A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child — Adaptation Excerpts
Adapted by Bob Italia
Transcribed by Rob Nimmo
That night, Alice removed a couple of frozen microwave dinners from the refrigerator and set them on the counter. Then she became lost in thought, tears forming in her eyes. Her father entered the kitchen, carrying a bag of groceries filled with chicken, vegetables, fruit and juice. Alice covered her tears and turned away to put the dinners in the oven. “How was the meeting?” she asked. “Sobering,” he replied, placing the groceries on the counter. “Very funny. Since when are you such a smart shopper?” He started unloading the bags. “Since my little girl became a mom.” Alice hesitated. “Are you disappointed in me?” “No, I’m not. I sort of hope it’s a boy. It’d be nice to have a boy playing in the house again.” Alice looked at him and hugged him. He gently pried her away and managed a little smile. “Just don’t make a habit of it.” Alice smiled. “I loved him, daddy. And now that he’s gone…” Her father nodded.
Sitting on the edge of her bed, Greta held a porcelain china doll as she stared at it, lost in thought. Dolls were all around her, propped up on pillows, and covering her dresser and chairs. Her eyes moved to something at her feet. It was an 8” x 10” blow-up of a snapshot taken on graduation day. Dan was in the center, surrounded by his parents and friends. Greta’s eyes welled up. A tear trickled down her cheek.
“Greta!” her mother’s shrill voice called out. “Our guests are waiting, dear. Appearances, you know. Let’s not make them impatient.” “Coming, mother,” Greta replied. She joined the others at the dining table in mid-conversation. “It’s true,” Racine Gibson said, sitting at the head of the massive table. “People are always mistaking us for sisters.” The well-dressed guests nodded and smiled politely. “Greta certainly has the perfect body for modeling,” a gray-haired woman said. “You know, Eileen Ford is a friend of mine. I told her about you Greta. She’s very interested in her.” Greta sat at the far end of the table, looking uninterested. “Greta,” Racine said, “you’re being offered the chance of a lifetime! I think you should show a little gratitude.” “One of my friends died yesterday, mother,” Greta said. “Do you mind if I take a few hours to remember him?” “But we’re having a party, dear.” Greta glared at her mother. “I read about him,” an older man said. “Drunk or something, wasn’t he?” “He was just a friend of Greta’s,” Racine interjected. “Not someone special… not someone she was seeing, you understand. Really just an acquaintance.” “Sad,” a portly man said. “It reminds me of Fitzgerald. Although in his stories, it’s generally the women who have pointless violent deaths.” The other guests jumped in with their literary allusions and comparisons. Greta closed her eyes to shut them out. For a second, she seemed to nod. Then she caught herself.
As she looked up, the caterer, Frederick, stepped forward and offered her selections from a tray. A green and red striped bowtie topped off the starched collar of his frilly white serving shirt. Greta shook her head. “No thank you, I’m not hungry.” Frederick stepped away as the other guests halted their conversation to stare at her. “Aren’t you eating?” Racine said with alarm. “I don’t really feel up to it.” The other guests began eating voraciously. “Really, dear. You ought to try something.” “You’re the one who’s always slapping my hand about weight-watching!” Greta snapped. Her mother glanced nervously at the other guests. “But that’s why we diet, dear,” Racine said in a shrill tone. “So we can eat at social events and not upset the other guests.” “Madam,” Frederick intruded, “if I may…” Frederick wheeled in a trolley with a sterling silver chafing dish upon it. He turned to Greta and pushed the tray to the hideous baby chair in which Greta was now sitting. The tray pinned her in place. The guests continued to eat while Racine beamed approvingly. Frederick removed the lid of the sterling silver chafing dish, revealing a perfect, miniature doll-like replica of Greta. Greta’s eyes widened as she stared at Frederick. He was now Freddy. Freddy proceeded to filet the doll in front of Greta’s horrified eyes with a blade on his clawed hand. A sharpened silver spoon appeared on the end of another blade. Freddy scooped into the dissected doll and began feeding Greta, forcing some mush into her mouth. Greta resisted, turning her head to spit it out. Freddy jerked her head forward and forced another spoonful of mush in her mouth. “You are what you eat!” The table guests laughed. “Nothing but the best for Greta!” Racine said. Greta struggled helplessly, moaning and groaning her objections. “Don’t talk with your mouth full, dear,” Racine said. Freddy shoved another claw-full of mush into Greta’s mouth. She started choking. He pulled her close and patted her on the back, like a parent burping an infant. The dinner guests stared in shocked amazement as Greta, her face blue, stood with her arms out, leaning forward as though suspended, as if Freddy were still holding her. Then she pitched forward face first into her plate. Greta’s mother looked on in bewilderment. “Greta?”
That night, Alice and Yvonne entered the Grey & Son Construction yard and pulled into the half-open delivery door of the huge warehouse. They passed rows of scaffolding filled with prefab doors and wall units until they reached a glass partitioned office. They could see Mark sitting alone at a desk, his head bowed. Stepping out of the car, they entered the office. “Mark,” Alice said tentatively, “are you okay?” “Yeah,” Mark said glumly, “I’m just aces.” “I want to talk to both of you guys about Greta,” Alice said, “and I—” “I’m very sorry,” Mark snapped, “but Greta is dead today. Could we interest you in someone else?”
