A Naptime on Elm Street

by: Personalias | Complete Story | Last updated Feb 2, 2022

Chapter 2
Part 2

Nancy sat with her mother in the police station, clutching a box of tissues like they were a kind of life raft.  She’d called the police and told them the whole story.  About how her best friend was drooling and babbling, and Tina’s boyfriend was missing from their mother’s bedroom.

It was just like Glenn had said: In the thirty seconds or so since they had busted open the door, Tina’s bedroom no longer looked like something belonging to a young lady; but instead was now the home of a baby.  A big one, too.

It took both her and Glenn working together to lift Tina and carry her into the nursery.  There, she changed Tina’s diaper- there were more than enough- while Glenn looked away.

The cops came, asked a few questions; mostly about Rod and where Tina’s parents were.  Then they had her and Tina come down to the station.  The strange thing was they didn’t so much as comment on the giant crib or infant playmat in the corner. 

Nancy just sat there in silence, her mother at first assuring her that everything was going to be okay.  Soon enough they had run out of things to say before Nancy had run out of tears. 

The door opened and in walked Lt. Donald Thompson; a middle aged man with hairline that was just starting to recede. Nancy looked up from her tissues.  “Hey, Dad.”  There was no excitement in her voice.  No terror either.  Her confusion and shock had progressed beyond excitement or fear, and slid down into a numbing iceberg.

“Hey sweetie,” her father gave her a chaste kiss on the top of her head.  “How are you doing?”

“Bad…” Nancy let her silence speak the rest.

Lt. Thompson looked over to Nancy’s Mom.  “What was she doing there, Marge?”

“Hello to you too, Donald.”  She was cordial, but her voice was ice.  The divorce hadn’t been pleasant; and everytime her folks were around each other, the same old arguments popped up...usually about how they were raising Nancy.  When Marge and Donald Thompson were around each other, Nancy might as well have been eight instead of eighteen.

“What was she doing?”  Dad repeated the question.

“She was babysitting,” Mom said. “Just making a little extra money.”

“In that part of town?” Dad was incredulous.  “On a school night?”  Part small town cop, part father, all overprotective and judgement asshole.   “Looking after Marla Gray’s kid? That drunk?  There’s gotta be better ways to earn some spending money.”

Nancy didn’t didn’t look up, but she felt more awake?  Babysitting?  Really?  Was this some kind of bad joke?  Tina had been attacked by something.  Attacked and transformed.  Last Nancy knew, Tina was still bouncing on some lady copy’s knee.

“You wanna tell me what you were doing over there?  With a boy?”

The question through...why was THAT what they were focusing on?

“The three of us were just sleeping over,” Nancy insisted. “Nothing was supposed to happen. We were just keeping Tina company in case she got scared.  She’s been having bad dreams.”

Her Dad arched an eyebrow.  “Three?  You mean that Rod Lane character was invited?”

“Well, no…” Nancy said.  “But he just came over and…”

“So we’ve got him for trespassing, breaking and entering AND attempt to kidnap,” her father said.

“Kidnap?” Nancy tried to speak up.  “Rod wasn’t trying to kidnap-?”

“Then why did he lock himself in the room with the baby?”

There was that word again.  “Baby?! Dad I-”

“Is he one of those sickos?”

“Dad,” Nancy almost screamed.  The tears were coming back now.  “What’s wrong with you?  Tina’s not a baby?  She’s my best friend!”

Both her parents exchanged looks; they were worried.  It was Nancy’s mother that spoke up first. “Nancy,” she started in low and soft, “you’ve been through a lot tonight.  I know you feel responsible for what almost happened to that baby girl, but it’s not your fault.  You were her babysitter and you did the right thing.  You saved her.  You called the cops.  You asked for help.  But that doesn’t mean you have to say things like you’re her best friend.  Okay?”

More of that numbness overcame Nancy.  Numbness, dotted with fresh little pinpricks of shock and confusion assaulted her. “O...okay…”  She wasn’t really okay.  She didn’t understand what was going on in the conversation, and in order to do that.

