NIGHTMARE ON ELM ST.
BY JOSH BECKER
"WHAT GOES AROUND…"
Copyright © 1988
1. A forty year old woman, Marion, visits her sixty-five year old father in the hospital. They are both very mean to one another. He's surprised she even came because she's such an uncaring person. She says the best thing that ever happened to her was him having a stroke. For the first time he no longer dominates her life.
2. As Marion leaves the hospital, Freddy Kreuger comes walking up the corridor. He says, "The love between a father and daughter isn't always what it should be. In this case it's downright hatred." Freddy steps into the sleeping old man's room and a cold wind blows through. The old man's sleep becomes restless. "But situations change," states Freddy. "A child is dependent on its parents, then through the course of time it can all reverse. Like right now." Freddy takes one of his bladed fingers and snips one of the old man's I.V. tubes. The old man's eyes snap open. He begins to gasp and grow red. His hand shakily reaches for the nurse buzzer, pushes it, then drops twitching off the edge of the bed.
3. Marion's fifteen year old son, Sonny, walks home from school with his friend, Dwayne. They arrive at Sonny's crummy little house. Sonny asks Dwayne if he wants to come in his house? Dwayne says, "No. Your Mom's too mean." Sonny agrees, but is deeply embarrassed nonetheless.
4. Inside the house Sonny's Mom and Dad are, as usual, arguing. "We can't afford to put him in a nursing home," says Dad. "I won't have him here," states Marion. "He's almost a vegetable and he's your responsibility, what are you going to do with him?" Marion doesn't know.
5. Grandpa does come to stay with them, and he's put in Sonny's room, in Sonny's bed. Sonny now has to sleep on a cot next to the dying old man. It's pretty awful for Sonny. Although Grandpa just lies on his side staring at the electric socket on the wall all the time, he gasps and wheezes and gags throughout the night. Sonny is tortures, but feels bad for his Grandpa. He loves him.
6. Meanwhile his Mom is giving him extreme hell because of his mediocre grades, his bad attitude, his slovenliness, etc. And now Sonny gets no sleep.
7. During the night, Grandpa is actually asleep and quiet enough for Sonny to get some sleep. Grandpa's mouth is open and he's drooling a thick stream of saliva off the edge of the pillow. The drool goes right into the electric socket. An electrical charge goes directly into Grandpa's mouth. He shakes and contorts. His spasming hand reaches out and grabs Sonny's shoulder. Sonny is now charged, too. The two of them vibrate and buzz for a second, then the line of saliva breaks and they both pass out.
8. In the morning Grandpa is dead. Sonny and his Dad are both filled with grief. Marion is happy. "The only favor he ever did for me was dying quickly."
9. Sonny tells Dwayne of his strange dream - "It was the 1950's. I was married and had a child. A little girl. And she kept causing my wife to cry and be unhappy and I kept having to spank her. She would look at me with hatred in her eyes." "That's a weird dream," agrees Dwayne. "I guess everyone's having weird dreams lately."
10. At the funeral, Marion is pissed off about the floral arrangements and is giving everyone hell. Out of nowhere Sonny snaps at her, "Knock it off and shut up!" Everyone, including Sonny, is shocked at this outburst. But everyone is also secretly pleased and relieved because Marion actually does knock it off and shuts up. She looks at Sonny strangely.
11. That night Sonny dreams that it's 1956. He gets out of an old car and walks up to his house. A little girl comes down the steps smiling and says, "Daddy, push me on the swing." "In a minute, Marion." "No, now!" He relents. When he gets inside he finds his wife slumped over in a chair dead, her face blue and contorted. Little Marion looks on. The doctor arrives and says that she chocked to death. Something got into her food. If only someone had gotten to her a little sooner she might have lived. Sonny looks to little Marion in shock. She looks back at him innocently.
12. At breakfast grown Marion begins giving Sonny hell about nothing. He looks at her with venom in his eyes. "Maybe you'd like me to push you on the swing." Marion is so shocked that she drops the pan of eggs. Sonny gets up to go to school. "Be right home after school," she says. Sonny points in her face. "Don't ever get in my way again, young lady, or you're going to be in the worst trouble of your life!" Sonny leaves. Marion is so shocked she can't talk. "What's going on?" wonders Dad. Marion shakes her head. "My worst nightmare has come true."