Alice stepped closer to him with sympathy. “It was just an accident,” Yvonne said. “Like with Dan.” “No accident,” Alice said. “I tried to warn all of you about Krueger.” Yvonne shook her head. “Please, Alice…” Alice’s words left an effect on Mark. He gave her a direct look. “I thought about that.” “She must have fallen asleep at the table,” Alice said. “Stop it, Alice!” Yvonne shouted. “Just stop it. Stick to the facts.” “I don’t understand what’s happening!” Alice said in frustration. “Krueger has to use my dreams, but he got to Dan and Greta while I was awake. How’s he doing it?” “Why don’t you two stick to reality,” Yvonne said sharply. “Why don’t you shut up and let her talk!” Mark growled. “Two of us died in the last two days, does that strike you as particularly normal?” “Mark,” Yvonne said. “I’m not finished! I loved Greta, a lot. And if maybe, just maybe, someone or some thing killer her, I’d like to hear about it!” “I can’t listen to this,” Yvonne said, turning away. “Then get out!” Yvonne turned for the stairs started out. Mark punched his fist against the desk and calmed down. “Yvonne, wait a minute, will ya?” She stopped and turned. “I’m a jerk. I know I’m not dealing with this very well and it’s not your fault. I’m sorry.” Yvonne approached and gave him a little hug, trying to smile. “It’s okay.” “Stick around, please?” Mark said. “Wish I could, but I’m on night shift again. Gotta go.” Alice put a comforting hand on Mark’s shoulder. “I can stay for a while if you want.”
After Yvonne departed, Alice and Mark went to Mark’s loft in the warehouse. The entire loft was a network of scaffolding that contained his comic book collection, fantasy posters, sci-fi memorabilia, and tons of books on mythology and the occult. Tacked to the walls were dozens of drawings—works in progress of Mark’s super hero comic book creations. Alice and Mark sat at the drawing table. “Do you think I’m an idiot for being in love with her?” Mark asked Alice. “I mean, I know I didn’t stand a chance with her, but…” “She cared a lot about you,” Alice replied. Mark nodded. “Maybe it was her mother who killed her, with all that Polly Perfect junk.” “It wasn’t her mother. The only reason we’re still here is that none of us has slept since the grad party.” Mark looked at Alice. “Tell me more about this Krueger guy.” “Why don’t I make some coffee. There’s a lot to tell.” Alice left the room for the kitchen and made some coffee. When she returned with two steaming mugs, she realized Mark was gone. “Mark?” Alice set the mugs on the drawing table. Then she saw something that stopped her cold. The sketch on the drawing table began moving, reassembling itself into a drawing of the Elm Street house. Mark was standing on the porch, opening the door. Alice reached her hand toward the sketch. “Mark—no!” But Mark stepped inside.
Alice quickly picked up one of Mark’s colored felt tip pens and drew a stick figure of herself next to the Elm Street house. She wrote “Alice” above the figure, then threw down the pen and closed her eyes, concentrating hard. When she opened her eyes, she found herself standing before the house. Alice rushed inside. She saw a huge gaping hole in the floor with jagged paper edges. Mark was desperately clinging to the edge which was slowly tearing. Alice rushed over and stretched her hand toward Mark. Terrified, Mark grabbed Alice’s hand. Alice pulled him up. “Let’s get out of here!” she cried. As Mark rushed out the door, Alice caught a glimpse of a child standing at a window, staring forlornly into the street. Alice gazed at the child with a mixture of compassion and wariness. “Jacob?” Jacob faced her. He was pale and sickly. “Oh, hello,” he said sadly. “You don’t look very well. Are you feeling all right?” “Been having bad dreams.”
Alice thought for a moment. “Is this where you live, Jacob?” He shook his head. “Just waiting for someone. It’s sad about Greta.” Alice stared at him, intrigued. “Is that who you’re waiting for?” “No,” Jacob said. “I don’t think this is a nice place for you to be. Maybe we should go find your mom.” “She doesn’t want me around,” Jacob replied. “Oh, I’m sure that’s not true. I’ll bet she’s very worried about you. I would be.” Jacob’s face filled with hurt and accusation. “No, you’re not! You don’t even care about being a mom! How come you don’t even think about me?” Alice frowned. “Who said I…wait, what?” Jacob’s lonely eyes began welling up. “I like you. I want to stay with you. Why don’t you want me? Is there something wrong with me?” Alice stared at him, stunned by the realization of the moment. “Who says I don’t like you?” “My friend with the funny hand,” Jacob said.
Alice grew disturbed. She reached out and took Jacob by the hand. “Come on, honey. We’re getting out of here.” Jacob pulled away, drawn by something in the shadows near the stairs. “I have to go now. He wants me again.” Jacob scurried up the stairs into the shadows. “No!” Alice cried. “Jacob!” Alice charged up the stairs… and found herself in Mark’s loft. It was morning. She was back in reality. Mark sat up in his bed and stared at her in amazement. “He’s really real, isn’t he? Are you okay?” “He’s doing something to my baby. I know it. He’s trying to hurt Jacob!” “Who’s Jacob?” “My baby!” “What, you named him already?” Alice froze. “Yeah, I think he already has a name.” She hurriedly began gathering her things. “I’ve got to get away from here. Someplace where Krueger can’t find him.” She bolted for the stairs. Mark restrained her. “Whoa, slow down. How’re you gonna hide from a guy like that, leave the planet?” “I don’t know!” Alice cried. Mark put his hands on her shoulders. “Look, if you’re worried about your baby, call Yvonne. Have the doctor check him out.” Alice nodded as Mark handed her the telephone. Then he grabbed his jacket. “Where are you going?” Alice asked. “To see what else I can find out about Mr. Fred Krueger.”