"…To die, to sleep.

To sleep, perchance to dream.

But there's the rub, for in that sleep of death, what dreams may come, when we have shuffled loose this mortal coil…"

-Hamlet

1.

She had her arms wrapped around him, her hands feeling the strong, toned muscles in his back under his sweat-dampened skin. Her legs twined around his waist to pull him even closer against her. She let out weak whimpers as he nibbled and sucked on the skin of the base of her neck just the way she liked it. Then suddenly, his body's temperature grew warmer and warmer, until he was almost scorching hot, nearly burning her with his touch. When her hands ran across his shoulder blades, his skin felt wet in a different way. Her hand lifted, and his skin peeled off into it, the flesh melting between her fingers.

Marge Thompson awoke in her bed, alone and with a pounding headache. She stood up from her bed and walked into the bathroom of her one-bedroom apartment. She turned on the sink, her eyes half-open, rubbing her neck as she did so. It felt a little sore. She brushed it off, assuming she must have slept on it wrong, and thought nothing more of it. That was until she saw herself in the mirror.

Marge reached over to the toothbrush holder beside the sink and took out her brush and the tube of Colgate. She squeezed a small glob of paste onto the bristles of her brush when she looked up at the mirror, and she dropped the brush and tube both into the sink with a gasp. Her quaking fingers touched the forming hickey at the base of her neck, feeling the moisture on it.

She left the sink and dashed into the kitchen, where she opened her freezer and took out a bottle of Schnapps. She barely was able to unscrew the cap with her unstable fingers before she took a heavy swig from it, the icy mint liquid burning down her esophagus, then filling her with a soothing warmth as it poured into the pit of her stomach. The help herself calm even further, she reached over to grab the carton of cigarettes on the counter and fished one out, holding the filtered end between her lips as she lit it with a match, which was no easy task because of how badly her hands were shaking.

'This isn't possible,' she thought to herself, 'It's not. It was just a dream... Wasn't it?'


It was so dark. All she could make out through the darkness was the network of copper pipes as she ran down the catwalks of some old boiler room. She had no idea where she was, or even how she got there; all she knew was that she needed to get away. But get away from what exactly? If only she could find her way through this labyrinth of pipes.

Screeeeeee

Behind her came a sharp screeching sound, like something sharp scratching against metal, sounding like nails on a chalkboard. She quickened her pace and ran and ran, until she came to a dead-end.

"Nancy..."

She spun around as she heard a voice calling her name, so distant it sounded like a whisper, but saw no one there.

"Nancy," the voice whispered, now right beside her head.

A hand grabbed her shoulder, and her eyes finally opened, awakening to the sight of being back in her classroom. It seemed biology had put her to sleep once again.

Every other one of her classmates were rising from their seats and leaving; class had already ended. Nancy looked over to see that the hand on her shoulder belonged to her friend, Lance.

"You fell asleep again," he said to her with a small smile on his face, one that showed him trying his best not a laugh at her.

"Thank you Captain Obvious," she responded, rolling her eyes at his continued ability to point out the obvious. "I'm just glad this was the last class of the day," she then said as she pulled the strap of her backpack over her shoulder, "Not to mention the last day of the week."

"TGIF," Lance chuckled like the geek he was.

Nancy scooped her textbook and binder up from her table and joined Lance as they both exited the classroom.

Nancy Thompson was always a rather introverted kind of girl, always letting her long dark brown hair fall over her face, hiding her from view. She usually avoided being around people, or otherwise did her best to just blend in; a true wallflower. For some reason they just made her really nervous, especially the guys. Lance, however, was the only exception.

Lance was a genuinely great guy, as sweet as they come, a regular boy-next-door. He was also as geeky as they come too. Every day he would dress in preppy pastel-colored polo shirts he always had tucked into his cargo pants and loafers on his feet, his socks always folded neatly over his ankles, his short ginger-brown hair always gelled and combed nice and neat and a pair of oval-rimmed glasses on his face.

As good as he was with keeping a neat wardrobe, he was even better with his schoolwork. He was such a model student, in fact, that he was bumped up a whole grade, now being a sophomore instead of a freshman. This, came in handy for Nancy during class, since she was hardly an A-student herself. Because of this, and because of his non-threatening, good-natured personality, they both ended up becoming good friends over the school year.

