The next day, the Springwood cemetery was a maze of activity, as ten funeral processions were held in what seemed to be all-too-ritualistic fashion.

Small crowds almost entirely dressed in black had formed around each grave as friends and family left flowers and paid their last respects to the latest round of Springwood teenagers taken well before their prime.

The dull, gloomy setting was perfect to describe the feelings of the entire town. A small gray haze had enveloped the whole cemetery and managed to conjure up images of the town’s horrid past to many residents. Chief Wilkinson assured them the situation was well in hand, but they knew better. They knew who was really responsible.

Just outside the groups of mourners, the man in black walked slowly around, taking in the scene as a slow, steady rain trickled down his trench coat. Blending in with the mourners, he recognized some of the parents from the stadium, including Sandra Murphy and Mr. and Mrs. Williams. Coach Reynolds and the rest of the football team were also on hand for their last huddle together near the graves of Mike and Quinton.

“Let us recall scripture saying that he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword,” the priest said, concluding as he stood in between Mike and Quinton’s graves. “And that judge not lest we be judged ourselves and may Mike Clark and Quinton Williams rest in peace.”

Soon after, the crowds dispersed, saying their final goodbyes and processing out in a formal manner. The man in black lagged behind, but also left, making his way back out toward the road. Just then, as he turned toward Elm Street, a copy of the Springwood Gazette blowing around in the street wrapped around his leg. Drenched in a puddle, it stuck to his ankle long enough for him to pick it up and read the headline:

Chief Denies Allegations of The Springwood Slasher

Now, the man in black was no dummy, but he was at the stadium when Mike Clark and Quinton Williams were injured. And he certainly knew that they, along with all the others, died when they fell asleep or were knocked unconscious. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. Or the fact that there were 9 deaths, not 10.

Intrigued, he continued to read the story, written by the Gazette’s main editor Paul Krantz:

Police Chief Ben Wilkinson denied allegations that the murders were perpetrated by the Springwood Slasher, Fred Krueger, and said that all the deaths are all directly related to the varsity football game played Friday night in Springwood and should be treated as merely coincidental.

When asked specifically about Krueger, Chief Wilkinson had no comment.

After reading that passage, the man in black was drawn to a file photo used directly below the story. Dated September 1970, he immediately recognized that evil, sadistic smile. There, grinning back at him off of the page, was Fred Krueger, the man, long before he became a monster.

A moment later, a familiar white van sped by, causing the man in black to drop the newspaper and get splashed by a puddle in the process. He recognized the black-lettered stencils on the side and back, and knew right away it was going to Westin Hills. However, the man in black was so shocked at what he saw in the back windows that he didn’t notice the photo of Krueger rolling his eyes at him as the paper withered to the ground like a feather.

There pounding on the window was Alexis Murphy, pleading for help. The man in black saw her and was just about to take off after the van, when from behind her, Freddy Krueger emerged, his steel claws blazing in the background.

Laughing hysterically, Krueger grabbed her from behind, and the two disappeared back into the darkness of the van.


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