded. Freddy was gone. Kristen cradled Nancy in her arms. Nancy was drifting toward death. “He’s gone,” Kristen said. “It’s over. Please don’t die, Nancy. Please.” “I’m so proud of you all,” Nancy said weakly. “Tell Neil I…” Nancy collapsed in Kristen’s arms. “I won’t let you die,” Kristen said tearfully. “I won’t. I’m going to dream you into a beautiful dream—forever and ever.” She closed her eyes and held Nancy tight.
A few days later, Gordon and the teens gathered around Nancy Thompson’s gravesite. He put his arms around them as her casket was lowered into the ground. Just then, Gordon noticed movement on the hilltop. It was the nun. She turned and walked away, disappearing from view. Gordon left the funeral and started up the hill. As he reached the tree where he first met her, Gordon caught a glimpse of the nun as she disappeared behind a crypt. “Sister, wait!” Gordon rounded the crypt. The nun had vanished. Only a simple tombstone stood at the edge of the field. Gordon stepped closer to read the inscription:
HERE LIES AMANDA KRUEGER
HER NAME IN CHRIST,
SISTER MARY HELENA
BORN 1907 – DIED 1968
Gordon’s eyes widened. “You were his mother!”