“Okay,” Lt. Thompson nodded, more to himself than to anyone else.  “Get her home safe,” he said to her mother.  “I’ll get on finding that Lane punk.”   Seeming to consider the matter settled, he went to walk out his office door.

“Dad,” Nancy called out.  “What about Tina?”

Lt. Thompson stopped rubbed his temples.  “Her mother’s out of town.  We’re gonna put her with CPS for now.  Foster home.  There’s already an officer doubling back to the scene to get diapers and blankets. Some formula.  Maybe a few of her favorite toys. Mom will have to go to a judge to get her back.   She’ll be okay. She’s too little to remember any of this long term.”

But Tina wasn’t okay, Nancy knew.  Tina wasn’t supposed to be in diapers, or sleep in a crib or drinking formula. She was supposed to be sitting next to Nancy in English class first thing tomorrow morning.  Why couldn’t Mom or Dad or any of the cops see that?


The little television on the kitchen fairly roared out the morning news:


The old boob tube was shut off just as Nancy entered the kitchen, but she’d heard enough.  The whole city, if not the world, thought that Tina Gray was an infant, and that her boyfriend was some kind of child-napper.  What had happened to the world last night?

Nancy and her mother shared an awkward stare; just long enough for her to get her backpack and walk out the door.  Glenn was grounded, and got his car taken away.  Good enough.  Nancy could use the walk to school.  It’s not like she needed the car now that Tina wasn’t…


“Where do you think you’re going?”  It wasn’t accusatory.  Mom was clearly concerned.  She looked at Nancy as if she were sick, not defiant.

“To school…?” Nancy replied.  Why wouldn’t she go to school?

“Honey, you were tossing and turning all night last night. You have no business going to school today.” 

That first part was true.  Nancy hadn’t slept a wink.  Yet with how bizarre everyone around her had been acting, Nancy thought that she might be the one sleeping.  There was a bizarrely comforting thought:  Maybe she’d wake up.  Any minute now, she’d be back in Tina’s (adult) bed, and find Glenn moping on the couch and Tina and Rod still shacked up together in the master bedroom. 

The more she thought about it, the more Nancy hoped it was true.  That the last twelve hours or so had all been a ridiculous dream was infinitely more reassuring and far less bizarre than what felt like the truth.

“I’ve got to go to school, mother,” Nancy said.  “Otherwise I’ll just sit up there and go crazy.”  This is why Alice kept walking through Wonderland.  To stay still meant to accept the madness.  To venture forward, even if it was into more madness, kept it at bay.  Even being bored in English class was better than being trapped in her room, alone with her own thoughts.

“Did you sleep?”  Mom asked.  Clearly, she already knew the answer.

Nancy took on a pleading tone.  “I’ll sleep in study hall.”  She needed sleep, she knew.  Just not here.  Not now.  Not while Tina’s screams still rattled around in her head.  Not while she kept replaying finding the room a nursery and changing her best friends’ diaper.  Not while she still revisited the conversation with Dad at the police station: CPS. Foster Home. Blankets, toys, formula.

“I’d rather...keep busy, you know?”  She took a sip of coffee from her mother’s mug.  She didn’t want to go back to sleep.  Sleep meant revisiting last night; sleep meant more of Tina’s crying and mewling.  Sleep meant staring into her best friends’ eyes and them not staring back.

Mom grabbed the mug back.  “Right home after?”

“Right home after.” Nancy promised.

They gave each other a kiss, and fueled mostly by adrenaline, Nancy made her way out the door.

On her way to school, Nancy couldn’t quite shake the feeling that she was being watched.  That just out of sight, something was following her, trailing her, hunting her.  She’d had last night, too, come to think of it.  It was the feeling that someone she couldn’t see was watching over her, readying itself.  A tiger waiting to pounce...or a teacher anxiously awaiting first bell to begin instruction..