As the two packed up their books into their lockers, which were only two spaces apart from each other, Nancy's mouth involuntarily widened in a yawn.

"Was biology really that boring?" Lance asked, zipping up his jacket.

"Yes," Nancy answered in an almost matter-of-fact tone as they both made their way down the hall towards the exit, "But it doesn't help that I already have trouble sleeping at night. Nightmares."

"Boogeyman trying to get you?" Lance teased, tickling her ear. Nancy rolled her eyes and brushed his hand away.

"No," she said, shrugging her shoulders, "I don't know."

The two friends walked out through the front doors along with the herd of a thousand or so other students bustling through, all eager to leave so they could get to their weekend festivities. They then separated as Lance shuffled towards his moped, while Nancy meandered towards her bicycle.

While she was unwrapping the chain, a small, yet bright, light glimmer off of something on the ground. She crouched down, and found it to be a solid silver marble. She pinched it up, brushed off the dirt with her fingertips, and tucked it into her pocket, happy to have a new one to add to her collection.

Nancy put the rolled up bike chain into the basket attached to the front of the handlebars, then hopped onto the seat and wheeled onward towards home on it.

Her house was actually only about a ten block distance from the school, which made a bike ride of only a couple minutes to and from it. When she arrived, the garage door was wide open, as it usually was when Nancy came home, with her father's trooper cruiser parked inside it next to his old gray Volvo, which he owned since before Nancy was even born and refused to have traded in.

As Nancy cruised up the driveway and rolled her bike into the garage, she could hear her father's voice shouting angrily from inside.

'Oh no, what is it now?' she wondered.

She quietly stepped into the house, closing the door behind her, and tip-toed into the kitchen from where she heard her father's voice.

"Don't you give me that bullshit! We agreed that you would be taking her on weekends!"

Nancy peeked around the doorframe and saw her father, still dressed in his dark purple police uniform. His back was turned to her as he continued to shout into the phone, slamming his fist against the counter.

"You have a responsibility!"

Even from her distance, Nancy could hear the person on the other line yelling something, and Donald yelled back, "Yes you do! You owe it to me, and you owe it to her after everything she was put through!"

Another series of yelling came from the other end before Donald finally growled through snarled teeth, "I hope you burn in hell you selfish bitch!"

He then slammed the phone onto the hook, slamming it with such force it caused Nancy to jump. Donald turned, seething through clenched teeth, his head hung, rubbing his meaty fingers against his red forehead. He then looked up and saw Nancy standing there, a look of concern in her eyes, and his color cooled.

"Sorry about that Nancy," he sighed, "That wasn't something that I wanted you to hear."

"What was that all about?" Nancy asked, stepping meekly into the kitchen.

"That was your mother," he grumbled through his teeth. "Apparently," he spat, "you're not going to be able to go stay with her this weekend."

Nancy rolled her eyes let out an irritated sigh and tossed her backpack down, the bag sliding across the tile floor until it hit one of the chairs pushed against the dining table. It wasn't the first time this had happened. Donald walked up to her and pulled her into a hug.

"I'm sorry princess," he muttered into the crown of her head. He pulled back so they were arm's length apart and looked down at her with a sympathetic smile. He started to push a stray hair out of her face, but she shook her head away.

"Dad," she protested, "you know I hate that!"

"You have such a pretty face, though," he said, "I don't understand why you don't let people see it more often."

Nancy merely shrugged and they both shared a light laugh. At that moment, Donald's phone rang from in his pocket. He stepped out of the kitchen to answer, while Nancy went over to the fridge and looked inside for something to eat. She reached into the cardboard box of leftover Hawaiian pizza and bit into a cold slice when her father walked back in.

"Bad news," he said, "Roman just called. There's a robbery and I need to go out there. I may be gone for a while. Will you be okay by yourself tonight?"

Nancy nodded her head. "Sure Dad."

Donald typically was off duty by the time school was out, though most times, he would have to stay on patrol or go back out when crime struck again. Times like now.

