Back on the field, the remaining team members had gathered in a circle at the 50-yard line as the coaches prepared to close practice.

“Alright guys, good work out there,” Coach Reynolds said, finally cracking a smile. “This game takes discipline. It takes strength, both mentally and physically. Trust me, men, it will all be worth it when we whip Collins tomorrow night. Bring it in, let’s go!”

That last statement elicited a roar from the team. “Yeah!” they yelled, forming a group huddle.

“1, 2, 3, WIN!” they collectively shouted, and then dispersed.

Mike and Quinton had to practically drag themselves off the field, but Mike instantly felt a little better when he saw Lexi.

“Hey babe,” Mike exclaimed as he hugged her. Actually, it was more like he threw himself on her so she could help him stand up, but it was a hug nonetheless.

“God, what did he do to you guys?” Lexi questioned.

“Don’t ask,” Quinton chimed in as Tash came by his side.

“You okay?” Tash asked.

“I’ll be fine after I hit up the sauna,” Quinton replied.

“Alright, but don’t forget about your tutoring session in the library tonight,” Tash reminded him.

“Fuck, that’s right,” Quinton responded, turning to Mike. “I guess I won’t be goin’ to the diner.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Mike assured him. “My legs feel like rubber anyway, so I probably won’t be doin’ shit either.”

“That’s cool,” Quinton said. “I’m goin’ to the sauna. I have to get off my feet before I pass out. You comin’?”

“Nah,” Mike answered. “I’m gonna go shower, then take a nice long nap.”

“Aight. Talk to ya later then,” Quinton said, kissing Tash and heading toward the locker room.

“Bye baby,” Tash said.

“I shouldn’t be too long, and then we can roll,” Mike told Lexi.

“Okay,” Lexi replied. “Apryl’s coming with us, too.”

Mike just sighed and glared at Lexi. Normally he would have made a big stink about it, but at this point, he was too tired and too sore to care. “Okay,” he finally agreed.

“I’ll be back in 15,” Mike said, kissing Lexi as he limped away toward the locker room.

Just then, Apryl arrived, having walked across the entire length of the field to catch up with them.

“Hey what’s up?” she asked.

“Reynolds is killing the guys again,” Lexi answered, pointing at another group of players as they staggered and limped away.

“What else is new,” Apryl said, matter-of-factly.

“How can they take it?” Tash asked.

“Well, if they want to get noticed by scouts, they’ll find a way to get by,” Apryl stated.

“I guess so,” Lexi agreed. “But football is going to kill these guys one day if this keeps up.”


In the locker room, several football players were showering, while others were drying off and getting dressed. Coach Reynolds and his staff were busy in his office watching some game tape on Collins as Quinton passed by on his way to the sauna.

Quinton, wrapped in a towel, whistled as he walked down the long hallway toward the sauna. Luckily, two players had just come out and walked past him on their way back to the locker room, so it wouldn’t be crowded at least. As soon as he opened the door, steam flew out of the room and he was instantly engulfed by the sweltering heat encased within. He didn’t care who was in there as long as he got the spot right next to the rocks. He always claimed to lose an extra five pounds when he sat on that side.

Luckily for Quinton, nobody else was in there, and he sat down right next to the steaming pile of grey pumice. He poured a little bit of water on them with the wooden ladle nearby, causing them to sizzle and add even more heat to the room. He preferred to have it just a little bit hotter than the other guys.

Quinton felt a lot better as soon as he was able to lie down. He put another towel over his face and let out a sigh of relief as he stretched out across the long wooden bench. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about, he thought as he felt every muscle in his body begin to relax.

Before long, the sweat began to pour off of Quinton as he thought about what he had to do the rest of the day. The tutoring session wouldn’t be bad, especially because the chick had nice tits. Other than that, his schedule was clear, and he thought more and more about how great a good night’s sleep would be so he could rest up for the Collins game.

Quinton, almost meditating, became saturated in sweat in no time at all as he felt the heat continue to increase. It felt good, but at the same time, he sure felt light-headed. It was clearly getting too hot in there, even for his taste.

Just then, he heard some whistling and sizzling coming from outside the sauna. Confused, Quinton lifted up the towel from his face and peered toward the door through one eye, since the sweat was practically blinding him. The window was all steamed up, so he couldn’t see anything. Groaning, he wiped the immediate sweat from his forehead and walked over to the door. Opening it, he expected to feel the colder outside air rush in, but strangely, he didn’t. It was just as toasty out there as it was inside.

Confused, he exited the sauna, and suddenly found himself in another room. A much bigger room. “What the fuck?” he mumbled, looking up at the vertical abyss ahead of him. “Where’s the locker room?”

The sinister-looking room was lined with narrow walkways and a never-ending maze of steam pipes and boilers. Continuing to sweat profusely, Quinton assumed he was somehow in the basement of the school. “Yo, Steve, you down here?” he called out, expecting to find Steve, the janitor, down there somewhere. He wasn’t.

Quinton kept walking forward as a couple of the valves on the pipes mysteriously turned on their own, sending even more heat and steam out into the already musty air. The room was rapidly beginning to fog up as well, and he could barely see his hand in front of his face.