Copyright © 1988
1. On the school bus Sonny and Dwayne sit next to each other and don't talk. Dwayne stares out the window. Freddy Kreuger is driving the bus. "Everything isn't always what you think it is," says Freddy as he drives right past a group of kids waiting for the bus. As Dwayne stares out the window he sees, in the woods at the edge of town, several beat up cars and pickup trucks parked in a circle. A number of ragged people that look like Gypsies are unloading stuff from the vehicles. Something about this sight disturbs Dwayne. Sonny turns to him. "I guess you never have any trouble with your parents, huh?" Dwayne shakes his head. "My parents don't know me."
2. In Latin class Dwayne is not paying attention so, naturally, the teacher calls on him. "Tell us how to say 'wolf' and its various declensions, Dwayne." Dwayne quickly flips through the glossary of his Latin book. He finds "Wolf - Lupus." Something about this greatly disturbs him. He slams his book shut and leaves the room.
3. Dwayne walks up the hallways of the school with a strange look on his face. A kid comes around the corner, sees Dwayne and says, "That was some fumble you made at the football game." A look of intense fury crosses Dwayne's face and he hauls off and punches the kid in the face. Dwayne kicks open the door to the bathroom and goes in. He looks at himself in the mirror. "What's going on?"
4. When he gets home he finds his Mother and Father both sitting in the livingroom. They look up at him strangely as he enters. "What's wrong?" asks Dwayne. "Nothing," they both say in an unconvincing tone. "How was your day at school?" "Fine," replies Dwayne in an equally unconvincing tone.
5. That night Dwayne sleeps restlessly. He dreams of unconnected images: faces, mumbled strange-sounding names, firelight, something burning his arm. He bolts awake. He looks at his arm and there's an old scar where he just dreamed he was burned. He furrows his brow.
6. Dwayne gets out of bed, gets dressed and sneaks out of the house. He goes to where he saw the Gypsies. He sneaks up on them through the woods. He sees they're having some kind of dance/party/ritual by the light of a big bonfire. Dwayne watches hidden in the brush. Several young girls sit off to the side. A chicken is killed and let run around without its head. It falls at the feet of one pretty young girl. She is brought forward and her arm is burned with a red hot piece of metal. Dwayne's eyes widen at the similarity to his dream. Then everyone grows deathly quiet. They all turn and look right at Dwayne. They beckon him forward. They all chant, "Lupo, Lupo, Lupo…" Dwayne panics and bolts into the woods.
7. He wakes up in the morning. "It was all a dream. A nightmare." As he puts on his shoes he stops, turns them over and dirt and twigs drop out.
8. On the school bus he looks out the window. As they pass the site he sees that they're gone. Not a trace of them left behind.
9. At school the kid he punched and a bunch of his tough friends surround Dwayne. "You didn't have any call to go and punch me. What's your problem, Dwayne?" Suddenly, Dwayne pulls out a rusty old knife with a large blade. "Come on!" he yells. The kids around him all look shocked and quickly leave. Dwayne looks down at the knife in confusion. "Where did I get this?"
10. As he walks home from school he stops at the site of the Gypsy bonfire and looks around. Nothing. Not a trace. "It must have been a dream. All of it."
11. He gets home, opens the door and the Gypsies are all in the house waiting for him, along with his Mom and Dad. They explain that he is really one of them. They let his Mom and Dad raise him. They've been waiting to see if he would grow to become the man they had hoped - and he has. He is their leader. The pretty girl that they burned at the fire is to be his bride. "But why?" he stammers. An old Gypsy man explains that when the apocalypse comes humanity will split into two groups - the good and the evil. They will be the leaders of the evil side.
12. Outside Dwayne gets into the front of the pickup truck with the old man and the pretty girl. "Which way do we go, Lupo?" asks the old man. "How am I supposed to know?" says Dwayne. "You know. Think." Dwayne thinks and it occurs to him. "South." "South it is." The convoy of beat up vehicles pulls out of town heading south.