"Do you remember the security code?"

"Yes dad," she answered, rolling her eyes, "like the back of my hand."

Her father was so paranoid over her safety, ever since his and Marge's divorce. As soon as he got custody of her he had a deadbolt and chain lock put in both the front and back door, plus a security system. To make the house even more secure, he had iron bars installed on every window on both floors, making the house into a suburban fortress.

"Alright," Donald said, walking up to her and kissing her on the forehead. "I love you sweetheart."

"I love you too, Dad."

With that, Donald walked out the front door, locking it behind him. Nancy secured the deadbolt and chain from habit before she typed in the security code into the keypad by the door. The device sounded a beep with each digit, then a series of multiple beeps, signaling it was secure.

She then walked into the living room and parked on the couch, turning on the TV and flipping through channels while munching on her pizza.

Nancy spent the next half-hour or so watching TV, feeling bored out of her skull. She couldn't believe she was stuck by herself at her dad's for who knows how long. She then pulled her cell phone out of her pocket and dialed a number. Her foot tapped impatiently against the leg of the coffee table as it rang. Her thumb of her free hand picked at the remainder of the nail polish on her fingers. It was time for a fresh layer.

After about four rings, the line finally picked up.

"Hello?" that friendly voice answered.

"Hey Lance," Nancy sighed.

"Hey Nancy," Lance said, his voice going a pitch higher, "What's going on?"

"Nothing. Nothing at all. I'm staying at my dad's this weekend and he's gone, probably for, like, the next few hours. I'm just sitting here watching TV, bored as hell."

"Well that doesn't sound fun. But I thought you stayed weekends with your mom."

"I do," Nancy said bitterly, "but she can't take me this weekend. So, I was calling 'cause..." She took in a deep breath and sighed, "you want to come over and hang out or something? I could really use some company."

"Sure!" he answered, his voice sounding elated, "I'll just have to tell my parents, then I'll come over."

"Alrighty. See you soon."

"See ya."

Nancy heard the click from the other line signaling the line ended and she hung up her own phone.

It was another half-hour after Nancy called that Lance finally arrived. When the doorbell rang, she looked in the peephole, glad to see Lance there. She undid the lock and opened the door wide, greeting him with a smile.

His mouth widened in a grin. "I brought snacks," he said, raising his hands level with his head, "And movies." In one hand was a six-pack of Pepsi cans, in the other a bags of chips and popcorn and DVDs.

"Yay," Nancy said, holding her arm out towards the inside of her home, "Come on in."

Lance then entered and walked into the living room to set the snacks down on the coffee table. Nancy shut the door and locked it before joining Lance in the living room, who dumped the snacks on the coffee table. She plopped down on the couch as Lance started taking out the DVDs.

"So what'll it be?" Lance asked, "Romance, horror, or comedy?"

"Comedy," answered Nancy. Lance put on 'The Hangover' and sat beside Nancy on the couch, who popped open a can of Pepsi and began slurping it down.

"Your dad's real big on security, isn't he?" Lance remarked as he looked at the barred windows.

"Yeah," Nancy replied with a gulp of her soda, "I guess so. Just wants to keep me safe I suppose."

"I think 'caged up' would be a better term."

Nancy just shrugged and ripped open a bag of chips and popped one in her mouth. As she leaned back, Lance leaned back as well.

Halfway through the movie, his arm was fell over her shoulder. She raised an eyebrow, and slid out from under his arm to sit a cushion further away.

"What?" Lance asked innocently, "What's wrong?"

"You're getting a little bit too close there cowboy," Nancy answered.

"I was just putting my arm around you."

"Just keep your hands to yourself, okay?"

"Okay then," Lance grumbled, tossing a chip in his mouth.

Nancy, wanting to lighten the suddenly tensed mood, held her thumb and forefinger out, each hand making an 'L' shape, and held the thumbs together, making a football goal in front of her open mouth. Lance held a chip between his fingers and flicked it, sending it flying towards Nancy's face. It missed and hit her hand.

"Pff, lame," Nancy scoffed, picking up the chip and holding it between her fingers.

