PROLOGUE- THE DEPTHS OF DENIAL
Denial (noun)- A refusal to admit the truth or reality. A psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying its mere existence. For the people of Springwood, Ohio, in particular the residents of Elm Street, denial had become a way of life, the very vein of their existence.
Many years ago, Elm Street’s own Fred Krueger was shockingly arrested and charged with various counts of murder in the disappearances of over twenty of the Elm Street children. The town, in denial about the whole thing, was in utter chaos. How could one of their own commit these hellacious acts of torture against their children? Whispers were heard all throughout the town as Krueger’s trial dragged on for weeks and weeks. They didn’t agree on a lot, but they did on one important thing—Freddy had to pay, at all costs. No jail sentence would be good enough to satisfy their unquenchable thirst for revenge. Only the death penalty would do. A long, gruesome death, just like he gave each one of their children.
Krueger was put through the ringer by the judge, who used every opportunity to berate and chastise him, much to the delight of the crowd in attendance. Freddy was caught red-handed, the judge told him, and there was no way he could escape the law. However, the judge was wrong, because just as the case was about to wrap, Krueger’s lawyer found one final technicality. The search warrant issued during Krueger’s arrest was not signed properly by the judge, and therefore, illegal. Which made his arrest illegal. And just like that, Krueger was a free man.
The parents of Elm Street were outraged at the judge’s incompetence, so they banded together, eager to carry out their brand of justice one way or the other. Led by police lieutenant Donald Thompson, they tracked Freddy to an old abandoned factory where he used to work and trapped him inside, torching the place in a towering inferno of hate.
But what they didn’t know was that before he burned to death, Krueger made a deal with the devil. In exchange for his tormented soul, Krueger would be free to cheat death and roam eternally in the realm of dreams, a world he could control not only for himself, but for anyone else as well.
Known by his signature red-and-green striped sweater, brown fedora, and steel claws, Fred Krueger found his way back to Elm Street, this time haunting the dreams of its children, punishing the parents for their ambush at the factory. Claiming hundreds of lives and ruining thousands, Krueger would have his revenge, all while the town denied his mere existence. There was no way anyone could come back from the dead, they were certain. No way he could get their children. Not anymore. They took care of that.
Hoping to end the myth of Fred Krueger once and for all, the town of Springwood came up with a plan. What if Freddy Krueger never existed? What if they could wipe out his entire being? Then there’d be no more hysteria. No more paranoia. No more nightmares. And Springwood could finally get back to being the quiet little town it once was. It seemed like a far-fetched idea, but the town voted overwhelmingly to lay the plan into motion, so in the span of a year, all memoirs of Krueger were wiped out. All official records, newspaper clippings, and evidence of the man once dubbed ‘The Springwood Slasher’ were no more. As an added measure, all of the children were secretly given regular doses of the dream-suppressing drug hypnocil to prevent them from dreaming. So, if by chance, he was invading their dreams somehow, they would be safe. Everyone could finally rest easy.
Over the course of four years, the plan began to work. There was no sign of Freddy, and the town was starting to show signs of life, emerging from its dark, dreary past. Freddy, trapped dormant in the dream world, was enraged. Desperate to get back to Elm Street at all costs, he instilled the help of another killer, the hockey-masked Jason Voorhees, to re-ignite the fire of fear in Springwood. Using Jason as his puppet, Freddy managed to start the killing all over again, forcing the town to re-think its strategy and keep his name fresh in their minds. Despite losing control of the machete-wielding maniac and ultimately, the battle against him, the venture had not been a total failure. He had successfully managed to wipe out the town’s entire supply of hypnocil, which would unlock the door to their dreams and give him free reign over the newest batch of their children.
Finding his way back to 1428 Elm, Freddy terrorized young Alexis Murphy, who had recently moved in with her mother and sister. Using Elm Street’s newest starlet, he terrorized Springwood High School once again, sending shockwaves throughout the town. Carving and cutting his way through its future one-by-one, Krueger not only ruined the biggest football game in the school’s history, he also got people thinking again. Thinking about the terror. Thinking about the horror. Thinking about HIM. And with each new soul collected, Freddy rapidly regained his strength and power, and it soon became only a matter of time before he would have his revenge.