13. They all pass Freddy Kreuger hitch-hiking on the side of the road. No one picks him up. He shrugs. "I guess I'll just have to stay here," he says and walks back into town.
"ONE IN A THOUSAND"
Copyright © 1988
JIM VAN HORN, a handsome twenty-five year old, is being chased through the woods by something huge, ferocious and unseen. He trips and falls. The ground shakes as whatever is coming for him gets closer. He begins to crawl frantically. He gets to a big open field. There are other people there: a woman with pointy glasses, a man with a long nose, a fat woman with a tall hairdo, a short bald man… They all look at each other blankly. Then weird bug-eyed creatures with yellow skin step out of the woods and approach ominously…
Jim snaps back to reality! He's in his bathroom with shaving cream on his face. His pretty wife steps up behind him. "You'd better hurry or you'll be late." "Are you kidding?" guffaws Jim. "Work doesn't begin until I get there. They'll wait. Now go make breakfast."
Jim gets to Springwood Chemical (Better Chemicals For A Better Tomorrow) where he works. His secretary looks up at him with pointy glasses just like his dream. Jim is shocked. "Why are you wearing those?" "I lost one of my contacts," she says.
Wearing a white laboratory coat, Jim watches as fifty-five gallon drums of X-7 Insecticide are loaded onto a truck by black and Latino laborers. KEN, another scientist wearing a white coat, steps up beside Jim. Jim tells him he had a dream with him in it. They then argue about the X-7 Insecticide. Ken asks, "Why didn't you use S-5 acid instead of the S-10? It's a thousand times less toxic." "It's also five times more expensive," says Jim. "It only affects one out of a thousand people." "But there's a thousand people in this building," says Ken. Jim waves his hand. "Who cares? It isn't even being sold in the U.S., we'll never see them. Besides it's just meaningless workers."
They go to lunch at the Rialto Restaurant. Jim is very snotty to the waiter. Ken asks why? Jim says that there are two kinds of people in life, "Those that command and those that serve. Luckily, I command."
At the staff meeting of Springwood Chemical late that afternoon, Jim realizes that everyone in the room was in his dream. Suddenly the whole room is shaken by an explosion. They run to the window and see fire lighting the sky. An amplified voice tells them two trucks collided on the highway. One of them contained hazardous chemicals. The town must be evacuated to the southwest. "But there's no road going southwest!"
The Springwood Chemical staff hastily makes their way through the woods. Then the woods clear and they're standing in a big open field. Jim looks around in horror. Then bug-eyed creatures with yellow skin surround them - only they are men in mylex suits with goggles and electronic equipment. "The wind changed direction," they say and point at a cloud of smoke billowing through the woods. It engulfs them and all of the yellow men's electronic equipment begins to beep and flash, then the smoke passes. The yellow-suited men begin taking down everyone's names. "You've all been exposed to toxic fumes. The effects may make themselves known in a week, a month, a year, to your unborn children, or possibly never. This chemical only affects one in a thousand people…"
Jim snaps back to reality and he's in his bathroom shaving. He calls for his wife and gets no answer. He puts on his suit and it's frayed and needs mending. The house is dirty and there are dishes in the sink. Jim is bewildered.
Jim goes to work and everyone is very surprised to see him. He finds someone else sitting at his desk. He has no office. He no longer works there. Jim tells Ken of his dream. Ken informs him, "That really happened." "When?" "Why it's about five years ago now." "When did I stop working here?" "About the same time." Jim leaves in total shock. Ken says to himself, "One in a thousand."
Jim goes back to the Rialto and has a cup of coffee. He reaches into his pocket and has no money. "I must've left my money in my other pants," he explains to the cook behind the counter. "That's all right, your pants are in back here." "They are? Why?" The cook tosses him a dirty apron. "Because you're a waiter here. Now get to work."
Copyright © 1988
Jim Van Horn steps into the kitchen of the Rialto Restaurant in a daze with a tray of dirty dishes. He drops them in front of the dishwasher named RAY WORMER. Ray is nineteen, is too tall, has buck teeth and has a mean expression. Ray looks at the restaurant patrons through the little window in front of the sink. "Why are all those pretty girls with such ugly guys?" he asks Jim who just shrugs. "'Cause they have money, that's why!"
