A Nightmare on Elm Street — Adaptation Excerpts
Adapted by Bob Italia
Transcribed by Rob Nimmo
That night, Nancy called Glen from her bedroom. “Hello?” Glen said. “Hi,” Nancy replied. “Oh, hi, how ya doing?” Nancy looked through the bars of her window. “Fine. Stand by your window so I can see you.” Glen moved into sight. “I heard your ma went ape at the security store today. You look like the Prisoner of Zenda or something. How long’s it been since you slept?” “Coming up on the seventh day,” Nancy said. “It’s okay, I checked Guiness. The record’s eleven, and I’ll beat that if I have to. Listen, I… I know who he is.” “Who?” “The killer.” “You do?” “Yeah,” Nancy said. “And if he gets me, I’m pretty sure you’re next.” “Me?” Glen said with alarm. “Why would anyone want to kill me?” “Don’t ask—just give me some help nailing this guy when I bring him out.” “Bring him out of what?” “My dream.” “How do you plan to do that?” “Just like I did the hat. Have a hold of the sucker when you wake me up.” “Me?” Glen said. “Wait a minute, you can’t bring someone out of a dream!” “If I can’t,” Nancy said, “then you can all relax, because it’ll just be a simple case of me being nuts.” “I can save you the trouble. You’re nutty as a fruitcake. I love you anyway.” “Good, then you won’t mind trashing this guy when I bring him out.” “What?” Glen said. “You heard me. I grab him in my dream—you see me struggling so you wake me up. We both come out, you cold-cock him and we got him. Clever, huh?” “Are you crazy? Hit him with what?” “You’re a jock. You must have a baseball bat or something. I’ll give you a call just before midnight. Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep!”
Ten minutes to midnight. Glen was in his room waiting for Nancy’s call. So far, nothing. He looked out his window. Nancy’s house was dark. No sign of her. Glen shrugged then plopped on his bed. Then he put his earphones on and listened to some music.
Across the street, Nancy bit her lip as she dialed the phone. Glen’s father answered. “May I speak with Glen, please?” “Glen’s asleep,” he replied curtly. “Talk to him tomorrow.” Then he hung up the phone. Nancy dialed again. This time she got a busy signal. She slammed the phone down in frustration and looked out the window. “Glen,” she said, “don’t fall asleep!” Nancy sat on the bed and yawned. Then the telephone rang. She snatched it up. “Glen?” she said. All she could hear was the sound of scraping metal. Nancy slammed the phone down as if it were diseased. Then in pure rage, she ripped the cord from the wall. The telephone rang again! Nancy shook so hard she could barely life the receiver. Her teeth chattered as she lifted the receiver.
“Hello?” she said feebly. “I’m your boyfriend now,” the ragged voice said. Nancy smashed the phone against the wall. She pinched herself hard, until the tears came and her flesh was nearly bleeding. “I’m awake, I am awake!” she said. “This is not a dream!” Then she stopped, realizing what Krueger meant. “My boyfriend!” Nancy raced down the stairs and across the darkened living room to the front door. She fumbled with the lock, then realized the deadbolt was locked from the inside—and there was no key in it! Nancy raced to a porch window and threw it open, shaking and banging on the bars like a mad woman. But it was no use. The bars wouldn’t budge. Nancy staggered back, stymied and furious. Then somebody moved behind her in the dark. “Locked,” the voice said. Nancy jumped around in shock. Her mother was sitting on the couch with her gin bottle. Nancy was furious. “Give me the key, mother.” “I don’t even have it on me, so forget it,” Marge said. Nancy ran past her mother to the back door, then to every window in the house, slamming locks, shaking bars and screaming in a teenage fury. But it was no use. The house was her prison. “Paid the guy good to make sure you stayed put,” Marge said. “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, kid. You’re gonna sleep tonight if it kills me.” Nancy clenched her fists and screamed at the top of her lungs—a heart-wrenching cry of love in despair. “GLEEENNNN!”
With the earphones still in place, Glen was sprawled on his bed, lying on a red and green bedspread. Nancy’s cries filtered into the room, but Glen was breathing deeply and slowly, and he began to snore. With a tremendous force, two powerful arms shot up beneath the bedspread and grabbed Glen around the waist. Then his body was dragged down into the bed. Glen’s feet and arms shot up, but another powerful yank pulled him down. His hands clawed for a hold, but soon they vanished, dragging blankets and bedsheets, wires and stereo across the caved-in bed and into the abyss.
