Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare — Adaptation Excerpts
Adapted by Bob Italia
Transcribed by Rob Nimmo
John managed to make his way into the city. He wandered through a poor section feeling out of place, not used to the sights and sounds of an urban environment. It scared him. Besides, he had not slept in three days. He stopped to pop a few caffeine pills as two police officers watched him. “Hey,” the first officer said to his partner, “you ever seen this junkie before?” The officer shook her head. “He’s new.” “Beautiful,” the first officer said. “Another afternoon shot doing juvie paperwork.” “Forget that,” the second officer said. “Let’s scoop him up and drop him off at the shelter. Let the bleeding hearts do the typing.”
Maggie entered the youth shelter, which was nothing more than a rundown elementary school. The shelter’s security guards stood at the entrance. It was filled with workmen trying to fix various leaks and cracks. Scaffolding was everywhere. Maggie sidestepped the clutter and approached her office. There, fifteen-year-old Spencer and his well-dressed father were engaged in a serious conversation. “Spencer,” his dad said, “I want to make sure you understand our situation. In one week you walk out of here and I expect to see some changes in your behavior when you come home.” Spencer ignored his father as he played his pocket video game. “I know you’re hearing me,” his father said. “I put you in here because you left me no choice. Next time, I’ll leave you here and walk away.” “Thanks for the visit, dad,” Spencer said, keeping his eyes on the game. His father threw his hands into the air and headed for the entrance. Passing Maggie along the way, he threw her a cold stare. “Nice job on my kid,” he said sarcastically. “I expect to see some improvement.” “He isn’t a Toyota,” Maggie said with disdain, “and this isn’t a body shop.” She approached Spencer. “You okay?” Spencer looked up. “Oh yeah. Dad just came by to lay out some ground rules. No more running away, no more setting his cars on fire…” “There are other ways to get his attention.” Spencer shrugged. “He barely blinked when I blew up the garage. All he wants is for me to grow up like him, an exact copy. And frankly, I don’t feel like playing football and dating cheerleaders.” “Someday you’ll have to face your father,” Maggie said. Kelly approached, wielding a homemade pipe bomb. Kelly was a pudgy, middle-aged counselor at the shelter. “Look what I found in Spencer’s room!” “Oh, that,” Spencer said. “I was teaching some of the kids survival techniques.” He walked away. “I’ve been confiscating stuff like this all week,” Kelly said. “Where do they get it?” “They buy it or make it,” Maggie said. “Spencer’s a do-it-yourself kind of guy. I think he wants to be caught and kept here.” “Well, we’re overcrowded as it is,” Kelly said. “And the city’s cutting our budget again. I’ll put this downstairs with the rest of the arsenal.” “I thought the cops were supposed to dispose of this stuff,” Maggie stated. “Cops are supposed to do a lot of things,” Kelly replied. Maggie headed for the admitting area. She could hear someone shouting. “Take your hands off me!” Tracy shouted. Maggie moved toward the security guards struggling with the seventeen-year-old girl. Tracy was tall and powerful, a real survivor. She had already given a guard a bloody nose. “What’s the problem?” Maggie shouted. “She was beating on one of the kids,” said the guard with the bloody nose. “He kept trying to hit on me!” Tracy said fiercely. “She doesn’t like to be touched,” Maggie said to the guard. “Neither do I,” the guard replied. The guards released Tracy and walked away. Maggie stared at Tracy. “We have a session today, yes?” “I have Doc today,” Tracy said, storming away. “Work around him.”
Maggie made her way to Doc’s small office. It was heavily ladened with dream totems from various cultures, mostly eastern. 3-D, X-Ray, and Pop-Out glasses also littered the room. Doc, forty-eight years old, sat at his desk in the center of the room, his head buried in a stack of files. “They caught your star pupil beating up one of the kids again,” Maggie said. “I thought you were making some progress with Tracy?” Doc stared at her. “I get twenty-three minutes a week with these kids. With that kind of attention, be grateful she didn’t kill him!” Maggie grinned. “Nice attitude for a therapist.” “You know it’s the truth. Tracy’s buried some deep trauma inside her head. Something to do with her father. Conventional therapy’s not gonna help.” “But your dream therapy will?” “I can teach these kids through their dreams,” Doc insisted. “It’s where they hide all the bad stuff, including their worst fears. You give me half a chance, I might even help you with your little problem.” “I don’t have a problem,” Maggie stated. “I have a recurring dream. And I’m handling it, thank you. Besides, we don’t get paid to be dream doctors.” “We barely get paid, period,” Doc said. “So I might as well do what I think is right.” Maggie picked up the 3-D glasses. “With these? What are these for? Double-bill at the drive-in?” “They’re just a different way to look at stuff,” Doc said. “The kids have to see their problems before they can face them.” Maggie held up the glasses and stared at a peculiar painting on the wall. It was a rendering of several demons writhing up from someone’s head. “This looks worse in 3-D. What is it?” “Like it? It’s new. These ugly little guys are ancient dream demons. They wipe out the line between dreams and reality, turning the real world into one big nightmare.” “They’re doing a pretty good job so far,” Maggie said. “They have some help. Supposedly, they roam the dreams of the living until they find the most twisted, evil human imaginable. Then they give him the power to cross the line, to turn our nightmares into reality.” “Think they’ve found anybody yet?” Maggie asked. “God knows they’re enough candidates.” Suddenly, Kelly entered the office. “Mags, I need you right now. The cops dropped off a John Doe this morning. He’s just come through orientation. They need your report ASAP.” Maggie sighed and left the office.
Tracy pummeled a punching bag in the recreation room while Carlos, a 16-year-old deaf boy, narrated the action like a sports commentator. “This girl is bad,” he said, “but the fans love her. This underdog from the streets is preparing to duke it out with the heavyweight champion of the world…” Tracy reeled around and threw a cutting jab at Carlos. He leaned back and whistled, fingering his hearing aid. “You wouldn’t hit a guy with a handicap, wouldja?” he said. “You call it a handicap?” Tracy said. “I call it a yellow way out. C’mon, chicken, spar with me.” She jabbed at him as he backed away. “No thank you, ma’am.” “C’mon you yellow-bellied, lily-livered wuss…” Carlos removed his hearing aid. The sounds of the shelter and Tracy vanished. Spencer appeared behind Carlos and placed the hearing aid back in Carlos’ ear. “Don’t tune out,” Spencer said. “Talk back to her.” Carlos shrugged. “Yeah, like you talk back to your dad? I stopped talking back when it became hazardous to my health.” Tracy walked up to Spencer. “So, are we set?” “No problem,” Spencer replied. “I gave the guy our cash. As long as we do it before dawn, we’re set.” “All right,” Carlos said with joy, “we’ll be living large in Cali by next week.” Tracy glared at Spencer. “You better be sure.” “Trust me,” Spencer said. “I’ve got all the bases covered. I need to get out of here even more than you do.” “You don’t know anything about needing to get out,” Tracy stated. “Your family’s a picnic, rich boy.” “Yeah, well that’s what you think. You think I’d choose to be here with you morons? My dad’s a one man stud show.” “Look,” Tracy said, “don’t talk to me about fathers.” “Yours come to visit, too?” Spencer asked. “Yeah,” Tracy replied, “everytime I close my eyes.” Just then, Doc entered the room. “Get lost,” he said to Spencer and Carlos. “Tracy and I have work to do.” Carlos and Spencer departed.