Lance held a goal in front of his face. Nancy flicked it out from between her fingers and the chip flew directly into Lance's mouth.

"Score!" Nancy shouted triumphantly.

"Beginner's luck," Lance said while munching on his chip.

"We'll see," Nancy chuckled.

They shot chips back and forth to each other, half of them landing on the couch and the floor. After Nancy had won, sinking in twelve shots versus Lance's five, and after they cleaned up the mess they had left all over the sofa and floor, they laid out across the floor as they watched the next movie.

As Lance reached back to grab another soda, he noticed the tail of Nancy's shirt was raised a little, showing a bit of skin of the small of her back. On that slip of skin, he could see what looked like scars, four parallel thick white lines.

"What's this?" Lance asked lightly touching her skin.

Nancy shivered at the feel of Lance's touch. She reached behind her and pulled down her shirt back down.

"Nothing," Nancy answered, "Just some scars I got from a long time ago."

"Where did you get them?"

"I don't know," Nancy answered with a shrug, "I got them before I can remember. My dad said it was from a dog that attacked me when I was little, or something."

"Vicious," Lance hissed. Nancy grabbed herself a soda and took a brooding drink.

A full six-pack of soda and two bags of popcorn and three films later, they both finally saw how late it had gotten.

"Crap, it's almost eleven," Lance groaned, getting up to his feet, "My parents are gonna be ticked off."

"You're just lucky my dad hasn't shown up yet," Nancy remarked, "He does not like me being alone with the opposite sex, even if they are of the nerdy bookworm persuasion."

"I better hurry then," said Lance as he collected his things, then made his way for the door, "See you on Monday."

"See ya."

With their words of farewell exchanged, Lance was off to return home to face the inevitable chew-out from his parents.

Sure enough, barely ten minutes later, Donald came in from the garage, returning home at last.

His arrival was met with, "Welcome back," from his daughter as she lied on the living room floor.

"I know, I'm late," Donald huffed as he sat on the bottom step of the stairs and unlaced his boots, "The robbery ended up turning into a chase. Took us over two hours to finally catch up with them. Then sure enough, on the way back, I had to pull over a drunk driver, and he did not want to go quietly."

"TGIF, huh?" Nancy remarked before turning back to the TV.

"Heh, yeah," Donald chuckled mirthlessly, dropping his shoes by the front door. Then as he made his way up the stairs, he sighed, "I'm calling it a day. Try not to make too much noise if you're gonna be up late, 'kay?"

"You got it."

"Good night," he called out to Nancy from the second floor.

"Good night," Nancy hollered back.

Then came the sound of Donald's bedroom door closing as the man got ready for bed. Nancy, however, was not ready at all to retire to her bed yet. Like all normal kids, Nancy liked to take advantage of the weekends by staying up as late as possible, sometimes all night long, or even not at all if possible, though she would get in trouble with her dad for doing so.

But a late night wasn't in the cards for her. She indulged in another hour or so of Adult Swim cartoons before turning in.

Nancy shut off the TV and all the lights, then walked upstairs into her room. There, she changed out into a pair of boxers and a tank top for bed.

As she shed her jeans, she felt the tiny ball inside the pocket, reminding her of the marble that she had almost forgotten. She took it out and dropped it into the glass jar inside which she kept all of the marbles she collected. Some people collect stamps, others coins, others baseball cards, but Nancy liked to collect marbles. She used to love playing with them as a child. She loved them so much that whenever she found one on the ground, she couldn't resist keeping it. Even though she had grown out of playing with them, she never fell out of the habit of taking ones she happened to discover; randomly coming across a marble on the ground is a rare occasion that's too good to pass. Nancy had no idea for sure how many she had in her jar now. If she had to guess, she'd say there were several hundred.

After she finished changing, Nancy turned out the lights and crawled under the blankets, staring out the windows as she laid on her pillow.

The full moon's light was casting eerie-looking shadows of the branches from the tree in the backyard against the curtains. As her eyes slowly fell shut, the branches appeared to morph into clawed hands, scratching at the glass, trying to reach her as she drifted into sleep.


here it is, my official re-imagining of Wes Craven's NOES

let me know what you think