A Nightmare on Elm Street: Seven, Eight, Gonna Stay up Late…
Adapted by E.L. Flood
Transcribed by Rob Nimmo
Seven, Eight, Gonna Stay up Late…
That night, Nancy called Glen. He lived right across Elm Street. She liked to look at him while they talked on the phone. It made her feel less alone in the barred-up house. Nancy told Glen about Freddy Krueger. She had a plan to bring him from the dream world into the real world. She needed Glen’s help, though. “Meet me at my porch at midnight,” Nancy told her boyfriend. “Oh, and meanwhile…” “Meanwhile?” asked Glen. “Whatever you do,” Nancy warned, “don’t fall asleep.” Glen sighed as he hung up. He hoped Nancy wasn’t going crazy. It was hard to believe what she had just told him. But he would do what she wanted anyway. He put on some loud music and turned the television on. If that didn’t keep him awake, nothing would! At her house, Nancy drank cup after cup of coffee to stay awake. Then she dialed Glen’s number again. It was almost midnight. She wanted to make sure he was still up. Glen’s mother answered the phone. She was annoyed at Nancy for calling so late. She was afraid Nancy was a bad influence on her son. She passed the phone to her husband. “Glen’s asleep. You’ll have to talk to him tomorrow,” Glen’s father snapped. He hung up on Nancy. Then he took the phone off the hook so she couldn’t call again. Nancy was frantic. She had to save Glen! She ran to the front door. It was locked. Her mother had hidden all the keys. Nancy was a prisoner in her own house. There was nothing she could do to help her boyfriend. In his room, Glen dozed on his bed. The sound of the national anthem came from the television. The stations were signing off the air. It was midnight. A ghastly knife-tipped hand suddenly tore up out of Glen’s bed. It seized him and dragged him right into the bed itself. “No!” Glen shouted. But he couldn’t save himself. Glen’s mother opened the bedroom door. She screamed and screamed again. Her son was gone and there was blood everywhere.
When Lieutenant Thompson arrived at Glen’s house, he couldn’t believe his eyes. He felt worried. He knew Rod Lane couldn’t have committed this murder. Rod Lane was dead. Nancy called her father at the Lantz’s house. She had known Glen was dead, even before she saw the police cars and the ambulance. Fred Krueger had struck again. Nancy had to catch him now, before he killed her as well. She had a proposal for Lieutenant Thompson. “I’m going to go and get the guy who did it,” she told her dad. “And I want you to be there to arrest him when I bring him out, okay?” “Just tell me who did it! I’ll go get him, Baby!” Lieutenant Thompson said soothingly. But Nancy shook her head. “Fred Krueger did it, Daddy. And only I can get him. It’s my nightmare he comes to. Just come here and break the door down in exactly 20 minutes. Can you do that?” Lieutenant Thompson sighed. “Yeah, sure,” he promised. He didn’t really mean it. He just said it to calm his daughter down. Nancy was acting like a lunatic. How could a dead man have committed these crimes? Still, he was worried about her. He sent an officer out to the Lantz’s lawn. The officer’s job was to keep an eye on Nancy’s window and tell the lieutenant if anything seemed wrong.
No Time to Waste
Nancy hung up. She had to hurry. Twenty minutes wasn’t much time for everything she had to do! First she rigged up a light bulb so it would explode. She put it in one of the living room lamps. The she took a sledgehammer up to her room. With some wire, she hung the hammer over her bedroom door. Once the trap was set, the hammer would fall on anyone who opened the door. Nancy hoped that person would be Freddy Krueger. Finally Nancy went into her mother’s room to say good night. It might be the last time they ever saw each other! Mrs. Thompson apologized for not telling Nancy about Freddy Krueger sooner. “I should have told you about him, Nan,” she said sleepily. “I was just trying to protect you. I didn’t see how much you needed to know. You face things. That’s your nature. That’s your gift.” She looked hard at Nancy. “But sometimes you have to turn away, too.” Nancy kissed her mother good-night. She went to her own room. “Okay, Krueger, we play in your court,” she said aloud. She climbed into bed. “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take,” she murmured. She hadn’t said those words for many years. Now they had a whole new meaning.
