Work to Do

Note: This a sequel to my Friday/Nightmare crossover "Last Ones Standing" in which all the characters from both series were restored to life with the help of the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis. The characters are now living in a variety of locations across the globe. Nancy Thompson is currently living at a house in Salt Lake City, Utah. That said, let the story begin.

Nancy needed a glass of water. Her throat felt as though it was lined with sandpaper. She couldn't even muster a drop of saliva to spread over her parched tongue. And yet her queen-sized bed was so warm and comfy. She curled into as small a ball as possible. Oh, how nice this was, to be able to just lie down and not have to worry about some psycho dream stalker.

She thought about her old bed, the one in the upstairs bedroom of the two-storey farm house in Springwood. That one had been smaller, but even more comforting. It had been her nest of safety for years, the ultimate symbol of her childhood, as she spent so much time sprawled out on her bedspread gabbing on the phone with Tina, watching old episodes of Banana Splits on television or simply lying there listening to her ABBA records.

Oh, she had loved that bed. At least until he had begun to appear under the blankets with her, his claws tracing hellishly hot lines on her bare legs, his rank stench invading her every pore, his demoniac chuckle reverberating through her head, every part of his being sending her happiest thoughts and dreams into a blazing inferno of agonizing death...

Alrighty, that was just about enough. How about that glass of water?

Looks like another sleepless night for you, thought Nancy to herself as she quickly padded down the carpeted steps, suddenly very much awake. She had been having sudden anxiety attacks at regular intervals since she had woken up a few weeks ago. Being murdered by someone who looked like your father will do that to you.

Of course, now she had been granted the ultimate poetic ending. Krueger was gone. Forever. And she was alive to re-experience life, this time without the constant threat of a horrible death every time she closed her eyes.

Well, she was adjusting. She was waiting for a reply to a request for a job as a psychiatrist. She still had her qualifications as an undergrad medical student, after all. This was what they called picking up where you left off. In her case, she hadn't so much left off as passed away, but hey.

Nancy took a refreshing swig of water. She really should call her father. Or her mother. They had both died to protect her. But whenever she picked up the phone (the house phone, of course; she had given up on figuring out the "cell phone" that she had been purchased a fortnight ago), all that she could picture was her mother's pitiful, outstretched arm as she sank into the depths of Hell. Daddy's loving face dissolving into a disgusting rictus of charred skin tissue and grinning diseased teeth. That was usually when she had to put the phone down and cry into her hands for several moments.

She was alive and going about her business, but she felt like she was merely watching herself through a stained-glass window with mild interest, instead of, well, living. More than anything else - her guilt, her moments of panic, her instinctual insomnia - she was lonely. In the years as a medical student, she had remained a lone wolf, not letting anyone into her emotional space as she grieved her mother and friends.

Then she had met Neil, and her sealed-away heart had burst open again, full of love and a desire to be loved in return. She refused to forget Glen, who had been her first and therefore sat on a pedestal above it all, but she did love Neil in the painfully short time they'd had together.

To say nothing of Kristen, who had seized Nancy with an intense need to help and to save...

No. Kristen was just as bad to think about as Krueger. The real reason Nancy had abandoned her newly reunited parents in Springwood five weeks before was that she had not been able to cope with the fact that poor, innocent Kristen, whom she had tried so hard to save, had also been slaughtered by the monster like a defenseless lamb.

Oh, God. The damn tears were coming again. She made no move to stop them, instead letting the salty outpour drip quietly into her drink. She sank into an armchair.

Why couldn't I save them? was the endlessly repeated question that haunted her consciousness like a ghost. Or a fedora-clad demon, for that matter. She herself had learned to block Krueger out, and yet her own stupidity had resulted in her death and loss of a chance to help those doomed kids...

Well, someone had helped them, she supposed. Death had lost its claim on them, hadn't it? They'd had the last chuckle over the corpse of Fred Goddamned Krueger.

She brushed away her tears, suddenly very angry with herself. What was she thinking, that she would spend her precious second lease on life sitting in this house feeling sorry for herself? That wasn't right. She had to get out there and reunite with the people she loved.

She had to check on Kristen. Reconcile with her parents. Right now, she would give anything in the world for her mother's sweet kiss on her brow, and her daddy's strong arms around her.

She wanted to be loved by Neil again.

And the lingering spirit of Fred Krueger that she carried around on her shoulder night and day could go straight to Hell along with bad dreams and heartache.

So Nancy Thompson made some coffee, turned on her ABBA records and picked up the phone. She had work to do in this new life.