A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child — Adaptation Excerpts
Adapted by Bob Italia
Transcribed by Rob Nimmo
Alice waved goodbye as her father drove away. Then she started walking down the street. She could hear a faint sing-song noise as she approached the park. Kids were playing on the swings, in the sandbox, and on the slide. Some children were playing a jump rope game. “Three, four, better lock your door…” they sang, “Five, six, grab your crucifix…” Alice’s eyes widened. Then her face hardened with resolve. “No. This isn’t going to happen.” She closed her eyes and opened them again. Only the children playing the jump rope game remained. Alice grew more determined as she headed through the park. It was taking on a foreboding darkness, the trees casting oddly elongated shadows. She moved rapidly through branches that tore at her clothing and face. Soon she was running blindly in the direction of the ever-present voices. Alice broke through some bushes and found herself in a clearing in the center of the park. From somewhere nearby, she heard the chanting voices. “Seven, eight, gotta stay awake. Nine, ten, he’s back again…” Alice looked to the edge of the clearing and saw a set of crumbled Gothic steps, framing a silhouetted nun in white. Alice stared with intrigue as the voices faded. The nun hurried up the steps, her face obscured by a veil. Alice chased after her. “Wait!” Alice ran up the steps to the arched doorway. She stopped and looked upward to the immense and imposing tower. Three solitary windows were set in a row at the very top.
Alice rushed into the deserted building, then moved slowly down a seemingly endless corridor. She passed a deserted reception area, then an empty nurses station. Suddenly, Alice heard the sound of rusty wheels. She whirled around and saw a black, ominous baby stroller rolling slowly down the corridor toward her. Alice backed against the wall, watching the evil carriage roll past. Then she noticed something far down the corridor. It was the nun, hurrying silently through a doorway. Alice ran past the stroller toward the nun, then up a staircase. But as she reached the top, Alice was yanked down the steps and slammed onto a gurney by a dirty, unshaven orderly. Alice was pushed through a set of doors into a room filled with white-habited nurses, aides, and doctors. They all crowded around and peered down at her. Alice looked around, confused and horrified. A doctor leaned toward her. “There’s nothing to be afraid of. Just do exactly what I say.” Alice bolted upright on the gurney. “No!” The orderlies, nurses and doctors backed away and crowded the walls. Alice was now among them, dressed in white, staring at a young woman on the gurney about to give birth. “Help me,” she cried. “Why is this happening again? Please, don’t let him do this!” A painful contraction wracked her body. “Don’t panic, sister,” the doctor said. “We’ve got a breeched birth here. It’s backwards. I’m going to have to turn it around. Okay, take a deep breath. Here we go. I need you to push—now!” The birth proceeded, but the doctor looked stunned. “What is it?” he shouted. A nun stood holding the baby in swaddling. “This is one of God’s creatures, you know. Take solace in that.” The young woman struggled upright on the gurney. She was drenched in sweat and clearly terrified. She stared directly into the eyes of the nun. “That…is no creature of God!” she roared. The nun gazed at the young woman, shocked by her words. Suddenly, the swaddled bundle began to kick and beat furiously. The nun fought to keep her grip, but the bundle struggled free and fell under the gurney. Instantly, it scuttled into the shadows. Alice could hear a horrible braying sound. The orderlies involuntarily stepped back, staring at the thing on the floor. Then panic gripped the room. “Don’t let it get away!” the young woman cried. “Give it to me!” A few orderlies scrambled to close the door. But some bolted through, racing to get away from the thing on the floor. Bedlam reigned as people shouted and rushed around. The baby sneaked toward Alice. It scuttled between her legs and through the double doors. “Stop it!” the young woman on the gurney shouted. “It mustn’t escape!” The doors slammed shut as Alice approached them.
Gripping the handles, Alice tugged hard on the doors. Now she found herself staring into a dark and crumbling church. It was the same church where Alice had defeated Freddy in during their last battle. The horrifying braying came from within. Alice started into the church and slowly made her way past two rows of pews toward the altar. There she saw Freddy’s remains lying in a crumpled heap. She could see bits of his green and red striped sweater. A steel claw glinted in a solitary shaft of dusty light. Alice paused, staring at the place she thought she’d left her nightmare behind forever. Suddenly, she heard a slithering sound from the steps leading to the altar. Alice watched in horror as the baby, its deformed shape vaguely human, slithering towards Freddy’s decaying remains. Her eyes widened as she realized what was about to happen. “You can’t make me bring you back!” The thing began crawling through one of Freddy’s pant legs. Alice ran toward the altar, then stopped as she could hear the ear-splitting noise of ripping wood. The altar rose from the floor and the floorboards began tiling up toward Alice as they were torn from their foundation. The angle of the rising floor threw Alice back, preventing her from reaching the altar. She could only try to crawl through the dust and smoke toward the impending resurrection, powerless to prevent it. Alice could see bits and pieces of Freddy’s metamorphosis through the growing dust of the crumbling church as the embryonic thing grew into the clothes, the glove—and into a body. Suddenly, the floor fell back to its level position with a dust-raising thud. Alice raised herself from the floor and looked around. All she could see was dust and smoke, backlit by shafts of light streaking through the broken stained glass windows. Just then, Freddy emerged from the dust cloud. He stood in front of the pulpit with his arms raised triumphantly. Mis-shapened, he looked more horrible than ever. His arms and legs weren’t quite the same length. His joints were twisted so that nothing seemed properly aligned. Freddy smiled at Alice. “It’s a boy!”
Alice backed away, frightened but angry. The two circled each other, keeping their distance. “You can’t come back!” Alice cried. “I locked the door on you.” Freddy let out a dry, rasping cackle. He took a step closer to her. Terrified, Alice struck at him. But Freddy vanished, his chilling laugh echoing throughout the church. Alice followed the laughter with frightened eyes, searching for him. Suddenly, Freddy appeared right behind her. Alice nearly jumped from her skin. She spun around and saw Freddy throw his head back and cackle. Just then, a shaft of light streaked through the rear doors of the church. Alice and Freddy turned toward it. His laughter abruptly died. It was the nun in white. She gazed at them from a room beyond the doors. A light streaked from three windows behind her. She raised her hand and pointed an accusing finger at Freddy. “Your birth was a curse on the whole of humanity. But the evil that was in me is no more. I will not allow this to happen again.” Freddy hissed as he glared at his mother. She turned to Alice. “Bring him home.” Alice started to move toward Amanda Krueger. “Home? How? Where?” “Rid yourself of—“ Suddenly, the doors slammed in Alice’s face. She struggled to open the big doors. But as she stepped through, she found herself walking into the Crave Inn Diner where she worked as a waitress. She looked around, puzzled. “Alice!” a voice shouted. “Where have you been?” Alice spun around. It was Anne, Alice’s classmate and co-worker. She looked angry. Relieved, Alice broke down. She was still disturbed and frightened. “Oh, Anne, I’m so glad it’s you! It was terrible!” “You’re four hours late!” Anne said, throwing an apron at Alice. “Four hours?” Alice said in amazement. “Last thing I remember was crossing the park…” She looked at the clock. It was after 10:00 p.m. Anne angrily gathered her things. “The party’ll be history by the time I get there. Great!” Alice just stood there, stunned. Anne shook her head and moved toward the door. “I wish I could get a prescription for whatever it is you’re on.” “What?” Alice said. “I said thanks a lot, Alice, for nada!” The door slammed shut. Alice reached for the telephone.