All was going well for him until the feisty, resilient Lexi found Nancy Thompson’s diary and figured out how to stop him. In the end, it all seemed so simple. All she had to do was take back all the energy she gave him. Every ounce of terror, every bit of rage, every tear she shed. Just take it all back, and he would be too weak to operate. Not wasting any time, Lexi did just that, but was shocked when it didn’t work. Freddy seemed to be ready for it, as if he had somehow developed a way around it. The end result was a mass funeral involving ten graves. Ten of Springwood’s brightest, finest young men and women, taken well before their prime.
However, during that entire time, a mysterious man in black shadowed the town’s every move. Every function, every event, every school gathering, he was there, scoping out the scene. He had taken a keen interest in Fred Krueger, and was determined to find out all he could about the burned and scarred madman. Anxious to study him, he grew increasingly frustrated when he couldn’t find anything on the guy. Every archived newspaper report was whited out in the main sections, as well as the obituaries and the sections on microfilm. Even the town hall had no records on him. But the man in black knew better. He knew what was really going on. He just had to be sure.
His only saving grace were recent reports from The Springwood Gazette that Freddy was involved in the ten slayings, a charge quickly refuted by authorities. He met Gazette editor Paul Krantz one time, but strangely, hadn’t seen him around since. That’s odd, the man thought as he carefully left the mass funeral, picking up a copy of the latest newspaper as the wind blew it around his leg. Reading the main story, the man smirked:
“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, the man in the long black trench coat 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. Glaring at the picture, the man in black had to restrain himself from ripping that newspaper into shreds. A moment later, a familiar white van sped by, causing the man to drop the newspaper and get splashed by a puddle in the process. Dripping wet from head to toe, he spun around to curse the driver, but stopped himself when he recognized the letters stenciled in black on the side:
WESTIN HILLS PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL
He was so shocked at what he saw through 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 his 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.
“Ahhh!” Lexi yelled, letting out a blood-curdling scream as she sat up, dazed. “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”
Sweating profusely and red in the face, Lexi shouted her lungs out as a series of horrific images plagued her mind. First, it was the gruesome sight of a handless Luke Swanson wriggling around on the floor like a beheaded snake with a huge gash across his chest, his skull crushed by a barbell. Then, in a flash, Principal Shaye’s mangled head spewed blood in all directions, with Freddy Krueger’s maniacal laughter echoing in the background. After that, the fiery image of Quinton Williams, or what was left of him, melted away in her mind, nearly causing her to puke as she could almost feel the flames tearing at her skin.
Shaking and nearly hyperventilating, Lexi’s eyes began to roll to the back of her head, when she was stricken by another awful vision—the sight of Veronica Mills being clawed to death by a much darker, more sadistic Freddy Krueger, blood flowing out of her like a faucet. And then, as if things couldn’t get any worse, she had to watch as the life was sucked right out of her sister Apryl by what appeared to be a large Freddy-snake. Screaming even louder and more painfully, Lexi truly felt like she was going to die.
Looking around the very pale, very empty room, Lexi soon realized she couldn’t move her arms. Glancing down, she noticed they were tied around her back by a long, white straitjacket with tan straps, and that the entire room around her was padded, including the walls. Wondering what the hell was going on, she made a break for the door and started screaming, “Help me, please! He’s gonna kill me!”
Throwing her shoulder into the door and kicking it repeatedly, Lexi prayed to god that someone answered and got her out of there, otherwise she would be easy prey for that bastard. “Come on, open the door! Let me out of here! Hurry!” Exhausting herself, Lexi fell to the ground, resigned to the fact that no one was coming. With tears streaming down her face, she sulked against the door, almost certain she would meet her demise. So this is how its gonna end, huh?