Feeling numb, Nancy stood at her window as the wail of a siren shattered the night on Elm Street. An ambulance screeched to a halt outside Glen’s home. Two black and white police cars followed. So too did an unmarked car, Thompson and Parker exited the unmarked car. Thompson glanced at his former home. Nancy gave a little wave. Thompson waved back, then walked rapidly to Glen’s house. Glen’s father, pale as a ghost, waited on the porch. Glen’s mother was wailing inside. Nancy pulled the window shade on it all, then looked at her bed. “Okay, Krueger,” she said in anger, “we play in your court.”
Nancy went into the kitchen and picked up the phone. She dialed Glen’s number. Parker answered the phone. “This is Nancy,” she said. “I want to speak with my Daddy. It’s urgent.” There was a pause. Then Thompson took the phone. “Hello, Nancy,” he said grimly. “Hi, Daddy. I know what happened.” “Then you know more than I do.” “You know he’s dead though, right?” Another pause. “Yeah, apparently he’s dead.” A tear trickled down Nancy’s cheek, but her voice remained firm. “I’ve got a proposition for you. Listen very carefully, please. I’m gonna go get the guy who did it and bring him to you. I just need you to be right there to arrest him. Okay?” “Just tell me who did it and I’ll go get him, baby.” “Fred Krueger did it, Daddy, and only I can get him. It’s my nightmare he comes to.” “Where’d you hear about Krueger?” he asked. “I want you to come over here and break the door down in exactly twenty minutes from now—can you do that?” “Sure, but—” “That’ll be exactly half-past midnight. Time for me to fall asleep and find him.” “Sure, sure, honey. You just do that—get yourself some sleep. That’s what I’ve been saying all along.”
Nancy hung up the phone and sank against the wall. She was frightened—but she was determined to stop Krueger once and for all! With her survival book in hand, Nancy descended the stairs to the cellar. She pulled tools and hardware out with grim resolution: hammer, nails, spools of wire, an old square of heavy fishnetting, some old shotgun shells, a Lifesaver, and a file. She only had to look at the book once. Barely able to control her shaking hands, Nancy strung the spool of wire across the living room. She wrapped bare lamp wire around two thumbtacks stuck into the sides of a clothespin. She inserted the Lifesaver between the prongs of the clothespin. One end of the fishing line was tied to the Lifesaver. It was stretched taught about three inches off the living room carpet. Nancy took a lightbulb and filed a hole in it. She poured powder and shot from the shotgun shells into the bulb, then sealed it with tape. Nancy screwed the bulb into the floor lamp at the foot of the stairs. Walking upstairs, Nancy installed a sturdy sliding bolt to the outside of her bedroom door. Then she screwed a hinge into the wall directly above her door. Finally, Nancy tiptoed to her mother’s door and peeked in. Marge was propped in her bed looking back at Nancy. Marge was drunk.
“Guess I shouldn’t a done it,” Marge said.
“Just sleep now, Mom.”
“Just wanted to protect you, Nan. Just wanted to protect you.”
Marge slid over on her side. Nancy smoothed her mother’s hair, covered her with a blanket, then left the room. Once in her bedroom, Nancy turned out her bedside light, put on her nightgown, and knelt by her bed to say a prayer. Then she climbed into bed and pulled the blankets to her chin. She stared up at the ceiling for a long moment, then closed her eyes.
Lieutenant Thompson trudged down the stairs and confronted Glen’s father. “I know it’s hard to think at a time like this, Walter, but can you think of anyone who could’ve done such a thing?” Walter stared blankly. “He done it,” he said in a low, dull voice. Thompson looked baffled. “Who? Who did what?” “Krueger,” Walter said. “Krueger?” Thompson shouted in disbelief. Walter flashed a strange look. “Had to’ve done it. No one else was in there.” Then he looked down. “Maybe God’s punishing us all.” Suddenly, a voice called out from upstairs. “Lieutenant Thompson? The coroner wants to show you something.” Thompson looked at Walter, then dashed upstairs.