Nancy stopped and looked back over her shoulder. The man in the suit and tie and sunglasses didn’t seem to be following her. He stood perfectly still against that elm tree on the other side of the street.  Though what was he doing there?  It wasn’t a bus stop and he wasn’t a neighbor.  Not a face she saw everyday.

A dozen or so steps later, she whirled her head around. Gone.  Nancy was being followed.  What to do?  What did he want?  Did she scream?  Did she call for help?

From the bushes behind her, a hand clapped over her mouth while its pulled her in and dragged her into the foliage.  Nancy screamed in panic, not even recognizing the smell of fresh body odor and old Axe.

“I’m not gonna hurt you!” Rod growled to her even as she thrashed.  “I’m not gonna hurt you!”  He loosened his grip, and Nancy pried his disgusting hand off of her mouth.  Rod hunkered down in the cover of the bushes.  Sweaty.  Unwashed. Barefoot.  Wearing nothing but his jeans and jacket.  The shirt that Tina had been found in was collected as “evidence” of some sort.  Rod looked at Nancy, eyes tired and desperate.  “They’re gonna kill me, for sure.”

“Nobody’s going to kill you,” Nancy said. Rod clearly didn’t believe her. Nancy didn’t believe herself.  “Did you do it?”

Rod looked like he was about to vomit, he was so disgusted.  “Do it?  Do what?  Sleep with my girlfriend?  Yeah, I did!”

“No, not that,” Nancy said.  “The other thing…”  Rod looked confused.  “Did you put her in a D-I-A-?”

Rod cut her off. “Hell no!  Tina’s not a baby!  But I’m the only one who seems to know that!”

“You’re not the only one who knows.”

Rod didn’t reply, immediately.  Instead his breathing slowed, and his eyes showed a level of gratitude that Nancy didn’t think the young man capable of.  “Everybody thinks I’m a kidnapper, or some kind of…” his voice cracked rather than allow him to finish the sentence.

“What happened last night?” Nancy asked.  “You were screaming an awful lot.”

The modern day greaser just shook his head. “I never touched her.”  He let out a breath.  “There was somebody else there.”  Even he couldn’t completely believe what he was saying. 

“You were screaming like crazy.”

“I didn’t do it!”

“The door was locked from your side!”  It didn’t make any more sense now that she was saying it, but it made her feel better to be on the offense.

“Don’t look at me like I’m some fuckin’ nutter or something!” Rod proclaimed through gritted teeth.. “You think I put a big pair of baby pants on my girlfriend, spanked her padded ass, and then snuck out and made everybody think she was a baby?”

Not when he said it like that.  The whole thing was getting more difficult to believe by the minute. Wait a minute…”Spanked?”

“Yeah,” Rod replied. “Kept hearing this slapping sound, right on her butt.  She kicked and screamed every time...till she didn’t.”  His eyes got hazy, reliving the moment.  “But it wasn’t me.  Somebody else did it.  And when I find ‘em I’m gonna-!”

More movement. A familiar figure in a police officer’s uniform.  A gun drawn.

“Just move away from her, son,” Lt. Thompson said in a low, even voice. Rod looked and saw the gun pointed at him.  Arms up, slowly he stood. Nancy too.  “Reeeeeal easy, like your ass depended on it,” Nancy’s dad intoned.

Like his ass depended on it.  A poor choice of words.  Police sirens squealed out even as Tina’s (ex?) boyfriend darted for the street. 

“Hold it!” Lt. Thompson called out.

Nancy stepped in front of her father, covering Rod’s barefoot escape.  “NO!”  He was innocent!  She couldn’t prove it, but she knew Rod was innocent.  Him being guilty would have meant that Nancy didn’t understand how the world really worked.

“Jesus Christ!” her father cursed, lowering his gun.

Running fast on tired legs and sore bare feet, Rod didn’t make it far down the street before the first police car cut off his escape. He didn’t make it ten feet before the second blocked his retreat and he was surrounded by men with guns.  Rod was a lot of things: Most of them bad.  An escape artist wasn’t one of them.

