THE SPRINGWOOD SLASHER
CHAPTER 6- BACK IN BUSINESS
Out in the hallway, Apryl ran with everything she had, sprinting down the freshly-waxed floor past the few lingering students perched at their lockers. All the while, she was yelling, “He’s got her! I have to help her.” The kids in the hall just mumbled and looked at her like they had no idea what she was talking about. She remembered that Lexi had a class at the other end of the hall, so maybe she would understand and they could help save Veronica. However, just as Apryl reached the end of the hallway and turned the corner, she lost her balance and slid on the slippery floor—crashing right into Principal Shaye, the salt-and-pepper haired patriarch of Springwood High.
“Hey! No running in the hallway!” Principal Shaye scolded as they knocked foreheads.
Shaye tried to catch her and break her fall, but after they collided, Apryl’s head hit the ground with a thud, and Shaye was knocked backward into the wall, his black wire-rimmed glasses crashing to the floor.
Apryl was knocked unconscious, and Principal Shaye fell flat on his back after hitting the wall. Nearby, a couple of teachers heard the commotion and immediately darted out of their classrooms to help.
“Mr. Shaye, are you alright?” one teacher asked. “Call the nurse!”
By then, groups of students had begun to huddle at their doors to see what was going on. Lexi was among them. “Oh my god! Apryl!” she cried, pushing her way through the crowd to get to her sister. By the time she got to her, two other teachers had already taken her away. “She’s unconscious,” one of them said. “We’re taking her down to Nurse Johnson.”
“I’m going with her!” Lexi demanded, not far behind them. “What the hell happened?”
“I don’t know,” the teacher said. “I was coming from the library and heard this loud thud. Then I turned the corner and saw them both lying there.”
Lexi, worried as she tried to bring her sister around, continued asking questions as they disappeared in the service elevator and descended toward the nurse’s station.
“Come on Swanny, five more!” Mike called out, helping his fullback Luke Swanson with his bench press. “Five! Four! Three!...” he yelled out as the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder fought to hoist the barbells back up off of his chest. “Two! And one more!” Breathing heavy, Luke was relieved when Mike finally grabbed the last rack and set it back in place.
“Thanks Clarky,” Luke said, catching his breath and sitting up on the weight bench. “That’s my personal best.”
“Hell yeah,” Mike replied. Luke and Mike had spent their entire gym period working out in the weight room. Being the only two football players in that class, Coach Reynolds made sure that they busted their ass every day no matter what, and neither Luke nor Mike had any say in the matter. It was what all Springwood football players were forced to do.
After spotting Luke, Mike grabbed a jump rope and started his speed training. He started out slow at first, then increased his speed as he continued. Mike was whipping the rope around in the blink of an eyelash and jumping it successfully each time. Since they were the only two in there, they had the radio cranked up loudly to boost their adrenaline rush and increase the intensity of their workout. As Disturbed’s “Awaken” blared over the sound speakers, Luke grabbed the largest weights and starting doing curls while Mike continued jumping rope.
Just then, Coach Reynolds stormed into the weight room and turned off the radio, blowing his whistle right in Mike’s ear. This caused Mike to trip on his jump rope and fall flat on the mat with a thud.
“Yeah, coach?” Mike said, rubbing his ears and stumbling back to his feet as Luke cracked up laughing.
“Your girlfriend’s sister took out the principal,” Coach Reynolds said, trying to dramatize the situation. “They want you at Nurse Johnson’s office.”
“Uh, okay,” Mike answered, confused. “What happened?”
“How do I know?” Coach fired back. “They just need you there right away.”
“Okay,” Mike responded. “Tell them I’ll be right there. Later Swanny.”
“See you at the game,” Luke replied as Mike rushed out the door.
Coach Reynolds turned to head out as well, but then noticed Luke gathering up his equipment.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Coach snarled, intentionally trying to be a jackass. “I saw you laughing at my star quarterback. 10 more reps at each station, maggot. Let’s move, move, move!”
Luke’s jaw dropped as Coach smiled shrewdly. Reynolds got him again, just like he got all other football players who stepped out of line.
“Yes, sir,” Luke vehemently yelled. “I gotta get ready for those Collins faggots!”
“That’s the spirit!” Coach responded, surprised that Luke didn’t complain. “In that case, make it 25!” Reynolds then left the weight room, confident that he had had the last laugh once again.
Yawning, Luke got out his lucky red bandana and tied it tight to his forehead. He would crank out all these reps, then go to study hall and have a nice long nap before the end of the day. Fuck yeah, he thought. That nap sounded great right about now. The workout he had with Clark was grueling, but it would be nothing compared to this, and he knew it.
With his bandana tight on his head, Luke went over and turned the radio back on. It was the afternoon ‘80s flashback, and it was playing Dramarama’s “Anything, Anything”. Normally he would change the station on something old like that, but this had just the right beat to keep up with the tempo of his workout, so he left it alone and started with his push-ups and crunches.
He flew through them, then sprung to his feet and hammered out his 25 jumping jacks, barely breaking a sweat. Luke then ran sideways across the weight room, doing about 25 football-style crossovers. Having completed the cardio, he then hit the weights—and really started to slow down. He was really getting tired as he finished his last set of curls and leg lifts, and began to stumble around the weight room like a wounded duck. Yawning a full open-mouthed yawn, Luke limped his way toward the last station—the bench press, determined to complete it so he could get some rest.
With sweat pouring off of him in rivers, he practiced his breathing a few times and actually managed to catch his breath before doing the first set. He cranked out about five reps, when he noticed someone had come into the room to spot him.
“You back Mikey?” Luke stated, but got no reply as the man above him reached down to secure the bar. However, when the sweat cleared from Luke’s face, he screamed as he could clearly see that it wasn’t Mike above him. Or any other football player for that matter. It was Freddy Krueger.
“Ah hahahahahaha!” Freddy laughed, forcing the bar down onto Luke’s throat with intense strength. Luke fought with everything he had, but he just couldn’t get the weights off of his throat. The bar had him strangled, and he was beginning to turn blue in the face. Freddy didn’t say anything. He just stood over him, keeping the pressure on with an eerie, shrewd smile on his scarred and burnt face.
Then, just when Luke was about to pass out, he gave one last surge of strength—and forced the bar up, hitting Freddy in the nose with it. Freddy staggered backward and the barbell hit the ground with a loud bang.
“You!” Luke yelled, immediately recognizing who he was. “You aren’t gonna get me! They killed you before!”
“But now I’m back again!” Freddy fired back, flicking his claws at him. “Come on, give me your best shot!”
Luke wasted no time charging Freddy, but when he did, Freddy side-stepped him and shoved him hard into the wall with a thud, breaking his nose. Stunned, Luke turned back around—and was met with a gruesome slash of Freddy’s claw right across the chest, spewing blood to the floor.
“Oww fuck!” Luke yelled, wriggling around on the floor like a beheaded snake. In the meantime, Freddy dragged his claw across the wall, emitting a shower of sparks and that awful screeching that could shatter anyone’s eardrums. Luke then picked up a dumbbell and charged at Freddy like he did the first time. And like the first time, Freddy came out on top. Because just as Luke managed to raise the barbell over his head, Freddy cut off both his hands at the wrist, sending Luke crashing to the ground on his back—and the heavy dumbbell crashing down onto his face, crushing his skull.
“Ohhhhhh yeahhhhh, great to be back in business!” Freddy exclaimed as he stood over him and collected his soul, just like all the others he had claimed in his legendary reign of terror. And it would not be the last. Not by a long shot.
Proceed To Chapter 7
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