Ray leaves the restaurant and walks up the main street of Springwood. From each business he is greeted, "Hi, Ray." He waves back, smiles and keeps walking. A pretty girl steps up to his side. "Ray, why won't you go out with me?" "I've been real busy, but I can go out with you now." She smiles, "Finally…"
…A hand grabs Ray's shoulder. "Huh!" He is standing at the sink with his hands in the soapy water. Jim Van Horn is shaking him. "Get with it, dummy! You're off now."
Ray walks up the street and he has a totally different expression now - pissed off. Nobody greets him from the doorways. A group of ten year old boys go by and chant, "Re-tard, re-tard…" Ray looks even more pissed.
Ray lives in an old trailer home beside the junk yard. Inside it's a rat hole. He opens a closet and reveals a strange religious shrine made of car parts with tons of pictures of girls from magazines! He lights candles, drops to his knees and prays. "Please give me a woman. Please! Please! Everyone else gets one, why not me?"
There is a knock at his door. Ray quickly blows out the candles, shuts the closet and answers the door. A very pretty girl named DEBBI stands there smiling. "Hi, do you work here?" "No, I just live here," says Ray. "But I know everything that's here." Debbi asks if there's a light bracket for a '67 Camaro. "Sure there is. I'll show you." "Great," says Debbi.
When Ray gets outside he sees a '67 Camaro sitting there. A handsome boy of twenty-one named VINNIE gets out of the car. He steps up to Debbi and puts his arm around her. "Do they have it?" "Yeah," says Debbi. Ray's face twists into a horrible knot as he leads them to a '68 Camaro front end that looks the same. Vinnie says he remembers Ray from high school, but they never spoke.
Ray helps Vinnie install the bracket on his car, all the while looking at Debbi who keeps smiling at him. Vinnie thanks Ray for the help, tells him he'll see him sometime and he and Debbi leave. Ray goes back into his trailer and slams the door.
There's a knock at Ray's door that startles him. He is dazed out in front of the TV. It's Vinnie. They go for a walk in the junk yard and into the woods. "Debbi likes you," says Vinnie. "Really?" They reminisce and laugh. Vinnie says, "You always got pushed around. Why didn't you push back?" Ray doesn't know.
They cross a fallen log ten feet over a stream. Ray suddenly gives Vinnie a push. Vinnie loses his balance, looks right into Ray's eyes in complete shock and falls off the log. He lands on his head on the rocks and immediately dies. Ray can't believe what he just did. The stream runs red.
In wide-eyed shock and terror Ray drags Vinnie's body from the water. With his bare hands he digs a grave in the soft mud of the stream bed and buries Vinnie's body. He covers the grave with leaves and sticks. As the sun sets he runs blindly out of the woods.
"Get up, dummy! You're off now." Ray looks up at Jim Van Horn in the kitchen of the restaurant. Ray looks down at his hands and his nails are black with dirt. As he's leaving Jim says, "Better be careful, there's a killer loose in town."
Ray walks up Main Street with a horrified expression. He looks at the newspaper headline, "Vinnie Rogers Missing, Presumed Dead."
Everyone is talking about it. In front of the police station several cops say, "We'll comb the woods with bloodhounds. We'll find the body."
Ray walks quickly out of town, then runs as fast as he can into the woods. He gets to the stream, crosses the fallen log, clears away the leaves and sticks from the gravesite and digs. He digs and digs, but doesn't find the body. He is seriously confused and keeps digging. Nothing. He digs another hole. Still nothing. He begins digging another hole…
The cops come through the woods without dogs calling Ray's name. They find him covered with mud asleep on the stream bed. His hands are raw and bloody. Ray open his eyes and has a totally insane expression. He begins whimpering. The cops look around and see literally a hundred holes dug all over the place.
On the road are several police cars and an ambulance with their flashers going. Paramedics have Ray strapped to a gurney and are rolling him out of the woods.
A '67 Camaro drives up and Vinnie gets out. "What's going on?" he asks an onlooker. "That retard from the junk yard totally lost his mind and dug a hundred holes with his bare hands." Vinnie is amazed. "He helped me find a car part the other day." Vinnie shakes his head, gets into his Camaro and drives away.