Nancy had to watch as Rod was held at gunpoint, slammed on the ground, and cuffed. “I didn’t do anything, Nancy! I promise!”  That last outburst wouldn’t look good for him n court.

Rod wasn’t behind whatever happened to Tina.  He wasn’t smart enough.  He’d been following Tina and pulled her off the street because the whole world was out to get him and Tina was the closest thing he had to a friend, just then.

A realization came over Nancy.  Whether people thought of Tina as an adult or not, Nancy was on the shortlist of people that Rod might try to contact.  “Daddy!” she followed her father out onto the street.  “You used me!”

“What the hell were going to school for, anyway?!”  It wasn’t a question as much as an accusation.  Again, she wasn’t Nancy the eighteen year old, but Lt. Thompson’s little girl.  And little girls didn’t go to school after a scary punk broke into a house where they were babysitting.

There was nothing to do.  Nothing to do except walk away.

“NANCY!” her father called after her.  She ignored him, instead focusing on the sound of Rod’s struggling as he was dragged to the squad car.  “NANCY!  NANCY!”


“What is scene,” the English teacher said, “is not always what is real.”  That was a real mood.  Mrs. Morgan had watched Dead Poets Society about three too many times, and was always trying to be profound and inspiring, but often her lectures came across as a dramatic monologue, more than an English Lit class.  This was doubly true now that the class had shifted into its Shakespeare unit..  Still, the lady had a point.

Slumping forward in her desk, Nancy lulled her head to her side.  Somebody was in Tina’s seat.  Somebody Nancy didn’t even know.  But no one missed Tina or remarked about it.  It was like that seat had always belonged to the boy sitting there; or that Tina had never been in school with them at all.

“For example, in the final lines of a Mid Summer Night’s Dream,” Mrs. Morgan continued, “Shakespeare has Robin Goodfellow assure the audience, as well as the main characters that they ‘have but slumbered here, while these visions did appear, and this meek and idle theme no more yielding but a dream.”

Ugh.  More dream talk.  More sleep talk.

Mrs. Morgan was walking around the classroom as she spoke.  Making Nancy’s desk in the back of the room less than idea for catching a few winks. “That and considering that he also has the famous play-within-a-play scene; where his actors play villagers badly playing mythic characters while OTHER actors play mythical characters as audience members making jokes about how poor the acting is, all in front of an ACTUAL live audience…” she paused for effect,  “Well frankly, nothing is as it seems.  It was very ‘meta’ at the time.”  That actually got a polite chuckle from the rest of the class and a tired, quiet groan from Nancy.

“Shakespeare was actually fascinated with the power of dreams, stories and illusions,” Mrs.  and how they affected people, turning illusion into reality.  From MacBeth’s soliloquy on life being a walking shadow, to some of his later poems, Shakespeare compared life itself to a story, and noticed how mankind broke itself down into the same repeated patterns and roles again and again.  Theater and stories were both illusion AND real to him.”

“John?” she said. “Will you go ahead and read, please?”

The guy sitting in what used to be Tina’s desk stood up and walked to the front of the class.  No page number was given, but everyone looked down in their books.

Sometimes things just worked that way…

“At first the infant, 

Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.” 

The new boy read flatly, and uninterested. Like he wasn’t used to the sound of his own voice.

“the whining school-boy with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like a snail

Unwillingly to school.”

Somehow the guy was managing to make this worse.  Did he know what words were coming out of his mouth.  He didn’t have to go full theater geek or nothing, but read with a little feeling.
Nancy closed her eyes.  This was having the opposite effect.  She closed her eyes...

“the lover,

Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad

Made to his mistress’ eyebrow.”

John’s voice was literally about to put her to sleep.  The palm of her hand was almost a pillow by this point.

A new voice called out.  “Nancy…?” The high school senior’s eyes popped open.  It couldn’t be! It had to be!  There in the doorway, clad in only an obscenely used Luvs, her tits hanging out and her hair tied up in little ribbons, was Tina.  “Nancy…” she sat there, just outside the classroom, splay legged and diaper bulging light yellow and deep purple.  Deep purple for the decorations printed on the outside.  Light yellow for what had been put inside and soaked through and discolored any patch of whiteness that might have remained.

