Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare — Adaptation Excerpts
Adapted by Bob Italia
Transcribed by Rob Nimmo
John sat in a chair by a desk in the center of the sparse evaluation room. A single light bulb hung from a bent wire suspended from the ceiling. John’s condition had worsened. He was jumpy and fidgety and could barely sit still in his chair. His eyes were heavy. And he had fresh bandages on his head and arms. Maggie tried to examine his pupils with a small penlight. But John was bouncing around in his chair too much. Maggie finally placed her hand on top of his head to keep him still. “Sorry,” John said. “How long have you been awake?” Maggie asked. “Three days. That’s as far back as I can remember.” “It looks more like three weeks.” “Yeah, well that’s the wonder of amnesia. It always keeps you guessing.” “How about where you came from?” Maggie asked. “I don’t know. My head’s a mess. All I know is that wherever I’m from, I’m the last.” “The last what?” “Survivor,” John said. “Do you have any caffeine pills or some coffee? Maybe some coke?” Maggie frowned. “I meant the soda,” John insisted. “Why do you want to stay awake?” “Because if I sleep, I’m not waking up.” “What makes you think that?” Maggie said. “I don’t think it. I feel it. If I sleep, there’s going to be trouble.” “There won’t be any trouble here. I promise. You’ll be protected.” “Not if I dream,” John stated. “And if I do, you can’t protect everyone.” “Sure I can,” Maggie said. She left the room and conferred with Kelly in the hall. “I want him transferred to Mercy Hospital in the morning.” Kelly nodded in agreement. Back in the evaluation room, John shut his eyes, his head drooping. Suddenly, the light bulb shattered, and he snapped upright.
Doc took Tracy through several martial arts exercises. They talked as they sparred. “What’s this stuff got to do with my dreams anyway?” Tracy asked. “I told you,” Doc replied, “It helps concentration. Concentration helps meditation. And meditation helps you—” “Get in and out of my dreams,” Tracy stated. “Not only your dreams. I told you that with the right discipline, you could move in and out of anyone’s dream. But that’s a little advanced for you right now.” Just then, Doc felt a small dream disturbance and was shakened from his concentration. Tracy noticed something was wrong. “Doc, you okay?” “Yes…I…let’s pick this up later.”
John looked up at the light bulb. It was intact. Then he let out a disturbed giggle. The giggle quickly turned into sobbing as he dragged his hands across his face and slumped down.
That night, John was lying in his bed in the boys’ wing of the shelter. He was singing to himself, trying to stay awake. A thermos of coffee sat by his bed. There were boys sleeping in beds all around him. “Four thousand, five hundred and sixty seven bottles of beer on the wall,” he sang, “four thousand, five hundred and sixty seven bottles of beer. If one of those bottles should happen to fall…” Some of the boys stirred in their beds. “I’m gonna break a bottle over your head if you don’t shut up!” an angry boy said. The other boys echoed their approval. John stopped his singing and stared at the ceiling. Soon his eyes began fluttering. He couldn’t hold on any longer.
Meanwhile, Maggie was studying John’s file in her office. She pulled out the yellowed newspaper clipping from the Springwood Gazette dated September 7, 1967. Then her eyes widened. The headline read: KRUEGER WOMAN STILL MISSING. There was a grainy picture of a tough but attractive woman beneath the headline. A water tower loomed in the background. It looked just like the water tower from her dream. Maggie rubbed her eyes and yawned as she read the article. But soon her eyes grew heavy, and she could not resist the urge to sleep. Maggie was swept into her recurring dream. The water tower stood gleaming in the bright sunshine as the little girl played tag in the backyard with the two adults. Suddenly, the woman left the backyard and entered the house, making her way down the basement stairs. It was the same woman from the newspaper clipping.
John was still lying in his bed when a drop of water hit his nose. He opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling. But it wasn’t the same. The pipes and plaster were gone, replaced by the ceiling of an old house. A wet stain spread across the ceiling. Something on the second floor was leaking. John bolted up and saw a little girl standing next to his bed. They were in the living room of the Elm Street house. “I told you he’d make you help him,” the little girl said. “Help?” John said frantically. “Help who? Tell me!” “I won’t tell…” She walked off. John got up and followed the girl as she walked up the stairs. He continued to follow her once they reached the second floor. He neared the end of the hallway where a large window looked out onto the city streets. John turned a corner before the window and entered a room. It was a brightly lit padded cell. The little girl was gone. But there was a shaking figure in a straight-jacket hunched in the corner. Tufts of hair stuck out at all angles. John approached the figure. Suddenly, the figure whipped around. It was another figure of John. “Free me, you idiot!” the figure shouted. “I’m your memory!” John screamed and ran toward the door, barreling into a guard from the shelter. The guard crashed through a window and fell. Realizing he had awakened, John rushed to the window and looked down. The guard was lying on the ground, glaring back at John. “You jerk,” the guard said.
