A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master — Adaptation Excerpts
Adapted by Bob Italia
Transcribed by Rob Nimmo
That night, Alice sneaked out of the house and walked to the street corner where Dan was supposed to meet her. But he wasn’t in sight. Frustrated, she walked off and turned the corner. Suddenly, Alice found herself in the middle of a rundown, seedy urban street with blackened store fronts. The street was deserted. Alice spotted the glowing neon marquee of a movie theater at the end of the street. She approached the box office and took a ticket from the attendant. Then she wandered in. Alice took a seat in the fifth row of the balcony. She had a box of popcorn and a soft drink. There were other patrons scattered about the theater, but she couldn’t see their faces. Alice settled in.
She started to watch the movie. An image of the Crave Inn Diner appeared on the screen. All the paint was peeling, and the torn canvas awning was flapping in the wind. The wind picked up, blowing tumble weeds and newspapers across the front of the diner. Just then, the front doors were blown off their hinges. The wind howled demonically as the air became thick with dust and debris. The wind whipped over Alice, scattering her popcorn like white rain. Then her drink was pulled out of her hand. Alice stood to fight the wind as it pushed her toward the edge of the balcony. Her fingers gripped the back of the seat as the howling wing lifted her off her feet. Unable to hold on any longer, Alice was blown over the balcony rail and into the screen.
Alice tumbled into the scene, landing in front of the diner. The howling wind continued to blow debris. Boards ripped off the structure as Alice struggled to her feet. Alice made her way into the diner. She looked back and saw the movie screen. Beyond it was the theater. The zombie-like theater patrons clapped, their ghostly faces showing no emotion. Alice looked around the diner. It was empty except for one waitress behind the counter. Alice walked to the counter and settled on a stool. The waitress stepped over and slid a tattered menu in front of her. Alice studied the woman for a moment. Something about her was familiar, and it made Alice uneasy.
In her sixties, the waitress looked like she worked every day of her life. Her hair was streaked with gray and there were deep pockets under her eyes. She seemed the kind of person whose life had passed her by. “What’ll it be?” the waitress said. Alice remained silent. “C’mon, honey,” the waitress said, “I don’t want to be here forever.” Alice’s eyes widened as she spotted the waitress’ name badge: ALICE. The waitress turned and headed to the end of the counter. Alice swiveled in her stool, watching the waitress walk away. Suddenly, Alice realized someone was sitting next to her. It was Freddy. “If the food don’t kill ya,” he said, “the service will!” Then he laughed horribly. The waitress returned with a piping hot pizza and placed it in front of Freddy. The pizza had large “pepperonis”—the screaming miniature faces of Kristen, Sheila and Rick! “Ahhh—the usual!” Freddy exclaimed happily. Alice watched in horror as the faces cried out to her. “Free us, Alice—free us!” She sprung from the stool and started to run, but Freddy grabbed her by the arm. “I love soul food,” Freddy said. “Bring me more!” Alice tried to keep her mind clear. But a sudden WHOOSH! told her she had dragged someone into the dream. Alice looked back at the theater. It was gone—replaced by Debbie’s workout room in her attic! Debbie was there, dozing on her weight bench. Freddy cackled triumphantly and turned to Alice. “Your shift is over.” The sudden honking of a passing car horn awakened Alice. She sat on the bed for a moment in confusion before clearing her head. “Oh no—Debbie!” Alice climbed out of her bedroom window, then headed for the street corner where Dan was waiting.
Lying on her weight bench, Debbie opened her eyes and rubbed them tiredly. She looked around and reached for the barbell, then began a series of strenuous bench presses as she listened to the stereo. While Debbie continued to exercise, Freddy Krueger’s shadow appeared on the wall. His clawed hand reached out and cut the stereo cord. Puzzled, Debbie set the barbell in the rack and looked around. Nothing. Debbie shrugged and reached for the weights. Freddy stood over her, holding the barbell. He tried to force it down. “No pain, no gain!” he said, laughing sinisterly. Debbie struggled to her feet. She ducked as Freddy heaved the barbell into the mirrors along the wall. Freddy grinned evilly and started for her.
Debbie ran toward a small door at the other end of the attic. But the door grew larger and larger as Debbie approached. The room was now a strange white space, flat and dull. Debbie tried to make her way across but her feet started sticking to the gooey floor. Debbie struggled to free herself. But as she tried to pull away, she fell over, her face sticking to the floor. She glanced to the side and saw a roach struggling in the corner. Debbie was in a “roach motel” bug trap. Debbie painfully turned toward the doorway. She saw Freddy’s huge eye peering in. She screamed. Freddy stood and laughed with the roach motel in hand. “You can check in, but you can’t check out!” he said. Then he crushed the trap.
Alice and Dan raced along the street in Dan’s pick-up truck as they approached Debbie’s house. Alice, in the driver’s seat, hoped they were not too late. Suddenly, Alice was hit with a violent shock. “What was that?” Dan said. “Debbie,” Alice whispered sadly. “She’s gone. I’ve…collected her, like the others.” A sudden, blinding brightness hit the truck. There was a pair of bright headlights streaking toward them. Just then, the lights burned off—revealing Freddy Krueger standing defiantly in the middle of the road. He was laughing maniacally at Dan’s on-coming truck. Alice grit her teeth and slammed the gas pedal to the floor, murder on her mind. “All right,” she growled, “asleep or awake, I’m gonna punch his ticket in!” The truck rumbled toward Freddy, smoke drifting from its tires. Alice sneered as the truck passed through Freddy and smashed into an invisible brick wall. Bits of metal and glass flew through the air as the truck crumpled.