“Nancy…” Tina smiled, like it wasn’t the name of her best friend but a new word she was trying out for the first time.  She reached both arms out and up, like a child wishing to be carried.

“the whining school-boy with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like a snail

Unwillingly to school.”

Nancy looked around the class.  Didn’t anybody else see this?  But nobody was looking at the doorway.  No one else had heard the big baby calling out for attention. To make matters more bizarre, the new kid was apparently backtracking.  Lost his place.

Nancy looked back to the doorway.  No Tina anymore, just a puddle of piss where she had been.  A giant baby with a VERY leaky diaper.

The reader’s voice dropped to nearly a whisper…

“And  finally the infant, 

Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.” 

The kid hadn’t just lost his place, he was starting over.  Except he didn’t keep reading.  He hadn’t lost his place. ‘First’ was now ‘finall’, too.  He was going backwards.  All the way to the lover section of the poem, and then backwards to school and then infant.

Nancy stood up as he finished reading, a knowing not-so-gentle smirk on his face.  He said nothing more.  The rest of the class kept staring at him.  The teacher too.  No one stopped her from walking out into the hallway, over the puddle that Tina had left.

Sometimes things just worked that way…

Stepping out into the empty hallways, she saw the not-so-little girl just rounding the corner, drips and dribbles still coming out from her legs; the leak guards long having failed.  “Tina?” Nancy called out.  But if Tina heard her name, she didn’t respond.  She just shuffled and crawled out of sight, leaving a wet trail behind her.  Rather like a slug…

The hall was empty too.  And even though some of the classroom doors were open, there was no sound coming through them.  Nancy didn’t know why.  Didn’t care either. 

Sometimes things just worked that way…

Tina!  She had to find Tina!  Following the trail of urine, the senior broke into a run.  “TINA?!”  She rounded the corner!

The girl’s sprint was cut short as she collided with what must have been the only other person in the hallway:  A pudgy girl with dark black hair and a red and green sash.  A hall monitor, of all the antiquated juvenile things!  Some students were given the sash and
patrolled the halls on off periods, running errands for the front office or playing security guard...

Both girls went down to the floor.  Fueled by adrenaline, Nancy was easily on her feet first.  She looked down at the hall monitor.  The girl had a bloody nose and her hair up in pigtails of all things!  What self-respecting young woman would have her hair up in pigtails?   If Tina had had long enough hair, she’d likely have her hair up in pig-tails right now…

The little girl hairstyle combined with a pleasantly pudgy face wasn’t doing anything to make the monitor seem any more authoritative.  She sat there on her ass, splay legged and clumsy looking; just like Tina had been a moment ago.  Speaking of Tina, Nancy might have been wrong, but there seemed to be something of a swollen bulge coming from between the young lady’s legs. 

Almost like...

But no…

No it couldn’t be...

“Where’s your hallpass?” the monitor demanded.  She seemed unfazed and unconcerned with her bleeding nose. 

Nancy felt her throat start to close up with anger.  “Screw your hall pass,” she growled, walking right past the stupid twat.  She broke out into a jog; then a run.

“HEY NANCY!”  The voice from behind her wasn’t the nasally, whiney voice of the hall monitor.  It was older.  Deeper.  Nancy looked over her shoulder.  The hall-monitor was up on her feet again.  A gleeful, sadistically playful look was on her face, which was now bleeding from more than just her left nostril.  She patted a large, heavy looking paddle in the palm of her hand.  “No running in the hallway!”  It wasn’t her voice, but the older, raspier one.  So was the laugh that followed.

No time!  No time to ask questions, no time to formulate a quip! No time to deck this wanna be cop in the face!  She had to find Tina!  Had to follow the trail!

