Lexi jammed the brakes to the floor instantly, but it wasn’t nearly enough, as the Corvette spun sideways and smashed into the tree, denting the entire passenger’s side of the vehicle as it collapsed against the tree’s mammoth trunk. Two long skid marks later, Mike’s prized Corvette looked more like a piece of abstract art than a luxury sports car.

Luckily for Lexi, the damage was all on the passenger’s side, so she managed to escape the crash relatively unscathed, save for a few bumps and bruises and a small gash on the side of her forehead. Smoke began to rise from the mangled mess that was once Mike Clark’s pride and joy, and the smell of burnt rubber polluted the air. Disoriented, Lexi staggered away from the car, stumbling across the street to the sidewalk.

“Tash?” She called out into the night, hoping by some stroke of luck that her best friend was there somewhere. But much to her dismay, there was no sign of her or anyone else. Ordinarily, an accident of that caliber would stir up commotion in a neighborhood, but not in Springwood. Not on Elm Street. Everything was dark and dead silent. The way it had been for many years. Nobody was out on their porches, there were no lights on in any of the houses, and the only noise she heard was the smoldering and sizzling of Mike’s car against the tree. If she didn’t know any better, she could have sworn this was another nightmare. But how? She was still awake. It wasn’t possible. Or was it? Hell, she didn’t know. All she knew was that she better get away from the scene as quickly as possible before someone did show up, or it really might be too late for Tash. If it wasn’t already.

Krueger’s phone call may have been sick and twisted, but it was also meaningful. It got Lexi thinking. My boyfriend? Those two words echoed in her head over and over as she tried to figure out what he meant. And just like that, it hit her like a ton of bricks. Mike. He was next! Krueger had managed to lure her away from the hospital long enough so he could get to Mike, and now, if she didn’t do something, he too would be lost.

Frantic, Lexi turned around and looked back at the Corvette and realized that with no wheels, she was officially screwed. “Great, now what do I do?” She panted, collapsing to her knees on the sidewalk. Tears began to pour down her face again as she let out a loud, painful cry, and then passed out face first into the grass nearby.

Back at the crash site, a tall, dark man stood silent as he watched Lexi crumple to the ground. The familiar man sported a black fedora and long black trench coat fastened all the way up, complete with a big pair of black army-style boots, polished perfectly. His hair was shoulder-length and jet-black, as was the week’s worth of stubble on the sides of his face. The man, whose pale blue eyes were hidden under the wide brim of his hat, had managed to use the cover of darkness to his advantage. He had been virtually incognito for about a week now, ever since the disturbances started again. He even managed to avoid thousands at the stadium even though Tash had spotted him briefly. Stealthiness was his m.o. That’s what four years in military school will do to a man, and as far as he was concerned, nobody did it better.

Quietly, the man slowly walked past the car and up Elm Street, his boots echoing off of the street as he walked heel-to-toe, heel-to-toe. Lexi, motionless on the ground, had no idea he was even there.


Back at Springwood Memorial, Mike Clark rested comfortably in his room following the gamut of tests from the doctors. They found nothing physically wrong with him and concluded that he just needed to rest his aching body. Completely exhausted, Mike knew what was really going on and was doing everything humanly possible to stay awake. He still hadn’t heard word of Quinton’s condition, but feared the worst. The closest he got to an answer was when the nurse just looked at him sullenly and lowered her eyes, then quickly changed the subject and ordered him to take his pills. That was all the answer he needed.

Mike struggled to keep his eyes open as he laid propped up in his bed. He knew damn well what would happen if he fell asleep, and that was something he had to avoid at all costs. There was no way he was going to leave Lexi all alone against that maniac Krueger, or 'the man in the floppy ass brown hat', as Quinton put it.

Yawning, Mike started to wonder what happened to his Sta-Awake pills and just how long the ones he did take would last. It was then he noticed that he no longer sported the Springwood number 7 jersey, but rather, was fitted with a white hospital gown with a design of small blue diamonds all over it. Great, Mike thought. This is the best they can do? This damn thing is two sizes too small, and runs up my crotch like a bitch. He wondered how long it would be before he’d be singing soprano. Oh well. If business was as good as he assumed it was for the hospital, he’d take what he could get.

Now, for the million-dollar question. How the hell am I gonna get out of here and find Lexi? How can I get to her before Freddy does, or before he gets to anyone else? Determined, Mike tried moving in his bed, but as soon as he did, he felt every joint and muscle in his body ignite in pain, forcing him back to his laid up position. Wincing and gritting his teeth, Mike put his head back and retreated, almost in defeat. He closed his eyes for a split-second from the agony, but quickly caught himself and opened them back up as wide as he could. What am I going to do? He thought depressingly.

Mike gazed around the room, racking his brain for a solution. The small hospital room wasn’t much with its plain white walls and small twin-size bed, but it was enough for someone in his condition. After all, hospitals weren’t designed to be luxury apartments. His room had a few amenities, including a window with a view to the right of his bed, and a small bathroom to the left. He also had a couple high-back chairs for visitors circling his bed, and a nightstand complete with issues of Time, TV Guide, and Entertainment Weekly.

Just beyond that, Mike saw something that made him smile. Sitting there next to the magazines was his green and white Springwood football helmet, adorned with the number 7 on the back. A small tear ran down his cheek as he grabbed it and adjusted the off-white chin strap that hung down. Thinking of Lexi, then Quinton, Mike stared into the shiny helmet, expecting to see his reflection like a mirror. However, what he saw frightened him. It was the final play of the game earlier that night, where Mike was jarred by a series of hits while diving for the pylon as the clock hit triple-zero. It was like the instant replay from hell, and it kept repeating itself over and over like an animated gif file on a computer. It was definitely not an image he wanted to remember.

By the tenth time, the image was really starting to get to Mike, who closed his eyes hard to try to forget it. Unfortunately for him, closing his eyes was the wrong thing to do. As soon as he did that, his head bobbed sideways and he fell asleep.

No sooner did he do that, then a long arm appeared from under his bed, complete with familiar red and green stripes and a long, sharp claw. Freddy Krueger wasted no time in attacking Mike, laughing and yelling “Quarterback Sneak!” as he pulled him down into his bed, along with his prized football helmet and whatever else was lying nearby. Mike screamed, but put up little resistance in his weakened state, and, as a result, disappeared deep into the black hole that was his bed.

A moment later, blood shot up violently from the hole like the Niagara Falls of Death. Amid the gushing blood, Krueger’s hysterical laughter could be heard in the distance as he marveled at one of his favorite style of kills. God how he loved killing the boyfriends. It made their little bitches such easy prey.

Blood rapidly spewed around the entire room, turning the once-white room dark red. The TV on the wall shorted out after getting drenched in the blood, and sparks flew around everywhere. The circuits on the wall came next, and then the nurse’s call button on the bed. Blood was dripping everywhere and ran down the walls faster than the rain had hit the windows earlier in the evening.

Just then, the nurse opened the door with Mike’s next round of medications, saying, “Hey, hun, time for your med--” but she didn’t get to finish her statement.

Screaming, she had to force herself to hold down her own puke as she turned away from this grisly sight of the macabre. Hunched over, she put her hand over her mouth, hoping nothing would come out. Nothing did, but when she turned back around, she was in for a surprise, as a shower of blood doused her from head to toe, drenching her once gleaming-white nurse’s outfit and turning it dark red.

Proceed To Chapter 27
Back To The Lair Of Horror