NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET: INNOCENT DEMON REVISED EDITION
Chapter I: "The Gardener"
Written by Abri Isgrig and Diane N. Tran
Weeding the last remnants of dead leaves and grass with a three-pronged fork, Freddy Krueger rested on his hands and knees while he stabbed a small spade into ground. Its surface was dried and cracked due to the heat of the summer sun, but the seasons were changing and autumn was approaching. It was a new school year at Badham Preschool, just a week in. He chiseled a hole and scooped through the rich soil that hid underneath before he dug another one beside it.
The man whistled to himself and feigned ignorance to the fact that the three small children were sneaking up behind him, sniggering behind their tiny hands, as he pretended to be focused on planting the new stonecrops and chrysanthemums.
"Wanna play tag with us, Mr. Freddy?" asked Kris Fowles, surprising him by jumping and hugging him from behind. "You're it!"
The gardener smiled at the child wickedly. Raising the gardening fork in his gloved hand in the air, his serpentine tongue slithered across his front teeth, which gleamed in delight. He hoisted his shoulders high, making himself look larger than he was, and exhaled a long, wild snarl and gritted his teeth, as he pretended he was a large bear. He watched Kris gasp at him and scurry away with a playful scream and a shrill giggle. He fell to the ground and laughed, wiping a happy tear from his eye.
Sweet girl. Only five years old. With shoulder-length, honey-blond hair. Such an angelic, little creature.
"Sounds fun," the gardener answered, turning to completely face Kris and her playmates. He groaned as he made to stand, feeling the individual bones of his spine pop, and winced.
"You okay, Mr. Freddy?" asked the little brunette, her hair tied to the side of her head, standing next to Kris.
Her name was Nancy Holbrook. Beautiful, little Nancy.
"Hmm? Oh, yeah, I'm all right," he nodded, rubbing the back of his neck. "I just get stiff from being on my knees all the tag!" He grinned, as he lightly tapped his finger on Nancy's shoulder, letting out a joyous cackle before he broke into a slow jog, so the kids could try to catch him but still be ahead of their tiny grasps.
"Hey, no fair!" pouted Nancy, running after him as Kris and one of the boys, Quentin Smith, gave chase, all laughing gleefully.
Freddy ran behind a tree, grinning from ear to ear. Looking up, an idea struck him and he turned to face the tree, as Nancy, Kris, and Quentin tip-toed toward his hiding place.
"Got you, Mr. Freddy!" exclaimed Nancy, reaching out to pounce him. But Mr. Freddy was gone. She blinked, spinning in a circle and searching around the tree baffled. "Huh? Where'd he go?"
Kris and Quentin scratched their heads, as they both looked around with her with confusion upon their cherubic faces. The other children joined in, circling the tree, and poked at the bushes around it, only to gasp and jump when they heard the sound of a voice singing:
- ONE, TWO... FREDDY'S COMING FOR YOU...
"Oh, no, they've got me!" the gardener cried, sniggering, as they began to tickle him. Quentin and the other boys, Dean Russell and Marcus Yeon, clung to his legs and tickled his knees, while Kris and Nancy tickled his stomach. Jesse Braun and Leah Uteg went for his sides, as Freddy laughed and curled lightly, their tiny fingers poking and tickling him.
Neither Freddy nor the children saw the young, raven-haired teacher smiling at the sight on the playground.
Neither Freddy nor the children saw the young, raven-haired teacher smiling at the sight on the playground. Caressing her hands lightly over her tiny bulge of her stomach with contented sigh, Loretta Krueger chuckled at the thought of how a wonderful of father her husband would make before he finally took notice of her and attempted to squirm away from the children.
"Ack, Loretta! Help!"
"All right, kiddies, that's enough," said Loretta, clapping her hands for their attention. She was in full-on teacher mode now. The children all groaned and pouted, as she walked their way. "Your parents are here to get you. We'll see everyone tomorrow."
The kids all cheered, as they grabbed their little bags and lunch pails, laying against the fence where their parents were waiting. Eventually, two adults Gwen Holbrook and Alan Smith were the last to arrive, and they always arrived last and always at the same time. Nancy and Quentin each gave out calls of "Bye-bye, Miss Loretta" and "See ya tomorrow, Mr. Freddy," as they raced out to meet up with their ride.
"You alive, honey?" Loretta inquired with a sugary smile, offering her hand to help Freddy up.
"God, where the hell excuse me heck do kids get all that energy and where can I get some?" Freddy asked with a chuckle, combing his hair back and patting his pants to make sure that Smith boy, Quentin, didn't try to steal his wallet again. The kid had a skilful habit of it. Sneaky little brat.
Ah, good, wallet intact. Now, let's see if he still had cash in it...
"Fred, what happened to your hand?" asked Loretta with a small gasp, as Freddy pulled off his right glove in order to dig through his wallet. There was a long, clean gash diagonally across the back of his hand. Bits of lint from his glove had adhered to the now congealed blood, making it look painful.
"What, that? Must've accidentally knocked my hand against the pruning shears when I had my gloves off, that's all," Freddy replied with a careless shrug. He looked at the cut with disinterest, not really worried about it. He'd actually forgotten about it until Loretta pointed it out. "Bled like hell."
"Did you use the first aid kit we've got in the supply closet?" she asked, running her finger across the gash in examination.
"You had a class in the playroom at the time. I didn't want to freak 'em out. Like I said, it bled like hell. Probably best to clean it out now since I've been working in the dirt all day."
He looked down at his hands. His gloves were wearing out. The edges were tattered, the stitching was coming undone, and the leather was getting thin. He'd have to make a mental note to pick up a few spare pairs from the hardware store on his way home.
Loretta led her husband tenderly by his injured hand inside the preschool, unlocking a supply closet in the main playroom and pulling out the first aid kit. Freddy plopped down on a beanbag chair and leaned back.
"Oooh, gunna play 'Doctor,' are we?" he inquired with a mischievous smirk. "I like that idea..."
Loretta shook her head, fighting not to smile, as she lightly dabbed rubbing alcohol on the cut. Freddy inhaled sharply, letting out a mild grunt of pain, as his fingers curling into his palm on instinct.
Goddamn that stung!
"That dampen your mood any?" Loretta teased, as she began to wrap a gauze bandage around the cut.
Freddy leaned forward with, gently nipping the bottom of her ear between his teeth, before whispering: "No, it only stoked the fire..." His voice turned husky and gruff. Loretta bit her bottom lip and her long lashes fluttered, feeling both uneasy and excited at the same time, as he ran his tongue lightly below her jaw. "I need this, Lore. You have no idea"
Loretta lightly pushed him away and continued to look down, as she finished bandaging his hand.
He'd often propositioned her for sex here. Normally, they'd sneak down to the maintenance room in the basement. He had set up a moth-eaten bed downstairs specifically for this reason. However, lately, Freddy had begun suggest that they should be a little more daring and make love in one of the classrooms. It was an idea that both frightened and enticed her. If they got caught...
Oh, but that was the least of her worries.
What worried her more was the fact that he suggested it in the first place.