She went past an open locker that was so stuffed with teddy bears that they were overflowing out the hallway and piling up like the leaves in fall.  She ignored the faint breeze and the scent of lavender baby powder.  Had to find Tina!

She made a right turn down the stairs.  She couldn’t remember if there had been a downstairs before; but it didn’t matter right now.  HAD TO FIND BABY TINA!  And the stick trail of quickly drying pee was doing just that.

There in the dark, gray, almost dingy light, at the bottom of the stairs, Nancy found a sign.  It read: “PLAY PLACE! NO GROWN-UPS ALLOWED!”  The balled up diaper just by the door was a pretty good clue. 

Good that someone had at least changed her.  Wasn’t it?

Ignoring the sign, Nancy stepped forward and opened the door and went in.  Turning and taking her, she placed her back to another door, this one made of glass.  An old yellowed room decorated with the tattered remains of children’s crayon scribblings laid behind her.  But Nancy paid it little mind.

What caught Nancy’s attention was the simple, moth eaten curtain in front of her. Nancy felt it call to her, invited her.  With a singular swift motion, she tore back the barrier.  Just as promised, an indoor playground lay behind it; perfect for a child to frolic and get lost in.

Stepping forward past the curtain, she heard the door softly click behind her; so soft that part of Nancy wouldn’t have been surprised to look back and find that the door didn’t exist. There was a kind of heat here; one of energy and motion.  It was the same kind of heat from a gym; where no matter how high the AC was turned up, people’s body were radiating energy.  Same might be true for an indoor playground.

“Tina?” Nancy called out, stepping from the solid concrete and onto the metal mesh of the playground.  Such a dark playground, too.  Impossible darkness above and below.  No more ceiling, just monkey bars and gymnast rings.

Her voice did not carry like she’d hoped it would, and she only got the sound of raspy breathing in reply.  That, and the same off feeling of some unseen force watching her.  Not like this morning after breakfast either; more like the feeling she’d gotten just before Tina’s bed stopped being a bed.

No more walls in this place either, just play-tunnels and slides and tubes. Old ones, from the looks of them. Nails and old screws jutted out at odd angles from improper construction and overuse. Nothing like this would ever get past a safety inspector today.

“Tina?” Nancy called out, her voice with a hint of hope in it.  Please let her be here.  Please let her be here.

The place had a low thrumming noise, like a heartbeat. Unseen through the vast network of plastic arteries, children crawled and scurred through.  No laughter though. No calls of ‘Tag! You’re It!’.  Other than the occasional rattle of a body moving through thick plastic, the kids were quiet deathly quiet. 

Maybe not kids, Nancy thought.  She looked around.  This place was big enough to accommodate adults...or at least children her size. Tina’s size.

Nancy stopped; her eyes being drawn to the sound of the raspy breathing.  “T-Tina?”  She no longer sounded (or felt) quite so hopeful. When the scarred witch with the red and green bag stepped out of the shadows, Nancy knew she had every right not to be.

“Who are you?”

A devilish smile blossomed across the disfigured face.  Nancy washed as the woman opened up her white blouse and exposed her nipple.  As if in answer, the ghoulish woman kneaded her breast slightly.  That wasn’t milk coming out of her nipple. Milk wasn’t green.  And the laughter that came out of her wasn’t human.

The woman rebuttoned her blouse and opened the bag slung over her shoulder.  Even at a distance, Nancy could see something white, rectangular and folded peaking out.  She didn’t need two guesses to know what it was.  A jagged, splintery padde held overhead, the monster woman slowly advanced on Nancy, her square heels clicking on the metal; her intent clear.

A paddle, and a diaper bag.  First one.  Then the other.   Nancy quickly pivoted and peeled back the curtain, finding only cement walls to block her path.  She juked and ran sideways, deeper into one of the playground’s walkways.  Even though she sprinted, she somehow knew she wasn’t getting away.  Even though the undead Mary Poppins followed at a slow, leisurely pace, Nancy couldn’t help but feel as if a cold chill was breathing down her neck at every twist and turn she took.