Just as those thoughts entered her mind, she heard rattling outside the door and could almost hear the latches opening. Stumbling back to her feet, she maneuvered herself near the door and started yelling, “Yes, I’m in here! Let me out! Please! Hurry up, he’s coming!”
No sooner did she say that than the little window at the top of the door slid open, and a ray of bright light entered the otherwise-dark room. Squinting her eyes, Lexi got as close to it as she could, trying to see who was out there. Much to her dismay, there was no one, only an empty hallway. Great, I really am going crazy, Lexi thought, when out of nowhere, a familiar set of red eyes appeared before the window, glaring evilly at her, yelling, “Boo!”
Screaming, Lexi fell backward as Freddy Krueger shook the door off of its hinges, laughing wildly. Unable to use her arms, Lexi rolled her way to the far corner of the room, closing her eyes and trying to keep her distance from him. The door quit shaking a few seconds later, and Lexi opened her eyes. To her surprise, the door was sealed tight and the window was again closed.
What the hell is he doing now? She thought, trying to figure him out. Getting back to her feet, she slowly made her way back toward the door, careful not to fall into any of his traps. When she got to the door, she heard a tearing sound, but couldn’t quite place where it was coming from. It sounded like cloth ripping or a pillow case tearing like when she used to have pillow fights with Tash. As she tried to find its origin, a dark figure began to emerge from the padded floor behind her, echoing that same cloth-ripping sound, along with the resonance of rubber stretching.
Lexi spun around just in time to see those same red eyes staring a hole right through her. “Noooo!” she yelled, but it was too late. Freddy Krueger sliced his way out of the padding, sending feathers flying in all directions as he stalked toward her. Swinging his claws in all directions, Freddy narrowly missed Lexi as she retreated to the far corner of the room, feathers flittering all around her. Each time Freddy got close, she ran again, but that only made the demented slasher laugh even louder.
“Where you gonna go, Lexi?” Krueger quipped. “There’s nowhere to run anymore, bitch. Now, come to daddy!”
“Never!” she screamed, tripping and falling over the longest sleeve of her straitjacket.
“Have a nice trip?” Freddy smirked as he stood over her, claws blazing at his side.
Breathing heavily, Lexi used her legs to push herself away from Freddy, but didn’t get far. He was right above her, towering over her like a giant, ready to strike like a coiled-up cobra. Surprisingly, Lexi didn’t waver one bit. She just stared up at him with a determined look on her face as Krueger was poised to finally end the game between the two.
“Say hello to your sister!” Freddy snarled, swinging his claw down at her.
However, just as he did, she brought her foot up to his groin and sent him reeling backward.
“Is that all you bitches ever do?” Freddy panted angrily, quickly getting back to his feet.
Buying herself some time, Lexi managed to free herself from the straitjacket, nip up, and pull out two knives from her pocket.
“Come on, Krueger!” Lexi demanded, brandishing a knife in each hand. “I’m not afraid of you!”
Smiling at the challenge, Freddy stomped his way right in front of her, then swung his claw at her head. However, the agile Lexi narrowly ducked out of the way and stuck Krueger right in the eyes, perfectly placing one knife in each eye.
“Ahhhhhh! Noooooo!!!!” Krueger yelled, backpedaling away from her as the feathers piled up beneath them like snow in the dead of winter.
Lexi got right back on the attack, nailing Krueger with a barrage of lefts, rights, and kicks, as Freddy frantically tried to remove the knives. Falling backward, the bloodied Krueger disappeared into the mass of feathers below them, vanishing from sight.
“No!!! Where are you, you son of a bitch?!” Lexi yelled, searching through the feathers with both hands. “I’m not done with you!”
Falling to her knees, Lexi angrily flipped feathers to the left and right, but found nothing. Screaming out of frustration, she was just about to get to her feet, when all of a sudden, she was jerked straight down and swallowed up by the feathers, fading into the darkness as Krueger’s deep, bellowing laughter pierced her ears.
Proceed To Chapter 1
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