Nancy descended the cellar stairs and stopped in the center of the room. She could hear the distant sound of the boiler room, faint but unmistakable. She walked to a new door, opened it and looked down a set of steel stairs, firelight on her glum face. The sound of the boiler room was clear. Nancy descended the stairs. She could hear the sound of knives from a lower level. She continued downward. Each stairway was narrower, each level was wetter, darker, and more airless. Soon she was gasping for air, but still she pushed on.
Nancy didn’t stop until she reached the very bottom—a wet, firelit sump deep in the bowels of the boiler room. A dark wind soughed and whined like a huge dying dog. She turned and suddenly listened. Then, hearing nothing, she looked down and saw Glen’s earphones. She gazed around. “Come out and show yourself, you creep,” she said softly. Just then, the sinister figure of Freddy Krueger lurched up behind her. He was even more hideous hatless, his ragged teeth barred, the great spider of razorblades flashing from his fingertips. Krueger leaped at Nancy, but she leaped away just as fast—a fierce jump that sent her out over a black space and down a huge, dark cavern.
Suddenly, Nancy crashed out of the night and into a hedge just outside her front door. She staggered for the front door—but a moment later, Krueger crashed on top of her! Nancy struggled to her knees just as Krueger lunged at her with the handful of blades. But instead of running, Nancy ducked and seized Krueger in a desperate bear-hug. The surprise move sent Krueger pitching backward, and they fell into the jumble of torn-down trellis roses beneath her bedroom window. Just then, Nancy heard the jarring, deafening ringing of her alarm clock. In the next instant, Nancy sprawled out of her bed onto the floor, twisting from the jabs of the vanished thorns. Gasping, she took a second to get her bearings. Then she snatched up the net, ready for an assault from any direction. But the room was empty.
Hardly able to catch her breath, her hair tangled, her nightgown torn, Nancy dropped the net. She sat on the bed, turned on the bedside lamp, and reexamined her room. No one there but herself. “I’m crazy after all,” she muttered. At that very instant, Freddy Krueger leaped from the far side of the bed with an explosive shout of rage. He lunged across the bed for her. Nancy pitched back and scrambled for the window. But the bars prevented her escape. Incredibly fast, Krueger regained his feet and leaped again. Nancy flung open the door and dived through—only to rebound off someone on the other side. Knocked flying by Nancy’s charge, Marge hit the floor hard. Nancy jumped over her mother, slammed her bedroom door, and locked the new bolt. Then she gingerly tied a string to the doorknob—a string that trailed down from the ceiling and attached to a hinge above the door. When she was finished, Nancy dragged her mother to the next bedroom as fast as she could. She slammed the door and locked it as Krueger began splintering her bedroom door. It did not take long for Krueger to break the bolt. Once he did, he ripped open the door. But in doing so, he pulled the string attached to the doorknob with terrific force. The string jerked against a single-edged razor. It cut a tight wind of cord holding a twenty pound sledge hammer to the ceiling. The sledge hammer fell free, pivoting on the hinge at the far end of its handle. The hammer drove straight into Krueger’s chest with a terrific blow. He catapulted backward with an incredulous shriek.
Despite his agony, Krueger clawed his way up, lurching forward like an enraged bull. He roared down the hallway—only to strike the length of wire strung across the hall, catching it just above the thigh. Krueger cart-wheeled head-over-heels and landed flat on his back. Enraged, Freddy crashed against Marge’s bedroom door with a terrific force. Then he started smashing the door with his fists. Nancy jerked open the bedroom window and jammed her face to the bars. “Help!” she cried. “Hey, Daddy—I got him trapped! Where are you?” Parker, assigned to guard Glen’s house, saw Nancy pounding on the bars. “Everything’s gonna be all right!” he shouted. “Everything’s under control.” Nancy was livid. “Get my father, you creep!” Suddenly, she heard the bedroom door splinter. Nancy whirled around and saw Krueger bull in. Her eyes flew open. She was trapped against the bars and had nowhere to go. Krueger bunched his knives in a single thick blade and rushed her. Nancy screamed for her life. But then Marge intercepted Krueger and grasped his weapon hand. “Nancy,” she cried, “run!” Nancy turned to the window. “Daddy, where are you?”