No time to think.  No time to plan.  Just move and turn.  Move and turn.  Left or right.  It didn’t matter.

Sometimes things just worked like that…

Such a weird logic.  Nancy didn’t normally think like this.  Not when she was awake anyways.

Nancy had been correct in one thing, though; it didn’t matter which way she turned.  A dead end found her; and right on her heels, still walking at the same knowing, predatory pace, was the woman with the paddle rounded the corner.

She cackled with glee and dragged the paddle along the ground, letting it’s low thudding scraping sound join the hum of the playing children.  She gave it a practice swing and a low whoosh went through the air.

“Gonna get you,” the shadowed hag taunted. Closer she came, as if savoring every moment.  “Nanny’s gonna get you!”  Her words were playful, her tone was not.

Back against the wall and with nowhere else to go, Nancy realized why she’d been acting so strangely.

Things DIDN”T just work like that.  Not when she was awake!

“IT’S ONLY A DREAM!” she screamed.  

It was as defiant as it was desperate, and did nothing to stop the woman with the paddle.  She’d paused and looked down at the carpet bag filled with diapers, apparently savoring the moment and envisioning what was to come. “Come to Nanny...” she beckoned.

No! Not like this!  Not like this!

Filled with frustration, the young woman’s anger overcame her fear.  “GODDAMN YOU!”

She got only puckered lips and blown kisses for her shrieking. 

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw one of the play-tunnels.  Old and rickety, with rusted screws and nails sticking out still from either wear and tear or improper manufacture.  Necessity being the mother invention, it gave Nancy an idea.  If this was a dream.  If this really was a dream then…

Without thinking or deliberation she slapped her arm on the nearest piece of jagged, crying out in pain as the rusted metal pierced her flesh.

“AAAAAAAAAAH!” Now her voice echoed along the empty structure, deafening out all other sounds as the nail tore open her flesh.  It was a little cut, but it hurt like something else.

“NAUGHTY!” The woman cried out.  Her paddle dropped to the grated floor.  A burnt hand reached out to grab her  “BE CAREFU-!”

“NO! NO! NO! NO!” 

Nancy was in hysterics!  She stood up from her desk and thrashed her arms, flailing and screaming at her attacker; even as the rest of her class turned around in their seats and stared in amazement at her. “I’M NOT A BABY! I’M NOTTA-!”

She didn’t open her eyes, even then.  It wasn’t until Mrs. Morgan rushed and grabbed her by the shoulders that she opened them.  “OK! OK!  THOMPSON!”  Her last name!  Children didn’t get called by their surnames.  Nancy froze; fully awake and the center of attention.  “I’ll-I’ll call your mother.”  Nancy kept her eyes on her teacher, slowly starting to catch her breath.  “Everything is alright now.” 

Wordlessly, Mrs. Morgan tried to guide Nancy back to her desk.  Nancy planted her feet and backed away.  ‘No,” she said.  Even as she did it, she started to pick up her books and collect her back pack.  “I’m okay.”

“You sure?”

“I’m fine.”

Again, her teacher asked, “You’re sure?”  Not quite believing her.  It was fair.

“Yeah,” Nancy repeated.  “I’ll go straight home.”  It took everything in her not to break down and cry right there in front of everyone.  Somehow, Nancy found the strength.

Somehow, her teacher seemed just as shook. “You’ll need a h-hall pass.”  Nancy ignored her and walked out the door, this time turning towards the exit instead of going deeper into the school. She really didn’t want to know if there were stairs further down the hall and to the right; yet alone where they led to.

Just outside the school, right past the steps of the front entrance, Nancy let out a sob.  She couldn’t say whether it was from fear or relief; not that it mattered. 

A dream.  It had all been a dream. Just a dream.  

But if it was ‘just’ a dream; why did she have a cut on her forearm right where she’d slammed it against the metal?



End Chapter 2

A Naptime on Elm Street

by: Personalias | Complete Story | Last updated Feb 2, 2022


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