A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master — Adaptation Excerpts
Adapted by Bob Italia
Transcribed by Rob Nimmo
A few nights later, Alice stood behind the counter of the Crave Inn Diner, adding up the night’s receipts near the cash register. Her waitress uniform was spotted with stains, evidence of a hard day. When she finished with the receipts, she closed the cash register. Then she poured coffee grounds into a cup of black coffee and stirred it before downing the cup. Dan walked in and headed for the counter. “Hey, how ya doin’? Haven’t seen you around lately.” Alice looked up. “I’ve been working double shifts.” “Extra money, huh?” “Look, you know why. You just don’t believe.” Dan looked around and leaned toward her. “No offense or anything, but it’s kind of hard to swallow.” “The story is. The deaths you can’t argue with.” Then her eyes welled up. “I don’t know what to do. I can’t stop it. Why doesn’t he just kill me?” Dan studied her. “How long you been awake?” “Three days. Don’t you understand? Everytime I sleep, someone might die!” “All right, let’s assume this whole thing is true. Why does Freddy all of a sudden need you?” “Kristen was the last child left of the people who killed Freddy. Maybe Freddy can’t get to new kids without someone like me—someone to bring them to him.”
Dan and Alice were silent for a moment. Dan read a mix of emotions on Alice’s face: guilt, shame, anger, and despair. He was about to say something when a voice called out. Dan’s date, a pretty and polished young woman, appeared at the door. “Danny, we’re gonna be late for the drive-in!” Dan was embarrassed. So was Alice, who was also jealous. “I have to get back to work.” Alice hurried off to the kitchen as Dan watched in frustration.
The next day, in the boys’ locker room, Dan approached Rick and sat next to him on a bench. “You look wasted,” Dan said. “Been up with Alice,” Rick replied. “How’s she doing? I ran into her last night.” “She’s still blaming herself for Sheila,” Rick said. “I know how it feels. I’ve been thinking about Kristen. Maybe I could’ve stopped it, if I’d have listened.” “About Freddy?” Dan said. “What else? You ever look over this town’s history? Not a safe place to be a teenager. Anyway, if I’m next, watch your back.” Suddenly, the coach appeared. “Hey, you bozos!” he bellowed. “Up and out—now!” Dan and the other boys headed out to gym class. Rick scrambled to get dressed.
Alice struggled to stay awake in the back row of the lecture hall. At the front, a lecturer droned on in a boring monotone. “Every society, dating back to the ancients, has had theories regarding dreams, what they mean, how to control them,” the lecturer said. “Aristotle believed that during sleep your soul roams free. What it sees are dreams. Skilled dreamers control what they see. There is a theory that there are two gates your soul can enter, one positive gate, the other a negative. The dream master guards the positive gate and protects its sleeping host. There are fewer theories about the negative gate…” The lecturer’s words became distorted as Alice began falling asleep.
Rick was lacing his high-tops when, suddenly, his locker door began rattling. Just then, a group of cheerleaders barged into the locker room. They looked at Rick and laughed as he stood in confusion. At that moment, the entire room began shaking. Rick looked around and saw the room transform into an elevator. Buttons pushed out of the walls; the door changed. One cheerleader pushed Button #13. The elevator shot up. Then the doors opened and the cheerleaders shoved their way out. Rick could see Alice among the girls. She was pushing against the flow, trick could see Alice among the girls. She was pushing against the flow, trying to reach him. Suddenly, he door slammed in Rick’s face. The elevator rocketed downward as the lighted buttons blinked faster and faster until they were a blurry glow. “Going down,” Freddy’s voice blared from the elevator speaker. “Women’s wear, lingerie, cutlery, butcher knives…China.” The elevator came to a sudden halt. Rick was thrown to the ground. Then the door flew open.
Rick got up and looked around the pristinely clean Chinese room filled with tatami mattes and colored screens. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Rick was hurtled backward as if kicked by an invisible opponent. “A true warrior, Rick-san, needs no eyes,” Freddy’s voice echoed. Rick was kicked again and knocked to the floor. Enraged, Rick jumped to his feet and flailed at the air. “Come out and fight me, you coward!” Freddy laughed. “Ninja warriors have calm. Find your balance, Rick-san.” Rick was hit again and thrown back against a screen. He stood slowly, with ultimate concentration. Suddenly, he kicked back at the air and connected with a resounding thump. Then he progressed forward with a series of karate moves—all of which connected soundly and quickly with the invisible force. “Too wimpy to show yourself, Krueger? Well, how’s this for balance?” Summoning all his might, Rick kicked at the air. Freddy’s glove appeared out of thin air and landed on the floor. Rick stopped and stared at the glove. He laughed victoriously. “How you gonna get me without your weapon? You’re dead meat!” Freddy’s laugh resounded through the room. Suddenly, the glove jumped up and shot toward Rick. “Hari-kari to you and your balance, boy,” Freddy said. “Sayonara, Rick-san.”
Alice woke with a jolt. She was hit by an incredible force. Her entire seat shook off its bolts. Students next to her backed away. Alice smashed her desk top with her fist, sending bits of wood and metal flying. Then she let out a soul-crushing cry. “Noooooo!” The windows in the lecture hall shattered as Alice ran out of the room to the gym. There she found the coach as he opened the boys’ locker room door. “Hey, Rick!” he shouted. “Let’s go!” When Rick didn’t answer, the coach entered the locker room. Alice followed him. They found Rick lying by his locker, his twisted hand lifeless on the floor.
A few days later, Alice and Debbie stood near Rick’s gravesite as other mourners gathered for the funeral. Debbie was sobbing softly. Alice was emotionless. She was wearing Rick’s dark sunglasses. “Are you okay?” Dan said suddenly to Alice. “Not really.” “Is there something I can do?” “I don’t think so. I guess this is my own war.” “No it isn’t,” Debbie said. “We all gotta survive.” She flexed her arm. “I don’t spend hours working out to let some night-stalker beat me.” “You really don’t get it,” Alice said. “He’s not a night-stalker. It’ll take more than bench presses to beat him.” “Why can’t we just talk to the authorities?” Dan asked. “Yeah, right,” Alice replied. “Let’s trade death by Freddy for life in a rubber room. Adults won’t see it. They can’t.” “What else can we do?” Dan said. “Try what the other kids did,” Alice stated. “Keep each other awake. We’ll meet at Debbie’s tonight. At least if we don’t sleep he can’t get us.”