“Steve, man, what the fuck!” Quinton yelled. “I don’t have time for your shit today.”

Then he winced as he heard the most awful sound he had ever heard in his life. It sounded like Mrs. Robinson, his fourth-grade teacher, who used to drag her fingernails across the chalkboard. The loud screeching sound continued, annoying him to the point that it made his ears sore.

“Stop it!” he yelled, blindly continuing down the narrow walkway.

The screeching stopped, and it’s a good thing Quinton couldn’t see through the fog. Because as he walked by a nearby boiler, he didn’t notice two eyes fixed directly on him. Two red, hateful eyes, gleaming with fury, were watching his every move.

As Quinton reached the end of the walkway, the smoke began to clear, and he could actually see where he was going. Just then, he heard someone laughing back behind him. It was a deep, sinister laugh, and it scared the hell out of him.

The screeching began yet again, and increased in intensity as whoever was responsible for it was rapidly approaching through the fog. A dark shadow slowly began to emerge from the smoke behind him, and all he could hear were the echoes of his footsteps ringing off of the metal grating below.

Quinton watched intently as he could faintly begin to make out the silhouette in front of him. He could see the image of a lanky man about 6-foot-2, with a floppy fedora on his head and a weird claw on his right hand. When the screeching continued, sparks began to fly, and he could plainly see that this was the man who was responsible for that annoying sound.

Spooked, he turned back around and continued forward, noticing a familiar room up ahead. Peering through the small glass window, he was relieved to see the sauna once again. Whew, he thought. I must have gone in one big fucking circle.

Opening the door, Quinton re-entered the sauna, and went to sit back down in his normal spot. However, this time, someone else was sitting there, completely covered by a towel. Quinton was irate.

“Yo, man, what the fuck?” he asked. “You know that’s my spot.”

The figure didn’t respond. He just sat there motionless, pissing Quinton off even more.

“Yo, you hearin’ me?” he asked, continuing to badger the person. “That’s my spot, muthafucker.”

Still silence.

“Okay, I’m gonna give you three seconds, then I’m beatin’ yo’ ass!” he yelled. “1, 2...”

Then, suddenly, before Quinton could finish counting, Freddy Krueger clawed his way out from behind the towel and said, “Freddy’s comin’ for you!”

Quinton’s eyes widened with horror. His parents had told him all about Freddy, the guy who had killed off most of the town’s children a very long time ago. But they said he was torched. They said he was dead. There was no way he could be alive.

Freddy stood there, the metal of his claws gleaming at his side, as Quinton turned to run back out of the sauna. The door was locked. He frantically tried to open it, but it wouldn’t budge. There was no way out. He was trapped.

“Aww,” Freddy said with a laugh, sounding more evil than ever. “What’s the matter Q-tip, afraid you’ve seen a ghost?”

With no other options, Quinton was forced to turn back around and confront the evil dream stalker.

“But you’re dead,” Quinton said, confused. “My parents told me...”

“Your parents told you what?” Krueger said, interrupting him. “That they killed me? That I was gone forever? Hahahahahaaaaa.”

Quinton didn’t reply. He just stood there befuddled as Krueger flicked his claws trying to intimidate him. It worked, as Quinton tried to doorknob again in vain.

“Hellllllllllp!” Quinton yelled as Krueger inched closer to his prey. “Somebody help me!”

“Who’s gonna help you?” Krueger laughed. “You’re in my world now, bitch. First, they thought they could kill me. Then, they thought they could forget me. But I took away their little magic pills, and now, I’m back and stronger than ever! And it’s time for me to collect more souls. The souls of my children! Hahahahaha.”

“Fuck you!” Quinton yelled, charging toward Krueger. Freddy quickly grabbed Quinton and launched him into the air, smashing him hard against the wall. Quinton struggled to get back to his feet as Freddy flexed his blades and moved in for the kill.

Quinton, still exhausted and wore out from football practice, was forced to grab the only thing he could to pull himself up—the sauna table. However, instead of grabbing the table, he reached too far, and both of his hands were singed by the steaming hot rocks.

Then, just as Freddy was about to slash him with his claws, Quinton woke up in the sauna, covered in sweat and in intense pain, his hands smoldering.

“Ahh!” he yelled, looking at his hands. “Holy shit!” There was an impression on the palms of his hands made in the shape of the rocks.

Quinton hurried out of the sauna and up to the locker room, quickly running his hands under the faucet of ice cold water. The water made them hurt worse at first, but then they started to feel a little better as he disinfected them.

Breathing heavily, Quinton grabbed one of the shirts from his gym locker and tore two long strips off of it. Wrapping both hands with the strips, he got dressed and sprinted out the back door.

Outside, it was pitch black. Quinton, confused, turned the ignition over in his car and when he saw what time it was, he was shocked. The green digital display read 8:30 p.m. He had missed his tutor session, but that was the least of his worries now. What the hell had just happened? He didn’t think twice about it, and threw his gear shift into drive and sped away from the school. One thing was for sure. No matter what happened, there was no way anybody else was gonna find out. No way in hell.

Proceed To Chapter 4
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