A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master — Adaptation Excerpts

Posted on: September/1/1992 12:01 AM

Adapted by Bob Italia
Transcribed by Rob Nimmo


A few days later, Rick sat on a bench at school wearing dark sunglasses. Alice, Debbie and Dan were seated around him. Everyone was silent, respecting Rick’s somber mood. “Hey, man,” Dan finally said, “we’re all sorry.” “She knew she was gonna die,” Rick said. “You mean it was like, suicide?” Debbie asked. “I thought it was an accident,” Dan said. “Smoking in bed.” “It was no suicide,” Alice stated. “It was not an accident. It was Freddy, and he’s coming back for seconds, and thirds, and fourths.” “Come on,” Debbie said, “Freddy’s not real. She couldn’t have been serious.” “I was there, in the dream. He took her. It was awful.” “In her dream?” Dan said. Alice got up and walked away from the bench. Rick removed his glasses and watched her. “Something’s very wrong here.” “What?” Debbie said. “For a minute, she… well, reminded me of Kristen,” Rick stated. “Weren’t they close?” Dan asked. “Not that close,” Rick said. Alice entered the restroom and stared at her reflection in the mirror. She took out a cigarette, popped it in her mouth, and lit it. Then she coughed violently. “I don’t smoke. Kristen, what did you do to me?”

Sheila, one of Debbie’s friends, entered the restroom and stood at the faucet next to Alice. She splashed her face with cold water. “Ooohh, baby, I am dead on my feet.” “We have matching luggage,” Alice said, quoting Kristen. “What?” Alice pointed to the bags under Sheila’s eyes. “You’ve been up all night?” “That obvious, huh?” “Then you saw him, too?” “Saw who?” Sheila said. “I was up all night cramming for this physics test, and I was putting this little baby together… look!” Sheila reached into her purse and withdrew a small gadget that looked like a joy buzzer. She squeezed it. It emitted a high-pitched whine. “You know how Debbie’s afraid of bugs?” Sheila said, wheezing slightly. “I made this for her. Ultra high sound waves. Make ‘em run screaming their antenna off.” Sheila stuffed the gadget back into her purse. Then she held an inhaler to her mouth and breathed deeply. “See ya in class.” When Sheila was gone, Alice stared at the mirror, wondering about the cigarette.

Alice sat next to Sheila in physics class waiting for the dreaded exam. Sheila started to wheeze again, but took another deep breath from her inhaler and settled down. While the teacher placed the test papers face down in front of each student, Sheila looked around and spotted Rick and Dan. She smiled. “All right,” the teacher said. “You have forty minutes. Good luck and go for it.” Sheila stared at her paper. She held her eyes open wide, but then they shut momentarily. She was tired and wondered how she would get through the exam. Sheila snapped her eyes open and shook her head. Then she returned her gaze to the paper. She glanced around. All the other students were working, except Alice. Alice’s pencil was poised over her paper. Her eyes got heavy and her head drooped forward. But then she snapped to attention. Sheila put her pencil to the paper. She tried to fill in an answer, but no writing appeared on the paper. The equations started to dance about on the paper like acrobats. Sheila blinked in confusion, yet the equations still moved. Blinking again, the equations continued to dance. Slowly the letters rearranged themselves into other words:

Learning is fun with Freddy!

Sheila shook her head and looked around. Suddenly a mechanical claw reached up from the desk and grabbed her arm. Sheila screamed. Alice turned and saw Sheila struggling. She was about to rise when a bar shot across her lap and restrained her. Alice struggled to help Sheila. All the other students were calmly involved in the test. Sheila looked to the teacher’s desk. Freddy sat in the chair, peeling an apple with his knives. “School’s out,” he said. Then he headed down the aisle. Sheila’s breathing became ragged. She tried to scream, but could only choke and wheeze. “Save your breath,” Freddy said. Alice saw Sheila lying across her desk, choking for air. The teacher and students saw her, too, and gathered around. Alice reached for Sheila’s purse and withdrew the inhaler, forcing it into Sheila’s mouth. But Sheila’s head just drooped to one side and she stopped breathing. Everyone was in shock. “I’ll get the nurse,” the teacher said, rushing from the room. Sheila’s home-made zapper fell out of her purse. Alice quickly scooped it up. Then she became hysterical. “Didn’t you see it? He was here! It’s too late for help. He killed her!” Everyone stared at her strangely. As Alice wept, Rick led her carefully from the classroom. The other students stood around Sheila, wondering what they could do.

Alice stood emotionless in the parking lot with her friends as she watched the paramedics lift Sheila’s covered body into a waiting ambulance. As the vehicle pulled away, it sounded its siren to part the crowd of teenagers. “Asthma attack,” Debbie said tearfully. “What 17-year old has a fatal asthma attack? She was gonna be a doctor.” “It was Freddy,” Alice said glumly. “Enough of that,” Debbie snapped. “I saw it,” Alice said. “It was my dream. I brought Sheila in. I brought her in just like Kristen did with me.” Rick touched Alice on the shoulder. “C’mon..” Alice turned away. “No, don’t! I gave Sheila to him and now she’s dead!” “Kristen’s story really got to her,” Dan said to Rick. “I’m not so sure it is a story,” Rick replied. “I mean, look around. We’re dropping off like flies here.” Alice walked away. No one said a word.

That night, Alice bolted awake in bed, sweaty and short of breath from a nightmare she had about her father. Rick burst in and hit the lights. “I heard you screaming,” he said. “Was it a bad one?” “It was bad,” Alice said. “Doesn’t the dream master work for you anymore?” “I can’t find him.” Rick noticed Sheila’s gadget on the vanity and picked it up. “Hey, since when do you play Thomas Edison? This looks like Sheila’s.” “It is… was. It’s a zapper. It might help me stay awake.” “Yeah, or turn you into toast.” Alice snatched it from him and hung it by its wires on the mirror frame. “I can’t go to sleep again.” “I haven’t slept much, either,” Rick said, “since Kristen…” Alice looked sympathetically at her brother. “I miss her, too. She gave me her ability, but I don’t know how to use it. I can bring people into my dreams, but I can’t protect them. Freddy lives in my dreams, Rick—like he did with Kristen. My dreams—the one thing I had to myself!” “We’ll figure it out,” Rick said. “Figure it out? I’ll be insane before I figure it out. The only thing I’m sure of is that I can’t go to sleep. Not while he’s using me.” “Then we’ll stay up together.”

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