A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master — Adaptation Excerpts
Adapted by Bob Italia
Transcribed by Rob Nimmo
The next morning, Kristen drove to Alice’s house. Kristen was wearing a long sleeve shirt, but a bulge revealed where her arm was bandaged. Parking her car in the street, Kristen walked to the side door of the modest house. After ringing the bell, she glanced out at the sidewalk. When she turned back, a stern-looking man stood in the doorway. “How are you, Mr. Johnson?” Kristen said to him. Mr. Johnson ignored her. “That’s nice,” Kristen said. Mr. Johnson turned away as his daughter, Alice, appeared in the doorway. “Hi, Kristen,” Alice said, stepping outside. “Rick’ll be out any second.” “You going out dressed like that?” Mr. Johnson said to his daughter. “What’s wrong with it this time?” Alice said defensively. Mr. Johnson slammed the door shut, leaving the two girls alone. Just then, they heard a rustling sound above them. They saw Alice’s brother, Rick, shimmying out of an upper floor window. Rick reached for a nearby tree. With surprising grace, he maneuvered to the ground and landed smiling in front of the girls. He gave Kristen a quick kiss. “Something wrong with the stairs?” Kristen said. “Avoid-All-Contact day,” Rick replied. Mr. Johnson suddenly reopened the door and reached for the morning newspaper. He stared at them. “Waiting for a limo?” Rick grabbed his father’s face and planted a kiss on his cheek. “Okay, honey,” he said in a mock Ricky Ricardo voice, “I’m off to the club.” The girls chuckled as Mr. Johnson became embarrassed and slammed the door.
Later that day at Springwood High, students were moving through the hallway that cut through the center of the school. Kristen was standing against one wall, spinning the dial on her locker. Rick was just down the hall at his locker. Kristen opened her locker, grabbed a couple of books, then slammed the door shut. She was startled by Kincaid and Joey who appeared at the next locker. “Hi, guys.” “Hi, guys? Hi, guys?” Kincaid said. “That’s all you got to say after last night?” Kristen studied the two angry faces. “I’m telling you, he’s coming back!” she said firmly. “Listen, little sister,” Kincaid said. “We know you got this freako talent for bringing folks into your dreams, but we don’t need it anymore. Time to live like regular people.” “Let it rest,” Joey insisted. “Who knows, you might stir him back up if you keep going in. Kincaid and I’ll help, we’re still a team, and we all have better things to dream about.” “Then what about this?” Kristen said, pulling up her sleeve and revealing the bloodstained bandage. “That don’t mean a thing,” Kincaid said. “My dog’s like me. Drag him into a crazy dream and he gets wild.” Rick stepped to Kristen’s side. Kincaid and Joey smiled, then walked away. “Those guys are kind of spooky,” Rick said. “Then you must think I’m a total freak.” Rick grinned. “I go back and forth.” Kristen was not amused. “Lighten up,” Rick said. “No one died.” Kristen forced a weak smile.
That night, as Kincaid settled in his bed, his bedroom door opened slowly. Kincaid sat up alertly and watched the doorway. Suddenly, his mangy dog shoved the door completely open and trotted into the room. The dog hopped onto the bed and circled a couple of times before laying down. “Come on, Jason,” Kincaid said, nudging the dog, “move over.” Kincaid and his dog adjusted their positions, then Kincaid reached over and turned off the light. Kincaid’s eyes slowly closed. The room was still. But suddenly, a screeching sound awakened him. Kincaid reached for the bedstand. Instead of finding a lamp, his hand slammed against a metal surface. Kincaid tried to move around, but bumped his head on something low. “Yo, open this up!” he shouted. Kincaid pounded on the metal above. It moved just enough to let in a thin crack of blue light. Confused, Kincaid pounded a few more times. The metal above his head finally popped open. Kincaid stuck his head out of the trunk of a wrecked car and looked around. He was in an ominous auto graveyard. “This ain’t my dreamland. Kristen, if you’re here, I’m going to pound you!” He looked around. There was no one in sight. “Kristen! Hey, Kristen!” he called out. Kincaid climbed out of the trunk. Hearing a low growling, he looked down. It was his dog. It had an odd expression on its face. “Jason?” Kincaid said with a frown. The dog was furiously digging below the back of an imposing old Cadillac. Some strange instinct seemed to have overpowered the animal. Kincaid tried to stop his dog, but it no longer acted like a friendly pet. It turned and snarled at him. Kincaid stopped and stared in disbelief as a flame appeared where the dog had been digging. Then a flaming stream ran along the ground. Moments later, the earth began rumbling. A crack opened along the line of fire. Shafts of light erupted out of the crack. The dog howled and ran off into the night. Kincaid watched it disappear between the stacks of cars, then stepped forward and looked down into the smoldering pit. At the bottom of the freshly-formed crevice, a pile of bones formed into a human skeleton. They clicked together like a machine gun put together by an experienced soldier. Then the body began regenerating. Flesh appeared on the bones. Cartilage knitted the joints, and muscle swelled within tissue that formed all over the body. Finally, burned skin formed over the flesh, and the clothes reversed their rot. Kincaid watched in horror as the sinister figure of Freddy Krueger rose from the grave. Freddy was back.