Countdown to Terror
Nancy looked at her watch. There were ten minutes left. She set the watch alarm. Taking a deep breath, she lay down. Instantly she started to dream. She was at the basement steps in her own house. She went down and walked over to the furnace. Reaching inside it, she pulled out the cloth-wrapped bundle. Inside should be Freddy’s knives. But the cloth was empty. The knives were gone. SKREEEAAKK! SKKKREEEAAKK! It was the eerie sound of metal scraping metal. Nancy followed the sound. It led her to a door in the wall. She had never noticed that door before. The minute she stepped through it, the door slammed behind her. Nancy was at the top of another flight of stairs. These stairs went down into an old, abandoned boiler room. The place where Fred Krueger had died. A long, low chuckle echoed through the boiler room. “Krueger, I’m here!” Nancy shouted. She could hear the nightmare man’s breathing. She knew he was there. Moving forward, she began to search the boiler room. She went up and down ladders. She crept over catwalks. She peeked around corners. Any minute she expected to feel Freddy’s knives at her neck. But it never happened. She couldn’t find Freddy anywhere. “Come out and show yourself!” yelled Nancy. Her nerves were ready to snap. Where was he? The beep of her watch alarm made Nancy jump. Her time was running out. She hadn’t found Freddy. She stamped her foot in frustration. “Aaaahhh.” With a sound like a sigh, he was there! Nancy shrieked and ran. Freddy chased her in silence. All she could hear was his heavy breathing. On a slender metal staircase, Nancy lost her balance. She fell forward into space, screaming. And then she landed—on her own front lawn! Her watch beeped again. Ten seconds left. “Where are you?” she yelled into the night. There was no answer. She turned to her front door. “Nancy,” Freddy whispered hoarsely. He was right there, by the rose trellis! Nancy threw herself right at the nightmare killer. It was now or never. She gripped him with all her strength. The alarm clock by her bed went off noisily. Nancy woke up in her bed. She was clutching a rose trellis. But there was no sign of Freddy Krueger. She had failed!
She sat up and put her head in her hands. How could I have failed? she asked herself. Then she heard a sound behind her. She looked around. A dark hunched figure rose from beside her bed. Freddy! She had brought him into the real world after all! She raced out of her bedroom and locked the door. Freddy was still inside. Now that he was in the real world, he couldn’t go through doors the way he did in dreams. Roaring, he banged on the door. Nancy quickly set the sledgehammer trap. Then she threw open a window. “Help! I got him!” she yelled. The officer on the Lantz’s lawn stared at her. “Get my dad!” she screamed at him. Nancy ran downstairs. She smashed the glass in the front door with an umbrella. “Help!” she cried again. The officer scratched his head. Maybe he had better tell Lieutenant Thompson about this. Upstairs, Freddy finally burst out of Nancy’s room. The sledgehammer swung down. It caught him right in the chest! The killer staggered, then toppled over the stair railing. He landed on the carpet at Nancy’s feet. “I’m gonna split you in two!” swore Freddy. He lurched after Nancy. Then he tripped over the wire she had set, and the trick light bulb exploded in his face. He screamed and fell back. Nancy ran down to the basement. Freddy pounded after her. “I’ll kill you slow!” he growled. But first he had to catch her! Nancy circled around and came up behind Freddy. She grabbed a jug of gasoline. When he turned, she tossed the gas right at him. Then she lit a match. “No! No! No!” Freddy screamed. He couldn’t bear to be burned again! Nancy threw the match at Freddy. In an instant he was blazing like a torch. Nancy dashed up the basement steps and slammed the door shut. She had done it!
Nancy ran to the front door and cried for help. This time the officer on the lawn went and got Lieutenant Thompson. He ran over with several other men. In no time they broke the door down. The officers looked around the house, but they didn’t see Freddy. Nancy was the first to notice the flaming footprints on the living room carpet. They led up the stairs. Nancy gasped. “He’s after Mother!” Nancy and her father raced up to Mrs. Thompson’s bedroom. An awful sight met their eyes. Freddy was there. He was still ablaze. He was after Mrs. Thompson. Lieutenant Thompson grabbed a heavy quilt. He threw it over the bed to put out the flames. Then he peeled it back. His face turned pale with terror. Nancy put her hand to her mouth.
Mrs. Thompson was sinking slowly into a white mist. As they watched, she raised one arm. Then she vanished and the bed was solid again. Freddy was gone. He had escaped into dreamland through Nancy’s mother’s dream. Nancy looked at her father. “Now do you believe me?” she asked in a bitter voice. Lieutenant Thompson couldn’t speak. He put his arms around his daughter and held her tightly. After a moment Nancy pulled away. There was something she had to try. She needed to be alone to do it, though. Lieutenant Thompson left the room. The door closed behind him. Nancy walked toward the bed. Then she deliberately turned her back on it. The bed shook. Freddy’s hunched shape rose through it, stretching the sheets. He slashed his way free with his finger-knives. Nancy stared at the door. She could feel him behind her. She remembered her mother telling her that sometimes it was better to turn away. This was one of those times. “I know you’re there, Freddy.” “You thought you were going to get away from me?” he muttered. “I know you too well now, Freddy,” Nancy told him. He growled and flexed his knives. “Now you die.” “It’s too late, Krueger. I k now the secret now. You’re not alive. This whole thing is just a dream,” Nancy said calmly. She turned around and faced Freddy. “I want my mother and friends again.” “You what?” asked the monster. He sounded shocked. “I take back every bit of energy I gave you. You’re nothing.” Once again, Nancy turned her back to Freddy. She reached for the doorknob. Freddy lunged toward her—and vanished with a chilling cry of despair.