The next day, Maggie spoke with John in a security room that eerily echoed the padded cell from John’s dream. “You can’t blame yourself,” Maggie said. “And no one was hurt.” “Not this time,” John said. “I told you this would start happening .” “What were you dreaming about?” “A room…like this one. A house…a little girl. There was something about the town from my article. I remember a water tower.” Maggie was visibly shakened. “The article, do you remember where you got it?” “No…it was about some woman named Krueger.” Maggie nodded “Loretta Krueger. She disappeared in 1967.” “It said they never found her,” John stated. “What about the little girl? What’d she look like?” John thought for a moment. “Dark hair…” “With red ribbons?” Maggie finished. John’s eyes brightened. “How did you know that?” Maggie didn’t answer. She got up and walked down the hall to Doc’s office, then began telling him what she learned from John. Doc looked anxious. “I don’t like it. There’s some crazy connection between your dreams and his—and his dreams mean bad news. I know it sounds nuts, but I can feel it.” “Can’t anyone talk about anything but dreams around here?” Maggie said in frustration. “It’s all Freudian nonsense!” “You don’t believe that! You think if you take care of that kid’s puzzle, you’ll be taking care of your own.” “I don’t have a puzzle,” Maggie said. “Yes, you do. And even though you think you know everything, you may not be ready for what this boy’s going to show you.”
Later that day, Maggie and John headed down the hallway. John looked nervous. “I didn’t say I wanted to go there.” “Look,” Maggie replied, “I’ve dealt with amnesiacs before. Taking you to the town from the article may trigger something simple in your memory. Some spark to help you remember.” “I don’t need a spark to help me remember it’s a bad place. You want a spark? You go. I’ll stay here, spark-less but happy.” “I’ll be right there with you,” Maggie said reassuringly. “You’re dreaming it too, aren’t you? That’s why you want to go.” “We’re not going for me.” Maggie and John climbed into the shelter’s van and sped away. Soon they were traveling down an empty highway. John stared out the passenger window, his eyes becoming heavy.
Finally, Maggie steered onto an off-ramp and exited the highway. Maggie turned the van onto a rural road and drove past Springwood’s town sign. As John’s head leaned against the glass of the window, the van struck a bump, jolting him. John rubbed his head. “I told you not to let me fall asleep.” John looked out the windshield. Then his eyes widened in terror. The little girl from his nightmare was standing in the middle of the road. “Go back!” she shouted. John screamed as he lunged for the wheel. “John, stop it!” Maggie cried. “Wake up, John! Wake up!” John woke to find himself struggling with Maggie for control of the wheel. He let go, but the van spun out of control. As it spun, Spencer, Carlos and Tracy tumbled out of the back and rolled to the front. Maggie noticed them as the van screeched to a halt. Then she turned and glared. “Funny meeting you here,” Spencer said with a sheepish grin. Tracy smacked Spencer on the back of the head. “Great plan.” “It almost worked,” Spencer insisted. Maggie straightened the van on the road and continued driving toward Springwood. “This was a dumb stunt. Believe it or not, there are people who care about all of you back home. Are you listening?” “Don’t scream at me!” Tracy said angrily. “It’s your driving that almost killed us!” Before the argument could continue, John noticed Carlos dozing in the back seat. He started shaking him. “Hey, no sleeping! Get up!” Tracy batted his hand away. “Lay off!”
Maggie brought the van to a stop on the edge of a pathetic town fair in Springwood. There were a few dozen booths and attractions—but no kids. Springwood was trying to appear normal. Everyone stepped out of the van. “Okay,” Maggie said, “first you’re going to find a phone and call Kelly. Tell him you’re all right. Then I’m going to trust you to get in that van and go back to the shelter. Can I do that, or do I have to call the police?” “How will you get back?” Spencer said. “Have Kelly send a car,” Maggie replied. Spencer, Carlos and Tracy trudged off to find a telephone. Then Maggie stared at John who seemed preoccupied. “No kids,” he said softly. “What?” Maggie said. “A town fair…and there’s no kids.” Maggie looked around in astonishment. Some of the adults on the surrounding grounds were staring back at John. They looked afraid. Some of them quickly looked away and rushed off. “They’re afraid of me,” John said.