CHAPTER 26- LIGHTS OUT
“What the hell?” Gwen mumbled, staggering to sit up on the dark, cold pavement.
Dusting off her arms and legs, Gwen removed the tiny pieces of shattered glass from her sweatshirt and pants— “Westin White” they jokingly used to call their attire— and stood up on her feet.
As she looked down, she spotted the double-yellow lines in the middle of the road and immediately knew she was no longer confined within the walls of the hospital, nor was she trapped inside Freddy’s maze of hell inside his boiler room. Instead, she seemed to be in town somewhere, with no idea why.
Taking in her environment, she breathed in the sweet November air through her nostrils, the cold chill behind it symbolizing winter’s approach. Intrigued, she started to follow the path to see where it would lead her. Feeling a shiver down her spine, Gwen moved along more briskly, stepping carefully left-right, left-right in between the two yellow lines as an eerie shade settled in around her courtesy of the large elm trees encasing the entire street.
Gwen really didn’t think anything was out of place as she reached the end of the boulevard. Aside from the fact that most of the houses along the street were entirely dark, things felt normal. That is, until she reached the intersection and saw the green and white street sign there to greet her: ELM ST.
Just seeing that name gave her the heebie-jeebies. Lexi had told her all about Fred Krueger and what he had done on Elm Street, so she continued on her way, not wanting to be there any longer than she absolutely had to be. Turning the corner onto an adjacent street, Gwen finally spotted one building with the lights on and made a bee-line for it.
Approaching the tall, stone staircase, she felt instant relief when she read the sign etched across the doorway in stone:
SPRINGWOOD POLICE DEPARTMENT.
Yes! she thought happily in her head. Finally, someone who can do something about that son of a bitch Krueger. Suddenly excited, Gwen sprinted up the stairs toward the front door, trying to picture just what the officers would do to him--
But the door was locked.
How can this be locked? It’s the damned police station! Aren’t police stations always open? A slight panic then set in as Gwen yanked hard at the door, trying any possible way to get inside.
It was then that she heard a familiar ear-splitting, mind-numbing scrawl that instantly scared the shit out of her.
Where was that coming from? she thought, trying to pinpoint its source. After hearing it again, Gwen made her way back down the tall flight of stairs and toward the side of the building, where a window along the base of the building caught her attention. It was in there, she knew it was. Which also meant that HE was in there somewhere too.
Pushing aside a few shrubs, Gwen knelt down by the barred-up window and looked inside to surprisingly see a prison cell. And what stunned her even more was who was locked up inside it.
Sleeping like a baby on the small cot inside the small twenty-by-twenty cube of a cell, completely oblivious to the outside world. However, if he was asleep, that also meant he was completely oblivious to who was about to enter the cell. As Gwen looked back toward the main entrance leading from upstairs, she caught sight of a floppy brown fedora, then a pair of evil red and yellow eyes, then the red-and-green sweater.
To her horror, Freddy walked right into the prison and seemingly right through the bars into Calvin’s cell, all while the former orderly of Westin Hills lay motionless sawing logs on his bed.
“Calvin! Wake up!” Gwen yelled, breaking her silence and pounding on the window. “Come on, Cal, you gotta get up!”
Hearing her, Freddy looked up at her and smiled devilishly. The evil dream stalker could almost sense her despair as he leaned over Calvin and tugged on his bed sheet, twirling the edge of it around in his hand while he pointed at Gwen and laughed.
“For God’s sake Calvin, WAKE UP!” she shouted at the top of her lungs, but it was no use. Calvin wasn’t moving.
However, before she could say anymore, Freddy was gone just like that, disappearing into thin air right before her eyes.
Standing in the doorway of D-wing, the Man in Black could not believe it. There were two rows of gurneys spread out across each side of the room, lined up to the left and right with a narrow walkway between them. And smeared down that walkway was a long streaking trail of blood which ran the whole way to the back of the room.
Eyeing the room carefully, the Man noticed there wasn’t an empty gurney to be found. Each patient, dressed in a uniform white hospital gown with blue diamonds scrawled all over it, was hooked up to a ventilator with round white gauze taped over each of their eye sockets. Stretched out horizontally across their respective gurneys, all of them were completely motionless, making it look more like a morgue than a hospital wing.
Stepping up to the first pair of patients, the Man grabbed a clipboard along the wall and carefully read over the treatment. According to the sheet, which was originally administered by a Dr. Campbell then seconded by Dr. Graham, this patient was given too much hypnocil and as a result, lied in a coma. The hypnocil, the Man recalled from his earlier research, was used for the suppression of dreams. However, according to the doctor’s notes, it was never approved by the FDA because it was a highly volatile drug. Too much of it could render a patient unresponsive and in an altered state, which was clearly the case here and probably all the other ones, too.
As he went on down the line, every clipboard and chart basically said the same thing—patient unresponsive, overdose of hypnocil. And at the bottom of every chart were the signatures of Dr. Campbell and Dr. Graham. Sidestepping the trail of blood, he set the chart down and continued right down the middle of the row, unaware of just how weird things were about to get. As he approached the far end of the room, he saw four gurneys covered by blood-stained sheets, each with name tags attached to them:
CUEVAS. MCCANN. RICHARDS. MURPHY.
Well, that explains the trail of blood, he thought, lifting each sheet and glancing at the bodies. After only a few seconds, he could clearly see that there was no life left in them at all. Making his way to the very last body, the nametag sent a shiver down his spine. Murphy. No, it couldn’t be. Not the strongest one of the bunch. There’s no way she was gone too. If that was the case, he’d have no chance in hell of getting to Freddy. Lifting the sheet, he was stunned. It wasn’t Lexi at all. It was someone else. Someone much older. In fact, it was a middle-aged woman that the Man in Black couldn’t quite place. Searching through his memory banks, he recalled someone being hysterical not long before Lexi was originally taken to Westin Hills. Out of her mind, he remembered the woman yelling,“NO! She can’t be dead! Not her, too!” before being tossed into the back of a police car and escorted from the scene.
The figurative light bulb blaring in his mind, it was then he realized that this woman was Sandra Murphy, Lexi’s mother, who was “killed in a car accident”. At least that’s what the newspaper said. And Dr. Graham Which clearly meant that the doc and his cronies were up to something here. But what? What else were they hiding?
On that thought, some motion caught his attention out of the corner of his eye. Coming from the back of the room, he immediately glanced in that direction, where two more gurnies sat apart from the rest. They were just like all the others, except they were both still twitching. He immediately recognized the first as Lexi Murphy, and opposite her, there was a tall black man, clearly labeled “Alexander”. But why? Everyone else in this room was overdosed with hypnocil, which meant they were trying to suppress, or rather eliminate, their dreams. What made those two any different? Unless…they somehow ran out of hypnocil and had to substitute some other drug to keep them quiet. Some less potent drug that had a fraction of the affects of hypnocil. Then it dawned on him. Everyone in the room must have encountered Freddy Krueger at some point in their life, and when they brought it up, Dr. Graham immediately brought them here to silence them--
But by the time he put all the pieces together, there was a loud thud and the Man in Black felt an intense pain in the back of his head. Turning around, he spotted the two orderlies standing behind him with nightsticks, each with a vengeful grin on his face. As he collapsed to his knees and everything got blurry, the last thing he thought about was Lexi, the only one left whom he still believed had any chance in hell of surviving Freddy. If only I could get to her somehow--
Then his lights dimmed as he smacked the ground hard and lost consciousness, his attackers standing tall over him, proud of their accomplishment.
Proceed To Chapter 27
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