Freddy raised his right hand. With a flick of his wrist, he extended the long shiny blades at the ends of his fingers. “You shouldn’t have buried me,” he said. “I’m not dead.” Kincaid didn’t hesitate. Before Freddy could move toward him, Kincaid turned and weaved through the maze of piled-up cars. He rounded a corner and stopped to catch his breath. Then he got an idea. Freddy took up the chase. But when he turned the corner, Kincaid was gone. Freddy looked around, confused. Then he heard squeaking metal. Freddy looked up and saw Kincaid straining with all his might to push a wrecked car off the pile. The car toppled on Freddy. A victorious Kincaid jumped down on the roof, then the hood of the car. “Take that, creep!” Kincaid jumped to the ground. When he landed, the cars around him went wild. Horns honked, lights flashed, and windshield wipers flapped wildly. Suddenly, before Kincaid could react, cars began piling in around him. He spun around and watched in horror as he was quickly boxed in. There was no way out. Just then, Kincaid heard a scraping noise immediately behind him. He whirled around and saw Freddy standing just inches away, his knives raised. “One down…two to go!” he laughed sinisterly. Back in his bedroom, Kincaid’s eyes shot open as he clutched his chest in agony. His dog wakened and nuzzled up to his dying master, but Kincaid was oblivious to the dog’s tender attention. With his final breath, Kincaid tried unsuccessfully to call out Kristen’s name.
Joey was stretched out on his waterbed. He was reading the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, occasionally glancing at the posters of rock stars and supermodels that lined his walls. It did not take long for Joey to become drowsy. His eyes slowly shut and the magazine dropped to his chest. All at once, Joey was rocked by something in his waterbed. His eyes flew open as he noticed that one of the pretty female supermodels had vanished from a poster, leaving only the photographed background. Frowning, Joey rolled over and pulled back the sheets. Much to his amazement, the supermodel was staring up at him from inside the waterbed. Slowly, the supermodel drifted down into the waterbed until her features were no longer clear. Suddenly, the figure bobbed to the surface of the bed. But it was no longer the pretty supermodel. It was Freddy Krueger. Freddy smiled wickedly at Joey. Then he pushed the razor-knives against the surface of the vinyl mattress. Joey cried out as Freddy’s arm ripped through the plastic. As water gushed all over, Freddy’s demonic face popped up behind him. “Noooo!” Joey shouted. “Kristen, help!” “Two down, one to go!” Freddy’s voice echoed with laughter.
Kristen sat at her bedroom window, cigarette in hand, listening to the wind chimes tinkling in the gentle breeze. Kristen snuffed out the cigarette, tossed it in the wastebasket, then closed her eyes for a few seconds to let the fresh air wash across her tired face. Suddenly, the wind died down. The soft sound of the chimes abruptly stopped. Kristen opened her eyes and stared out the window. The wind chimes hung motionless in the tree. Kristen heard someone calling her. She got up and scampered to the front door. Stepping out, Kristen walked slowly away from the door. She was listening to the faint sound wafting through the air. She wasn’t sure what it was. When the sound disappeared, Kristen turned to face the house. Then she screamed. Her home was gone. The Elm Street house stood in its place. Kristen spun around and suddenly found herself in a long, thin space between the walls of the house. She passed through a chain curtain and moved further along the corridor. It was filled with strange wailing sounds. Just then, arms began bursting through the walls. Kristen screamed and began running down the corridor, arms grabbing for her. When she turned a corner, she saw Freddy Krueger standing at the far end of the hall. Freddy laughed. “I knew you’d be back,” Kristen said. Freddy grinned horribly at her. “And then there were none.” Then he charged her. Kristen turned and ran—but suddenly, Freddy was right in front of her. She stopped cold and concentrated. “Kincaid! Joey!” There was no answer. “Elm Street’s last brat,” Freddy said. He stepped forward and raised his blades, ready to strike. Trapped, Kristen raised her hands in a final and futile attempt at self-defense. But before Freddy can swing his deadly knives at her, Kristen’s outstretched arm burst into flames. Waking from her nightmare, Kristen jumped out of the chair as flames shot out of the wastebasket. She grabbed a glass of water and poured it onto the fire, putting it out. Then Kristen turned with alarm to the window. “Joey! Kincaid!” she cried out.